In Loving Memory of Written Language

2021 September 5
by mockers

It is no secret that I love the written word. I have gone to great lengths to defend it from people who want to ban words because they mistakenly believe that erasing a word will somehow erase hate and put an end to hurt feelings. It won’t. I have attempted to force people to make the correct choice when it comes to your, you’re, to, too, and two. I have climbed to the top of a large building and screamed, “’A lot’ is two different words! Put a space between them, you ignorant cunts!” I don’t do this to feel intellectually superior like some other folks clearly do. I don’t do it to try and circumvent whatever argument the writer is making by saying that they can’t spell, and therefore have no credibility. I just love the written word and I feel that it deserves better. Of course, I make mistakes. There are sure to be some in this article, but I respect the written word enough that I care, I study, and I try every day to do better.

                That said, two things under this heading are particularly bothersome to me. The first is the meme generation habit of writing an incomplete sentence under a picture. There’s always some shot of baby Yoda making a weird face or something and under the photo there are big block letters that says something to the effect of, “That time my dog farted”. Sometimes there’s an ellipse to indicate that the rest of the sentence is coming at some time in the future – but it isn’t. Sometimes there isn’t anything and I am left to wonder forever what happened that time your dog farted. Now, let’s assume from a comedy standpoint that I am supposed to know that the implied sentence is actually, “I once made this hilarious face that time my dog farted.” Okay…farts are funny. So yay. Unexpected funny faces have the potential to be humorous, I suppose. So yay again. But still, this doesn’t meet any definition of a joke. It’s not funny and at best it’s a lazy attempt at getting some attention. I can’t wait until this trend is over. Some day I will see a “That time when” meme that contains a complete sentence. On that day I will be a slightly less angry man.

                The other half-a-sentence thing that people do that drives me nuts is when they dedicate valueless things to deceased loved ones. I have written books. I know how difficult it is. That dedication page means something. I imagine any sort of performance takes time, energy, and heart. Buildings, parks, and other permanent installations are a product of great labor that will be with us for a very long time. Hell…even tattoos cost someone a certain amount of pain, sacrifice, and bodily real estate. Any time I see a sign that says, “This _____ is dedicated to the loving memory of _____” on something of significant value to society at large, I think about the love the dedicator had for someone they lost, and I tear up a bit. This kind of dedication is no small gesture.

                In contrast, today my wife and I rolled into the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant and pulled up next to a white, 2002 Chrysler Sebring. There was a white translucent sticker on its back window of a Christian cross. Next to the cross were the words, “In loving memory of Big Josh”. What is in loving memory of Big Josh? Is it your filthy window? Did you drive here from Detroit, where you are employed as an automotive engineer? Did you design and/or build the Chrysler Sebring? If so, it’s a sad attempt at a mid-sized sedan, and Big Josh is sorely disappointed with you. In this situation, the best-case effort that one could dedicate to Big Josh’s memory is of heading to the internet, ordering a sticker, and slapping it on one’s shitty car. Doesn’t Big Josh deserve better?

Even worse, I saw on Twitter today that someone was dedicating their Twitter handle to the loving memory of somebody. I know everyone grieves differently. I don’t necessarily want to shit on that. Still, think about it – your tribute to someone you love and miss dearly is typing seven words into a little box? Maybe you could dedicate a park bench or something. Maybe you could dedicate volunteer hours to people who need help. Maybe you could staple a drawing to a telephone pole. To me, anything would be better than a tribute consisting of nothing but around 50 keystroke. Still, if you insist, if that’s the one thing that will make you feel better while dealing with loss – doesn’t the dedication deserve to be a complete sentence? Big Josh has probably earned that much. The written word certainly deserves better.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. 2021 September 5
    Mrs Metten permalink

    It would’ve been more moving if the sticker said “My friend Josh died & I miss the fuck out of him”. I guess that would take up to two too much of the window.

  2. 2021 September 6
    Required permalink

    That time you wrote “try and” instead of “try to”…

  3. 2021 September 6
    metten permalink

    I deserved that.

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