Saturday, February 02, 2008

Copyeditors Anonymous, or: A Ghost Story

I am telling you this story because I personally find it hilarious. But I would like to state at the outset that I am not making any assertions or theological assumptions about ghosts.

Whatever comes after the "outset" but before the actual story shall be stated here, and it is the following three facts:
  1. I just watched the season premiere of Lost, which included the character "Jacob," who might be a poltergeist or something--who knows? Who knows what or who anyone is in Lost?
  2. I have recently decided that now that the bandwagon has mostly safely passed, I can read the entire Harry Potter series with impunity. I am on book 2.
  3. Yesterday I finished reading Stephen King's book On Writing, which is actually . . . on writing. It's not a scary book. But it's still Stephen King, and he really did get pulverised by a van in Maine and survive, so . . . you know, still Stephen King.
Okay. I think you know all the relevant backstory now.

Last night I had this dream. In it, I was visiting somebody up in Maine. I have no idea who this person was, but in the dream we were friends, I guess. Anyway, her house was haunted, by a ghost who was classified as a poltergeist. He didn't do all that much throwing stuff around, though. He just kind of hung about invisibly and interfered with things you were trying to accomplish. He also talked. A lot. Man, could that ghost talk. It was really annoying.

I had a pretty clear intuition that this ghost was malicious, but mostly he hadn't done anything more than get in the way (as much as an invisible being can) and grumble. All the time. He wasn't too happy about being a ghost, it seems. He was also kind of snooty about it, though. It was weird.

Anyway, in spite of my intuition, I wasn't very afraid, reasoning with my sleep reason that if this ghost tried anything, you know, really evil, Jesus was in me, and the ghost would have Jesus to answer to. I was in the midst of trying to figure out whether some sort of exorcism would be in order in any case, just to get a jump on things, and the ghost was blabbing away about something, when he suddenly employed absolutely abysmal grammar.

Apparently I was just nervous enough of this ghost not to want to correct him or anything, but in that instant, one of my colleagues, Constant (for whom English is not a first language) showed up. "What?!" he said indignantly to the ghost, and promptly corrected his grammar. The ghost was never heard from again.

I always knew language usage was important . . .

10 comments:

jasdye said...

grammar are good to know and use and whatnot.

Annelise said...

Absolutely hilarious!

heather a. goodman said...

See! And my husband thinks I'm crazy because Scrabble gave me nightmares.
Yes, the game.

Llama Momma said...

LOST will seriously mess with your brain.

But I love it anyway.

Jenn said...

This former English teacher appreciates even a subconscious consciousness of appropriate usage. Dream on!

Jenn said...

Yeah . . . I thought some of you out there might resonate with this. Mom, I'm pretty sure I inherited this from you and Grandma.

Scott said...

I will take it as a warning when I read on Writing by Steven King that anything can and may happen.

Annelise said...

No question about it! :-)

Inihtar said...

Too funny!! It might be the combination of Lost, Stephen King and Harry Potter (all the ghosts floating around Hogwarts!).

Jenn said...

Scott--yes, do be careful.

Ini--I think that was one point I was trying to make. I'm absolutely sure it was!

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