Proofreading Under There

MLP unders

I found a typo on my underwear this morning.

It was a new pair of underwear, as yet unwashed and unworn—a just-because present from my wife, who found the last pair of My Little Pony men’s boxer briefs at our local Target yesterday. I suppose that some people might call me Brony, a designation I’ve been able to fend off for quite some time thanks to the fact that I have two young daughters.

Every parent knows that children make for the best excuses when it comes to open consumption of entertainment directed at 4- to 8-year-olds. I mean, the only reason I can name the residents of Pixie Hollow, sing most of Phineas and Ferb’s catalog, discuss the Fire Nation’s tactics, and explore the mythology of Ninjago is because I have young daughters. Right?

Sorry, I couldn’t hear your response. I was humming “Everything is Awesome.”

I watch these shows and movies with my girls because I want to see and hear what they’re seeing and hearing. I watch for “teachable moments” to use as springboards for bedtime talks about ethics and morals. (“What would you do if an enemy came to you, asking to become your friend?”) And I watch, admittedly, because I get a bit invested in the characters and plot lines.

Let me put it this way: I’m not regularly agreeing to “just one more” episode of Caillou.

Pegging my own developing fandom on my children only goes so far, however. I mean, my local comic-book store owner might believe me when I say that I’m picking up the latest serialized issue of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for my girls, but there’s no spinning a pair of men’s boxer briefs. That’s all on me.

I will be wearing these with a bit of irony. Rainbow Dash isn’t even my favorite pony. Plus, there’s the aforementioned typo:

Image

Dear underwear label writers: The word “it’s” is a contraction, smashing together “it” and “is.” An apostrophe does not make it possessive. But you already knew that, since you used the correct spelling earlier in the same sentence.

I obsess about grammar and word use way more than I obsess about pretty much anything else. But aside from Word Girl, there aren’t many shows for kids about the subject. I’ve yet to see a cartoon that addresses the Oxford comma and saying “champing at the bit,” not “chomping at the bit.”

I haven’t seen much in the way of grammar-based underwear, either, come to think of it.

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7 thoughts on “Proofreading Under There

  1. I don’t have children (yet) but I happen to LOVE Avatar: the Last Air Bender and thoroughly enjoy Phineas and Ferb. I would completely accept anyone to be a fan of those shows whether they have children or not. I haven’t seen the other shows, but if you rank them in the same list as these two, I won’t question you liking them. I might even have to find them and check them out myself! 🙂 Besides – you’re a nerd. You don’t have to defend what you love to anyone (well, at least not to fellow nerds!). Have you seen/read this little speech by Wil Wheaton? https://wilwheaton.net/2013/11/transcribed-why-its-awesome-to-be-a-nerd/

    As for the grammar – please keep pointing out when it’s wrong, and keep helping anyone and everyone to learn how to use it properly!

  2. sjdonaldson says:

    Ack…aaaack. Hate these type of typos. (makes me twitchy) 🙂

  3. Eek. I really liked this, but do not read my posts. I am not fond of inflicting pain. 🙂

  4. Graggirl says:

    So thankful for the genuineness of your blog! So thankful that even while I have given up Facebook for Lent it was important enough to seek independently aside from the ease of clicking through. I was saddened by the story of a North Carolina boy (what is the problem there) who was banned from bringing a my little pony backpack to school, because it caused a distraction (bullying.) your blog was a great antidote! 🙂

    • jesteram says:

      Thanks. I’ve been raging all morning about another blogger who yesterday posted a long piece on the backpack subject: “I wouldn’t let my son wear the backpack, I would discourage him from being a fan of the show, and I would and will guide my son away from ‘girly’ things and towards ‘boyish’ things.” This guy has a huge readership, and I’m … I … I’m raging again. Sorry.

      As animation hero extraordinaire Lauren Faust recently noted: “I’m giving up for Lent.”

      • Graggirl says:

        There has been a lot of talking and little sleeping here. As a person who makes a lot of alternative choices in partnership with my spouse I was shocked to hear a similar statement. We have a quirky son, the labels are confusing and I’ll fitting…asperger’s maybe… A kid that will never be mainstream average joe. So I was very surprised when initially said spouse supported the principal’s decision. As we talked things softened. But I am deeply saddened that this school missed an opportunity to get distracted into changing culture, and making better small people! This has led to a lot of talk about how feedback can help us learn social skills. But while at lunch with spouse and his friend from work a bigger problem became apparent. As parents we want our children to be fulfilled, have relationships to the level that suits them (introvert or extrovert we all need people), and find contentedness. While the friend was arguing in favor of the bullies he accidentally equated good/perfect with normal. And that is the crux of the problem for me. Societal norms are not the definition of what is good and right…and childhood is where we learn to mature past that viewpoint! Having good friendships and conformity are not mutually exclusive. I watched an interview with this kid and the mom. My gut says this kid is going to be alright. But the group of bullies are the real victims here, they have been deprived a chance to mature, critically evaluate social norms, and be responsible for their actions. I feel bad that the adults in their lives did not care enough to expect more of them.

        • Graggirl says:

          Sorry for the typos. Sick kid, phone typing, sleepy baby, and outrage are a bad combo. I obviously did not mean to autocorrect ill into I’ll and the many other mistakes. And I meant that conformity and friendships are not interdependent!

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