I Can’t Get No Decent Fact-Checkers

I don’t want you to think that I obsess over Gary Friedman, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Restoration Hardware. Some people, however, make easy targets.

Earlier this week, our mailbox’s weight-bearing capacity was sorely tested by the delivery of the half-inch thick Restoration Hardware catalog—or, as Gary calls it, Source Book.

Reading his open letter, I could only assume that he noted my last commentary regarding his misuse of the quotation mark, because this new letter is full of quotation marks that denote actual quotations.

“I can’t get no . . . satisfaction.”

Those famous words, belted out by Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones in 1963, established the group as defiant troublemakers, and the leaders of rock ’n’ roll’s anti-establishment movement. In a 1992 Vanity Fair profile Mick said, “I wasn’t trying to be rebellious in those days. I was just being me.” Forty-eight years later, as I witness Sir Mick (knighted in 2003 for his services to music) on stage at this year’s Grammys, he remains passionate, ageless, completely authentic and clearly…unsatisfied.

So, points awarded for proper punctuation.

Points deducted, however, for accuracy. I’m sure the Stones would have been thrilled to release Satisfaction in 1963, but they didn’t. (When did they? Well …)

Here’s the deal. I’m not saying I never make mistakes. I write this blog on the fly for no compensation when I’m not busy doing anything else. I misspell words, leave out letters, and click the wrong button when I run the spell-check. I kick it old-school when it comes to dashes in compound words. And, even though the Associated Press, the New York Times, and Ayn Rand and Jesus say it is OK to do without it, I use the serial comma.

(Plus, I sometimes start sentences with and, knowing full well that it is not technically correct to do so.)

I am willing to say, however, that if I were making bank selling hotel laundry carts to those who aspire to look like they are hotel heirs and heiresses, I would also invest in a fact-checker for my epistolary efforts.

[Confidential to G. F. in California: send me a reproduction 19th century couturier’s rack and I’ll fact-check your next catalog letter myself, and throw in a punctuation check for free.]

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This entry was posted in advice you didn't ask for, grammar police and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I Can’t Get No Decent Fact-Checkers

  1. Ross says:

    This is stinking hilarious. Thanks for the post. I stumbled upon this after searching for improper punctuation. I work with someone who has replaced commas with tildes (~) and always uses exclamation marks instead of periods. I dread reading emails from her. I feel the same way with formal and informal writing. If you send me a personal email I can tolerate poor writing (Well, I will tell you that but I really don’t mean it). Other than that, improper punctuation makes you look stupid.

    • nonsequiteuse says:

      I’m a repeat offender on the tilde, and am slightly astonished at my own propensity for exclamatory remarks, but I’m also not spending money publishing a major national catalog. Pardon me, book. If the company is trying to affect a casual writing style to project something about their brand image, they’re doing it wrong.

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