The Diary of a Nouveau Soccer Mom: Army Tales - A bit about grammar, and mountains, and Harry Potter

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Army Tales - A bit about grammar, and mountains, and Harry Potter

(When Shaun was gone all summer retraining, I kept a private blog/journal of thoughts, thinking someday, I'd figure out what I wanted to do with it. I'm still not sure what I want to do with it, but some of the stories are too funny to not share, so I'll be posting them here sporadically. Most begin with excerpts from my letters/emails to him, followed by the whole story. It was a long 4 months. Trust me.)

Dear Babe:

Sometimes, the misuse of the English language makes me want to cry. Especially when it comes through quasi-official channels. Learning about homonyms should be mandatory for everyone and spell check is never a bad thing.

At that, I was wondering, are you in the Army or at Hogwarts?

Love, Me


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Communication during training is limited at best. Because my husband had been out of the military so many, many years, he ended up having to retrain completely. Often, there is a program for soldiers re-entering the Army, but as with our luck, said program ceased to exist right around the time he rejoined. So for much of the first half of his training, I dealt with very limited communication, as in a handful of phone calls and mostly letters. I tried to work on the no news is good news principle and assumed that they would call me if there was a major problem.

The bits and pieces of information I put together often came in the form of Facebook posts. This was awesome as at least I had a wee bit of a clue what was going on with my husband and it helped to know if they were out in the field or shooting things or whatever else it is they did there.

However, then there came the day where I read a post stating that soldiers were going to "repel down Victory Tower". (My research told me Victory Tower is a 40 foot high wall thing that the soldiers use ropes to navigate.)

One itsy bitsy teeny tiny problem--the word repel.

I know, I know, it's petty and I should be thankful for the volunteers that actually posted these things, and I was. Really. But ugh! Spell check is your friend, grammar check is your friend, and if you're going to post anything in any sort of quasi-official capacity, it is really in your best interest to make the right choice of words. Rather than focusing on the news from training, all I could think about was the word repel.

So, if you are talking about climbing down that 40 foot tower? You're going to RAPPEL. Same with climbing down mountains or climbing walls or anything of that sort.

Now, if you're going to REPEL something? You're going to make it go away or stay away or back away. Sort of like if you shout "Impervius!" and tap your glasses, rain is not going end up on them.

But unless you're going to Army training at Hogwarts? You're probably not going to learn to repel anything.

Someday, I'll have to blog about why I hate when people can't distinguish between the words sell and sale. That one is even above the there/their/they're and your/you're on my list of major pet peeves.


2 comments:

  1. Practise and practice! And it's so easy - you just think of advice and advise, which are pronounced differently as well. That's my big one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And then we shall move on to "loose" and "lose". {sigh}

    ReplyDelete

 

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