Sorry, Microsoft Word, You are Wrong Again

I think the newest version of Microsoft word is an alien from another world. It learned to speak by downloading English textbooks directly into its brain. Every time I write in conversational English, it underlines in blue and offers me a far inferior wording if not one that is totally inappropriate to the context of the situation. This sentence for example:

So he takes the stairs to feel like he’s getting some kind of exercise.

It double underlines the ‘so’ and tells me that I need to put a comma after a transition. Sure. If I wanted to make ‘so’ be a synonym for ‘therefore,’ the program would be right. But instead, I want the sentence to be a sentence fragment because it follows a rather long sentence and joining them with a comma can make the sentence harder to understand. Sentence fragments are no-nos that can make your writing hard to understand. But if you are a skilled speaker and writer of English, like many people are, sentence fragments can enhance the readability of your writing. I include myself as a ‘many people.’ And I include myself as a ‘people.’ However, that is beside the point.

Microsoft word wants me to write:

So he takes the stairs to get exercise.

Instead of:

So he takes the stairs to get some kind of exercise.

The longer version is more wordy, but the extra words convey a context that the concise version does not have. ‘So he takes the stairs to get exercise.’ Tells you only why he took the stairs. ‘So he takes the stairs to get some kind of exercise.’ Tells you not only why he took the stairs, but it also tells you that he does not get any exercise other than that. Let’s look at those at those two together.

So he takes the stairs to get some kind of exercise.

So he takes the stairs to get exercise, and he does not get any exercise other than that.

Now, Microsoft Word, which version is more concise. Huh? Not only is ‘So he takes the stairs to get some kind of exercise.’ more concise, but it sounds better and reads better. But English textbook brained aliens don’t know that.

Also, I wrote this sentence:

She looked into the cup of coffee.

I don’t know. Maybe there was a bug in it. Maybe she wanted to see if she needed to refill the thing. Who cares?

Microsoft Word underlines ‘looked into’ and says that it would be more concise to write ‘investigated.’ Well, wait a damn minute. That is not the same, at all.

She looked into the cup of coffee.

She investigated the cup of coffee.

Does Microsoft Word think I am writing some kind of CSI cop drama? Does Microsoft Word think She is dusting for fingerprints?

She investigated the cup. She dusted it for prints. The white powder formed into clumps on the surface of the coffee. She took a sip and thought it made her coffee taste bad. Next time, she would dust for fingerprints with hazelnut coffee creamer.

No Microsoft Word that is not my story. She ‘looked into the cup’ as in, ‘she used her eyes to see into the cup.’

Does Microsoft Word think she is looking for seamen stains?

She investigated the cup of coffee. She grabbed a clear coagulated mass out of the coffee with tweezers and placed in a plastic bag for DNA analysis.

Nope. Nope. Sorry, Microsoft Word, you are wrong again.

Yeah, Haiku, I am Seeing Other Women. What You Gonna Do, Huh?

Haiku is taking the house. She’s getting the kids, and all my money.

She has me talking on eggshells, recording every word that I say.

I am paying for her lawyer, and she’s building up her case against me.

She says I’ve stopped taking her on long walks down wooded trails in fall.

She says I’ve not taken her on a playful run through the crunching leaves.

She says we haven’t breathed the smell of fresh cut grass in many years.

She says all of my choices have broken her in uneven meter.

But I say she’s not been looking for anything to go on long term.

But I say she’s not interested in personal relationships.

But I say she’s hiding things from me in her small little pointed quips.

But I say she’s saying something in not so many words. Something bad.

But we’ve had our rough patches sometimes, and they say things happen in threes.

So, Haiku… you wanna give me one more of your sultry single breaths?

Not at this juncture?! You use the word ‘juncture’ now?! That’s just lawyer talk.

Our ‘Special Time’

Well, Vern and Milly, I got you both here because I need you, Milly. I need ya ta do me a favor of kinda’ a personal nature. I think you know what I’m hintin’ at. That’s why you’re here, Vern. To make sure I ain’t outa’ line askin’ such things of your sweet Milly. I ain’t tryin’ to scandalize either of ya. But… How do I ask this?

Did ya’ll know…. I’m sure you did. I’m sure you did.

Did ya’ll know the world is so mixed up that they had to go and make a law that ya can’t have brother and sister stuff on the internet? Ain’t nobody really interested in none of that barring a few haints and boogers.

Nobody wants it. No son and mom. No dad and daughter. No sister and brother. I bet it woulda’ petered out anyway. ‘Cuase nobody liked it. But they made that there law.

And it worked, kinda. At least at reputable sites like, you know… pardon my sayin’… Vern, you know which ones I’m talking about. Is it OK if I say em? You know in front of Milly?

OK… Ahem! Sorry about this Milly.

Sites like, YouPorn, PornHub, Youjizz. You know, ‘reputable.’ You’ve been to all of em. I mean you, Vern. I wouldn’t presume anything about you Milly. And as you know… Vern, I know you know. Don’t lie to me.

They went and got rid of it all. I mean, it wasn’t real anyway, Milly. It wasn’t real so they just renamed it all. Instead of brother: stepbrother. Instead of sister: stepsister. That kind of thing.

So, they made that law and now peoples is going to try to get around it. And they go and make somethin’ bad worse. Oh, I know step-folks don’t sound that bad, Vern. But that’s what makes it worse. It don’t sound as bad.

 Now, you ain’t feelin’ guilty, until after when you erasin’ your search history. And we knew it wasn’t real before, Milly. And we woulda’ made it quit. Now, it ain’t gonna’ quit.

We knew we knew it wasn’t real before, Milly. And you know that we knew that we knew, Milly. I bet you seen it, too. I mean with Vern an you, and all. If you don’t mind my presumin’ a little.

 We woulda’ made it quit ‘cause there ain’t much worse things in the world that you can do while you are having that ‘special time’ than think of your parents. That’s right you wouldn’t like it.

The only thing worse than a parent: a brother or sister. Imagine. Or don’t. Do yourself a favor.

The only thing worse than a brother or sister: one of your kids. You’ve done it. And it ain’t good.

And for any of you liars who say that you ain’t ever think of your kids at the wrong time, we gonna pretend. Not you, Vern. Not you Milly. I wouldn’t call ya’ll liars.

Imagine them kids walkin’ in on you… only ten times worse! Because them kids, you can kick’em out of the room and lock the door, this time. I don’t know why you didn’t lock it the first time, but ya didn’t. You can do better. I know it. Again, I ain’t talkin’ about ya’ll.

And this happened to me just t’other day. Not the walkin’ in part but you know what I’m sayin.’

Me and my Melba were having our ‘special time’ and I go’d to pick her up, and I couldn’t. I thought in my head… And this is where I went wrong.

I thought she sure is heaver’n my baby boy. You know Cleet ain’t that little, but I can still pick him up. Ya’ see I done picked em up and put em in his bed the night before, and I couldn’t get it outa’ my head. And I couldn’t tell her nothin’ bein’ me and my wife’s ‘special time,’ and all. So, I tried to ignore it and I cain’t.

She see’d it on me an felt it, too. And she said, “Elmer, what in tarnation is wrong with your willy.” And I know’d I been done it. Ain’t nothing Melba like worse than a limp willy. She bein’ thinkin’ it all her fault, and all.

So, I decided I’d go and tell her a joke. Ya’ know, make her feel better. She likes my jokes. I’m known for em. I sometimes like to tell em a little blue. I hope you don’t mind.

And I shoulda’ known better! Every time, with all the ‘lady friends’ I ever had if I made a joke during our ‘special time,’ she’d be madder’n tarnation, all of em. Every one. If it’s her fault, that’s one thing, but I don’t want it to be mine. My Melba, god love her. But I wasn’t thinkin,’ and I shoulda’ been thinkin’…

I said to Melba, the sweetest, most lovin’ woman I ever know’d in my life. I said… And I apologize for talkin’ crass. I said, “Put my cock in your mouth, a hand on my balls, and a finger in my ass. And if that don’t work, nothin’ will.” I know’d it was over.

There wasn’t no coming back from that. No sir. Not with my lovin’ sweet, Melba. There is a fire in her eye. You can see it.

But she didn’t kill me. She cocked her head to the side and had this look on her face. There wasn’t no decipherin’ it. And before I know’d it she had done done it.

She stuck her finger right up my keister. And there I was yowling like a dying alley cat. But for some God-awful reason. I don’t mean to take the Lords name in vain.

But for some God-awful reason there was my willy standin’ straight an hard like I was fifteen years old with an old girly book I found rolled up in the loft.

And now Melba done got ta thinkin’ I like it that way. And every time we are havin’ our ‘special time’ together she’s got me squirming knuckle deep in my keister. And darn it all, my biscuits are burnin.’ My poor arse… Can I say arse? My poor arse is hurtin.’ Its swollen, an I cain’t eat nothin’ spicier than a dern bowl o’ puddin’ without flarin’ it all up.

So, Milly, when ya’ see her, when ya’ talk ta Melba, I’d kindly appreciate it if’n you’d tell er. Say Melba, Melba, do old Elmer a favor. Melba, please, please, just spit on your finger.

The lol Police

Look, of course, I know that ‘lol’ is an abbreviation for ‘laugh out loud.’ I only pronounce it phonetically because it has been part of the mainstream English lexicon at least the last twenty years. I just pronounce it that way because I know that you will understand it, not because I don’t. It is exactly like the abbreviation for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Only squares pronounce the ‘F’ the ‘B’ and the ‘I.’ It’s ‘Fubee.’ That’s how you say it, ‘Fubee.’

Why New Boyfriend is Laughing

Ex-husband and wife cringing together in awkward visitation.

Ex-husband makes a murder joke. Ex-wife nearly murders him for it.

New boyfriend laughs and laughs and laughs. Boyfriend says to ex-husband.

Buddy, you were the wrong person to make jokes like that to your ex-wife.

They all knew many reasons Ex-husband had gone away for 5 years.

A new man, they said. Maybe, but that had been said about him before.

Every drink, every push, every black eye, he said he was a new man.

Ex-wife asked new boyfriend to stop in to make sure they were right, this time.

Ex-husband, ex-wife, new boyfriend, gun in the cupboard behind the plates.

Yeah… just in case ex-husband doesn’t know why new boyfriend is laughing.