Convenience Means Broken English

While I was up in Sacramento for the state fair and to see a very special Weird Al show, I had the pleasure of seeing one of my uncles on my mother’s side. Truth be told, the trip to Sacramento, the admission to the fair and the ticket for the very special Weird Al show were all at his expense, right down to the gas money.

I was more grateful than I could think to express. Thank you just didn’t seem to cover it, and I decided to get in as many as I could while there.

As if all that weren’t enough, he gave me all the leftover foodstuffs he and my aunt decided they didn’t want, anymore. Besides tomato juice older than some fifth graders I know — this stuff never goes bad, he said — and enough tuna to make nightly casseroles through a week of Sundays, he gave me several varieties of coffee and tea, two Bankers boxes filled with soda, and almost 4 pounds of beef jerky of various varieties. Among many, many other things.

One of these things, in particular, was not foodstuffs, napkins or microwavable bowls at all — it was one of them newfangled GPS systems. Shock, awe and thankfulness, all over again.

He had one lying around and, because I’m now gainfully employed as a school photographer, he thought I could use it. I could, I can and I have.

In — four hundred — yards. Turn — right. Then — stay in the — left — lane.

Wouldn’t it be great if these handy little time-saving gadgets didn’t pretend their English was anything but broken?

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