The Queen’s English had been sullied in that vestibule. The printed sign had pencil scrawled vigorously over ‘them’ next to which, with the same apparent vigor, had been boldly scribed ‘it’.
J. McKay / I would have been a fairly spiteful Neanderthal. I like nature well enough but I like it just as much through a double-paned window. As in-laws were invented to do, mine routinely encourage me to be a different version of myself--one that smells like campfire smoke, separates its vulnerable sleeping self from predators and the elements with only a microfilm of nylon bound to aluminum rods that took hours to erect, and is at the mercy of natural sunlight from the time it crests the mountains on the East until it hides behind those on the West. That is to say they take me camping—once a year—I do my best to like it but if unsuccessful in that regard take comfort that I always learn from it.
From this year’s takeaway points, the one that is most germane to the rest of the content of this site was garnered in an outhouse. Yes I know such luxury and we actually have the audacity to call it camping. This particular camp site had a permanent outhouse, the kind that give you a false sense of modernity without the hassle of flushing where what you leave behind is never far behind—it’s just a few feet below—mingling with what’s been left by others. Pardon the potty poetics.
Anyway I was answering nature’s call in nature’s phone booth, when I was excited to have been left some reading material posted to the wall directly in front of where I happened to be sitting. A well placed printed page from Wyoming State Park Services that read. “This restroom is cleaned by volunteers, please help us keep them clean”. Now after awarding a mental medal of honor to said volunteers and thinking of how nice this honor would look draped around their neck in the insane asylum to which they should be committed for volunteering for such a lot, I was amused by an addition of a pencil edit.
Now this post is for those of you who already know what edit I’m going to mention had been made. Horrors. The Queen’s English had been sullied in that vestibule. The printed sign had pencil scrawled vigorously over ‘them’ next to which with the same apparent vigor had been boldly scribed ‘it’.
... for life and learning!
For the rest of you who still don’t get it, see there is this thing called ‘agreement’ and if the antecedent and it’s corresponding pronoun don’t share plurality, you don’t have it and what you have written will offend those who are not offended by the fact that they are less than a meter from the excrement of thousands of campers. You offend them to the extent that they will go to their campsite retrieve a pencil (who camps with pencils…oh yeah H.D. Thoreau) and see that such an offense does not go uncorrected.
Other than the aforementioned editor’s 3rd grade grammar teacher who is likely beaming, the rest of the world (if I’m a representative sample of the universe and I like to think that I am) is ashamed that you are one of us. You couldn’t leave ‘them’ be? In an outhouse!!?!! Have you been checked for a clinical disorder? I like to think I appreciate correct language use particularly when context and content demands it, but last I checked wilderness restroom memos are beyond the laws of the land like Native American reservations that can sell nuclear bombs and gamble on the national spelling bee.
Look if you are posting a message to visitors of Fremont Lake campground pertaining to and presented in perma-potties and you wanted to write, ‘Deze here poophouses be cleaning through free, help we clean it keep’. I would say to anyone who took issue with your expression, ‘Are you still in there?’