Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Dear Coworkers,

I'm not even sure where to begin.

Wait, that's a lie. Let's begin with the fact that it's bad (insulting, demoralizing) enough that your salary is more than twice mine and yet you are incapable of penning a coherent sentence; but when compounded with the fact that at least FOUR of you have emailed me to ask for "another copy" of that document because the copy I sent "is showing all those notes," you, in effect, make me want to rip out my hair/rip out your hair/generally perform acts of unpleasantness that would result in my either being fired or arrested.

Now, let me see if I can explain this in a way that will penetrate through that layer of cement that serves as your skull.

You see that oval-shaped plastic thing next to your keyboard (the type-y thing)? The one with the two buttons and the cord coming out of the top? That's a mouse.

Wha-- NO! Come back here! Get down off your chair! It's not a real mouse, sheeze...

Okay, now, place your hand lightly atop the M... the clicky thing. Move it around a little bit. See how that arrow on your screen moves when the clicky thing moves? Good!

Now move that arrow up to the upper-lefthand corner of the screen where you see the words "Final Showing Markup" (if you've made it this far, I assume you can read). Click on the little downward-pointing arrow next to the words.

Put the little arrow over the word "Final." No, not the "Final" in "Final Showing Markup," the "Final" allll by itself. Right.

Now click on it.

Just once.

There. Now that wasn't so terribly difficult, was it?

Oh, and in the future, before you tell me that neither you nor your neighbor are "savvy enough" to figure this out on your own, tell your neighbor to CHECK HIS FUCKING EMAIL because I sent him instructions, with pictures, first thing this morning.

Thank you,


Dear Academic Writers of the World,

First off I would just like to say "thank you." I'm sure you feel underappreciated at times and really, I want to let you know that I do indeed appreciate the hours and hours you have dedicated to publishing the tomes that make my education possible.

However, there are a few matters which I would like to discuss with you. Let's call them matters of style.

No, your shirt is fine. Stripes suit you.

I am referring here to writing style, and I would like to propose a few new rules for the style guide that would make both your and my lives easier.

Making me feel stupid does not, thereby, make you smarter.

Sentences containing more than 20 words are subject to review by a panel of experts. Sentences containing more than 30 words are hereby prohibited. Sentences containing upwards of 50 words will result in a monetary fine and possible flogging.

Any given sentence may contain no more than two pentasyllabic words. Please note that the presence of a single hexa-, septa-, or octosyllabic word immediately exhausts said quota.

If you can say it in 10 words... SAY IT IN 10 WORDS.

If we can all agree to the terms outlined above, I believe that we can look forward to many years of fruitful and far less stressful interaction.



Dear Smokin' Hot Ex,

Please be aware that while I truly am interested in catching up and hearing what you have been up to for the past several months, I am equally (if not more) interested in getting you naked.

Your compliance in this matter is most greatly appreciated. See you at 5.

All the Best,


Deutlich said...

Oh, how I love thee. The co-worker thing? I FEEL YOU! I want to go postal sometimes... I LOATHE this place. Blah.

And good luck w/the Hot Ex. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

I agree with every one of your rules to the Academic writing world. I was just complaining of these very things just yesterday after having to read one of the stupidest books.

No, you're not Charles Dickens and believe me, I'm actually a fan of words. Condescension does not work. Aaannnddd, if you use the same made up word more than 5 times in the same paragraph, that is the moment I close your book, and BS my way through the rest of the class without you.

Thank you for this post. I'm sorry... I had a few pent up aggressions to get out.

Samantha said...

Good luck at 5!! :)

Jess said...

I love open letters. And also, for some reason people at this office just do not understand track changes. They finally learned how to view a document as Final, but now they think that because they can't see the changes, they've been accepted already, so they send documents to clients with track changes still showing and are then shocked when the client complains. I have explained that you must actually ACCEPT the changes before they will go away but people just do not get it. Gah.

Anonymous said...

Deutlitch already said it, but oh how I love thee. :)

Z said...

Mmmm... Academic writing. Oh, the literary wonders of some of it - and the absolute horror that is the rest of it. I'm doing some of it myself these days, and while I hope I'm not quite that bad, it's always great to have a reminder ;)

Princess Pointful said...

You are articulate in both your academic-bashing and ex-seducing, and, as such, I utterly adore you.

ana said...

Hahaha. I love open letters to various brain funds, and you are pretty amazing.

Hope said...


Loved them all. Especially the one to academic writers. One thing that used to bug me completely was the ones that use French or Latin terms (with no translation)!

Hi? You're pompous.