9.22.2008

Technology grammar

Writer's Almanac is a feature on NPR by Garrison Keillor that shares literary or historical facts about today, and then a poem. Today's poem really caught my interest, because it had to do with both technology AND grammar. I had to share.

Windows is Shutting Down
by Clive James

Windows is shutting down, and grammar are
On their last leg. So what am we to do?
A letter of complaint go just so far,
Proving the only one in step are you.

Better, perhaps, to simply let it goes.
A sentence have to be screwed pretty bad
Before they gets to where you doesnt knows
The meaning what it must be meant to had.

The meteor have hit. Extinction spread,
But evolution do not stop for that.
A mutant languages rise from the dead
And all them rules is suddenly old hat.

Too bad for we, us what has had so long
The best seat from the only game in town.
But there it am, and whom can say its wrong?
Those are the break. Windows is shutting down.

"Windows Is Shutting Down" by Clive James from Opal Sunset: Selected poems, 1958–-2008. © W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.

I'm pretty attune to grammar mistakes, and the Windows phrase never appeared on my radar. Windows has been around as long as I have (well, it was announced 2 months before I was born, and version 1.0 was promised to be released 4 months after I was born. In typical Microsoft fashion, it wasn't released until I was almost 2.) so the phrase didn't register. "Windows" has always in a singular, proper noun in my experience.

As a programmer, I'm a stickler for proper, clear grammar in error messages and other user prompts. My coworkers laugh at me.

5 comments:

Alisse Goldsmith said...

That was painful to read - literally! I had to keep translating the poor grammar into proper grammar.

Joanna said...

Alisse- Speaking of grammar troubles, be careful how you use literally!

Alisse Goldsmith said...

Ha, I know! It actually hurt my head :)

Matt said...

That "literally" blog was literally the best new-to-me blog I've seen yet today. It was literally like turning a corner and falling face first into a pool of chocolate. Literally.

Brett said...

I thought we were laughing with you.

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