Dear Aunt Bossy,
This is sort of petty and really none of my business, but I wondered what you would think about it.
I just got back from visiting my brother and his wife. They have two children, four years old and one year old.
My brother’s wife runs a complicated computer based business when she isn’t changing diapers, entertaining the kids, teaching them all sorts of things, preparing meals, making sure they eat, and hauling their gear around. She does all this joyously. The kids are smart, happy, engaged, well mannered and funny.
She graduated from a prestigious university, has a Master’s degree and excels in sports and photography. She is also gorgeous and in great shape. She’s awesome.
My brother calls this magnificent multi-talented, multi-tasking woman “Mama.” The first time I heard this, I almost fell off my chair.
Don’t you think that is an awful thing for a husband to call his wife and lover? I mean, really?
Yes. But it isn’t your business.
There, Their, They’re, Dear
Dear Aunt Bossy,
I have a friend who is smart as can be, extremely well educated and well-mannered. She has a high paying job in the medical field, and is an all round successful person and professional.
Only one problem: she uses pronouns incorrectly. I think this takes away from her stature as an intelligent and successful gal. Should I talk to her about this?
Funny you should use that pseudonym. There is a fabulous book called “Grammar Gremlins” which explains all those grammatical things that our popular culture has thrown by the wayside, but which are still the hallmark of a classy and well-educated person.
If your friend knows how much you love her and is secure enough to accept constructive ideas, you should definitely put yourself out there and tell her. I’d also recommend buying her the book, as it will give her a solid framework to begin correcting her speech.
Just as judging people based on how they are dressed or what material objects they have acquired, judging based on grammar does the judger a disservice. You can miss out on some great people if you dismiss them because they aren’t the same as you are in these areas. However, there are standards that signal to socially evolved people that you are worthy of immediate respect.
We all know horrible people who have perfect manners, immaculate and chic grooming, and impeccable grammar. It is still a good idea to develop those qualities. These seemingly superficial things add up and help establish a strong first impression that will lead others to be willing to get to know you better. Nothing to lose.
Aunt Bossy is Susan Murphy, an internationally known Communication Skills Coach who adores spending every winter and spring in Beaufort. Ask for advice @ Bossymurph@mac.com.