Musings: A Taste of My Own Medicine

If I had to pick my most annoying habit, it would be that I like to correct people. Grammar, semantics, spelling, wrong answers, misquoted statements – if it is wrong, I will point it out.

It’s a problem, and I know it. Not because people tell me (no one’s dared to say it to my face yet) but because I see how they react. They look affronted, like I just slapped their cat. Of course, my family is a bit more tolerant – the look I see on their faces is that of ‘what can you do. She’s family.’

I do try to tone it down. I try a lot. But it’s just so juicy to correct people; it’s like a drug. Look at this conversation I had with one of my friends the other day:

Me: Well, travel safe

Him: (Roughly two hours later). When I got this text, I was already home, but thanks irregardless.

Me: Haha, it is regardless, and you’re welcome.

I mean, what kind of monster do you have to be that all you notice in that text is the grammatical error? (And as I write this, I’m smiling, so I guess I’m the kind of monster that’s not about to change).

Anyway, I first got an idea of how annoying this habit can be when someone did it to me. I was on a date with this dashing man when, somewhere in the middle of the conversation, I used the word ‘condescending.’ Now, when I pronounce this word, I say ‘kon-descending’ instead of ‘kan-descending’ It’s one of those words I can never get right like ‘placate,’ which is a whole other story.

My date, let’s call him Daniel, looks at me and flat out says, ‘it’s kun-descending.’ My mind isn’t used to people correcting me, so I don’t hear him the first time. He catches on and asks if I heard him, so I say ‘pardon me,’ and he says ‘you said kon-descending its kun-descending. My. Mind. Is. Blown.

I say, ‘are you condescending to me through the word condescending?’ but only in my head because my mouth is too busy gaping. I’m feeling all kinds of things now; rage, embarrassment, regret, but – and this is the weirdest part – I’m also feeling oddly attracted to him. If I had the mind for it, I’d rip his clothes off and have him on that table. I don’t, but the feeling stymies me. I mull over it for a while and chuck it down to daddy issues and the fact that I can never resist a Luo man. There’s something about them…


Thinking about this experience this morning, it hit me that Daniel might have been getting back at me for a similar incident on our first date. We were having some drinks with his friends, his brother, and one of my girlfriends when he said that ‘waters’ wasn’t a word. I said it was and so was ‘persons’ and we started arguing. 

By that point of the night, I had a buzz going on (way too much Amarula… it sneaks up on you, doesn’t it?), so I’m half standing half jumping, and I walk over to Daniel’s lawyer friend and ask him to settle the matter. He confirms that yes ‘waters’ and ‘persons’ are English words and gives us some contexts where they could be used appropriately.’ Daniel looks steamed, but he doesn’t lose his cool. And surprise, surprise, that’s when he says he’d like to see me again. So, maybe we were similar like that. Monsters.

Wait, what was the point of this story?… Oh, yeah, that someone corrected my pronunciation, and I hated it. But I still correct other people, so it looks like I didn’t learn any lessons.

So, a pointless journey this was. 

Image by MasterTux from Pixabay

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