This week, at work, I’ve been working on my self-report of accomplishments for my yearly review. I’ve done your regular style yearly BSing for a few years now, but always for contracting companies that already have it in their minds that they’re gonna give you a 2-3% raise and you’d better like it. This year I actually have an opportunity to get more than the regular “cost of living (please dont quit) token raise”.
Side note: It is very possible that I am kidding myself entirely, with my utopian ideas of pay for performance… but if I am, shut up and dont rain on my damn parade.
So, I’ve been working really hard to make this massive pile of ego stoking sound really damn good. I even went to a workshop on how to write them. I came back with a little more insight into how the government always takes something simple and makes it 10,000 times more complicated than anyone ever dreamed it could ever be. With extra paperwork…
But that’s not the point of my rant.
I havent written anything longer than an email or a blog post since I graduated from college. And those are certainly not formal, nor adhere to proper grammar rules. I write like I talk. You get me, right?
After spending the whole day gathering my accomplishments and thoughts, and slapping them all together in a 2 and a half page Word document that reeks of bullshit, I turned on the “Check Grammar” function. I did this because, really, I wanted to know the Flesch-Kincaid reading level. I’m a giant dork for statistics (just show me them, dont expect me to calculate them), and I know Word will check that for you. I got a 14.4 grade level. I didnt know that it went that high. Go me.
But in flicking on that “Check Grammar” function, I was bombarded by the dreaded green wavy lines.
Most of my damn sentences were “passive”. I dont care. Some were valid concerns, such as comma placement (I am such a comma bitch) and spacing after periods. Others were bullshit “sentence structure” complaints because the computer really didnt understand what I was talking about.
However I got a new one, today. “Split Infinitive”.
What the fuck is a split infinitive?
I’m pretty sure the last time I’d ever heard that term was in the 4th grade. When I still lived in the United States. And people cared about such petty things. Funny that the Catholic British nuns didnt care… seems like prime “hand slapping with rulers” fodder.
I asked my husband what a split infinitive was, he explained, and I changed the sentence… not because I thought that split infinitives were a bad thing, but because I honestly didnt want the computer to be madder at me than it probably already was. I like things to like me. All things. Well, except smelly people and people who use my fucking computer and cough all over it.
So what is wrong with passive voice and split infinitives? They sound more elegant. Who the hell cares that “To boldly go where no man has gone before” is not grammatically correct? It sure as hell sounds good! Isnt that what really matters? I do believe so.
I turned in my report of accomplishments about two hours ago. Newly pressed with blood, sweat, tears, and absolutely devoid of any split infinitives. I’ll keep my passive sentences, though, thank you very much. If you dont like it, you can bite me.