Preserving Public and Private Libraries

I still have my first library card.  Granted, it’s long expired and returning to that library would be an hour commute, but I still have the card.  I’ve been going to libraries my entire life, and it baffles me when adults enter the library and ask to get a library card, “but I’ve never had one before.”  (And for at least half of them, it’s not like they just moved to the area.  They’ve lived here their whole lives and never had a card.)  I know I can’t keep the look of surprise off my face, although I do refrain from asking, “How have you lived?”

My family already had a substantial collection of books; both of my parents are avid readers.  However, a public library has more resources and more space than a private homeowner, so it’s a perfect resource if you don’t want to break the bank and fill your house floor to ceiling with books.  We also never had commercial TV of any kind (never have and never will.)  We went to Blockbuster a few times, but it was always so expensive.  Why spend $3 to rent a movie for three days when you could go to the library and rent a copy for free for two or three weeks?  Libraries allow you to check out favorite books and movies over and over, plus you can sample hundreds if not thousands of new material to see if you like it.  And then, if you’re like me and you enjoy something enough, you go buy a copy for yourself.

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We Are Grammar Nazis

Have you ever gotten a message from someone via a text or e-mail or post on Facebook that was illegible?  One that you couldn’t understand, or one you misinterpreted because you couldn’t read it?  Or perhaps you receive messages like this on a regular basis.  “How is that possible?” some may ask.  After all, with the advent of typing, you don’t need to worry about translating bad handwriting, so how could you not read a typed message?

Easily.  If the person sending you the message failed to capitalize, punctuation, or write a grammatically correct sentence, you honestly may not be able to understand what they said, regardless of your intelligence.  I’m sure you’ve seen it all over the web, the decline of the capital letter, the lack of any punctuation beyond the exclamation point, the abysmal state of spelling.  More and more sentences are sent with net-speak abbreviations rather than complete thoughts.  And, what’s worse, nine times out of ten, if you correct any of these mistakes, you will be called “a grammar Nazi.”

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