I woke up this morning with only one thing on my mind (okay, maybe a few things on my mind, but those thoughts were a combination of mathematics, statistics, and other things that probably aren’t safe for public consumption). And what was this thought that was bouncing through my head at 6:30 on a Saturday morning? Only that I needed, required, had-to-buy, the new book by The Oatmeal called 5 Very Good Reasons To Punch A Dolphin In The Mouth (And Other Useful Guides). Since I have just returned from the Stone Road Mall, you can rest assured that the book is sitting next to me as I write this blog post1. I can smell the newness of the book from here; all inky and fresh. I’m stoked to start reading it, so am going to try to make this post short and sweet.
For those of you that have been going about your life blissfully unaware of The Oatmeal, let me introduce you. The Oatmeal; meet my blissfully unaware readers. Blissfully unaware readers; meet The Oatmeal. If you’ve already been introduced, then you know what I’m talking about when I tell you that he is one of the funniest people to have ever graced this earth. His work is hilarious, probably offensive to some, and just the type of punch-a-dolphin-in-the-mouth type of humour that I love.
To give you a better example, I reproduce for your reading pleasure the last 2 paragraphs of the introduction to the book:
“This book contains gorillas, prostitution, poop jokes, small quantities of chainsaws, large quantities of man nipples, and one drug-addicted dinosaur. Its purpose is to entertain, inform, and offend.
I hope you like it. If not, I hope a large meteor finds its way across the universe and smashes directly into your crotch while you sleep.”
Several of my all time favourite comics have been included in the book, and these I fully plan to purchase as posters to put up in my office at the University. For example, the following comics are pure gold and educational. I must have them.
- Ten Words You Need To Stop Misspelling
- When To Use i.e. In A Sentence
- How To Use An Apostrophe
- How To Use A Semicolon
Truth be told, I feel compelled to provide these very useful guides to my students as most could use the lesson in grammar, spelling, and the like. Note: I haven’t shared them as of yet; I need to determine which of presumably many politically correct policies I might be violating by doing so. Regardless, it is appalling on a level that I can’t even begin to describe that the current crop of students present work with abysmal spelling, no punctuation, made-up words, and grammar that would make any literati spiral into a rage so intense, it might best be described as a red-hot-banshee-screaming-dolphin-punching-anger-burst. Don’t get me wrong, I am not by any means the best writer, I create words for my blog posts, and my grammar is often less than stellar. However, the difference is that I actually care about these things. I try my best to present work that is grammatically correct, and I definitely try to present as few spelling errors as possible. As for made-up words, I use them only in my blog. I would never enter them into my professional lexicon. Of course, the odd typo slips by2, even for my students. Typos I can look past. But there are so many other problems that I can’t. I provide a few examples below, with commentary of course:
- so im… [Clearly they meant to write I'm. Sadly, this was not a typo as they continued to write im throughout the 4 paragraph email. Perhaps they thought that this was endearing or cute?]
- i no i… [In this case, they wrote the word no instead of the word know. Again, multiple copies of this mistake make me sad in my Spelling-zone]
- anyway were talking about…, were looking for… [Dear students, please learn the differences between and appropriate uses of the words where, were, and we're. While you are doing that, perhaps also review the words ware, and wear]
- the process to see if there real or not… [Dear students, please also learn the differences between and appropriate uses of the words there, they're, and their]
Note that all of these excerpts can be found in various emails that I have received from 2nd year and higher university students. I present only a small portion of the emails to protect privacy.
Anyway, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy reading 5 Very Good Reasons To Punch A Dolphin In The Mouth (And Other Useful Guides). I fully expect to laugh until I cry, or at least until the Dolphins seek retaliation for all the mouth-punching.
1 I also purchased Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen written by Christopher McDougall. I’m pretty stoked to read this one as well, but clearly for different reasons.
Other purchases included:
- brand spanking new size 29 jeans (as my old size 32 were rather large and very much falling apart)
- brand spanking new extra-small dress shirts (as I’ve recently purged the large and mediums from my wardrobe, leaving me with about 6 small or extra small shirts)
- a brand spanking new belt (but it came free with the jeans)
- a brand spanking new pair of socks (purchased to get my order over $100 in order to get a 20% discount). Socks = $5, 20% discount = $22, net savings = $17 plus a new pair of socks.
- brand spanking new neon coloured underwear. Because who doesn’t want to gird their loins with neon coloured underwear?
2 For example, when I first published this page it was published under the name I’m So Happy I Could Punch A Dolpin In The Mouth. Do you see the typo? I didn’t, at least not immediately. But thankfully I reviewed my work and noticed that Dolpin is not the correct spelling of the word Dolphin. Spelling fail, edit win.
- 5 Questions with Matthew Inman, the Brain (and Hand) Behind The Oatmeal (newsfeed.time.com)
- Oatmeal Book: 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (laughingsquid.com)
- The Oatmeal writes a book… (rightsideofthebrian.wordpress.com)
- The Oatmeal: Bringing The Funny (fishandbicycles.com)