I heard this from a vet at work last week. It was directed at me because I answer the phone: “*insert 3 worded long name of business* veterinary, this is *my name*, how may I help you?” Already quite a mouthful if you ask me. The vet was dictatorially policing my grammar infringement when she said it to me.
I just stared for a minute, trying to decide whether to call her out on her douche-baggery in trying to correct my solecism in the first place, explain my reasoning for omitting the noun in the phone tagline, or simply disengaging the situation and providing no response at all. I choose the middle option–to explain how yes, I know veterinary is not the end of the sentence, and I realize I omit the noun of said phrase, but for what I believe to be good reason. One: to shorten the greeting (even if just a little) and Two: Because clinic–which is the legit name for our business has a negative connotation, so I don’t want to say it.
Clinics invoke the image of a weekend crash course of shoddy medicine on the cheap. We’re talking spay/neuter clinics just so people will castrate their pets at all, quick dentals to drum up more business in the long run, or some sort of transient specialist practicing medicine one day a month to fulfill the needs of several rural communities. A clinic is economical, fast, and maybe doesn’t have the most knowledgeable staff or exceptional facilities–not us by a long shot.
I guess my particular veterinary ____ (see how I’ve purposely omitted the noun, but show I know it SHOULD be there with my blank line) is named that way, because the owner’s husband is a human physician and got all irked that a lowly veterinary practice should not assume the name hospital–as if it’s like the legit human hospitals in town. Stupid, but clinic is on the sign. So this veterinarian tells me to say hospital if I want even though it isn’t on the business cards or sign and may lend to some confusion.
Aside from the ‘adjective describes a noun’ and ‘clinic vs hospital’ debate, I would like to instead focus on the practice of correcting grammar and spelling. My desired rejoinder to that doctor is to tell her to leave my speech patterns the fuck alone! Maybe if she spent less time scrutinizing my grammar and more time writing her charts, or organizing her work space, or even seeing clients in a timely manner a lot of everyone’s (important) problems would be solved. Who cares about how I answer the phone? People can tell where they are calling, and it still sounds professional–no harm, no foul. If I was writing a formal essay I would use the name as written.
Sometimes I think (to myself) that a person portrays themselves with ignorance when they use words improperly or write stupid shit that sounds illiterate–but I do not mention this to that person. What could they riposte with this information? Will it make them want to learn to do things correctly–or will it just make me look like a picky bitch? What result are those grammar police really expecting–yeesh! That, and I know it could easily be me making the mistake next time. You better not correct someone else unless you yourself will never make their same mistake. After correcting someone if you make some sort of error you will look like a hypocrite and a dummy.
As happened to this particular vet on my Facebook page. She responded to a picture but the script was nonsensical because she forgot to type a word–humorously enough. . . The noun. The ever important, previously mentioned noun. I have no idea what she said, because she subject was omitted. Karma??? I wanted to retort with some snide comment so badly, but instead chose the (semi-mature) route of leaving it alone and blasting her on a different forum.
Just beware, loyal readers, nobody wants to hear it–keep your English-teacher-harping to yourself.