The English Guru

What’s Up, Wordy?

I’ve had this happen to me on numerous occasions, but last week’s occurrence made me question why it transpires. Due to the fact I have an English degree (or that some consider me a writer or editor), I have to be able to recite every single rule of grammar, know how to spell and remember the definition of every word, and never mess up while writing or speaking. Why?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m flattered that most of the people that know me come to me for advice about these things or expect this kind of perfection, but from time to time I might not be able to come through. I know, I know…I can feel your disappointment via the Web.

So, I’m not so much upset at this (unless you want to tell me, “But I thought you were an English major?” after I mess up), but I’m more curious. I’m curious to know if there are any other industries or professions that generate the same type of you-need-to-know-everything mentality from others. I thought about this for a while and came up with a small list of vocations that, if someone were to do for a living, I would expect near flawlessness (with my letdown in parenthesis).

  • The psychologist/therapist/counselor (who will not follow their own “good” advice)
  • The dancer/choreographer (who is clumsy while walking down the street)
  • The fitness personal trainer (who loves to eat junk food)
  • The artist/painter (who cannot tell the difference between pink and magenta)

I know there are others, but these examples are loosely based on individuals I’ve met in life. However, I would like to hear your experiences with this topic. Are you a writer that has others expecting you to be a cross between Merriam-Webster and Google? Are you within a different industry with similar expectations of excellence? Please leave a comment below and tell us your story.

P.S. One great thing about my trade is that I can mess up two plus two and say, “Sorry, I’m just an English major” and people will nod their head affirmatively and respond, “Oh, okay” and all is forgiven. Wait. That’s not a good thing, is it?

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Luis D. Bonilla
luis@wordszilla.com
Wordszilla, LLC

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