The Internet is a minefield of terrible grammar. Someecards' resident English teacher Matt Cheplic is here to clear the mines—or die trying.
Eek. Here we go.
Last year, when Michael Sam became the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, we all knew the story would inspire plenty of debate, speculation, overreaction, bad jokes, and some old-fashioned hate speech for good measure. But what fan of football (or bold declarations about sexuality) could have predicted this bizarre and vicious assault on the English language:
This was one of the comments that followed a recent ESPN.com story, in which Sam (who was released by both the Rams and Cowboys before taking his talents to Dancing with the Stars) stated that other gay players in the NFL have reached out to him privately but don't possess the courage to come out publicly.
What I find amazing about this sentence is that it's such an efficient machine of awfulness – so many mistakes in only nine words (or clusters of letters that sometimes resemble words).
Let's break down some of its highlights:
1. “He just trying…"
Some would argue that such phrasing is acceptable as idiomatic. It's a little too “Me Tarzan, you Jane" for my taste. (On a similar note, I never understood why Dr. Banner would lose the ability to say “Hulk will smash" or “Hulk is planning to smash" while in Hulked-out mode. Perhaps the commenter in question was also in a gamma ray-assisted rage at the time.)
Our commenter seems to be dropping a little Italian into the conversation here. It's a bold move, and to that one can only say Bravo, my friend. Bravo.
3. “get a jod"
This is likely a grievous spelling error (or an attempt to strike the “B" key during an earthquake). Now in fairness, I lead a pretty conventional, middle-class existence: it's possible that Mr. Sam and thousands of other gay men are out there every night hoping to “get a jod," and I'm simply not acquainted with the term.
4. “that alk"
The sentence ends on quite a note of intrigue. It appears the author has again neglected the verb “is" to attempt the phrase “that all" (a phrase no one uses in any circumstances. Try singing the refrain to the 1983 Genesis single “That's All" in this manner. It's very uncomfortable.) But the bizarre “alk" gives me pause: Is “that alk" supposed to be “that talk"? It doesn't seem logical, but then, searching for logic among this wreckage feels as pointless as discussing the missing comma and period.
It's worth noting that our commenter was trying to temper a nasty online discussion with a modicum of common sense and perspective. Sometimes, a situation cries out for a voice of reason, and that voice simply doesn't have the luxury of waiting six or seven seconds to form actual words.
The most horrifying part of this sentence?
Moving forward, I truly hope our society can be safe and welcoming for gay professional athletes. I would just like it to be safe for nouns and verbs, too.