English Teacher's Grammatically Correct Text Messaging Annoying To Friends
Friends of Charna Bell, 28, have expressed disappointment and frustration with the Bay Harbor Middle School 7th grade English teacher for what's being labeled as "careless" use of correct grammar and words when replying to and sending text messages.
Just responding to an invitation to go out for a beer after work, friends say, can take up to two sentences without a single abbreviation, numeric representation of a word, or sometimes even a contraction.
"All she had to do was say 'got bsktbl til 6 c u @ 7'," complained Russell Waters, former classmate of Bell at Ball State and electrical contractor, "but this is what she wrote verbatim: 'I'm here until 6:00 for basketball practice; will probably be an hour late'. What the hell is that?"
Waters added with emphasis: "And a semi-colon? I don't even know even what the proper usage of those things was when I used them in college; here she is putting one in a casual text message. Jesus."
While her peers have a masterful grasp of the use of numbers to represent words, punctuation to express emotions, and tasteful use of run-on sentences, Bell appears to be hopelessly incapable of grasping such technologically advanced concepts.
Said concerned friend and former roommate Andrea Doriano: "I'm worried about her ability to get along with people her age. We have things like cell phones and blackberries so we don't have to use words like 'going', 'minutes' and 'the', but she's stuck back in some era where people used to write letters to each other with the kind of big words that you only read about in books. Didn't technology give us the tools to graduate from that stuff years ago?"
Friends of Bell who are troubled by their friend's stunted communication skills are being outnumbered by those getting fed up by her anachronistic propriety and excessive wordiness in the new medium of text messaging.
"If I wanted her to write me a letter, I'd have bought her a typewriter, not a cell phone with free anytime minutes," said boyfriend Ronald Yvers, substitute science teacher at Bay Harbor Elementary. "This 'I can't wait to see you tonight and kiss you, my sweet sweet love' stuff should really come to an end. A nice little 'luv u cant w8 to c u 2nite' gets the message across just fine and in less than half the time. She could even put a smiling emoticon in to let me know that she was happy when she wrote it."
Others are incensed further still by what they interpret as condescension on Bell's behalf. Her refusal to exchange information in a terse and cogent fashion, they say, is evidence of Bell's "esotericism" and inflated self-image.
"She was always like that," steamed Erika Brown, fellow graduate of the Ball State educational program who works as in the math department of the neighboring Gunstonville school system. "Just leave it to her to refer to something as 'exquisite' instead of just plain old 'good'. For her, it's always been about being more unique than everyone else, and the last message I got from her which said something like, 'Today has sucked, I'm going home to drink a beer and take a long, hot, soothing bath' is obviously just a cry for attention."
Bell defended her loquacious messaging, claiming that she only wants to be clear of her intentions and hates the ambiguity that can result from inferior stenography.
"It seems kind of natural to me that it's important for educators to stay at least one step ahead of the children they teach," said Bell, "and much better to be circumlocutory and actually tell someone, 'Yes, I will be at your house when I get off of work' than it is to say, '?, ill b their', if for no other reason that being able to look at my 12 year-olds in the eye."
Reporters are still looking into the definition of "circumlocutory", but expect that it will reveal Bell to be a needlessly wordy person and has something terribly wrong with her.