Thursday, August 25, 2005

A reflection from a relatively recent trip

Sméagol would really like to obtain a new t-shirt or sweatshirt displaying the name of the alma mater and the fact that yes, my precious, yes indeed, Sméagol has a college education.

There is proofs: a lovely little certificate with lettesr
B.A. stamped on it. It is still in our possession (in hindsights, we really should've bet that, not the ring, in the riddle contest with Baggins). You know what we mean by these shirts, the alumni gear thingssses. The bookstore at — gollum — Gollum's aforementionsed college sells all sorts of these products. Yet, my love, we cannot bring ourselves to buy a shirt, despite the fact that we're sure nassty elves never touched or twisted or got near the fabric. Why is that so, precious, you ask? Well, Sméagol refuses to knowingly purchase a grammatically incorrect abomination.

Let's leave aside for a moment the fact that the above paragraph begs this observation: Sméagol complaining about grammatical innacuracies is like the pot calling the kettle black.

I just want to buy a shirt that says I'm a female graduate of a certain college! Why is getting that properly displayed on a t-shirt apparently too much to ask?

A note to the thrice accursed marketing people of a certain institution of higher learning: I am an alumna. Not alumni. Alumna is the feminine singular form of the noun. I am the teaching assistant. The teaching assistant is of the female sex. The teaching assistant is one person. Ergo, I'm worthy of a feminine singular noun. In this case, that would be alumna. Thank you.

Gender issues aside, as only one person is intended to fit in one shirt anyway, it makes about as much sense for a man to say he's alumni (as opposed to alumnus) as it does for me to label myself alumnae. So, far more than the pot and kettle matter, it's ironic that Gollum/Sméagol took over this rant because in their case, "alumni" might be correct... however, that alias would not be wearing that shirt in public (since it suffers under sunlight and shows symptoms of agoraphobia). The teaching assistant would wear the shirt.