My Personal Views and Reflections - Blogs and Grammar by Terry Shoobridge 16 June 2015

 My Personal Views and Reflections - Blogs and Grammar by Terry Shoobridge 16 June 2015

A sub-heading or category entitled “Blog” on a funeral provider’s website might seem strange but this is simply an area where I, as a practicing funeral director can state my observations, feelings and reflections in a human way and not as a professional undertaker.

It may surprise many of you who read the topics, articles and even headings on our website to know they are not ‘professionally’ written or produced as such: apart from the more extreme technical approach of some of our bereavement and grief articles (the one about psychiatrists comes to mind and the writings of Therese A Rando too), everything has been written by myself or my son Paul who, incidentally, I am proud to say, came top in the nation of his professional funeral exams (2015).

Growing-up and being educated in the late 50’s and 60’s - pre today’s Comprehensive School Standard system, I moved schools and managed to miss important English Grammar lessons due to a system that was not only ‘out-of-sync’ timing wise but rather self-regulating which was fine if you didn’t move schools mid-program!

I not only observe today’s phonetic and abbreviated system of written communication, I have been guilty of using it in the past myself with text messages and emails – my daughter at one stage found my style so challenging to interpret, she threatened not to bother trying to translate it into English – consequently, I ‘KISS’ (Keep It Simple Stu**d) now and confine my obscurity to CU L8R and HAGD (Have A Good Day).

My lack of grammatical education unfortunately leads me to ‘over-focus?’ constantly. Additionally, my computer is ‘American,’ my wife, Canadian so garage, garage, tomatoes and tomatoes figure largely in my life – my children (and wife) consistently ‘pull me up’ for phrases borrowed or ‘slipped’ into, and looking occasionally at or on grammar type (American) websites, I find I am totally confused by ‘past participles’  and the such like– I don’t even know what a present participle is let alone one that is past!

As I ponder websites throughout the world, I notice that spelling, accuracy and grammar are either not important or, ignorantly, inept. As a person who compiles (composes?), Orders of Service for clients, accuracy and consistency are mega-important to me and Shoobridge Funeral Services; I spend inordinate and disproportionate time and repetition ‘proof reading’ content. I find comfort in the truth that, if something goes unnoticed, it is probably accurate and, correct however, I am never complacent or totally confident that ‘all-is-well’ because often, the material supplied to me comes from different sources and everybody’s perspective, differs.

Photographs are a popular inclusion on numerous service sheets nowadays but people see what they want to see which is quite correct; the classic lamppost sticking out the top of someone’s head still goes unnoticed as does the sign in the background which clearly states, ‘Toilets!’ Thank heavens for an old version of Photoshop that I manage to ‘clone-out- some items (clone tool) and my very limited but sufficient-for-the-job, knowledge – mind you, as we change from PC to MAC, my familiar MS Publisher will be left behind and the ‘old dog’ will have to learn new tricks! Not an enviable situation.

So, back to the point: I tend to write as I speak – my wife and son say, far too wordily! I am who I am and must have some endearing qualities?

Our website: I read it as objectively as I can – an impossibility I know as I am the main author but I try to imagine reading it from an ‘ordinary’ person’s pov – sorry, point-of-view. My view is that I am more believable as a consumer as opposed to a professional and if I can relate to the ‘norm,’ then ‘you’ can also and I want you to know that I am, my staff are, all human beings, everyday people with foibles and some, imperfections!

You will find errors in punctuation, commas which possible don’t appear (to you) to be  in the correct places but I want you to know that I am addressing these issues regularly but I don’t construct the actual web pages and our providers are excellent but, extremely busy so little things get placed in lower priority order as we endeavour to keep adding useful content for the consumer, our customers and potential clients.

Coupled with the inadequacy of my education, ‘you’ are the recipients of not only my best efforts to date but countless proof-reading sessions and, whilst the goal remains in sight, the game is not over yet so, I ask your patience and, understanding. Finally, we view our web and internet presence as of the utmost importance but unlike some of the national funeral service providers, we cannot match their IT resources but strive to match and exceed their standards.

We sincerely hope your visit was and has been worthwhile but, we welcome all and any helpful criticism, advice, feedback or views as to improvements or our website appearance to you, the important person ‘out there!’

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  2. This is true that most of people face problems due to not having grammar perfection in their writing. During my career with dissertation writing firm, I have helped many students who could not write their dissertation because they don't were fluent in English writing.


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