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when you write anything by hand, sure, you have to acknowledge that other people may not find your handwriting as legible as you yourself find it to be. so... you adapt your handwriting to the audience.

to a friend or relative who has seen your writing a zillion times before, you can get a bit sloppy. i tend to do a hybrid manuscript/cursivey thing (my lowercase gs all but disappear -- guess after 30 years of gs, i got lazy) for those folks.

on forms, you have to try as hard as possible to be intelligible. here i usually write strictly in capital letters. (yes, i type in all lowercase and i write in all caps.)

i recently filled out a form for a family one-year membership to a local educational attraction. this was to be a christmas present from my mom. the family membership covered cam, paul and me, so she sprung for a few extra bucks to add herself to it. she asked me to fill out the paperwork and she wrote the check. easy enough. i wrote cameron t. cam'slastname, grace l. grace'slastname, paul grace'slastname-cam'slastname and porfiria grace'slastname. note the different last names. (have i ever discussed paul's last name here? i can't remember.)

the membership paperwork came in the mail and i was horrified. my name was suddenly grace l. cam'slastname. i also noticed that my mom's name was spelled wrong. i set it aside and planned to email them.

of course, around the holidays, who has time for nitpicky things like that? i was still writing christmas cards which turned into thank you cards which turned into taking down the christmas decorations to today. this morning (took the day off, by the way) i decided to finally take care of this. i pulled out the membership paperwork and saw that paul's name was incorrect, too. jesu cristo.

yes, i wrote everything by hand, but the only understandable error was my mother's name. i wrote to them:

Recently we purchased a one-year family membership. The membership cards arrived promptly, but we were distressed to see several errors on our paperwork. I've attached a copy with the errors highlighted.

My son's name is Paul [grace'slastname-cam'slastname], not Paul [cam'slastname-grace'slastname].

Our additional adult member is Porfiria [grace'slastname], not Porfiaia [grace'slastname].

My name is Grace L. [grace'slastname], not Grace L. [cam'slastname]. While I don't mind having mail sent to me under my husband's name, I do not have a photo ID identifying me as such.

Please send corrected paperwork (and a new membership card) at your earliest convenience. Thanks so much for your assistance!

i wonder how long it will take for a reply?

i just don't get it. changing my last name for me is not a typo. switching the order of my son's last name is not a typo. i can see how my R became an A, so i don't mind that one so much, but the others? argh. how hard is it to copy something from a form directly into a computer? do these people not check their own work? we wouldn't have minded waiting a few days for our paperwork if it meant that we didn't have to contact them later to ask them to correct what should have been done correctly in the first place!!

okay, i've had my coffee. commence cooldown.



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