Thursday, August 23, 2012

Snarks ~ Happy Belated Birthday!

Your BFF since third grade forgot to commemorate the anniversary of the most blessed date of your birth (in spite of the fact that all 300 of your mutual friends on Facebook totally remembered and posted on your Timeline, which would've most likely turned up on her newsfeed, but whatevs). Three days later, she's scrolling through her Facebook newsfeed and chokes on her half decaf, half regular, one-pump sugar-free vanilla syrup, soy milk latte as the horrid realization strikes. Then she makes haste to your Timeline and posts, "Happy Belated Birthday!"

With all due respect, your friend should be eviscerated for her thoughtlessness.

It's not with her thoughtlessness in missing the day that I take issue (though you may, of course), but with her usage of that God-awful, grammatically incorrect phrase.

Let's take a look at "Happy Belated Birthday!"

What, exactly, "be late" in this scenario? Your birthday? Well, maybe—if something screwy went down with the space-time continuum, and the flux capacitors got all wonky, and time warped to send you your birthday a few days after it should have, by all rights, arrived. But we all know that's not what happened. (Probably.) What happened was that your "friend" had her head up her ass and it's her wish for your happiness on your birthday that was late, not your actual birthday. (Probably.)

So what should she have posted? "Please excuse me having my head up my ass and accept my belated wishes for a very Happy Birthday!" Or, "Belated Happy Birthday wishes to you!" Or, if she simply wanted to show that she cared, (which she obviously didn't, else she wouldn't have missed it), but was in a hurry, "Belated Happy Birthday!"

Because you've probably heard/read the incorrect version SO MANY TIMES, wishing someone a "Belated Happy Birthday!" may seem wrong, even unnatural, to you. I understand. Change can be difficult, even when it's correct. Reassure yourself of the righteousness in wishing someone a "Belated Happy Birthday!" by clicking here, or here, or here.

Feel better now? Good. So do I.

Edited to add: this was totally a hypothetical situation. Also, my birthday's December 21, and I appreciate gifts of gold, Lindt Hazelnut Truffles, and gerbera daisies. ;-)

25 comments:

  1. Oh my god . . . I just had that brain sensation where it feels like something permanently rewired and now I MUST go forth like a good grammar disciple and never say it the wrong way again. So cool!

    I'm sorry your friend forgot your birthday. As I am not in your facebook feed, I would like to extend a Belated Happy Birthday [for crap's sake it even makes sense now] to you, assuming this story is actually about you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, aw, you're so sweet! That was just a hypothetical - I don't actually have a BFF (not that I'm bitter about that, or anything). HOWEVER, if you're wanting to send me a card, my actual birthday is the day the Mayans have folks freaking out about. :-)

      Delete
    2. Ha! I'll send it on time if I'm not in a bunker =)

      Delete
  2. Just so we're clear, I will never send you a birthday card. That way, the day I forget (which is inevitable) you can't get mad at me. I can barely remember my own birthday let a lone someone else's. I've even forgotten my own father's birthday (gasp! Runs from Birthday Firing Squad). Interestingly enough, my mother is so anal retentive about birthday's and wishing them on the exact day and IN THE MORNING (not late in the afternoon when time is almost out) that I've become the total opposite. I barely celebrate mine. The only birthdays I do remember and celebrate are my kids. Everyone else, can go buy their own damn cake. Cheers! And Happy Up and Coming Birthday :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean, Up and Coming Happy Birthday!!!

      Delete
  3. Excellent post! It's this kind of thing that drives me nuts too, but I have so few people outside my immediate family with whom to commisserate. I will tuck this in the back of my mind, because I'm embarrassed to admit that I may actually have committed this atrocity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh geez now I'm wondering if I wrote Happy Birthday on your Timeline...I can't remember!!!! If not Belated Happy Birthday!!!! Great post. You said 'wonky'. tee hee.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post, Mina!

    And lest I forget to acknowledge such a dear and delightful day as the anniversary of your birth-canal emergence, allow me to be proactive and humbly wish you a "Be-earlied Happy Birthday!" now.


    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh bloody hell - I'm always wishing people a happy belated birthday - well err happy belated birthday :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Eek, now I will never use that phrase.
    I'm actually pretty on the lowdown about my birthday, and only those family members who have known me forever really know and recall. Whenever your birthday was or is, have a good one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Elise - dang it, now you've made me want cake! ;-)

    @SL - LOL, "atrocity!" I mean, you're absolutely right in calling it one, but I've had a crazy day at work and feel the need to LOL! as much as possible right now.

    @JoJo - we weren't Facebook pals for my last birthday, but I fully expect you to remember it this coming December...assuming the Mayans got it wrong and all of Creation doesn't go all wonky. (I do heart the word "wonky!") :-)

    @Chris - "...the anniversary of your birth-canal emergence..." - LOVE IT!!!

    @David - as I noted elsewhere on this blog, I'm likely to forgive a man with an accent fairly easily. :-)

    @Catherine - haha, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Funny, Mina! And I'm happy to note that I've never put the "belated" in the wrong place so I don't have my head anywhere it shouldn't be. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  10. You've got me wondering whether I've ever used such an obvious grammatically incorrect phrase... and I hate to admit, I probably have! I will remember this post always and try not to make such a rookie error ever again!! (And this from a woman who uses proper grammar and punctuation in texts! lol)

    ReplyDelete
  11. LOL... that is too funny... and so true! I'd never really thought about it. But makes sense. Sorry it's taken me so long to get over here from the childhood monster blogfest. I suppose you could say I'm belated. :s
    Anyway, great to meet you and I'm a fellow Sag. Cheers to that! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Lexa - Atta girl!!! :-)

    @Annalisa - I do the same with texts, most of the time. And of course I discover that I've made plenty errors of my own; for the longest time, I thought "panacea" was pronounced "puh-NA-see-uh." I'd never heard it spoken, just read it, never thought to look up the pronunciation till someone gently nudged me in the right direction. Meh, we live, we learn. (One hopes.) ;-)

    @PK - Hey, it's so great you've come on over, yay!!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Please excuse me having my head up my ass"

    I have actually put this up for forgetting a birthday of a friend. So what kind of a friend does that make me? Honest. And they love me for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, I appreciate that kind of honesty in my friends as well! :-)

      Delete
  14. Haha! I may have to borrow that... I'm always forgetting people's birthdays!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so sweet, I'm sure folks won't mind! (So long as you offer the grammatically correct version, of course.) ;-)

      Delete
  15. I hate forgetting to tell people happy birthday...but I don't see anything wrong with telling people to have a belated Happy Birthday either, lol. I don't know. It's just never been such a problem for me. *Shrugs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I feel it's better to be late with happy birthday wishes than to never offer the wishes at all...so long as the wishes are grammatically correct! :-)

      Delete
  16. I tend to be pretty bad at remembering birthdays. I do try to make sure I don't forget my wife, my kids, and my mother. I'm one of those that if I happen to see a birthday wish on Facebook I'll chime in a greeting, but odds are I won't be on Facebook to see.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've missed a bunch of birthdays on FB, as I haven't been on as much lately. Alas. :-)

      Delete
  17. I have missed bunches of b-days as FB is not one of my musts everyday. Yeah I suffer from head up assitus. But you know, I never thought about the grammatically incorrectness of it all. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, man, I've made folks feel guilty about all sortsa things with this post, haven't I??? ;-)

      Delete

C'mon, post a comment. All the cool kids do.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...