Why You Should Proofread Emails

I was doing my work in Textual Intervention class this morning like a good student when I got back my mark for the rationale I had written a few weeks ago. The rationale itself wasn’t included, but I got some comments and I pulled up the rationale on my laptop to compare the feedback. Only then did I notice that I had saved my rationale under the title “FuckingRationale.pages” which was fine because that doesn’t show up when you print off the work to hand in. Nothing was wrong.

Unlike what had happened in Scriptwriting class a few weeks back.

On this particular Thursday morning I had had about three or four hours of sleep and my brain was just a jumbled mess. Having had the luck to get all 9am classes this semester, this feeling was nothing new to me. Our job that week was to work in groups to come up with a detailed plot outline for part of a movie idea we had come up with in class. Because I was the only one in my group who brought a laptop, I typed out our outline as we came up with it. After class, I took a good long nap and completely forgot about the work we had done. I had saved it on my computer under “fuckingscrptiicantfuckingspellfuck.pages”. That title is an accurate representation of the file’s contents.

That weekend, our tutor emailed us asking for copies of what we had done in class. I copied and pasted the work so he never did see my ingenious title, but he received the contents that I hadn’t proofread beforehand. What I sent him went as follows:

EXT. THIEVES CAMP DUSK

Joe and Robin are hiding behind some bushes, spying on the thieves.
Joe decides to talk to the thieves and negotiate, but Robin tries to convince him it won’t work. A brief argument ensues before Joe goes to the thieves’ camp.
He approaches one of the minions (hereafter referred to as THING 1) and Thing 1 calls for the leader, Vlad, who emerges dramatically from the tent.
Joe tries to negotiate with Vlad for the return of his donkey, but as he tries to be civil, Vlad doesn’t take him seriously and humiliates him in front of Thing 1 and thing 2. (“Oh, you want your ass back? Maybe you should get uyterasdrghukj)
When Joe becomes angry, he attempts to fucking fight with Vlad, who laughs at his pitiful attempts at “getting physical for Money”.
Thing 1 and Thing 2, who are scared of Vlad, obey his command and rough Joe up a bit.
Joe is left beat up and the band of robbers relocates their camp to a new, unknown hiding place, taking Money with them.
After the thieves leave, Robin comes to Joe’s side.
A dejected Joe tells her to leave, wanting her to stay out of what has become a bad situation.
Robin refuses to leave and reveals that she is a homeles orphan who should be pitied and taken advantage of.
Joe pities her and decides to train her in his jester tricks in order to take advantage of her.
-dnsma,scdmsa,nfak.dnjfakm
Sorry, I’m tired.

TRAINING MONTAGE MIXED IN WITH THE TWO OF THEM TRYING TO MAKE MONEY AS JESTERS, THIS TIME EASIER BECAUSE ROBIN CAN BE A SAD-LOOKING, INNOCENT LITTLE GIRL AND JOE IS A PROFFESSIONAL WHO SUPPOSEDLY KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING, MIXED WITH THE TWO OF THEM TRYING TO FIND WHERE THE NEW THIEVES CAMP IS.
EXT FORREST DAY
One day while Robin is out picking berries for the two of them to eat BECAUSE they are dirt poor, she hears thing 2 peeing behind a bush. She hides, but as thing 2 finishes up, he hears her snap a twig and get suspicious. Robin stays very still and thing 2 walks towards her to investigate, but decides it’s nothing before he reaches her. Cautiously, she follows thing 2 to the secret location of the new camp, and upon finding it, runs to joe to tell him.

Joe and Robin make plans and set booby traps around the camp before putting into action.

In case you were confused, Money is the name of the donkey that Vlad had stolen from Jester Joe. Yes, I know. We are excellent scriptwriting students.

Amongst the random capitalizations, keyboard smashes, and swear words, there was the work our tutor had asked for. Reading this to friends a month later, I couldn’t stop laughing at what my exhausted mind had managed to spit out. There was some genius (“getting physical for Money”) and there was some nonsense (“Maybe you should get uyterasdrghukj”) and there was an apology or two (“-dnsma,scdmsa,nfak.dnjfakm
Sorry, I’m tired.”)

Some of my other favourite parts were when Robin reveals she’s a “homeless orphan who should be pitied and taken advantage of” and Joe then proceeds to pity her and take advantage of her. And of course Robin–a twelve year old child–would come across one of the bad guys while he’s peeing. These are just the kinds of things to occur to my sleep-deprived mind.

I had forgotten all of these little details when I had sent them to my tutor. It was only afterwards when a friend mentioned it–having heard about that assignment from one of my group members–that I realized how truly ridiculous it was. But it was too late: I had sent it to my marking tutor.

I’ll never know how much of it he actually read, or whether he read any of it at all. But he did reply to the email.

“Thanks Ivy, well done.”

6 thoughts on “Why You Should Proofread Emails

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