02 October 2011

Review: Grammar Don't Matter on a First Date

MELBOURNE FRINGE 2011
Mark Butler
24 September 2011
Portland Hotel
to 1 October 2011


Mark Butlers broked up with gfs; cos there gramma iz sheet.

In Grammar Don't Matter on a First Date, he asks his audience if they think he made the best choices.

Turns out that Saturday night's audiences were more pedantic than Mark is and are lucky that many couples there have found a mate who agrees that it's impossible to eat in a restaurant that lists possessive nouns on the menu and that friends with RAS syndrome* have to be removed from their Christmas card list.

The rest of us, who may have used an its/it's argument as a contribution to a break up (yes, I have), were able to feel justified.

For the single grammar slobs, who were dragged along by their friends, Mark offers grammatically-correct dating hints. Singles, if you are on RSVP, this could help: There is a happy couple. They're holding hands and sipping their merlot. From experience, Mark (and his enthusiastically agreeing audience) assures you that your lack of basic spelling and grammar knowledge is stopping the smart hot folk from dating you.

Yes, we (the hot smart folk) judge you by your grammar. And (it IS acceptable to start a sentence with a conjunction) we judge you by your spelling, punctuation and syntax. I'm more accepting than Mark is about LOL, but I have serious En dash and hyphen issues. THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE!

As a writer, an editor and a hot smart person, I think Mark's show should be compulsory. The Style manual and the Macquarie Dictionary Fifth Edition aren't in every family bookshelf (hell, they aren't even in every writer's bookshelf), so we need people like Mark to spread the word(s) by making us laugh.

And grammar slob or snob, Mark has everyone laughing. His audience–performer bond is instant, but he's talking about grammar, sex and puns – what's not to bond over!

So, of course, grammar matters as much as Grandpa does. And to all the glorious pedants at Mark’s show: I'd date youse all.

*RASS: Redundant acronym syndrome syndrome. "I'll grab some cash from the ATM machine."

This review first appeared on AussieTheatre.com.



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