Grammatically speaking

I’ve used PayPal for five or six years. It was easy to set up the account and easy to use it afterward, and now I make a few recurring donations that way. As one of the world’s worst bean counters, I only recently discovered that what I thought was a monthly contribution to my local art gallery was actually two identical contributions. I like them and all, else I wouldn’t be giving them money, but I’d been ponying up twice as much as I’d planned since last summer.

Bless ’em and Godspeed, but it was time to cancel one of those transactions. The last time I wanted to stop an automated payment from my checking account, I had to close the account. I couldn’t just change my mind. I thought PayPal would be a snap.

Once on the PayPal site and in my account, I looked at my options. Under “Payments” the last choice was “Cancel a payment,” and under “Cancel a payment” I picked “How to cancel a recurring payment,” since that was precisely what I wanted to do. Well, it didn’t work, and “Help” wasn’t very helpful.

I eventually figured out how to cancel the duplicate payment, and the whole deal reminded me that several people think the move to electronic money is convenient and all—I write about a check a month now and have little need for cash—and coincidentally makes it laughably simple for you-know-who to shut off anybody’s money, Wikileaks', for example.

Speaking of yours, and your and you’re, I think the whole brouhaha in my head is about to dissipate. I’ve been gritting my tooth whenever I’d hear someone pronounce “you’re” like “yore,” instead of like “yoor,” partly because it was wrong and mostly because I also think that the pernicious spread of misused your and near absence of a grammatical you’re are caused by poor spellers listening to ignoramuses mispronounce words and then sounding out what they heard. No good can come of “your” meaning “you are.”

I’m such a fogy. I love new words and usages, but haven’t found a way to get behind a loss of precision. It’s like losing a color from a painter’s palate.

At a restaurant recently I saw displayed on the wall an autographed plate, and the signer had handwritten you’rs, a rendering unique in my experience. The signature was illegible, but the restaurant was in Maricopa County, Arizona. Take heed. I once heard a band do a song in which You’re occurred what seemed like upward of 4 bazillion times, and invariably sounded like “Yore.” Nice people, too.