Grammatical Twilight Zone

14 Feb

This past Sunday, the pastor at my church gave his message about the need for giving and receiving loving correction in the believer’s life. Over and over again, he emphasized how much people “need rescued.” When he first said that, I was like “Did he really just say that? He must’ve made a mistake…” Then he said it again. I wrote it in the margin of my notebook and showed it to Travis. Then he said it AGAIN. I glanced at Travis and laughed a little. What was this guy saying? I had never heard anyone say that before. I wanted to say, “Uh, I believe it should be “People need rescue…?”

As much as I love our new church out here, Travis and I have some issues with the pastor. His teaching is doctrinally sound and theologically correct for the most part. He just doesn’t have the greatest delivery, so to speak. Maybe it just clashes with my personality. And Travis’. It probably doesn’t help that we came from John Piper’s church in Minneapolis, who is probably one of the best preachers alive right now. I miss going to that church…

Anyway, so imagine my surprise yesterday when I was in a meeting with my boss and the same stupid phrase came up. We were looking over the handouts I had created for a speaker’s presentation at an upcoming convention. One of the points in his notes said, “People need rescue.” So far, so good. Then my boss said, “Isn’t this supposed to be ‘people need rescued?'” I told her I didn’t know–up to that point, I had only heard the phrase once and I had assumed it was because my pastor was a little “off.” But the fact that my boss had brought it up as well…that really rocked my world.

So this morning I was working on the handouts again, tweaking them a little before converting them to PDFs. I googled the phrase “need rescued” and found a lot of different sites–granted they’re on the internet where any moron can publish anything (like this blog!)–that use this phrase. I feel like I’m walking around in a daze now. This beats the time that my younger brother proved to me that “negate” was a word when I swore it wasn’t (that happened a lot unfortunately).

Since when did this universe start saying “People need rescued!?!?!!” Can’t we just say “People need to be rescued.” or “People need rescuing.” Anything but “need rescued.” I can’t take it.

This experience reminds me of the scene in Never Been Kissed when Drew Barrymore’s younger character gets invited to the prom by Billy. She says, “I don’t know what to say. I’m actually speechless. That never happens to me because words are my life!!” I am speechless as well, but more out of horror and shock, rather than excitement and anticipation.

What is this world coming to?

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