After reading a comment on “The Proper Use of Brackets,” my last post, I wanted to explain one thing. Brackets are perpendicular. I love straight. I love 90 degrees. I have worked in a high school commons area every day for 21 years. It has a quarry tile floor with 6-inch terra cotta colored squares. I have sixteen tables and 64 chairs on my side of the commons. And I have little red dots on the intersections of tiles where I put the south-east leg of each table. Everyone in the school knows the TABLE LEGS GO ON THE LITTLE RED DOTS! It keeps all of the tables straight.

The other side of the commons is my friend and coworker, Becky’s, responsibility. She doesn’t have little red dots. She doesn’t care if the tables are straight. She cares about CLEAN. She is an extremely responsible and dependable employee. She consistently goes the extra two miles. She’s a wonderful friend. But her tables are not straight. A couple of times a day I straighten her tables the way I like them. I count in five tiles from the edge and line them all up. But it doesn’t really matter, because that’s her side. I’ve never once thought of putting little red dots on her side.

I’ve never really asked her, but I bet Becky can use parentheses.

[The sad thing is, I don’t care so much about clean. If the tables are straight, I’m happy. So what if they have a little french fry sauce or left over grated cheese on the floor underneath! At least they’re nice and straight!]