Call 911, Theyâ€™re Killing The English Language
In an email I recently sent, I unintentionally typed “breath easy” instead of Â “breathe easy.â€
How embarrassing! I hate careless typos. Hate â€˜em. They donâ€™t insult my sensibility; rather, the words actually look misshapen to me. IfÂ gambling was based on spelling, I would winÂ big in Vegas. I love my spelling ability. If I see a misspelled word on a store awning or on a sign in a store window, I will never enter that store. That insults my sensibility.
If the written word is going to represent me, dang it, those words will be specifically chosen, and certainly spelled correctly. This is the job of the actor, to communicate as specifically as possible.
People donâ€™t read books anymore, newspapers are dying, publishing houses seem to have lowered their standards; colloquialisms and street lexicon have dumbed us down even further.Â For example, â€œWhat happened?â€ is an appropriate question to ask at the scene of an accident. Maybe itâ€™s something your parents have asked you upon entering a living room full of empty bottles, Cheez Doodles, upside-down chairs, remnants of a card game, and broken things.
â€œWhat happened?â€ is not an appropriate question to ask when I say something and you do not hear it. When this occurs, I reply, â€œNothing happened, I said some words; did you mean to ask me what I said?â€ (I can be difficult sometimes.) Then the listener correctly says, â€œIâ€™m sorry, what did you say?â€
This also occurs with â€œfor real.â€Â If someone says, â€œfor real,â€ it’s toÂ assure you that what they are saying at that moment is the truth, as if all that came before is a lie. I also hate when someone says “Honestly” in conversation.Â The paranoid part of me thinks that everything until then was a defense mechanism as if to keep me at arm’s length until I have them cornered. Then they relent and sigh, “Honestly, Charlie…”
We are all guilty of misusing â€œlikeâ€ to convey our emotional state of being, usually in recounting a story. For example; â€œI was late to work and my boss was like, in my face about it, and I was like, â€˜The train was late, it wasnâ€™t my fault, a woman had a baby and then the train derailedâ€™ and my boss was like, â€˜You should have left earlier, you know better.â€™â€
When people want to, or try to, sound authoritative, or at least smarter than they actually are, they begin sentences with the word â€œbasically.â€ That makes my skin crawl. Why? Because what they say is never basic! The concept is never reduced to its most basic, bare-bones definition, to something actually basic. In fact,Â they tend to make it more complicated!
I also hate when people mispronounce “mischievous” as “mis-chee-vi-ous”. Itâ€™s like steel clawed gloves scratching a blackboard. I try to give the benefit of the doubt; maybe those people are dyslexic and think that the letter “E” comes before the letter “I,” and that they ought to pronounce it as such. The spelling rule is â€œI before E except after Câ€. That means, immediately after C, as in â€œreceive.â€Â Otherwise â€œCharlieâ€ could be misspelled â€œCharleiâ€.
Do these same people dare mispronounce the name of General Grievous inÂ Star Wars IIIÂ - Revenge of the Sith? Oh, I should think not! See for yourself:
My grandmother staunchly believes that Jimmy Carter permanently foisted two terrible grammatical sins upon us:
1. Adding â€œLyâ€ to modify the word â€œimportant.â€ ImportantÂ is properly modified as follows;
something is: important; more important; most important.
Do not add “Ly” to the end of that. It is incorrect.
2. The common mispronunciation of the word, â€œNuclearâ€. It is not nuke-youler.
Say it properly with me, â€œNew-clear. New-clear. New-clear.”
The NFL has a team called the Jacksonville Jaguars. How does one television commentator pronounce the name of the franchise?Â “Jag-wiresâ€. That commentatorâ€™s name is Paul Maguire. Mr. Maguire has found a way to insert his surname into the name of the franchise. How egotistical is that?
If I had any hair, I would have pulled it all out by this point in this blog.
People wear Jewelry, not jew-lery.
Turkeys are done, people are finished.
It’s pronounced â€œIn-teg-ralâ€, not “Intrical”.
Some people say “Play by year” instead of “Play by ear.” Clearly, they donâ€™t know what the phrase means.
If “proximity” is defined as, “nearness in space, closeness in a series,”Â then why do some people say “close proximity”,Â as if the two words should go together?
Tasks are not done good, they are done â€œwell.â€ When I hear â€œHeâ€™s swinging the bat real good,â€ I want to hit myself in the head with a shoe, several times. When someone asks you how youâ€™re doing, and you reply â€œIâ€™m doing good,â€ itâ€™s bad usage. You should say â€œIâ€™m doing well, thank you.â€ People frequently refer to liberals who want to save the world as â€œdo-gooders.â€ I guess it just sounds better than â€œdo-wellers,â€ right?
Folks, itâ€™s â€œcohesionâ€! “Cohesiveness” may be in the dictionary, but so is “Doody”.Â Â (There goes your argument.) It sounds incorrect to me.
Here’s a thought: “If you sound stupidÂ saying it,Â don’t say it!” If you engage in a conversation, and it’s sprinkled with sinful pronunciations which are harsh on the ear, you lose.Â I suffer from hearing it, but you lose any standing in the conversation.
More and more people say â€œAgreeance.â€ For this folly I believe that we can thank a metal â€œsingerâ€ at the mTv awards a few years ago.
When I hear people mispronounce â€œescapeâ€ as â€œexscape,â€ I want to cry.
Finally, we have â€œirregardlessâ€. If the intention is to disregard something, weâ€™d say â€œRegardlessâ€. Mistakenly putting an â€œirâ€ in front only serves as a double negative. That one really pisses me off. Oh look, I ended that sentence in a preposition! Iâ€™m guilty too!
In the 1988 movie D.O.A., the villain says to Dennis Quaid, (playing an English professor, of all things), â€œI don’t think I like what you’re inferring.â€ Quaid answers, â€œImplying. When I say it, that’s implying. How you take it, that’s inferring.â€ The villain then says, â€œI see. Infer this.â€, and then he punches Quaid in the face. Just like you want to do to me right now.
Here are two words my wife hates: “ointment” and “detritus”. What’s her problem?
Come back for â€œwords that I loveâ€ in my next installmentâ€¦