Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Grammar Gripe

Having an altogether crappy week/day (I thought the above design was apropo) so I thought I'd vent randomly about grammar. If you want to see a real pro at work on this subject, be sure you check out Mrs. Chili's blog for Grammar Wednesday.

On with the vent:

When I was young, I always thought that the folks who used incorrect grammar or wrote poorly were the unfortunate dregs of society.

They - the folks who couldn't distinguish 'there', 'their', and 'they're' and thought that 'irregardless' was a word and 'nauseous' meant to feel ill, poor lambs (I thought ), were the uneducated, the offspring of semi-illiterates, perhaps even the mentally challenged.

I was wrong.

Grammar and spelling slashers are all around us. People who own businesses, who are professionals (even teachers!), who went to school (and somehow graduated), use hideously incorrect grammar all the time. Don't even get me started on some of the women on my various infertility/TTC/mommy/baby boards (if you're on any of these, you know the people I mean).

Let's randomly pick popular music of which to make an example. Here's a snippet of lyrics from a song on the Robots soundtrack:

Girl I want it you got it
Your body’s like a narcotic
The thought is auto-erotic*

Uhm, no. The thought of her body is erotic. Autoeroticism is the derivation of pleasure without an outside source. Basically the songwriter used the word because he thought it sounded cooler than erotic. He has no idea what it means, or how stupid it makes him look.

(Another example of this is folks who say: "Blase', blase'," to mean "You are nattering on and on." Clearly, they mean: "Blah, blah," but one of them, at some point, heard the word 'blase'' (which means 'disinterested' or 'apathetic'), had NO idea what it meant but thought it sounded hip, and so transmogrified the two into one statement of how laughable a person can be.)

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Another example from music:

I love the band Nickelback. LOVE them. They rock. I adore the music and the lyrics are great, but there is one song that I physically am unable to listen to. Here are the first two stanzas:

Believe it or not everyone
Have things that they hide
Believe it or not everyone
Keep most things inside

Believe it or not everyone
Believe in something above
Believe it or not everyone
Need to feel loved**

WTF? Does the music industry not have editor type persons? Do they not have people who advise them on what things to NOT do so as to avoid looking like complete fools?

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And just for contrast; this is quoted verbatim from a list that I'm on:

I am looking a particular van. I am not sure wha the make and model but I know UPS uses them. Their meduim size. I am considering one for my business

(A person replies to her, then:)

That's probably the one I talking about! Thanks for the heads up.... do they sell them used? If so what's in your opinion a reasonable price to pay rather new or used? I want a nice clean decent one to carry my inventory in for my business.

(He replies again. She responds:)

Yeap that's the one LOL!I already check the net GEEZ guess I'll have to wait until I the lottery for one of those LOL!

What is her business, I wonder? (Aside from making me wince.)

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Here's another gem; again, verbatim:

I have went thru my Dresser and Closet (spring cleaning) and have a bag FULL of Ladies Plus Size Clothes ( size range 24 thru 28)..There are Pants...Skirts...Dresses (lounge type)and Shirts...All are in Good Shape and can be Wore to Work


Of course, this speech pattern ('have went through' and 'can be wore') is typical of Standard Southern White Trash (this one is primo whisky tango, from Pelion, the butthole of the universe.). But what's up with the ellipses? Are commas too ... common? Or perhaps unfathomable? Why be arsed to learn punctuation when you can simply choose one that you fancy and use it for every application? While we're At It ... someone Explain to Me ... the random Capitalization ...


Where does this one work? Who hires these people? Are they raising children to speak and write like this? Is there an unusually high suicide rate for language arts teachers in Lexington?


I just purchased this button for my Evil Genius Husband to wear to school (I also comes in t-shirt form). What do you think?


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(Obligatory link litter:)


More tees for teachers here, shirts, mugs, buttons and stickers for those of us living in the Southeast (no I don't have a shirt that says "Pelion, butthole of the universe", but I should), and check out our NEW maternity cut t-shirts!

PS: for those of you still awaiting you free goodies that i promised ... what was it, last year? *sigh* I have finally gotten them all wrapped and posted! Yay!

I am also getting really addicted to giving stuff away, so look for another round of freebies to my peeps here soon.

PPS: post already edited for ... a grammar error! *rolls eyes* There are probably ten more.

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*copyright Fatboy Slim, lyrics from Wonderful Night, from the Robots soundtrack.
**copyright Nickelback, lyrics from Believe it or Not, from the album The Long Road.



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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:27 am   7 comments

7 Comments:

At 4:59 pm, Anonymous mrschili said...

Thanks for the link love, Blue.

To be honest with you, I'm starting to get a little gun shy about posting Grammar Wednesdays because I'm getting a little sick of people arguing with me about whether or not what I write is correct. Did you SEE the comments on the Home Depot sign I posted last weekend? There's a guy (I'm assuming it's a guy - it could be either; the commentor goes by the gender-neutral "J") whose stand is that, if it's not confusing, then it's essentially not WRONG. HELLO?!! "Lot's of perennial's" That's WRONG! GAH!

What's even better is that I got the subjunctive "were" stuck in John's craw. I posted that entry on April 4th, and he sent me another comment TODAY! Jeez, People! Lighten UP!

I, too, love, love, love Nickelback. That song bugs me, as well.

Sigh. There's only so much we can do. It's a marathon, not a sprint; a holy war against bad grammar. I'm so pleased to have you as my sister-in-arms.

 
At 12:12 am, Blogger Michelle Finsand-Peacock said...

Sorry you're having a rough time, Blue. Hope it gets better soon!

 
At 7:43 am, Blogger burnurcomputer said...

The word auto-erotic is used because it is in the movie Robots. As in auto as automatic. You know ...... a robot. I think that picking on people related to grammer is a little lame. And rude. Is all you really have to complain about? I like your other blogs and have been reading for a few weeks, but this is turning me off. I'm sorry if you feel this is rude.

 
At 8:09 am, Blogger HomeFireBlue said...

LOL Burn, I don't feel you're being rude at all. You are entitled to your opinion - and so am I.

Grammar ISN'T all I have to complain about. Stick around, I'll bitch about all manner of things: parenting, attire, government, etc. :)

I'm sorry that you feel that pointing out poor grammar is rude and lame. I think folks who can't be arsed to speak and write their own language correctly are sad losers and deserve to be picked on.

Oh, and I don't buy your explaination for the use of autoerotic. I suspect you're miffed because you're a Fatboy Slim fan (I am as well BTW) or a fan of that genre of music which has it's fair share of Grammar Slashers.

This song wasn't written specifically for this film, I'm sure (lyrics here - watch out they'll make you wince), and I doubt seriously that the songwriter would be so clever as to drop in so subtle a reference.

JMHO, of course. ;)

 
At 10:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, blue. i enjoy your posts and i am not a fan of poor grammar. i've noticed, however, that every time i correct others i make an error as well. i see you are no different.

"Oh, and I don't buy your --->explaination<--- for the use of autoerotic. I suspect you're miffed because you're a Fatboy Slim fan (I am as well BTW) or a fan of that genre of music which has --->it's<--- fair share of Grammar Slashers."

 
At 11:10 am, Blogger HomeFireBlue said...

ROTFL!

I make absolutely NO claims as to spelling! I cannot spell worth CRAP, lol!

And that bloody "it's"! IT'S my personal bugaboo! ;) That and "who's". Jeez. *rolls eyes*

 
At 12:58 pm, Anonymous mrschili said...

I'm TELLIN' YA, Blue - imagining the apostrophe as dot-to-the-missing-i is going to solve BOTH your "it's" and "who's" problem. Work with me, here!

 

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