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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Americans Got Poor Grammar and Crappy Vocabulary

I can almost abide the fact that people seem to be converting totally to the I-ther and NI-ther manner of saying the words E-ther and NE-ther. In the past you would hear those words pronounced both ways but over the recent past, I've noticed a sharp and steady decline of MY pronunciation. That's OK, I will continue to pronounce the words as I always have. As I said, I can live with being the one person left on earth who remembers a time when both pronunciations were considered correct. But, there are some changes that really, really, stick in my craw.

Fist of all, I despise the way the simple word "whenever" is being hideously misused. Whenever is, and always has been, a time unknown. If you know the time of an event, the proper word is "when". That means you can tell someone to come by "whenever" but you can't say, "Whenever I went to work this morning..." If it happened this morning, you already know when something happened. It didn't happen "whenever", it happened this morning. DUH!!!

Another recent bit of extirpation of the English language is the overuse of the word "Had". "Had" is the past tense of the verb "have". You can say that you had sex last night but you can't say, "he had brought me there" An easy way to figure this one out is to say the sentence without the HAD. Does it still make sense? If so, you probably don't need the stupid HAD in there.

It appears as though no one knows when to use "I" or "Me" anymore. That's another easy one to figure out, pretend that the other person isn't involved. For example, if you are trying to say that you went to the movies with a friend, say it like this, "I went to the movies." or "Me went to the movies." If you would say, "I went to the movies.", then you would say "My friend and I went to the movies." You wouldn't say "Me went to the movies." so don't say, "Me and my friend went to the movies." Only 4 year old children can get away with that. It's easy to use these words properly so you shouldn't throw in an arbitrary  "I" and hope that you sound bright.

There is another couple of words that, over the past ten years, has been so misused that experts seem to have co-opted the misuse. I'm speaking of "subconscious" and "unconscious". Your subconscious may tell you to do something stupid even though, if you do, you may become UNCONSCIOUS. Unconscious is a state of mind in which you know nothing. People in a coma are unconscious. Your subconscious is a part of your mind that tells you things of which you are not aware. Jeez, how hard is that one?

Of course "ain't" isn't a word but, if you're using it, you probably say "ax" instead of "ask", and utter sentences (?) like, "I'm fixing to mow the lawn." If you're that far gone you don't care what you sound like and are most likely surrounded by people who wouldn't know the difference between the Queen's English and a Bronx vernacular. And as anyone who's been to the Bronx can tell you, it's hard enough to sound intelligent with a Bronx accent...you don't need to make it worse by using hackneyed grammar.

People who don't care at all about grammar don't have a clue how well others can pick out errors. Just for the helluvit, and in case you really need to sound smart on any given day, it's a good idea to avoid the simplest of screw ups, doncha think?

Other things I thought of:

1. You can have a good steak, but the chef cooks WELL.
2. I before E...unless after C, the sound makes "A" or you're an idiot.
3. Perhaps you MAY, that doesn't necessarily mean that you CAN.
4. There is ALWAYS a better word to use than "got". Always.


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