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Grammar rant

AmyElliesMom's picture

"I seen..."

OMG, how I hate that phrase. You "seen" nothing. You "saw" something. You HAVE seen something. They HAVE seen. Why oh why do they forsake "have"? It's a good word; a nice word. It never did anything to hurt anyone. And yet, it lays forgotten, on the dustbin of words too unwieldy to spend an extra 1/2 second typing in.

That and "how did you loose" when they mean to say "how did you lose".

Perhaps that is why "have" doesn't get typed in; too much time spent adding random vowels to other words.

And don't even get me started on people who use IM speak on message boards.

SOME abbreviation is fine and has been around since before the Web existed.

But every other freaking word as a number/letter combo? Ack.

I'm seriously about to give up on the bipolar board I post to because it's getting totally overrun with poor grammar and IM speak - from adults! I can handle it coming from 14 year olds, but not 35 year olds; not in every single post.

Okay, that's my rant for the week.

Who is next?

And the crowd was stilled.  One elderly man, wondering at the sudden silence, turned to the Child and asked him to repeat what he had said.  Wide-eyed, the Child raised his voice and said once again, "Why, the Emperor has no clothes!  He is naked!"
                -- "The Emperor's New Clothes"

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

Theodora's picture

(post #45323, reply #1 of 166)

Amy, what's "OMG"?

(hehehehe)

JohnT8's picture

(post #45323, reply #2 of 166)

I'm really 'fond' of people who use the phrase:  "I bought me a..."


You hear it often enough and before you know it, you will be using it.


jt8


"The difference between greatness and mediocrity is often how an individual views a mistake..."-- Nelson Boswell

jt8

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
-- Carl Sandburg

samchang's picture

(post #45323, reply #3 of 166)

Welcome to the club.


I have been almost inured to the abuse heaped upon the English language by people who really should know better. This semester, the 3 most common errors are the following (sometimes they change semester to semester. Maybe it operates on a contagion principle like the mumps epidemic in the Midwest):


1. Using the impersonal to refer to a person. "People that" is used so often rather than "people who," but I hear it more and more in the media, and it's cropping up more and more in writing;


2. Still the same old subject-verb thing. "There's several ways to skin a cat" is to me the spoken equivalent of nails scratching a blackboard;


3. Prepositions? What are prepositions? "I was driving at my car down the freeway . . . ." What?


Speaking of which, a huge pile of papers need to be graded. Shouldn't they have been taught this stuff way back in high school at least?

Ricks503's picture

(post #45323, reply #5 of 166)

DW is a HS English teacher and one of her classes is College Credit English for Seniors.  Her big issue right now, is that for their final 16 page paper due tomorrow she has found at least 2 ( she is now spot checking the rest ) students who have 6-9 pages lifted from the internet - just cut and pasted.  PLAGIARISM.  She now has to deal with the parents, the students and the college about the students failing the course.

1 - measure the board twice, 2 - cut it once, 3 - measure the space where it is supposed to go        4 - get a new board and go back to step 1

 

 

" There'll be no living with her now" - Captain Jack Sparrow

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #45323, reply #7 of 166)

ohhh plagiarism. Don't get me started! It's a huge problem in secondary and post-secondary ed. (It was a huge problem back when I worked as a freelance journalist, too. Ask me sometime about the three times that I know about when I've been plagiarized (with other people raking in significant $$$ on MY work!) Or don't, unless you have time and inclination for a two-hour rant about lying, sneaking, thieving.... Not to mention the wannabe writer who blithely informed me that plagiarism is nothing more than "creative collaboration"!)

I don't know if your wife's school board has sprung for the software,but plagiarism is relatively easy to spot with some very ingenious programs that conduct web searches for infrequently-used phrases and unusual wording. Most of the plagiarized stuff will be from one of the websites that sell essays. Sad commentary on the quality of the guilty parties that not only are they lazy and ignorant, they lack any imagination, and even the most rudimentary search skills.





What would the world be,/Once bereft of/Wet and wildness?/Let them be left/O let them be left/Wildness and wet/Long live the weeds and wilderness yet.
GM Hopkins

Aberwacky's picture

(post #45323, reply #8 of 166)

Oooh, plagarism really strikes a nerve.  Even with my pitiful little cooking columns, I was amazed and aghast at the blatant stealing people did from my work.  Folks who should know better, so-called professionals.


Irks me to no end, it does.  Would they steal a painting from someone's wall?  No, but "It's not the same thing."  Bull.  It is, and if they can't see it, they need to find another career.


Since many of the columns are still available online, I STILL find it, 5 years after I stopped writing the columns.


Leigh


 


I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers). . .

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Aberwacky's picture

(post #45323, reply #9 of 166)

So what's up with the epidemic of "pleaded" vs "plead?"  You never hear any newscasters say someone "plead" guilty.  Folks have only "pleaded" guilty these days.


Leigh


 


I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers). . .

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Gretchen's picture

(post #45323, reply #10 of 166)

Haven't heard that around these here parts.  But as I have said before, I am always amused when a court reporter/commentator says that the witness was "immunized".  whip out that hypo.

Gretchen


Edited 4/25/2006 12:59 pm ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
Aberwacky's picture

(post #45323, reply #13 of 166)

I've noticed it a lot on NPR, what with all the trials in the past year.  Of course, now that I've noticed it, I hear it every time. 


Immunized, now that's funny.  Part of the verbification of America gone amok.


Leigh


 


 


I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers). . .

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
transona5's picture

(post #45323, reply #45 of 166)

when a court reporter/commentator says that the witness was "immunized".  whip out that hypo.


Hee! I was howling at that one the other day. I have heard some real doozies on the news lately. I see "loose" way too often for it to be a typo.


Other than "loose", the one that gets me annoyed is the too/to thing. Also the it's/its thing.


And I have to apologise to Karen for calling them Chuck Taylor's, because obviously they're on your feet. I didn't notice it before you had already read it!


 

 

deejeh's picture

(post #45323, reply #12 of 166)

It seems to be an acceptable alternate to "pled".  There seem to be lots of cases these days where the older usage has been replaced, for instance "shined" instead of "shone"


deej

Aberwacky's picture

(post #45323, reply #14 of 166)

To me, it smacks of using a longer word to sound more impressive, when the shorter word would do.  Not that I'm not guilty of it, mind you, but it always bugs me.  I get that A LOT from the engineers, when they think they need to sound more intelligent.


It's rampant among police spokesmen, too, I've noticed.  (Not the pleaded/pled thing, but the syllablitis.)


Leigh


 


I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers). . .

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Jean's picture

(post #45323, reply #17 of 166)

using a longer word to sound more impressive


"Problematic" is one of those---pushes my buttons every time.




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Pomona's picture

(post #45323, reply #19 of 166)

"Utilize" -- AAAARGH!


And what ever happened to the subjunctive?  "If I was," just grates with me.

samchang's picture

(post #45323, reply #35 of 166)

Pomona, you're a person after my own heart. The subjunctive vs. indicative is a pet peeve of mine. I dare say it is lost on 90% of the population. If it only were not the case.

Ricks503's picture

(post #45323, reply #38 of 166)

????????????


Sorry, but while I was taught by the nuns also (my knuckles still have a few scars) English grammar was (and still is) like a foreign language to me. And I also have problems with learning other languages.


Reading, creating reports and such I have no real problems with. I seem to get most of the grammar correct most of the time.


DS is a better writer and understands grammar better at 13 than I do. He gets that from DW who is an English teacher.


 


1 - measure the board twice, 2 - cut it once, 3 - measure the space where it is supposed to go        4 - get a new board and go back to step 1

 

 

" There'll be no living with her now" - Captain Jack Sparrow

Pomona's picture

(post #45323, reply #40 of 166)

Must admit the subjunctive really hit home when I was in high school and studying German.  Probably because Americans don't really teach grammar as a separate "science" any more.


One of the more Anglo school districts here just voted to make Spanish mandatory in all the grades.  Looks like folks are finally getting a clue.

samchang's picture

(post #45323, reply #42 of 166)

This is interesting. I found out about the subjunctive when I was studying German in high school as well.


As a matter of fact, when I realized that it took another language to teach me what grammar was about, I got really mad at the educational system for not teaching this stuff in our mother tongue.

RuthWells's picture

(post #45323, reply #46 of 166)

This is interesting. I found out about the subjunctive when I was studying German in high school as well.


And I learned the subjunctive when studying French at age 12 or so.  I doubt that I would know it otherwise.


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

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Marcia's picture

(post #45323, reply #68 of 166)

Nobody seems to know about the subjunctive these days. Some of us continue to use it, so don't despair.

Jillsifer's picture

(post #45323, reply #26 of 166)

And what's up with "horrific" all of a sudden? Nothing is ever horrible, horrifying or horrid anymore. But every traffic accident is HORRIFIC.


 


 


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

Gretchen's picture

(post #45323, reply #24 of 166)

I think "shined" is more problematic. It is a "real" word and has real uses. The usage is what may be different so it can be less able to be differentiated.

Gretchen

 

Oh, dear, just pushed Jean's button!!

 

And now that I think about "pleaded", I guess I have heard it--as in "he pleaded for his life".


Edited 4/25/2006 2:00 pm ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #45323, reply #28 of 166)

Just wondering -- what is it about this crew of posters that we seem to have a disproportionate number of word nerds? In how many other non-grammar, non-writing forums do knickers get knotted over points of grammar and spelling?





What would the world be,/Once bereft of/Wet and wildness?/Let them be left/O let them be left/Wildness and wet/Long live the weeds and wilderness yet.
GM Hopkins

Jillsifer's picture

(post #45323, reply #32 of 166)

We're all just smarter than the masses.


Seriously, I think it would be interesting to see how many of us do, or did, work in word-related jobs--writing, editing, teaching, publishing . . . my completely non-statistical sense is that a LOT of CT folk are language people by education and profession (or earlier profession).


 


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

Cissytoo's picture

(post #45323, reply #59 of 166)

Seriously, I think it would be interesting to see how many of us do, or did, work in word-related jobs--writing, editing, teaching, publishing . . . my completely non-statistical sense is that a LOT of CT folk are language people by education and profession (or earlier profession).


Journalism grad here (Syracuse U J-School, before the days of Newhouse).


And the one misuse that bugs me to no end is the overuse of the apostrophe; it's = it is.  IT'S = IT IS.  It's is not a possessive, meaning belonging to it.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #45323, reply #18 of 166)

Or "loan" when people really mean "lend". Aaarrgghh! Why is that distinction so hard to make? Has anyone ever heard of the "loan/lease program"? No? That's because it's the "lend/lease program".





What would the world be,/Once bereft of/Wet and wildness?/Let them be left/O let them be left/Wildness and wet/Long live the weeds and wilderness yet.
GM Hopkins

moxie's picture

(post #45323, reply #29 of 166)

"Pleaded" is actually Associated Press style.


Word Court has a nice discussion on why it's preferred.


http://www.wordcourt.com/archives.php?show=2004-08-25


"I have always relied on the kindness of strangers." - Blanche Dubois

Nihon's picture

(post #45323, reply #44 of 166)

1.  It's pleaded or pled, not plead, if you're talking about the past tense, according to the Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary taking up way too much space on my desk.


2.  From the Associated Press Stylebook 2002 (the most recent edition of the journalists' style bible that I have access to right now), "plead, pleaded, pleading Do not use the colloquial past tense form, pled."


I got my #### handed to me when I used pled in a story for one of my journalism classes, so don't look for this to be changing anytime soon.

Aberwacky's picture

(post #45323, reply #49 of 166)

Ah yes, the AP Stylebook.


My ex was a reporter, and he and I got into many "debates" about the AP bible.  Needless to say I didn't always agree with it, or with him, LOL.


To me, "pleaded" will always sound like a 4-year old.  "He killeded my turtle, Mama, and pleaded guilty."


Leigh


 


I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers)! I am a domestic goddess!  I deserve three ovens (and two dishwashers). . .

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Nightrider's picture

(post #45323, reply #50 of 166)

I have also noticed that there seems to be an unusually high number of "word nerds" on this board.  In fact, it's one of the reasons I spend so much time here.  Other forums seem to be infested with illiterates, and I get tired of trying to make sense of what they're writing.  Everything is much more comprehensible here.