The instant gratification tell-all of tweeting, facebooking, texting, and some emailing has eroded our use of proper grammar. Mrs. Lewis, my junior and senior class English teacher, would purse her lips and shake her head with dismay, if she were with us today.
So what has been offered in electronic communication that would bother the old school high school grammarian?
•Supposably rather than the correct supposedly
•‘For all intensive purposes’ instead of the correct ‘for all intents and purposes’.
•Irregardless is not a word but regardless is.
• ‘I could care less’ meaning that you are not yet at the bottom of your caring rather than the proper ‘I couldn’t care less’ as a showing you are in the basement of disdain.
•It is not ex cetera but et cetera.
•‘I seen it’, maybe you did but properly stated ‘I saw it’.
•I need to lay down rather than I need to lie down.
•Your and you’re are not the same words.
•“Could have’ is not spelled “could of”.
• “Then” shows sequencing of events. “Than” is used for comparison.
•“There”, “Their”, and “They’re” are completely different words as are to, too, and two.
•Your pants may be loose but you can lose your keys.
•You bear weight with your bare hands.
Some oddities of the English language:
•The two longest words containing only one of the six vowels (including Y) are the 15-letter defenselessness and respectlessness.
• ‘Forty’ is the only number that has its letters in alphabetical order. ‘One’ is the only number with its letters in reverse alphabetical order.
•‘Bookkeeper’ is the only word with three consecutive doubled letters.
• “Ough” can be pronounced eight different ways and the following sentence contains them all: A rough-coated, dough-faced ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing thoughtfully.
We all get opinion surveys from elected officials wanting to know our positions on issues facing the state and nation. Some of us respond to those surveys but rarely see any change in the elected official’s campaign position. What do you call a person who constantly asks for your advice and opinion yet doesn’t follow it and does what he/she wants? An Askhole.
OK, Mrs. Lewis would not have been pleased with me on that one.