Thursday, August 27, 2015
Today's Top Ten List: Hateful English Language Errors
Here's the thing: I might be retired, but I will always be a Defender Of The Language. It causes me actual physical pain--emotional pain as well--when I have to witness errors in The Language. The errors may be spoken or written; it really doesn't matter. They make me wince, and some are so terribly egregious that it's a Good Thing that I am generally opposed to personal firearm ownership. Succinctly, Everyone should be glad that I am not Packing Heat, or stupid people would be stacked up like cordwood.
I'm not talking about a typo here or there in Comments, or the general lapse now and again in subject-verb agreement in a particularly thorny complex sentence involving multiple interruptive phrases. I make those errors, too. I'm talking about easy things. Things everyone should have mastered way back in elementary school or junior high school at the latest. Sadly, however, as we all have seen time and time again, this is not the case.
Here are my
Top Ten Hateful English Language Errors
1. Loose instead of Lose
2. Apostrophe S to make plural nouns
3. Lead instead of Led
4. Women instead of Woman (and vice versa)
5. Saying SH for the S in words like Start, Stop, Straight
6. Saying Southmore for Sophomore
7. Omitting Apostrophes in Contractions
8. Not Using the Oxford Comma
10. I Could Care Less
This list has changed quite a bit since I stopped having to read and grade student writing.
1. This will never stop--never, ever--hurting my feelings. I honestly feel that knowing this one pair of words and its correct usage can determine someone's potential for serious intelligence. I honestly do. I wonder if I can be friends with anyone who cannot use/spell them correctly.
2. This. Another dealbreaker. I have seen signs like this before: Apple's and Pears $1.59 lb. How do they decide that Apples is the one that gets the apostrophe, but Pears does not? What is the logic?
3. At least this one is understandable, given that there is already a word, the metal, that is spelled and pronounced LEAD. I get it.
4. I am constantly astounded by the fact that these two words have become not only interchangeable, but identically pronounced. WHAT IS HAPPENING? WHO IS DESTROYING MY LANGUAGE AND WHY?
5. Shtart. Shtop. Shtraight. Exshtreme. Shtrict. Why are some people pronouncing these words this way when they are not spelled this way? This phenomenon started at about the same time as the Vocal Fry and Uptalking. It is with great regret that I must name First Lady Michelle Obama a major offender in this.
6. I don't hear it often, but when I do...daggers.
7. I blame lazy text messagers for this one, primarily.
8. Always use the last comma before the conjunction for items in a series. Always. How bothersome is it, really? Just do it.
9. Pretty much, I've come to the conclusion that being able to choose the correct its/it's is genetically predetermined. It cannot be taught. You either have it, or you don't.
10. This idiom will needle me until the day I die. Probably at my deathbed, some nurse or bystander will walk by and remark to another stranger something about the weather or the upcoming elections or the latest gossip, and the last thing I hear before I Cross Over will be, "I could care less." And at that point I will be too weak or sick or dead to say, "NO, YOU IDIOT. IT IS 'I COULDN'T CARE LESS. BECAUSE IF YOU COULD CARE LESS, THEN WHY DON'T YOU GO AHEAD AND DO SO? IT IMPLIES THAT YOU DO, IN FACT, CARE SOMEWHAT." How ironic, right?
So, tell me in Comments which Language Lapses irk you.