#Mondayblogs – It’s a Ramble. Just Go With

12 Jan

I was taught, in my rather Victorian childhood home, that there is a right way and there are other ways – which are all wrong. I’ve mellowed over the years. I’ve seen and accepted that there are different points of view, different ways of doing things. Diversity is good. We need fewer rules not more. Marrying a woman that tolerates a man that breaks as many ‘rules’ as I do might be part of that growth. In that spirit, I’ve held off rambling on the current state of the Queen’s English. I wanted to tolerate it, not rail against it. But, I don’t know about you. I think the written and spoken word are in dire shape (grammar check says that I should have written ‘is in dire shape’. That just sounds wrong). I’ve read similar rants. And, I want to get it all out too. I realize that I risk the wrath of mean spirited people with red pencils forever scouring my blog for mistakes and pointing them out. Knock yourselves out. Here goes.

letseatgrandmaI admit that I sometimes have a pretty fast and loose relationship with proper written English on these pages including “some; sketchy punctuation! on my blogs. I plead for an exemption – this merely reflects a ‘style’ of communication. It’s more artistic or stylistic than wrong. No? Doesn’t sell it? Maybe it’s just that bloggers should get some slack due to the freedom that blogging, by its very nature, demands. No? Well, let’s just say that I am allowed conflicting behaviours on my own blog. So, in no particular order, here are my worst offending culprits:

  1. Loss of the adverb. I remember long ago in a land far away, the adverb roamed the earth shaking frequently and enthusiastically it’s ‘ly’. Now, it’s all but left common usage. The loss is most pronounced in the sports writing and reporting fields. Sports reporters cover the game excellent. I’m not trying to say that they don’t do good. Just that they must have skipped Spoken English 101 when they completed their basket weaving degree at OFU (Only Football University). Please, “Save The Adverb!”
  2. If you are asking someone if they wish to accompany you, it’s quite acceptable to include the appropriate pronoun at the end of ‘go with’. Trust me, it’s OK.
  3. “My bad”. Enough said…………. OK, not enough said. What is a bad? Why do grown adults need to sound like hip young people? It’s as wrong as wearing your baseball cap backwards after cresting 40. Come on. Talk and dress your age.
  4. As I walked home late the other night, I was passed by two teen girls on bikes having a conversation. One of them said, “He was like sayin’ what do you want? And, I said like whatever.” What? What does that actually mean? What did she really want? Or is it speech designed to simply fill the air with words? And, don’t say, “Sort of like this blog.” Back when they taught grammar, I learned that you would use ‘like’ in a simile. I realize that ‘like’ is also accepted as a “nonvolitional interjection”. I know this because I read it on http://www.dictionary.com. But please not with every friggin’ breath you take (apologies to The Police). Here’s how we fix this. If your child has a speech problem, you get it tended to. For example, I couldn’t say r’s when I was little. So I know first hand what happens. You further humiliate your child by having him publicly excused from class to spend time with the speech pathologist twying to WEAWY WEAWY IMPWOVE. Phew, didn’t know that anger was still there. The point? If your child says ‘like’ after every other word, you get him to a speech pathologist. The only way to stomp this out is to embarrass the perpetrators.
  5. Use of non-words and acronyms. Yes, people use non-words all the time. I can see using ‘u’ as a pronoun in a tweet due to character restrictions, maybe a text? No, not a text – lazy. How lazy do you have to b to save your fingers by maybe a couple letters a text? Same goes with the ubiquitous LOL. Really? You were laughing out loud? What it really means is, “Hey, this is the end of the text and like……whatever.”
  6. I hate that biz-speak phrases or words are creeping into common usage. I heard an interesting phrase the other day. I was told that on a conference call, a participant suggested that they ‘socialize the concept’. What? How effective is communication that leaves most people on the call shaking their heads and wondering, “What the hell did he just say? Socialize the concept? Are you shitting me?” Bureaucratese and biz-speak have been around for years. Years ago, I worked for a very bureaucratic organization that used so much biz-speak, I circulated Bingo cards that had words instead of numbers. It was called Bullshit Bingo. Then, participants on conference calls or at meetings would furtively cross out these words/phrases as they were used and whisper, “Bingo” when they had a line filled. That went on until one day the boss on a call heard the “Bingo” and asked what that was about. Silence. We were unable to clarify the environment for her. Clarify The Environment? Hey. Bingo! Stomp out biz-speak!
  7. Another culprit is print media. I’m not sure who proofreads proofreads their stuff. But, it’s brutal. Words are mispeled, sentences disconnected. Out of the blue, they introduce the last names of people who they haven’t even told us about. Taylor commented on this and the sloppy use of proofreading as a means to edit out content to fit items into available space.
  8. Using the present tense in a story about the past as in, “He goes. Then I go” This took place in the past; so use the past tense. “He went. Then I went.” I’d like to talk about using ‘goes’ in the first place but another time for that.

IloveEnglishI just re-read the above and it sounds that I’m a bit uptight and the criticism is indeed a bit harsh. I’m sorry if I’ve offended friends and family. Oh, on the uptight part, I plead – guilty. Why do you think I drink so much wine? Wine: The Great Unuptightener! And, yes, unuptightener can be a word. We just all have to use it three times and it’s ours. Language evolves, you see.

There are many, many, many more examples presaging the end of the linguistic world as we know it. But, let’s leave those for another time. Or, we could socialize the concept by using the virtual interface at the bottom of the page where it says, “Leave a Comment”. Let me hear ur most egregious perpetrators. LOL.TTFN.

 

9 Responses to “#Mondayblogs – It’s a Ramble. Just Go With”

  1. Please Bring Me My Wine January 12, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

    I genuinely cannot read the word “Ramble” without Led Zepelin playing in my head!

  2. talkavino January 12, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

    Bill, I’m fully with you on the subject – lot’s of digital media suffers from terrible use (misuse?) of language. I’m sure I’m guilty myself when it comes to use of “the” and “a”, but I would have to request to consider that to be a part of my writing style and thus be excused.

    By the way, in the #7, is “mispeled” intentional?

    • Duff's Wines January 12, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

      Yes indeed it was intentional. Good pick up. A risk to be exposed for an error when I’m criticizing others. Hope people see the irony.

      • talkavino January 12, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

        I figured but wanted to double-check :). BTW, I think it is okay to wear baseball cap backwards at any age…

      • Duff's Wines January 12, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

        I do have a bias against that. Maybe I need to let go of that. Move on to more important sartorial issues. Any suggestions?

  3. timmilford January 13, 2015 at 2:12 am #

    I’m with you too! Too many people play fast and loose with language and don’t understand how badly it reflects on them (I got an adverb in there for you, Bill!) My two biggest grievances are: 1) The misuse of “literally”, ie: I was literally dying of embarrassment… Really?? 2) Double Negatives, ie: We haven’t got no salmon any more. Gaaah!!

    • Duff's Wines January 13, 2015 at 6:23 am #

      I moved a bit as a child and we once lived in a more rural region where the double negative was the norm. I tried to fit in and used it often. My mother would go berserk. Funny that it didn’t follow me into adulthood. Maybe these kids with their ‘likes’ will change too. He’s hoping.

  4. Kara Sweet January 22, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    I agree with so many of these. I especially agree with “talk and dress your age.” I struggle with dressing fashionably and age-appropriately (note the use of my adverbs there–hehe), but I do not struggle with age-appropriate language! I can not stand when educated adults use words such as “cray” to mean crazy and “adorbs” to mean adorable. It is okay for teens to do it but not intelligent adults! Ugh!

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