Grammarians of the World, Unite!

Language is a dynamic expression of an organism.
It “can be defined as verbal, physical, biologically innate, and a basic form of communication.”
In short, it is how we live. If we didn’t communicate, we would probably cease to live.
Sure, we could live for a while. You can manage to bring down wild game without speaking or even coordinating with someone else.
But our society – our wold – cannot function without communication.
Of the brothers and sisters of language, we in the West are children of Potentate English – ruthless and domineering.
Yet this titan has a weakness: its speakers.
Particular emphasis on the Internet.
Almost complete emphasis on the Internet.
Actually, let’s just blame the Internet.

This is all your fault.

Internet and texting are the floodwaters that have begun to erode away the foundations of our already convoluted language.
Like the bursting of a dam, the increase of technology (coupled with the horrendously low reading capability of people in general) has produced something of epic proportions: the exile of grammar.
We live in an age where correction to language is seen as “nazi-ish” or “pointless.”
Pointless?
Grammar is pointless?

Grammar saves lives.
Doubt me? Think again.

Proof that commas do something.

We need to do away with the notion that grammar is “stupid” or “pointless.”
Difficulty does not mean we should shy away from trying; with regard to language, we should strive our best to communicate well.

Now, I don’t mean that you should completely reform your speaking/writing.
I have many bad practices that are tolerable at even the academic level.
What I’m talking about are basic rules that help everyone understand what you really mean.

Let’s go through some examples.

Your/You’re: Not hard. Not hard at all. “Your” is possessive. “Your grammar is worse than Justin Bieber’s music.”
“You’re” is a contraction, meaning two words have been combined via the almighty apostrophe. “You’re too lazy to use spell check.”

There/Their/They’re:
“There” is a child with many parents (at this stage of English). Commonly, it is used as a (bad) way to begin sentences. Traditionally, its function is locative, telling us where something (or someone is). “I think you dropped your brain over there.”
“Their” is a brother to “your,” meaning its possessive in usage, differing in person and number. “Their grammar was so bad that they were kicked out of school.”
“They’re” is a contraction. “They’re listening to dubstep. Yeah, I don’t understand it, either.”

Words like “truely” or “dyeing”:
What should be spelled as “truly” or “dying” often find themselves with an extra vowel. It’s typically one that was present prior to converting the word to an adverb/participle/whatever. In the case of “dyeing,” we have the problem of confusing two actual words.
You are not “dyeing” if you are drowning.
Consequently, you also are not “dying” your shirt blue. If you are, I’m turning you in for cilicide (“shirt killing”).

Duck/Duct Tape:
This is a simple mishearing that’s snowballed over time into a full blown brandname for what was once called “duct” tape.
Also, to be fair to our lazy speakers, “duct” (pronounced correctly) takes far, far more effort say than just a simple “-ck” sound. While we’re on the lazy train, we should let on the naïve people, too. Some people might not know what a “duct” is.
If this you, this isn’t a dig against you personally. I’m just highlighting the fact that languages do weird, funky things through time. Go, go humanistic dynamism!
I’ve never seen “Duck” tape, but I imagine there’s a use for it.

Why am I surprised?

Irregardless:
Negative form of “regardless.”
Yet “regardless” is already negating what was just written/spoken/posited. “Regardless of what you think, I’m far more more awesome than Justin Bieber.”
It does not make sense to add a negative prefix “i-” to make it more negative.
In fact, a double negative is a positive. That means “irregardless” is the opposite of “regardless.”

There are many, many more I could go through. But you’re bored. I can tell.
So, I’ll end it here. (But I’ll add some if I find particularly funny errors.)

Well, one last one.
Do not end a sentence with a preposition. Just don’t do it. Ever.

Ever.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s