Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Irregardless, Let Me Acks You A Question

I was just checking my Facebook wall and weeping for the education system in America. It is amazing to me the number of people, including adults who have graduated high school, that have no grasp of the basics of their native tongue. I am not a spelling or grammar Nazi. I do usually notice, but don't feel the need to correct someone when they make a mistake. However, there has to be a limit.

I understand that misspellings will happen occasionally. I've been called out on errors in this blog on more than one occasion. I am not claiming to be a perfect speller and most people cannot make that claim.

I am also not referring to the way youth type today. UR for your, U for you, PLZ for please, etc. I get it. The kids typing that way know it's not correct. It's similar to the way each generation has their own lingo. While I don't like to read it, I have no problem with it.

I am also not addressing the people with learning disorders (i.e. dyslexia) or the common misspelling of words like friend (i before e). It's the normal every day words that are covered in the third grade that should not be confusing people. I have a few Facebook friends that never use punctuation or capitalization. I have to read their status several times to figure out which words to group together into sentences. Reading their statuses gives me a headache.

I have to wonder if it has always been this way. It is very possible that it's no worse than it was before, but we didn't have Facebook and Twitter around showcasing everyone's poor grammar and spelling. Now that it's out in the open, it is easier to see.

However, it's not really fair to judge people on their inability to spell when there are so many people that don't even know how to pronounce common words.

When a six year old asks to go to the liberry, it is understandable. He is still learning to speak, but when a thirty year old still hasn't learned about the extra 'R' in the word library, it's hard not to question his intelligence.

Mispronounced words I have heard this week:
CHIMLEE (chimney) - The apparatus that dispels smoke from a fireplace.
NUCULAR (nuclear) - The type of energy released by splitting atoms. Our last president was guilty of this one.
ILLINOIZ (Illinois) - The state Chicago is in. This is most unnerving when said by someone who actually lives here. The 'S' is silent, genius.
RECUHNIZE (recognize) Identifying someone you have encountered before.
EXCAPE (escape) - To get away from something

These mispronunciations are so common, I don't even catch it sometimes when someone says them, but it always grates on my brain stem when someone says supposibly. I can feel the tension throb at the base of my skull. There is no 'B' in the word supposedly!

Years ago, I dated a girl whose mother pronounced the word oil as oral.  "The car is a quart low on oral. Could you put some in?"  I still don't know where that one came from.

I know I will get several people defending their butchering use of the English language. I am not writing this to try to offend, although some will be offended. It is not my intention, but I am not apologizing for it. When it is pointed out to someone that they speak like a child, they have the opportunity to correct it. They are not obligated to. They can speak however they want. I would never demand that someone change. However, if they want to continue in their practice, they cannot be offended when others snicker at them.

I had a college professor that used to always tell us, "It's your native tongue. You've heard it your entire life. By now, you should know how to use it."



My rant is over. I feel better. What words drive you nuts when said or used incorrectly?

31 comments:

  1. What words drive me nuts? Half the crap that comes out of my mouth.
    Like "y'all".
    And "fixin' to".
    And "ankshint"

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Y'all never occurred to me. I guess I think of it like the word yonder. My grandfather used to say each of these. They are just local vernacular.

      Maybe that shows an inconsistency in my argument.

      Delete
  2. I'm Australian and we have a tendency to pronounce daughter as "dawda" ... It drives me insane!

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    1. I have an English friend that hates the way we say water. He really pronounces the 'T' and says "There is no 'D' in water."

      Delete
  3. "Prolly" instead of probably. WHY are you leaving out all the B's? "Alot," like it's one word instead of two. "Could of" and "should of" instead of could've or should've. (or could have and should have) I could go on. haha

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    1. Could have and should have I don't usually catch in speech, but it really stands out when they type it that way.

      Delete
  4. I don't really have that many words that irritate me when pronounced incorrectly, but it drives me crazy that some of the people here have their own made-up language.

    "ro-sti-ear-icken" is the way somebody pronounced "rotisserie chicken". It made me crazy and at least half of the things he said were pronounced in such a way.

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    1. That one is definitely a stretch. I know a guy that says kitchen instead of chicken every time.

      Delete
  5. The country is not called Itly. It's It(a)ly.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Good one. Those are some of the more common ones. People have a tendency to drop syllables from words or run sounds together.

      CLOSE instead of CLOTHES
      FEDRAL instead of FEDERAL
      HI-ARCHY instead of HIERARCHY

      Delete
  6. Boughten cookies preach is my all time fav.... those cookies want homemade they were boughten

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    1. Yes! I hate that one. It's almost as bad as people who go to The WAL-MARTS.

      Delete
  7. I used to have the same problem, but then I read the book Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson and saw a talk by Stephen Fry on the subject. They made me realise thatthere are no rules when it comes to language. English is constantly evolving and imbibing new words and rules from everywhere else and the only definition of the 'correct' use of language is whatever everyone is saying at the time. Language afyer all was invented to communicate ideas, so if you get your idea across, you've succeeded. Also, a dictionary isn't a rulebook on how to use the language, it's more a record of how we're using it at the time. If everyone in the world said supposibly and stopped saying supposedly, the dictionary would change accordingly.

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    1. I agree and that is very true. I have taken my share of ESL classes that taught me the same thing. However, when everyone is saying it correctly except for just a few people, they are incorrect. I also realize that even that view is subjective.

      Ain't eventually became a word, but it became accepted because of the growing number of people that continued to use bad grammar despite being corrected. The language evolved to accommodate it.

      Despite all this, you are correct. This post was "mostly" in fun, but some of them still grate on my nerves.

      Delete
    2. You said it, Michael!
      I have to say that *words* used poorly bothers me more than the general *grammar* that drives some insane. (like ending with a preposition, and dangling participles, etc.)

      If you want to use a language that doesn't change, I suggest Latin.

      Delete
  8. For me, it's a bit tricky, I live in an English-country where the dialect is a mix if English, French, Spanish & Indian (and more) origins. What sounds like improper grammar & pronunciation abound as everyday speech. I've had to learn to be very forgiving especially since I'm sometimes as guilty as everyone else.

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    1. That makes sense. It happens with local dialects as well.

      It wasn't those type of speakers I was aiming at. That is to be expected. They get a pass. I am sure my Spanish was atrocious when I lived in Puerto Rico.

      Delete
  9. "Nucular" drives me absolutely nuts. My husband says it and I have to remind myself he's a good guy and that mispronouncing words is probably the most frivolous grounds for divorce ever.

    Also, happy birthday!

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    1. Most judges wouldn't go for it. Thank you.

      Delete
  10. I prolly post ta warsh my caw wen it gits derty but i has oldtimers and cant member how. People don't know any better because that is what they heard. Your dialect is permanently programmed in your brain from the people you are around the most in the first six months after birth even though most can't speak yet. People tend to revert back to it when they are drunk or extremely upset no matter how many languages they learn.

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    1. It is definitely heavily ingrained. My daughter calls me out on saying warsh.

      Delete
  11. Hmm...well "Warter" and "warsh" grate a little, but for me it's the use of nouns as verbs. Particularly "gift". I actually wrote about that one last winter sometime. A "gift" is a thing, not an action.

    Even verbs that are used in the wrong tense. You don't "grow" your business, you build it, and it grows. I know, I know. That's one that will be changed int he dictionary soon if not yet. And I will cry.

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  12. So, funny, ... a lot of that stuff bugs me too ... and the ur and 2day and things bug me too ... but in the blogosphere and the social networking world I have no grammar ... spelling? yes ... grammar? no ... much like this comment I go in run on sentences and tons of ellipsis ... in my professional world and my educational world I spend a lot of time writing very technical scientific papers, but when it comes to blogging and social networking I tend to type the way I speak ... putting "..." in as my pausing points ... maybe it's lazy, I don't know ... but I'm sure it drives plenty of people crazy ... lol

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    1. At least when I read yours, it flows. I know where one thought ends and the next begins. I don't have an expectation of perfection when reading, but at least some semblance of how sentences work.

      Delete
    2. Well, at least it flows :) lol ...

      Delete
  13. People who use word incorrectly shit me to tears.

    But the mispronunciations get a bit much to bear

    "Pacifically" instead of "specifically"
    "Sammich" instead of "sandwich"

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    1. Pacifically is a hard one to hear. I am changing my educational focus to ESL (English as a Second Language). My students will learn to speak correctly.

      Delete
  14. How'd I miss this? I can't even keep up with your pace!

    Warsh. That is our local vernacular. Warshington. I'm going to warsh the dishes. It annoys the crap out of me. There is no R in wash people!

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    1. We hear that one here a lot. I grew up hearing it that way and catch myself saying it every now and then.

      Delete

Leave a comment. C'MON!!! You're already here. Leave a comment. Don't leave me hanging and wondering if any has ever seen these words. I'll rub your feet.