Friday, November 9, 2012

I am defiantly going to write about that one . . .

Down, grammar snobs, DOWN!  No, I didn't just totally screw the grammar pooch in my subject line.  It was purely intentional, a reference to a conversation hubby and I had last night about the word "definitely" and how many people seem unable to spell it correctly. 

I am a bit of a grammar snob, myself--not hawkish about it, I don't police people's posts or Tweets (we all make mistakes, and it's not my job to run around putting out grammatical fires), but I notice.  I notice, and sometimes it drives me just a little batty.  Other times?

It amuses the hell out of me.

My favorite grammatisaster (I just made that up--speak of the devil)?  Definitely "defiantly."  It used to piss me off, but now I love it!  See, it makes every misstatement that much more emphatic and courageous.  I'm not just going to bed, I'm DEFIANTLY going to bed!  "Screw all y'all, I'm going to bed NOW!"  I don't merely think that the new Celica is a nice car for the dollar, I DEFIANTLY think that, so come on, just TRY to stand between me and my automotive opinion!  I double-dog DARE you! 

Another fave?  "Your" vs "You're."  Oh, I LOVE a good possessive in place of the contraction!  Why?  Because the difference between "YOU ARE screwed up" and the screwed up you possess is delicious!  "Your rude!"  What?  MY rude?  I have a rude?  Did someone give me a rude and I didn't know?  Was it you?  Awwww, thank you!  I've always wanted a rude!

One that drove me nutty for years is now a source of joy, thanks to a blog I stumbled upon.  "Alot."  Used to make me scream, but now?  Now I smile and imagine all those happy Alots who have loving homes because of the grammatically challenged. 

Why is this all such a big deal to me?  Well, it's actually not a huge deal.  I don't lose sleep over it (hell, I don't even LOOSE sleep over it!), but I guess . . . words MEAN something.  They do, every last one of them has a definition, a meaning.  When we use the wrong word (or mangle the right one), we fail to communicate in a meaningful way.  Sure, our audience can probably chew through the dreck and figure out what we meant, but why make them work like that?  Why not just use the right words, learn the correct spellings and communicate our meaning clearly instead of making our audience jump through hoops?

Having lived in Utah for decades, I have experienced a special bunch of speech and grammar disasters that folks in other parts of the world may not have enjoyed. 

Let's start with the long vowel sounds, which seem especially problematic when the word ends in an "l" sound.  You know, like "sale," "feel," "real," "deal," and "meal."  Most English speakers, when considering a trip to the local fast food joint, might say something like, "Hey, I feel hungry and McDonald's is having a sale--I think I'm gonna grab myself a real meal deal!"  Hey, they might!  But not in Utah!  In Utah, they'd say, "Hey, I fill hungry and McDonald's is having a sell--I think I'm gonna grab myself a rill mill dill!" 

I know, you think I'm exaggerating.  I'm not.  It's so bad that many Utahns spell how they pronounce.  So you see Craigslist ads boasting cars for "sell."  You see heartfelt Facebook posts proclaiming "I fill so sad, I felled my test!"  Coworkers actually have to approach their originally-from-out-of-state peers and ask, "Is it a sell boat?  A sale boat?  How do you spell that?"

A particular point of frustration/amusement?  The abandonment of the interior "t" in pretty much all words.  You know, like "mountain" becomes "mou-un," "Layton" becomes "Lay-un," and "carton" becomes "car-un."  This inspired epic comedy when the "ay-un" names became so wildly popular--you know, "Pay-un," "Day-un," "Say-un" (okay, I'm joking on that last one--not too many Satans running around Utah).  This phenomenon was beautifully illustrated by a friend who wrote the following Limerick a few years back:

There was once a young lady named Pay'un

Who lived in the city of Lay'un

Her interior "t"s

Were lost in the breeze

Or, possibly, stolen by Say'un  

While there are many other grammatical (and accent-related) language disasters that make me a bit crazy (there/their/they're and it's/its leap to mind), and many arguments against folks like me ("you knew what I meant!" and "how well I write doesn't have anything to do with how smart I am!" come to mind), the one grammar-related thing that makes me nearly wild with anger?  Calling people who value the proper use of the language "Grammar Nazis."   

Holy cow, really?  "Nazis?"  Guess what, kids?  Still too soon.  Using "Nazi" to describe a non-violent, verbal reaction to crappy grammar is like using "rape" to describe a jacked-up price at the car stereo joint.  Which brings us back to the point--words MEAN something.  Calling someone a "Nazi" for any reason other than murderous, genocidal, dastardly deeds is stupid and careless.  Whether it be grammar snobs or breastfeeding moms, the word "Nazi" doesn't apply.  Don't do that.   

And now that I'm done ranting, I have no doubt that this blog entry is riddled with typos and errors.  It must be, because that's the nature of the beast.  Complain about lousy spelling or crappy grammar, and you're guaranteed to make the kind of mistake that makes little trolls cry with joy.  That's okay.  I don't use a spell-checking program and I only vaguely proof-read when I'm operating on less than four hours of sleep.  Like I said, while this is all a pet peeve of mine, I don't cruise message forums or Facebook walls and correct people's grammar.  Except inside my head, and there's nothing to be done about that.  

Have a super day!  And, hey, if you injoyed this, just you wait intel you see my next one!  Yore gonna think it's a rill big dill!    Or maybe not.  Either way, I hope you enjoyed reading this.  I enjoyed writing it.  

Oh, hey, totally unrelated--is diet Vernors ginger soda supposed to smell like vomit?  I'm being serious-it's my first can (12 pack, actually), and it smelled like pure puke.  I thought it might be me, since I had an upset stomach, but hubby sniffed and said, "Yep, wow--vomit."  I dumped it down my sink (which now smells like someone hurled), and I'm unsure--have I got a bum 12 pack, or does it always smell like this?  The flavor (I took one sip) was just sweet--not gingery, not at all what I was expecting.  Just a sort of "aspartame water" thing going on.  Is it always like that?  Should I take it back to Wegmans?


  1. I only recently realized that I never learned it's vs its, so I thank you for restraining yourself from sending me to the ovens for it. I have educated myself so it should no longer be a problem.
    Your/you're is my biggest peeve, followed closely (follow closely) by people who leave off the "-ed" suffix. Seriously it's rampant, and I think it is new, I never noticed it (notice it) until recently. It has been happening far too often to just be a typo.
    There's a guy who comments on Standard Examiner articles alot <--- his name is Laytonion, and I told him once that I can't read his name without pronouncing it "Lay-onion" and he agreed it was funny.
    I defiantly want to still that limerick.
    I haven't tried Vernor's ginger ale, but it might be the aspartame, that stuff tastes like vomit to me. If it doesn't have a gingery flavor then the non-diet kind probably isn't very good either. I like my ginger ale to have some bite to it. Cock and Bull ginger beer is good, but it's expensive.

  2. I'm okay with the aspartame (I know, I know, tumors and migraines and alien abductions), the taste doesn't bother me much, so it's not likely that. I grabbed a six pack of Johnny Ryan Dry ginger ale, and it's tasty (or tastier, anyway), but it's not sugar-free, so it leaves a heavy sugar sour in the back of my mouth. I don't do well with sugared drinks, don't like the way they make my mouth feel and taste. Probably a good thing, considering the diabetes, huh? Guess I'll stick to the diet Canada Dry. Not great, but not bad, and doesn't leave me feeling pre-puked.