November 26, 1998
Don't Get Me Started (Spring 1998)
I have more than a few pet peeves where the English language is concerned. Most of them involve TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms). Take a look at these TLAs: ATM, PIN, SAT, HIV. They may look fine in print, but think about the way we SAY these TLAs: "A.T.M. Machine," "PIN Number," "S.A.T. Test," and "H.I.V. Virus."
Answer me this: what the Hell is the M for in ATM? The N in PIN? Why do we feel the need to repeat ourselves? It couldn't possibly be for clarity! What, we want to distinguish the Automated Teller Machine from the Automated Teller MUPPET? Come on!
Then there are words that don't exist... and I hear these all the time. My top three least favorite are "conversate" (as opposed to "converse"), "supposebly" (instead of "supposedly"), and the worst of all: "a whole nother." What they Hell is "nother"? Yes, "whole" can go between words like "a" and "new," but not INSIDE a word like "another." Sorry, that's just wrong. I thought this was a new phenomenon until I saw the re-released "Star Wars" in which Luke Skywalker himself says "a whole nother." Sigh....
Now, I understand the importance of creating words and phrases in our cultural communications. I love using expressions with my friends that we know are truly our own. But let's get this stuff straight:
Y'all is the proper spelling, not ya'll.
The apostrophe in decades goes before the number, not before the "s," like '80s, not 80's (that's possessive).
Its is possessive, it's means it is.
Your is possessive, you're means you are.
Their is possessive, they're means they are. See there?
For, four, fore; two, to, too... oh, I could go on and on. But I won't. Instead, I'll just continue my quest to correct grammar worldwide. I should be busy for quite some time.
Posted by bonnie at November 26, 1998 5:40 PM