Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making the world a better place . . .

I've decided that it is my calling in life to make the world a better place. How will I do this, you ask? By helping to rid the world of bad grammar, abusive punctuation, and annoying expressions, of course.

Oh, and by praying for world peace and all that stuff, too, I guess.

But first - the annoying stuff . . .

Stop saying it. Just stop. There is no "EX" in ESpecially. If you say it that way, please take a moment to slap your hand for me. Okay, now slap yourself in the face. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Done? Okay. Listen - you don't say EXsther or EXsential or EXspionage, do you? Then why are you treating ESpecially unfairly? It never asked to be treated any differently than its fellow ES words so stop it. Repeat after me: "I will not put an X in especially and, if I do, I will exslap myself in the face."

Try it with me now . . . Esssssssssssssssspecially. Now isn't that liberating?

By definition.
This expression has been subject to gross overuse and misuse in modern usage. People say sentences like "Flowers are, by definition, an excellent gift idea" or "Spanish is, by definition, very difficult to learn." Really? Is that actually in the definition of "Spanish?" I didn't realize that. I think people think it makes them sound smart and authoritative to throw that out there every so often. But it doesn't. So please stop using it. It is, by definition, annoying . . .

Should of.
I think you "should of" paid better attention to your grammar lessons because it's "should HAVE." It's understandable that you somehow turned "should've" into "should of" but it must stop. For the sake of all that is Holy, it must stop. But chin up - the nice thing about learning this one correctly is that you get a three for one special . . . now you know "could HAVE" and "would HAVE," too! Look at that - we're making the world a better place already!!

It's not a word. Now don't give me that look . . . it's not. The sooner you start to accept this, the sooner you'll be able to start the recovery process. Soon you'll be using the word "regardless" and marveling at the ease with which it rolls off your tongue without that extra syllable weighing it down at the beginning. But you will have to avoid the temptation of finding a new home for the extracted "ir" . . . don't start saying things like "we're in an irrecession" or "give me one irreason I can't go." You must avoid that at all costs. Because you would just sound irridiculous.

So are you with me? Will you agree to help make this world a better place one bad habit at a time? I really hope so. Because I'm not sure I can do it without you.

And the world, by definition, needs our help.


Anonymous said...

And let's not forget EXpresso! Good grief!! Have a cup of espresso and call it a day. Preach it sista!

Emma said...

LOVE it!!! Totally agree.....and agree about EXpresso....ugh!! Gimme more, Catch!

Anonymous said...

Main Entry: ir·re·gard·less
Pronunciation: \ˌir-i-ˈgärd-ləs\
Function: adverb
Etymology: probably blend of irrespective and regardless
Date: circa 1912
nonstandard : regardless

usage Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead

Anonymous said...


Kristen Tribe said...

Amen, Catherine. One of my pet peeve words is "literally," which is often used in the same way as "by definition." For example, I was so tired I thought I was going to literally pass out.

Anonymous said...

and EXSCAPE!! people say that all the time! I actually know a fully educated person who says "sawl". As in, "Yes, I sawl that movie and I hated it. Exspecially the end."

I can't believe you didn't touch on all the different versions of probably. Mom used to get all over me for that. Oh and she also got onto me about shwee and cwee. As in, "Shwee go to the store now or wait a bit?" or "Cwee just go together?" what? I didn't say i was proud about these two.

loved this post!