Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Words that Irritate

This is sounding a lot like griping, but I know we all have certain language issues that rub us the wrong way. You know how I feel about "the olden days", but oh yes, there are many more.

There are the obligatory misuses of their/there/they're, and apostrophe abuse, but I'm going to get even more nit-picky here.

There's a store I drive by on the way to church. I'm sure it is a perfectly decent store, and I have a feeling that if I was still teaching or planning to homeschool I would love it. But the name...it grates. The name of the store is "Art and Learn". Can you figure out why it bothers me? The two terms are not equal. "Art" is a noun, and "Learn" is a verb. Usually when you use "and", it connects two equal terms. So the name should either be "Art and Education" or "Create and Learn". Take your pick.

Also, the word "irregardless". This word does not exist. It is most annoying when used by highly educated people. For instance, my former school principal. All of the English teachers would give a collective shudder when she'd inevitably use it during a staff meeting.

Mischievous. Oh, we all know what this word means and how to use it properly...it's the pronunciation that irks me. Take a look at how it's spelled. So how does it get said "mis-CHEE-vee-ous"? There is no "i" after the "v". I once had a whole class of sophomores argue with me about this, until one of them looked it up in the dictionary, and SURPRISE! found out that the English teacher knew the correct pronunciation of a word. (Not that we know them all, of course, but if I'm going to take on an entire class of kids who won't let me forget about if I'm wrong...) The fact that this blatant mispronunciation AND misspelling ("mischevious") is becoming so commonplace that it's acceptable is just. plain. wrong.

This next one is a little different, but it is still a language issue: Recently, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a news broadcaster announced that there was a fundraiser for breast cancer. Really? Cancer needs more cash? Is it feeling a little broke in these hard economic times? Or do organizations need money for cancer awareness or research? Let's be accurate here. It may take an additional second to say that extra term, but I want to be sure I'm giving my money to the good guys.

Alrighty. I think I'm done for now. Irregardless of the fact that your interest waned somewhere in the first paragraph or two. (Hmf. As brother Aaron pointed out, I had previously misspelled "waned" - fell victim to the fatal error of depending on spellcheck. Grr.)


Aaron said...

Liz, I was right there with you in righteous indignation until you misspelled "wained" (sic) in your last sentence. Hoisted by your own petard.

Suzi said...

I always notice when people misuse to and too. I guess I had that drilled into me back in high school.

Sometimes it is very easy to be lazy. There is one that I am bad at. (Did you catch that?) It's so easy to end a sentence in a preposition. Sometimes if I'm writing, I'll rewrite it, but when you're doing something informal, like e-mail, it's easy to ignore.

I think I do fairly well with grammar, I may not always follow the rules, but I know them.

Does this mean we are allowed to point out any mistakes we see in your blogs now???

Noel said...

As the moon waxes this week as it has since the olden days of yore....

"Art and Learn" has a nice selection of art and educational products for home and school. It is worth a walk through sometime (without kids) to browse what they have and maybe pick up a gift or two. It certainly has a refreshing inventory compared to the big boxes west from 42nd street on 13th Ave S.

Lyz said...

Oh Lord. That is the danger of a post like this, I suppose - everyone will want to remind you of your own shortcomings!

Well, Brother Aaron and Suzi - if I ever say "irregardless" or misspell mischievous, feel free to point it out. I catch several errors when I re-read posts later, but I do my best...I don't edit people's comments OR emails, and I frequently end sentences with prepositions. Although I try not to.

Suzi said...

Oh, I'd never do that, I don't want you to start correcting me all the time either, so don't worry!

I have to admit though I didn't know the mischievous thing, that was new to me. So not only are we entertained by your blog, we get to learn too!

AJ said...

I like this post in the vein of being a literature aficianado (?) or something. Like the above word I enjoy when people stretch their vocabulary, but it bothers me when common words are misused or when experts are insistent on being wrong. =) I had a biology teacher who insisted the word "apoptosis" had the word pop pronounced in the middle instead of the second P being silent. It became a whole following in the class during discussions and study reviews. I had a visceral response every time despite hundreds of repetitions. Doesn't that break some law of psychology about repeated stimuli?

Ruth said...

maybe "art and learn" was supposed to be a play on the commonly used phrase "fart and learn." as in, fart and learn what you had for breakfast.


also, our third and fourth grade teachers both prounced that book you can use to find synonyms and antonyms as if Heathcliff Huxtable's son was a dinosaur.