Posted by: Admin | November 23, 2009

The “Funnest” post you’ll read

I’m on a crusade this week…….

I’m sorry to say that I’m not solving world hunger, or promoting world peace, or fixing our healthcare issues or our unemployment problem.

This week I’m crusading against a far worse enemy —  An enemy that threatens our children and our intelligence and well,  my ears (and your ears too!)

This week I’m creating a public service campaign to address the massacre of the English language.  Or, as my hubby has been calling it, my “one woman war against bad word usage”.

I can’t help but cringe as I watch (or better yet.. listen) to people use words that are truly not words in every day conversation.  I often cringe when I think about how many of these ignorant people are gainfully employed, as I sit here endlessly job searching.  Many of whom do not have a basic understanding of communication or language rules.

I will admit, that I blame the media for a huge portion of this problem.  If newscasters misuse or mispronounce words, it somehow becomes acceptable to reiterate these words in other places.  And, as you may know, since English is a living & breathing language, words are constantly added and/or modified to adjust with our developing culture.  And therein lies the problem. People misuse a word, and our language evolves in a way that adds this incorrect usage of the word to some sort of urban use dictionary.  Then… tragedy of all tragedies is the day when other people use this dictionary addition to back-up their misuse of the word and……. all of a sudden there’s verbal anarchy.

So today, good people of the internet, for better or worse, I’m going to share with you some of the words that I find to be the MOST offensive as I feel they truly butcher an otherwise wonderful language (and, bear in mind, I’m referring to the American English language.. as I know there are variations with British English)

I don’t claim to be a wordsmith or a linguist but I do think I can hold my own in a conversation and I DO have a general grasp on words that are either blatantly incorrect or that have undergone a massive evolution into something so different from what was originally intended (in my opinion)

So.. .let’s begin.

STUPIDER – Quite simply stated… this is not a word.  And, if you use the word stupider, there are few people who are more stupid than you.

IRREGARDLESS – Ever hear of a double negative?  The prefix ir- (i-r) is a negative prefix, so if you add the prefix ir to a word that’s already negative like regardless, you’re making a double-negative word that literally means “without without regard.”.   Makes sense?  I bet not, you’ll still probably use this word regardless of my explanation.

FUNNER – Another simple and basic word that’s ruined!  Something cannot be funner… it can be more fun, it can be the most fun you’ve ever had but it cannot be funner.

FREER – Much like above.  The standard usage would be that you are more free. Conversely, Abe Lincoln might be known as a freer of slaves (one that frees, especially a liberator or emancipator)

HARASSMENT – When did the American pronunciation jump the Altantic to British English?  I can remember many years ago hearing a change in accent by a newscaster and then all of a sudden it went from Har-ASS-ment to HAR-ass-ment?

COMPARABLE – Much like above…. when did this pronunciation go from COM-par-able to com-PAR-a-ble?

ORIENTATED – Oh boy, this one crawls right under my skin.  The correct word is oriented…. Please, please, please leave out that extra syllable!

I have heard these mistakes everywhere.  Not just in every-day conversations but on the news, in written books, on commercials.  I just find it incredibly sad that, as a society, we’ve learned to lower our standards.  So go forth, my dear blog readers, and correct your friends, post on facebook, send out a Tweet…. Join me on my crusade today… to make the world a better place (at least the English speaking part of it!)

You’ll notice I didn’t even begin to dive into the your & you’re issues or the their, they’re, their challenges (or the many others)… because I believe these can be honest mistakes.  Whereas, with some of my other examples, people will literally argue that the words they are using are indeed correct!

And… I’m sure I’ve missed a ton of examples… feel free to share your biggest pet peeve below!

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Responses

  1. I feel you missed two vital ones:

    People using “your” when they should be using “you’re” as in the short version of “you are.” Idioty say: “Your kidding me, right?”

    People saying “nucular” instead of “nuclear”.

    In fact, I’ve already vented on this subject, right here:
    http://www.ittybittycrazy.com/imported-data/2009/9/4/divided-by-a-common-language-lesson-time.html

    • IBC ~ ahhh… you are (or you’re) right on with these. I stayed away from a lot of the basics because there are probably too many for me to cover!!

  2. Interesting blog — I’m nearing 2 years of involuntary leisure time (aka unemployment), and I share your concerns about the destruction of proper usage. My candidate is the ubiquitous use of “utilize” for “use.” Absolutely sets my teeth on edge. This usage does not utilize the subtle differences in meaning between the two.

    • Ellen ~ Sorry to hear that you’re in the unemployment club also.. way too many members it seems. Thanks for sharing another good one!

  3. To be fair – ‘orientated’ is UK english – I used to think Eamon was someone dim when he kept saying this all the time – Imagine my relief when I heard it used here regularly and now I’m the weirdo 😉

    • lol – ‘somewhat dim’ not ‘someone dim’. Post a blog about poor grammar and here I go!

  4. While I know you didn’t go there…I feel the need to bring this particular usage to your attention (only because I’m somewhat of a stickler myself):

    “I sit hear endlessly job searching”

    I completely agree with you about the…um…liberties…some people take with the language. It’s grating. As are misplaced quotes. If they’re “free” kittens, are they really free?

    • Jenn ~ Aahhhhh!! Oh my God! I swear it was a mistype.. not a misuse, and why am I not surprised that I’d make a mistake in my own post complaining about other people (it just figures… you are totally write — hehe just kidding!) 🙂

      My brain is kind of mushy from being unemployed!
      Thanks a ton for bringing it to my attention!!

      • Oh, I believe it–I’m much more prone to miss one like that when I’m venting, but I couldn’t resist pointing it out 🙂

        I’m completely feeling your laid-off pain; I got laid off twice in the last two years (for six months the last time) and my husband has been out of work since March…so everything you’re feeling? Totally normal. I think the real estate thing is a good idea–I went for a teaching certificate because I had to switch fields too. Good luck to you!


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