Saturday, July 17, 2010

Irrewind, 20100717: Grammar Wars

Regulars here should know by now I'm rather nitpicky when it comes to language, including grammar and word definitions. Heck, a previous Irrewind was dedicated to the very topic (check it out here). I'm not entirely sure why or how I got so anal about it, but given modern discourses (and, really, discourses throughout history) conducted by people who like to flower or vague-up their language (politicians, liars, douchebags, etc.) in order to win fallacious arguments, I rather appreciate my anality (how's that for a neologism?).

Anyway, though I haven't done one for a while (this will be rectified, I assure you), I used to write these little things called "Grammar Wars." They're intended to be a bit sarcastic and a bit silly, but that's the way I roll (if you haven't guessed).

I also wanted to break my record for parentheses today, but I'm not sure I did (although I might have).

"Grammar War I: Speak English? Write English, Too"
Not too long ago, I heard some jackass complaining about immigrants not knowing how to speak English. Yeah, fine, I'm all for having English proficiency a requirement to be a citizen, but for fuck's sake, make sure YOU know proper English before you yell at some poor soul who's trying to grasp our highly illogical language. After all, "Y'all... Read More

"Grammar War II: Regarding Words"
1) The difference between "there," "their," and "they're" - THERE is a multifunction word indicating a place or a point. Examples: THERE is the school where we learn grammar or stand right THERE and look stupid.THEIR is an adjective indicating THEY as a possessor. Examples: THEIR brains have higher capacities than yours and... Read More

"Grammar War III: Wh Th?"
1) Everybody's favorite: the difference between "who" and "whom"- WHO and WHOM are both pronouns used to reference a specific person. The difference in use lies solely in intent. WHOM is used when the "who" follows a direct object or a preposition. I realize that those of you who don't already know the difference probably also don't... Read More

"Grammar War IV: Stupid Words"
3. decimate - I hate this one. As English apparently doesn't have enough words pertaining to destruction, stupid people have usurped this word to simple mean "to cause great destruction or harm to." Only, it actually has a specific meaning: "to select by lot and kill every tenth man of." "Deci," right? Meaning tenth. Hello!... Read More

"Grammar War V: He, She... Shit"
English, as most of us know, is a strange, erratic language. It almost completely lacks the masculine and feminine distinctions found in most other languages, particularly those of the Romance/Neolatin family. When it comes to singular pronouns, we have "he," we have "she," and we have "it". He, obviously, refers to males. She to females. ... Read More


Brian Miller said...

ok, you dont need to bludgeon me...smiles.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Don't get me started...

Alan Burnett said...

Is not one of the beauties of the English language that it is shared by so many and continuously shaped by so many.
Oh, hang on shouldn't there be a question mark there.
Any another one after that?
? and an extra ? for good measure!

Tom said...

i've read most of these--love the grammer posts btw. One wacky thing about English is that it's utterly non-static and words like decimate can over time gain additional meaning...just sayin'. Is 'ain't ain't a word' still relevant?

She Writes said...

Hence, my fear to type anything you read ;).

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