05 February, 2007

speak softly and carry a big semicolon

please, in the name of the little baby jebus, stop mangling the english language! here is a very quick lesson (be thankful i don't run the world, or, instead of a lesson, you'd find yourself facing the barrel of a very big shotgun - i am THAT serious about this shit)

1. comprise

INCORRECT: the band was comprised of six singers and a drummer.

CORRECT: the band comprised six singers and a drummer.

got it? what you probably meant to say was "composed", in which case, please, don't let me stop you. most people have no clue how to use "comprise" and should therefore stop.

recap: a whole comprises its parts/parts are comprised by the whole.

2. me/I

this one really gets under my skin. when pseudo intellectual ijits say things like "this is between you and I" or "he came to see bob and I" i am ready to do violence. big tarantino violence. blood pouring down the stairs violence.

i will now take a couple of yoga breaths and tell you once and for all that if you are unsure, do not follow the multitudes sheeplike into the vortex of stupidity, but remove the other person from the sentence in question which will give you a very swift glimpse of the correct pronoun. example? certainly.

would you, except under the influence of several bottles of gin, say something like "he came to see I"? no. probably not. therefore the correct pronoun in that case is "me." "he came to see bob and me (or me and bob)" like i said, this will hurt at first because of the general and overwhelming stupidity of the populace (including people who should know better including writers and professors) but do not give up. better to be the lone voice of brain, than the roar of dumb.

if dumb people correct you, smile an enigmatic little smile and just walk away. better yet, carry a grammar book with you at all times and gently hand it to them open to the page that backs me up (and it will). if this doesn't work, walk away. resist the urge to beat the offender over the head with the grammar book. this will damage the book.

3. "simplistic" and "simple" are not always interchangeable. look them up.

4. routine poor spelling (typos exempt)

hey! ever heard of spellcheck? or the merriam-webster online dictionary? in this day and age there is no excuse.

5. i was going to go into you're/your, it's/its but i really think that if i need to tell you about the differences between these, there is little hope for the future and i should just go have a drink instead. only it's barely past noon so i'll just shut up and hope you figure it out on your own. (this is less hopefulness and more laziness on my part)

6. apostrophes

oy oy oy! it's not "kid's clothes" unless it's "this specific kid's clothes," if you are talking about MANY people, then the apostrophe goes after the plural s. as in "seniors' discount" or "kids' lunches" unless of course the word is in itself in plural form like "women's group" or "men's club."

i will not address the mindnumbing idiocy of "open thursday's" or "ski's on sale" or a grocery store isle dedicated to "cup's and napkin's" because if you don't know that one does not pluralize with an apostrophe, then nothing can save you and i can only hope you stumbled onto this blog by accident and will go away very quickly, scared of all the big words and lack of pictures.

7. "off of"

guess what - no such thing. one does not get on of a chair, so why should one get off of one? you do not jump off of a building, you jump off a building, and if you don't know that, better just jump already.

* * *

and yes, i know, i may be called a hypocrite because i do not capitalize but that is my one foible, necessitated by the speed of my thinking vis-à-vis the speed of my typing, which means that either i lose most of my thoughts or i skip a non-vital process like capitalization.

and yes, i know, i am a language snob. sue me. if you think language is fluid, you are right. if you think that means you can do whatever the hell you want with it, you are wrong.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

Do I sense some pre-Fort Mac hostility?
Good luck with the transition to hell.