Oh, for the love of all that is precious…why do I frequently find myself explaining the English language to those who should have learned to speak this language properly years ago? Am I the only one who cares?
To me, hearing or reading butchered English is the same as hearing people running their (not “there” and not “they’re”) fingers down the side of a balloon or their nails down a chalkboard. The use of poor English equates to driving a very large piece of pipe into the deepest part of my brain. It hurts. [Disclaimer: Please note that the often imperfect English used in my blog does not count as I frequently slip into the habit of conversational English – Blog English, or Blenglish — and that’s perfectly okay. It is, afterall, my blog. ‘Nuff said. ]
However, the misuse of English in many instances makes my head come close to imploding….for example:
The word is NUCLEAR and it is pronounced NU-klee-ar not NU-KU-LAR. I recently heard this blatant mispronunciation of the word by someone who should know better. To make matters worse, he said it not once, not twice, but THREE times in the course of a speech. Ack Ack.
I truly don’t want to sound too harsh or critical here. (Yes I do because this is one of my pet peeves.) I realize some of this may be the result of living in a particular area of the country, such as here in southwestern Ohio. Dialects can be tricky all over the U.S. and here in Ohio we have some interesting dialectal goodies. I go completely insane when I am asked either of the following questions : Where’s it at? or the equally mind-numbing, Where you at? I respond with the desire to drive my own fingernails deeply into my eyeballs.
I understand we tend to pick up the habits of speech of our environment. That, however, does not excuse the following….
The other evening I was watching a well-known tv news show. The anchor announced a bomb scare at Lourdes, France, and then proceeded to tell the audience, “This is especially difficult as today is the Feast of the Consumption.” I am NOT making this up. Apparently, Catholics all over the world are now celebrating poor folks who have passed on from tuberculosis with a feast day. Feast of the Consumption….I am truly appalled. But let’s continue, shall we?
Several evenings ago, while watching some historical tv show, (okay I admit…it was Pawn Stars) I witnessed the following. An “expert” was discussing a carbine (think rifle-type gun) which he dated to the Civil War. He claimed it was a weapon used by the CAL-va-ry. Gasp! This man is a Civil War historian, deals with museums, and he does not understand that the word is: CAV-al-ry. CAL-vary is the English name for the area outside Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified. Hello? Did anyone actually pass 8th grade English or ever participate in a history lesson?? Cavalry vs. Calvary — learn the difference please. Don’t make me smack your hands with a ruler! (visions of parochial school – yikes!) Pressing onward…
The word describing the accessories my dear friend Sueanne makes and sells is JEWEL-ry not JEWEL-LA-ry! (The horror of it all!) Sueanne – I think a Slaptini is in order here!
Here’s one that always gets on my nerves. When folks purchase a house they may engage the services of a professional who sells real estate for a living and that person is a REAL-tor not a REAL-A-tor. (Shivers!)
Is it any wonder that the U.S. is ranked only 12th overall in college graduation ratings? I have saved the very best for last. A co-worker was discussing teaching her daughter how to do laundry and she said to her daughter that when putting items in the dryer: “You should use you a Bounce.” USE YOU??? I about fell out of my chair. This is right up there with the time another co-worker told me “Dip you out some ice cream!” DIP YOU OUT??? Yes, both these examples are dialectal, but I wanted to run screaming from the room each time.
Sometimes, it is simply too much for me to take without letting you know how I feel. Rest assured I will continue to share my pain with my 12 faithful readers…in the meantime, “Use you some sense when you speak English or I may have to go all Nukular on your a$$es”…sigh…