I love reading and writing and depending on the vibe, talking A LOT! These things are increasingly becoming a burden with the deterioration of the English language. Now granted, the English language is an ever-changing, evolving one. That said, the world dominance of social media has relaxed some really important rules that govern English.
I know that I make major grammatical errors when I am speaking to friends and family in Boston and Barbados. You might hear me say something “part he is?” meaning “where is he?” I slip into a comfortable semi-Ebonics/back slang rhythm but when I walk into my office, client site, and jump on a conference call I become an articulate professional more than capable of dropping words like defenestrate, advantageous, remuneration, verisimilitude, etc. I also acknowledge that I ignore some simple writing rules to invoke a particular look and feel for this blog.
So it is established that I have flaws when it comes to speaking and writing. But then I put on my Judge Judy hat when interacting with my loved ones, those of you who I know should KNOW better. The following are examples I see regularly and I cringe like I haven’t seem a thousand times over:
Definately – this is NOT the correct way to spell definitely. The word doesn’t even sound like it has an a in it. How did this begin? However it did, end it.
“sorry for your lost” – What did the bereaved lose? Come on now, you’re expressing condolences and you can’t even be bothered to use the right word?! It’s sorry for your LOSS!
Your vs You’re – Possessive vs. a contraction….. Yo! This is probably the one that vexes me the most. You’re not supposed to express the contraction you and are by replacing it with the possessive of your. This is 6 year old school child basics b. Sort yourself out.
Irregardless – So this is not a word homey. The word you are probably thinking about is regardless which means without regard. The less takes away the regard, get it? When you say irregardless it doubles the removal of regard and technically means WITH regard. This is an American deviation that gained popularity in the 19th century. No matter what this adjective/adverb is described as, it is not recognised as proper language
“Could care less” – If you tell someone you could care less, that means that actually have more F*s to give when what you really mean is “couldn’t care less” indicating that you have reached the basement of your feelings and you don’t give a flying monkey.
While you may think this casual misuse of the language is okay and has no impact on “real life”, it does. You are abusing the language in public forums and proliferating the incorrect use of a common communication tool. You might have caused someone on your timeline to not get a job because they followed you and said irregardless during an interview. You might be confusing your children who look to you for guidance in how to apply concepts they learn in school – next thing they come home with a C on that spelling test because they wrote definately. And finally, you are DEFINITELY annoying people like me who care about the language and the breakdown and shame you are bringing to the population.
Peace and grammatical love to you,
(I hope you know this is meant to be read with a light heart though!)