Skip to main content

I have to confess...

I get irritated when I see people misuse language...

I was just on a forum and read about someone receiving "exuberant bills" - she meant "exorbitant bills".

Then I clicked on another thread and read about someone who wanted to hear from people who had "brought" a house - she meant "bought a house".

I once laughed - out loud - at Luey's prep teacher when she told me she was "mortified" to find he'd dug up the dead and buried class hermit crab - she meant to say she was "horrified".

I get irritated because I try very hard to use the right words for the right context, and to know the meaning of the words I use.

I know language changes - I did a unit of linguistics during my undergraduate degree. I understand that it is fluid, and that "oriented" is now "orientated", whether I like it or not.

I just find it disturbing to think of bills dancing and whooping their way through my house, or having to lug my house around with me, or dying of embarrassment when a five year old does what five year olds do even though I had nothing to do with the five year old choosing the horrifying act of digging up a dead hermit crab.

I'm not perfect. You'll more than occasionally find a "there" where I meant to write "their", or a "to" where I meant to write "two" or even "too", but it saddens me because one of the great things about the English language is the vast number of words we've developed to distinguish the smallest of nuances in concepts. English is a hodgepodge of languages with a terribly inconsistent set of grammatical rules - it's neither phonetic, nor logical. So, the very best thing about this language is its amazing range of vocabulary, and the ability to pick a word that is so precise it can only pertain to one concept. If we decide the discrete meaning of words is not important, then we will lose the greatest asset the English language has - it's words!

Cartoon sourced from www.pawneeschools.com

Comments

Kate said…
Giggling at the exuberant bills! They may be exuberant but I'm sure not when they arrive!!

Sad fact - the DVD I'm giving away this week has a song in it called Determinate. An it's been in my head all week even whilst it annoys me!!
Sif said…
Argh!

See, orientated, for example really irritates me because it's wholly accepted as interchangeable with oriented, but the two words have completely different meanings. Oriented means how something is situated in regards to it's environment, but orientated means to make something oriental. So, if a person was orientated to the south, they were made oriental on their south-facing side... When the something is "tated" it is "made"... Irritated, is to be made irritable...
Sif said…
And because I know people are going to tell me my assertion above is just plain 'rong', here's a fun link about this very word...

http://www.niquette.com/books/101words/orient.htm
Sif said…
However, if anyone is keen to conversate on this topic further, I'll be more than happy to oblige :).

http://iconlogic.blogs.com/weblog/2008/11/grammar-workshop-orient-or-orientate-converse-or-conversate.html
Ýr said…
Love your pies...uh...peace...BOTHERATION!...you know what I mien!
Sif said…
Off to the naughty corner with you!

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Do you have low self-esteem?

I don't.

I used to think I did, but having met several people who really do have low self-esteem, I've now come to realise I actually have low confidence (and note I don't say low self-confidence, but more on that later), and that is a different breed of animal all together.

I was having a chat with a friend the other day about people who constantly put themselves down. If you are a participant in social media you might be aware of this kind of person. Everyone is smarter than them, prettier than them, more motivated, better organised, or has greater talent than them. It goes further, some of these people are not at all opposed to running themselves down to others with comments like, 'I'm so fat' (and not in a proud, fat acceptance way, but in a negative, self-loathing kind of way), or 'I'm stupid' or 'I'm ugly'.

Some people are just fishing for compliments, of course, but the ones who persist; the ones who simply cannot take a complimen…