Sunday, September 27, 2015

don't you want to *know*?

So I'm one of those awful people who needs to go round the world with a red pen, correcting the apostrophe crimes of the  masses. Heh, the m skipped and I just wrote asses. In addition to this, I litter my way with typos and sometimes I'm too lazy to use capital letters. And when I text I use spaces instead of apostrophes. Awful hypocricy.

Sort of.

The thing is. THE THING IS. Don't you want to know what the words you're using mean? I just saw someone say 'bore' when they meant 'boar'. Could've been a simple brain mistake, which I make all the time - so it's ok, I didn't say anything! I resisted, and instead ran away to write this post and vent. See? Good. But I like words, I like to know what the things I'm saying mean, so if I'm saying that a baby 'routes' instead of 'roots' for the breast, isn't it interesting to know which one it means? Rooting like a piggy, to connect to the word above, rather than, er, 'routing' like someone who is following a map. I guess.

People so often just don't know what they're saying. Dave Gorman on his new show highlighted that the phrase 'bull in a china shop' has turned into 'bowl in a china shop' and with it the meaning has changed from 'clumsy or destructive' to 'as boring/fragile as a bowl in a china shop'. Ok, so this is how language evolves (depressingly) but sometimes, we're just wrong. Don't you want to know? Don't you want to know it's 'could have' not 'could of' or 'I saw' not 'I seen' (very Irish, that one). It'd be one thing if we were all multi-lingual, but most people in Ireland don't even speak Irish. English is the language that we speak, why not care about using it right? Expecting people to know what you mean isn't enough. I feel. Why make other people do your work for you?

I know I'm a pedant. And also one who mispronounces things quite often. I don't know how to explain it - I don't care about being right for the sake of being right, I care about ownership and mastery of the language you speak and awareness. I care about actually understanding the things we say.

Unless you're dyslexic, in which case, carry on, English homophones are a total bitch. 


Ms. Moon said...

You and Hank should get together.

Jo said...

He could correct my mistakes :)

Lisa said...

The one that really drives me off a cliff is when someone says me and Danny, rather than Danny and I. Me doesn't do anything, I do it. and you always put the name of the other person first. I work in a department with people who have masters in journalism and I hear the mistake all the time. I'd love to borrow your red pen to correct that mistake.

Jo said...

I've a friend who hates the converse, 'between you and I'.

For some reason the 'me and Danny' one doesn't bother me - maybe because I hear it so often it sounds ok :)

Mwa said...

I get alarm bells going off in my head whenever I see a mistake, but I also know that I make loads of mistakes myself, and I LOVE language change - I find it fascinating, and besides, languages won't stand still however much you want them to. Half the words in English have meanings now that are different from their original meanings, or wider, or even opposite. Woops. Better not get started properly. :-)