Thursday, April 22, 2010

User error and the English language

In honor of my mom's birthday, which was yesterday, I'd like to perform a little exploration of the spoken word. As talented and versatile as she was, Peggy Haywood was all about the English language. She constantly corrected my verbal sentence structure, in a nice way, and inspired me to be ever-vigilant in the quest for grammatical correctness.

With my mom in mind, today I'm celebrating some interpretations of our language which stick in my craw; a mish-mash of words and phrases which really bother me. Some examples:

1) Mispronounced words—
Joey was supposably going to bring the pizza rolls.

As long as I'm your president, I'll smoke out anyone with nucular capabilities.

I love any kind of pork rinds, expecially from the pig's ankles.

Irregardless of odor, I want this couch from the roadside.

Huffing airplane glue makes me really disorientated.

This sherbert tastes like my grandma's, with real meat in the bottom.

2) Nonsensical phrases—
A statement is made, then the following statement completely negates the first one:
Sarah Palin is a charismatic politician who has invigorated the Republican base. That being said, she has the intelligence of a toenail clipping and needs to disappear in a cloud of snow machine spray.

A statement which begins well, but renders itself ridiculous:
That quarterback's pass went at least sixty yards in the air.

Redundant statements:
He's a close, personal friend (which is basically saying, "He's a friend, friend friend.").

Phrases which contain one incorrect word:
We really need to flush out the gene-mutating issues in this corn seed.

For all intensive purposes, she's both my aunt and my grandpa.

I'll stop here, because we all make grammatical errors, and no one is above a mistake or two. A while back, I was engaged in a serious discussion with my brother about Haiti. Rather than referring to the inhabitants as the indigenous Haitian people, I used the word androgynous.

End of conversation.

1 comment :

  1. Nice reflection, Tim.
    You are a true Jack of all Traits.

    ReplyDelete