Can we ever get the English language right?

Grammar (Photo credit: Sumlin)

Even a College Graduate needs an English Refresher Course…sometime


Oh dear!  Just when you think you know somebody – you begin to think that maybe, just maybe, they may not have finished school like they claimed they did.  Because you always considered yourself so prim and proper, you can never recall anyone ever correcting your spelling or grammar.  But you, on the other hand, all of a sudden notice the simplest words being spelled wrong and used wrong by friends and family.  While many would say, “Nobody’s perfect” or “Oh, you know what I mean,” once you notice it you just can’t seem to let it go. 


There’s no doubt you love your family members, and you may even love your friends.  But when you, being the perfect pillar of the environment that you are, witness friends and family committing an involuntary crime, you want to immediately jump to their rescue…sometimes without their approval.

At first, there is the slip of the tongue by one of your dearest using “ain’t” instead of “am not.”  Then, there is the “gonna” for “going to” and the “y’all” instead of “you all.”  Okay.  Okay.  I may be sounding a little too picky, but come on, even when many of you are dressed down you don’t want the English language to be the same way.  After a while, you notice your friends nearly going into convulsions when you are in their presence when they speak slang.  Maybe they do it out of respect.  Maybe they thank you behind your back and correct someone else when they commit the same crime.  Maybe they will opt to irk and humiliate you by writing out grammatical errors.


Two of the most commonly misspelled or misused words are:  Your and You’re.  When the words are spoken out loud, they don’t even sound the alike.  “Yore” (a possessive word) and “Yoo-er” (actually You are) really do offend people when they are corrected for the word’s incorrect use.  Again, it’s so easy to say, “Well, nobody’s perfect.”  But it’s not about being perfect.  It’s about caring enough to pay it forward to the less educated or even the children that might read your Facebook or other social media inserts.  Don’t fool yourself.  Kids do look at grownups social pages.  Let’s also take a look at “there” “their” and “they’re.”  These are words that can also sound the same but have completely different meanings.  With “there” being used as a sense of direction or location, “their”  as the possessive form of “they,” and “they’re” as a contraction of “they are”  all these words are used incorrectly at times.


So, it seems everybody can sound grammatically correct.  It’s all about phonetics from semantics leading up to rhetoric.  But the real test of knowledge is how they express themselves in print.  Many times, we think it’s just an honest mistake when someone uses a word incorrectly, and that their intention was good.  The problem with this way of thinking is as it goes uncorrected, it becomes an uncontrollable pattern that could spread either to other adults or even to their children.  Even smart people fail and it is true that nobody’s perfect.  But in some crazy way, being grammatically correct trumps being politically correct but gives new meaning to socially correct. 

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