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grievance: abuse of the english language (english 103 - let's try this one more time)

I get incredibly overwhelmed when people ask me to write more "English 101" blogs, because I am consistently, on an every-goddamned-day basis furious about people's mispronunciations, misspellings, misuse of grammatical forms, misuse of diction and general misapplication of all things language. So when there is such a multitude of vexations, it's difficult to be exhaustive in enumating them. But alas, here we go...

1. "Vehemently" is not pronounced "vehemenently." It's just not. Like... why would you make that word longer? If you're bright enough to be using that word, why would you commit that travesty?

2. There is no such thing as being at someone's "beck and call." It's "beckon call."

3. I'm all for using slang, even ones which aren't typically recognized, usually in the form of a contraction, e.g. "'though," or "should'nt've." I acknowledge that these are, according to strict standards, not considered proper. However, they do indeed follow normal rules of contracting, especially that of using an apostrophe. However, I cannot, cannot, cannot stand when people go out of their ways to be "slang" and end up making the words more difficult. The best two examples of which I can think for this is "ph" v. "f," as in "phat" v. "fat" (and this extends itself; I swear to God I've seen "phreaky" [gag]), and using initialisms (not acronyms [acronyms and initialisms are the same except that you can say an acronym and for an initialism you speak the letters - AIDS is an acronym; C.I.A. is an initialism) that are just as long as the word itself. And example of this idiocy: G.T.H. (Go To Hell). It takes just as many syllables to say "G.T.H" as it does to say "Go To Hell." So seriously... go to hell.

4. It's "skimmed" milk. Not "skim." And certainly not "skin."

5. Please someone... SOMEONE... learn the differences between "though," "thought," "tough" and "tho'." I can't even explain this because it's so fucking stupid.

6. "Accept" and "except" are not the same thing. "Accept" is a verb which means to receive something (loosely). "Except" is an adverb (or preposition, contingent upon how it's used) meaning EXCLUDING. They're NOT EVEN CLOSE TO IN THE SAME REALM OF PARTS OF SPEECH!!!!!!!

6. (Continued). NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!!!

7. Stop spelling things the way they sound. Look them up. If you want to be taken seriously as an adult, you need to know how to speak your native language.

8. D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y. NO "A" ANYWHERE IN THERE. I'm assuming that y'all know how to spell "definite." Add a goddamned "ly." End of story.

9. The world "jewelry" is spelled "jewelry." Oh. Wait. You all seem to know how to spell it. I never see anyone misspell it. So why does everyone insist on pronouncing it "jewlery"? For that matter, "February"? Also pronounced the way it's written. FEB-RU-ARY.

10. "Pronunciate" and "orientated" are not words. Ugh!

11. When there is a conjunction noun, such as "head of state" or "mother in law," you have to pluralize the first part of it, not the second, like so: "heads of state" and "mothers in law," not "head of states" and "mother in laws." Think about it.

12. Holy HELL! Why doesn't anyone know how to spell "ridiculous"?!?!?!? No "e." Cute without the E.

13. "Could of" is nothing. I understand that "of" kind of sounds like "have" when spoken quickly. But let me tell your asses: it's "could have."

14. Please stop using "irregardless." It's another one of these things that people have begun to deem acceptable because people are too stupid to just be told something is wrong and not acknowledge and change their behavior. If you do this, that means that you are combining the words "irrespective" and "regardless." "Ir" MEANS "not" or "void of." If you have "less" at the end of the word AND "ir" at the beginning of it, it essentially means WITH. Negative X negative = positive. Next time you say "irregardless," I will strangle you; you're essentially saying something entirely antithetical to that which you're trying to.

15. "The fact of the matter is... is..."!!!!!!! Holy shit!!!

I've had a lot of very educated people with whom I am friends (look ma! I used it right!) tell me in quiet confidence that despite the fact that they try to speak properly and have listened to my (requested) explanations of how to correctly use "whom," they still don't get it, so here, I am going to create a little map in the form of a questionnaire. I'm feeling sassy.
1. Have you ever taken Latin?
No: Proceed to number 2.
Yes: Proceed to number 6.

2. Do you know anything about the parts of speech in English?
No: Proceed to number 3.
Yes: Proceed to number 7.

3. Whenever you are speaking and you use the word "who," try to replace it (in your head) with the proper use of "he"/"him" or "she"/"her". Do you understand what I'm talking about?
No: Proceed to number 4.
Yes: Proceed to 7.

4. The word "he" (let's stick with just "he"; sorry feminists) has several ways of being manifested in English. It is a layover from the way things used to be in Latin, called cases. In Latin, all nouns and adjectives had a case. A "case" is essentially an ending that you'd adhere to a word based on the role the word was playing in the sentence. If it was the subject, it would end a certain way. If it was the direct object (the thing the verb is being done TO, e.g. in "The dog bit the cat," the direct object is the cat), it would have a different ending, and in most cases, it would either be or involved the letter "m" - makes sense for the whole "who"/"whom" bit. Are you following me so far?
No: Proceed to HELL.
Yes: Proceed to number 5.

5. Now that you understand that the ending of the word "who" changes based on its function in the sentence, I can let you know which "functions" necessitate the adding of an "m." "M" is added to "who" in these instances: when it is the direct object, the object of the preposition ("with whom," "to whom," "from whom," "against whom,"), the ("Katie threw whom the ball?" "Whom is Katie talking to?") and... well... any other time of which you could think wherein the "who" does not function as either the subject or the predicative nominative. The predicate nominative is the name of the role which is played by "Katie" in the sentence "That is Katie." "That" is the subject but the linking verb "is" makes "Katie" the predicate nominative. It essentially renames or reattributes to the subject. So, the "cheat" to figure out which case you're is just to take the "who" out and put "he" or "him" in. "He" is the equivalent of "who" and "him" is the equivalent of "whom." So if you take any of my examples, you'd easily be able to tell that it would be "with him" (not "with he"), "from him" (not "from he"), "against him" (not "against he"), "Katie threw him the ball?" (not "Katie threw he the ball?"), etc. The only difficult thing is that when you are using "who" or "whom," it is likely that there is a question involved. The easy way around this is to reverse a question into sentence form like so: "Whom is Katie talking to?" --> "Katie is talking to whom" (... to extrapolate: "Katie is talking to him" (not "Katie is talking to he.") Makes perfect sense to me. I hope this helps. Did it?
Yes: Hooray!
No: Proceed to SECOND GRADE.

6. Any time something is in the nominative case, use "who." Any time it's in any other case ([vocative would be silly here] dative, genitive, accusative or ablative), it's "whom." P.S. you're an asshole for needing an explanation of this if you've taken Latin.

7. Any time "who" is used as the subject, it's" who." If you're using it as an indirect object, direct object, or object of the preposition, it's "whom."

C'est tout.


17. Don't try to use words in foreign languages if you don't know how to use/spell/pronounce them.

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