Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why talking correctly matters . . .

Just taking a small break from the weightier issues to address something that is a massive problem in our culture: speaking and spelling correctly.

First up - "Me and Dan are going to the beach."

When you are with a friend and you are describing what you are doing, the correct way to say it is "Dan and I are going to the beach."  You NEVER EVER EVER say "Me and Dan are going to the beach."  The point is obvious - you don't talk about yourself first, you mention others first.  As a matter of grammar, try taking the other person out of the sentence - you would never say "me going to the beach" - you say "I."  So stop saying "Me and Dan!!!"

Second - "There" - "They're" - "Their"
Stop using there for 'their' and 'they're' - please.  
Their is possessive: "It is their turn on the surfboard."
They're is a contraction of "they" and "are" as in: "They're going to be there."
There is there and that is all there is!

Third - MAJOR INFRACTION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE! Please stop Facebook updates repeating the last letter of your update as if this draws out the word.  It doesn't.  

Example:  "Going to the shoreeeeeeee" - the way we read this is like "Going to the shore - EEEEEE" as in "Glee."  Please  - when you want to draw out a word - draw out the vowel sound - not the last letter.  Like this:  "Going to the Shooooooore!"  THIS IS A HUGE DEAL - PLEASE CHANGE TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER ABOUT READING YOUR UPDATES!!!

Fourth - Overuse of 'amazing.'
Everything is officially 'amazing.'  "We had an AMAZING time."  "That song is AMAZING."
Unless you were amazed (and few people truly reach that state) think up a new word.  The word is used so much I don't even know what it means anymore (because repetition destroys meaning - see last week's blog entry - before the end of the world happened).  

Fifth - There is no such word as supposubly.
The word is supposedly.  There is no reason to change the d to a b - they aren't even close to each other on the keyboard.

Sixth - There is no such word as irregardless.
It is regardless - "Regardless of what you think, Ocean City NJ is the best place in the world."  Irregardless defeats the point and makes it say the opposite of what you want to say.

Seventh - I could care less.
Smack yourself with a hammer even when you  think this thought.  If you COULD care less . . . well then it isn't that annoying to you.  You mean to say, "I couldn't care less."  

Eighth - It's not 'could of' - it's 'could have.'
"I could have been at the beach today but I had to work on the boardwalk."

Ninth - It's versus Its
This one is a tough one for me sometimes - "It's" means "it is" and "its" is a possessive.
"It's going to be a great day for surfing."

Tenth - Please know the difference between going down the shore and going to the beach.
"We are going to the beach."
You can only use this sentence when you are at the shore.  When you are not at the shore, you say, "We are going down the shore."   It is local speak, learn it. 


  1. Ha! I can't stand AOL's "You've got mail." No, no, no. You have mail. Not You have got mail. Argh!
    My law school professor once pointed out the redundancy of "whether or not."
    Fun post, John.

  2. You actually know someone who has used the word "supposubly?"

  3. As a high school English teacher, I have dedicated a huge portion of my time and energy to educating and helping students avoid these very degradations and ignorant uses of our language. So from one grammarian to another--Preach on!

  4. Not too shabby but I think you missed two glaring misstatements that could easily replace any two on your list. First and foremost...and this should be number 1: your for you're...nuff (sic) said.
    2. heighth (pronounced hithe - i.e., long i) for height...
    BTW, the answer to all of this is "Read books". If you want to learn proper command of the English language follow these three rules: read, read, read!
    And don't even get me started on "my bad". I actually emailed Neil Cavuto for saying that on his "Your World" show and he never replied.

  5. An overwhelming number of your examples involve the beach. I'm just guessing, but I believe proper grammer really isn't the first thing on your mind...

  6. Katie - you would be right - the grammar stuff is background. It is summer, commence surfing.