08 Aug 2007 @ 1:11 PM 

There are lots of things that piss me off. The heat, telemarketers, insurance salesmen, the Raleigh PD, any team from Detroit, take your pick.

HOWEVER! One thing is guaranteed to piss me off more than anything else in the world; willful misuse and abuse of English by a native speaker. You people have no idea how hard I have to work to control my visceral urge to beat the ever-lovin’ crap out of some motard that comes before me at my job and proceeds to treat me like I’m as dumb as he is while grossly misusing his mother tongue.

Language is a beautiful thing, children. If you’ve grown up speaking a language, and your IQ is higher than that of your average Barcalounger, you had damn well better learn to use that language well if you don’t want to be seen as a Sabres fan dim-witted fool.

Let’s start with my favorite Crime Against English: the double-negative. Examples of this include:

Irregardless is NOT a word. Just because it’s the name of a nice eatery here in Raleigh, and just because it’s listed in the Oxford English Dictionary (a copy of which I have on my bookshelf–along with the invaluable Chicago Manual of Style), that does not mean that this double-negative is considered standard (or proper) English.

I can’t get no satisfaction, so the song says–and I can’t listen to that song without wanting to rip Mick Jagger’s balls off and stuff them up his nose.

And then we have the hilarity that ensues when I hear somebody using a word incorrectly–and I KNOW that it’s incorrect. The first commenter in this post to Lord Stanley’s Blog was referring to a magnate, which is “a person of rank, power, influence, or distinction often in a specified area” (e.g. a software magnate). Dictionaries are made for a reason, people. If you are not sure, LOOK IT THE HELL UP BEFORE YOU MAKE YOURSELF LOOK STUPID.

You want to send me into a near-homicidal rage? Use a word incorrectly, and when I politely point out your error look at me like I’m stupid and say “Whatever, you know what I meant”.

Sure, I know what you meant: you’re a blithering idiot, that’s what you meant. I’m going to mock your dumb ass my taking your misusage and running it into the ground, and then I’ll follow it up by grabbing a dictionary and piledriving it into your thick skull with a jackhammer!

Whatever, you know what I meant.


Lolcats is one thing. Meta-neologistic “gamerspeak” words like “pwn” and “lewtz” are one thing (well, one collective thing). That’s intentional linguistic mangling for the purposes of humor. It’s satirical. I let that slide. But the next time I see an out-of-place apostrophe turning a plural into a possessive or “their”, “there”, and “they’re” (for example) used as if they’re interchangeable parts, or see some variant of “ur”, “laf”, or a number used in place of a word or as part of a shortened-for-idiot-comprehension word (e.g. “ne1″), there’s a good chance that I may snap and go on a mad shooting spree! I did not ace the Verbal portion of my SAT (TWICE!) so that I could put up with that kind of slack-assed tomfoolery, people.

I’m not linguistically perfect, but at least I know how to spellcheck and use a damn style manual and dictionary. Sheesh.

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 08 Aug 2007 @ 11:53 PM

Categories: non-hockey, snark


Responses to this post » (16 Total)

  1. Chris says:

    I’m with you there. I had to lay the (figurative) verbal smackdown on a hockey teammate for mixing up “loose” and “lose” in an email. It drives me up the wall.

  2. WufPirate says:

    All the more reason to love Ek’s writing.

    “Myy dog hasnt not gone to the vetrinarie because he’ss sic.”

  3. David Lee says:

    Amen, sister!
    One of my biggest pet peeves is the improper usage of the first pronouns.

    People incorrectly say “My sister is four years older than me“. This drives me up a wall, and I don’t mind looking like an asshole when I say “older than I

    People incorrectly say “He’s the type of person that doesn’t like hockey anyway.” I don’t mind looking like an asshole when I say “A man isn’t a ‘that’. He’s a ‘who’ ”

    The ever-present misuse of apostrophes when attempting to pluralize drives me up a wall.
    Similar to the “there/ their/ they’re” and the “your / you’re” thing is the misuse of homonyms. Some idiots in my fantasy baseball league constantly write things like “I don’t want to here any more of you’re bitching.”
    I’m glad I’m not alone.

  4. David Lee says:

    wow. I got so worked up that I made a few goofs. Obviously, I meant “first person pronouns”

  5. roddie says:


    We know what you meant.


  6. CasonBlog says:

    I’m sure I’m guilty as charged. I try and take a conversational tone in what I write. I probably mangle the language for effect more than I should.

    Sometimes in the editing process I miss simple things because I see what I intended to say, not what is there. I end up revisiting posts numerous times to make changes and fix things.

  7. acidqueen says:

    And I don’t have a problem with that, because at least you’re aware of your gaffes and try to fix them–and there’s nothing wrong with a conversational tone in one’s writing, in my book.

    My issue is more with the willfully careless abuse by people who don’t care that they’re harming themselves by speaking/writing like a semiliterate gobshite.

  8. CasonBlog says:

    Wheew. I thought it was just me being anal.

  9. Mer says:

    I know some people WHO are getting a copy of “Eats Shoots and Leave” from me for Christmas…:-)

  10. Mer says:

    Let’s try that again:

    I know some people WHO are getting a copy of “Eats Shoots and Leaves” from me for Christmas.

    A must-have for grammar-philes.

  11. Tracy says:

    That’s hilarious! I am right there with you!! I know that I make some bonehead mistakes but it’s the obvious ones that drive me nuts.

    HoW aBoUt WhEn PeEpLe TaLk LiKe DiS n MaKe Me WaNt To KiLl DeM.

    Good grief. I don’t speak idiot.

  12. Adam says:

    Uh, David it is “My sister is older than me.”

    “Me” is correct when it is in the predicate. I is for the subject.

    But it is annoying when people misuse “me” in sentences like “My sister and me went to the store.” When, “My sister and I went to the store.” is correct.

  13. Chris says:

    Hey Mer, we have that book at home. My wife is a librarian, so we’re both geeks about grammar.

    Dave, Adam is right on concerning “I” and “me”.

    Adam, I always tell them to say the sentence with one subject and it will tell them how to phrase it. “I went to the store” + “My sister went to the store” = “My sister and I went to the store”. That seems to make it right in their head.

  14. Jes Golbez says:


    d00d, j00 B like so anul! Irregardless of how you feel, the goal of language is to be excommunicating your fellow denizens. Their isn’t anything j00 can do to stop the Amerikan educayshun system from churning out stupid peeps.

  15. Beth says:

    I just quit my job as a proofreader/copy editor. You want it?

  16. acidqueen says:

    Tell me who to talk to, and I’m all over it like white on rice.

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