Schmenglish II

22 March, 2008
Rat Fink

Hey – I gotta hurry today. Must pick up the donuts (again), so I will type until I’m out of time.

I am amazed at how many high school students crave coffee. It’s not just for the old folks anymore. My parents never allowed me to drink coffee – not fair! (Well ok…I don’t think I ever asked if I could have some, either.)


Gotta get this off my fingers. Everyone has a pet peeve, right? My students know at least one of mine, but I won’t mention it danglingprepositionsmakemethinkviolenthoughts here.

We need to break some bad habits as A-murricans. We need to correct our parents, who brought us up using bad English, because that’s how they were brought up, and so on and so on. So, fellow bourgeoisie, take a (grammatical) stand on the following:

  • It’s Reese’s – not “reece-y.” The guy who invented the peanut butter cup was named H.B. Reese. Rhymes with peace or niece or fleece.
  • It’s I would have baked a cake. I could have had it all. No of in sight.
  • The term is “versus.” <– It’s pronounced like it looks, and comes from the Latin vertare, which means “to turn against.”
  • Your driver license is a single item, so please don’t refer to it as plural. If you have more than one driver license, you have a pair of licenses. “Licen plates” makes no sense at all, either.
  • The word definitely contains the word finite. “Definately” is definitely incorrect.
  • The correct phrase is “all of a sudden.”
  • “I could care less” makes me want to hurt puppies. The phrase is supposed to convey a person’s lack of caring about a thing. For instance, I’ve heard people say, “Go ahead! I could care less!” Well then…that would mean that you care at least a little. If you *could* care less, you might – but you still care a bit. The correct phrase is “I couldn’t care less.” I wish I cared less about English abuse.
  • The phrase “a lot” is two words.
  • The phrase “all right” is two words.
  • There’s always the apostrophe abuse issue. If I am selling fruit on the street corner, my sign should read, Bananas, Apples and Mangos for Sale. No apostrophe. None. Not a single one.
  • Here are 5 more that make me crazy.
  • It’s too hot to go outside.

And now, friends, it is 6 a.m. Time to get ready to go to the bakery. Have a lovely Saturday.

RF, on the grammatical prowl

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22 March, 2008 10:27 am

I enjoy reading your blog. As I read this entry, and knowing me, I laughed heartily as I read it. I’ve probably broken most, if not all, of the things you mentioned. One saying that gets me, and it’s (correct use of the apostrophe–I hope!) not really a grammatical issue — people saying “To be honest with you…” When they say that, does it mean that’s the only time they’re honest and all of the rest of the time they’re not being honest. I used to say it too, but one day this insight struck me. So, I’ve changed my… Read more »