Seen and done
I confess I am a bit of a pedant.
Though technically I suppose that statement is pedantically incorrect as I would assume that pedantry is a bit like pregnancy – you either are or you’re not.
What I mean is that I try my best to be grammatically correct and to make sure my spelling is up to scratch. I know from bitter experience how you lot will pounce on any wee error on my part [which, incidentally, I welcome – it’s fun!].
Yesterday I was caught out and I hang my head in shame, though in my defence I blame Google. I refer of course to my spelling of “diarrhea” which of course should be “diarrhoea”. Ironically, if I had relied on WordPress [which queried my spelling] I would have been corrected but I made the mistake of checking with Google first. The latter of course is unashamedly American and therefore uses the incorrect spelling. My apologies to all. Blame the Americans. I always do and they usually are to blame.
I have come to the conclusion that spelling and grammar are no longer taught in school. I remember being lambasted in English class for the use of such expressions as “fed-up” and starting a sentence with “And”. The use of capitals [not capitols!] was stressed and we learned off the tenses of all the verbs. It was elementary stuff, though I confess to still being somewhat lax in the use of punctuation. I still get very confused over the use of colons and semi-colons.
There is something in my inner ear that screams at me every time I hear such grammatical tortures such as “I done” [“i did“] and “I seen” [“I saw“]. I must be somehow tuned in to these as they scream at me every time I hear them. Sadly I hear them more frequently these days from the mouths of university students who one would assume should know better.
Another that amuses me is the “grocer’s apostrophe” [or should that be the “grocers’ apostrophe”?]. That’s a common error and nowhere more common that in “it’s”. That of course is a weird one as an apostrophe normally signifies ownership except in the case of “its”.
Another great source of fun is in the comments sections of various sites [not this one, of course] where the Great Unwashed are invited to comment. These tend to be liberally peppered with the misuse and confusion with there/their/they’re and various other little traps. The ones that really get me going [slang!] though are the “text-speak” comments. Text speak, in my opinion just displays laziness and a complete lack of appreciation for language. Texting has a lot to answer for!
Am I a snob? Possibly. I would say in my defence that these are all simple rules that were drilled into me in primary school and their misuse instinctively grates. Having said that, I am aware that any language grows over time and for this reason I frequently use words and expressions that would in the past have been termed slang. I also occasionally use words and expressions that are particularly, or even uniquely “Irish”, and make no apology for that.
Sure isn’t it all a bit of craic anyway?
When I was at work I often had to write reports on staff absences and diarrhoea often got a mention.
I could not remember how to spell the bloody word so resorted to “dire-rear”.
Seemed accurate and easily understood. I used this method for around thirty years and no-one seemed to give a shit.
I took those calls at my last place of employment. I made it clear that details were not necessary. A simple “Not going to be in” was all I needed.
Bully for you. (WTF???)
Sorry for the intrusion Matt.
I always found ‘loose bowels’ a safe alternative.
“Blame the Americans. I always do and they usually are to blame.”
Things have not been the same here since the 60’s.
(Speaking only for myself; I blame John, Paul, George, and Ringo.) yeah Yeah yeah…..
And, I know I left out commas and mixed some lower and upper case. (Public education.)
It’s all right. None of my alarms went off.
I love your Irishisms. It causes me to remember my mother’s family – my grandparents and my eleven aunts and uncles. They used words I did not hear in Scotland.
But it has its own words, and I did not realise they were not “English” until I went south.
So bring on all the dialect you posess.
Eureka oxter guff.
Award yourself a Black Bush, or three, if you understand.
Thanks for all you do young fellow.
No. Sorry. It’s a slow day today. I’ll just have to stick with Jameson’s best.
The Pedants’ Revolt cartoon has always been a favourite of mine.
Another [where I am ashamed to admit I’m guilty] – https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRfaX0S21oObqAlV79Q7vTvN7o0ZEXx_O1DyA&usqp=CAU
Annoying isn’t it. I wince every time I see ‘was’ used as a generic marker for the past tense irrespective of context, as in ‘we was walking’ or ‘I was sat’. I have completely forgotten my grammar lessons and the tense’s official categorisation but to me ‘sat’ represents the past tense of an activty, so ‘I was sat’ means someone made you sit there. Maybe that’s just me and triggers my anti-authoritarian sentiments? Just don’t mention the lost distinction between ‘amount’ and ‘number’ or ‘less’ and ‘fewer’ which once separated mass quantities from individual items. As for apostrophes I think there is a suplus somewhere and it’s a plot to make everyone use them up, I’m sure some predictive text adds them to ‘its’ regardless. Local words and colloquialisms on the other hand add colour and character to your amusing ramblings, they aren’t wrong, simply Irish.
Predictive text does have its advantages though. I love some of the suggestions it throws up and regularly get a good laugh. My favourite – https://i.pinimg.com/originals/06/c5/47/06c547152fb2175325a72ac37462ad08.jpg
What is it about the past tense? It seems to be a minefield for grammatical errors?
People what dont rite proper should of payed more attention in school.
i coudent agree more.
Regrettably, or not, I suffered a very formal classical education where grammar was concerned and now can find trivial fault in almost everything I read, especially the grocers’ apostrophes and split infinitives etc.
In practice, such pedantry is often misplaced, what really matters is that the intended meaning is clear and unambiguous – if it is, then I’m quite forgiving but, if there’s a scintilla of doubt, then my grammatical pedantry tends to be exercised at full volume.
I agree about the meaning being clear. The great exception of course is text-speak where “C U L8R” has a clear[ish] meaning but is the equivalent of sand on the eyeballs.
Where is Henry Higgins when you need him?
Don’t you mean Ennery Iggins?
That is a question best put to Lisa herself.
(Or would that be erself?)
Probably in ‘ertford, ‘ereford and ‘ampshire.
Shouldn’t that be or?
He can’t be in all 3 at once.
He can if that ‘urricane that ‘ardly hever ‘appens is strong enough.
White flag raised. I can’t argue with that
Apostrophes are easy. The apostrophe simply shows where a word or a letter has been left out. So if we’re talking about John’s book we really mean John ‘his’ book. If we talked about the grocer’s book we are really saying the singular grocer, + ‘his’ book. Many grocers plural we write grocers apostrophe after the s. That means many grocers ,+’their’ books. Well that’s the way I remember it. It’s how I explained to second language English students as to why English seems such a daft language.
‘I was sat’,as is used now even on the BBC, used to drive me crazy but I have come to terms with it because I think our language is changing. It seems to me that ‘I was sat’ is streamlining English. But of course we do not hear ‘I was eat’, or ‘I was swim’, or such like.
Teaching English as a second language must be more night marish now than it ever was in the past.
Imagine trying to teach a class that ‘fo ohs’ actually means photos. And that it is an accent rather than the English language. I never liked the old posh BBC English, but I like the new BBC English even less.
Should you find any errors in my comment it is because I read it to my tablet as I was lying on my back in bed.