Language Cramps

Reverend's Comments:
I'm retaining water. I have cramps. My ankles are swollen, my nipples are sensitive, and I'm so emotional that every TV commercial for Huggies or an engagement ring sale makes me teary. I suppose I should be happy - at least I know I'm not pregnant...

I admit it - I've been having a language period lately. The death of proper usage is not something new, but the cycle of my irritation seems to be at a peak right now. Here are a few of my other pet peeves:

"I feel bad about that." NO - you feel badLY. You need an adverb to modify a verb like "feel."

"This is the penultimate example." Which means there is one example better than this one - it does not mean something like, "more than ultimate," or "beyond ultimate." "Ultimate" is a superlative and thus can't be exceeded - but what am I to expect from a country seeking a "more perfect union" anyway?

"Watch your diction." I used to cringe when my choir teacher said this to us. "Diction" refers to word choice, not the precision with which you say the words, which would be "enunciation."

"Your going to the store, right?" WRONG. "You're going to the store" would be correct. There really is a difference between the possessive "your" and the contraction "you're."

There are many others, but I need to excuse myself for a moment - I may have bled through just now. Feel free to share your (not "you're") examples of linquistic malfeasance in the comments.


Modig_Bjorn said...

My pet peeve is when people use the word "like" as a comma or as a pause in between thoughts. "He was like, she was like, and, like, like, like....AHHHHHH! BRENDON SMASH!

I'm cool. I just, like, totally hate the word "like." ;)

Big Gay Jim said...

"It's broke." It's brokeN. My friend Lisa used to add an N to any sign where she saw this.

And for a non-sequitur, I thought of you last night while Erasure was playing. Vincent was working his magic on a shiny Mac laptop. I noted it and went back to watching Andy Bell be sexy and talented.

Mayren said...

Dear HSBP,

I think that you have a very prescriptivist attitude towards the English language.
I find myself enamored with your parochial yet enlightened views of life and comic strips, in spite of myself. While reading my comments and blog posts it would be nice if you could restrain from exerting your editing skills. I have come to absuse both written and spoken English on a daily basis since declaring my major in college. If you could not guess, my major is English.

Thank you,

becca said...

I have the horrible habit of saying things like:

"Kate and me went to the store."

While I was in the land of poets this week I got called out on it. I honestly don't know where it comes from, I know that it is wrong. . . but it feels sooooo right.

MightyMightyMax said...

My biggest pet peeve, grammatically speaking, is when people misuse "further" and "farther." There's a difference, an important one.

I have to say, though, that I love the picture on the office wall.

mist1 said...

I have never used the word diction appropriately.

WNG said...

I have a quick question. What part of speech is Flynn's hair swoop?

Mandy said... It is anyway. That doesn't need to be plural.

I'm fascinated by the picture on your office wall. What's with the hats?

Mayren said...

I am jumping on WNG's band wagon as well. Please tell us what part of speech Flynn's hair swoop is considered!

His Sinfulness said...

Since Flynn's hair seems to have a life of its own now, I'm going to guess that it is a gerund - a noun that functions as a verb.

(Fuck, I'm a geek...)

Raksha said...

I'm in ur grammarz, verbin' ur nounz.

Nerdygirl said...

I'm in ur grammarz, verbin' ur nounz.

Fuckin' A, that needs to be a shirt.

Mayren said...

I'm in ur grammarz, verbin' ur nounz.

I totally agree. T-shirt Heaven, here I come.
My English professor will smirk at it.

His Sinfulness said...


Sorry I am so late in getting back to this topic - I'm currently training in hell (a post on that later).

I certainly lean toward a prescriptive grammar. I am, after all, His Sinfulness the Black Pope, and one of the important duties of popes is to make and enforce rules. Of course, I have your best interests at heart, so my rules are always benevolent and well considered...


Clayton said...

If you lived in Japan and saw the English here every day, I think you would have kittens.

Get it? Pregnancy leading to kittens, exaggeration, and possible allusion to current events in my life thrown into one sentence. Oh I wryte goodly.

Peeves: Don't like the AOL generation's typing. People say that language is constantly changing, but thanks to the internet, it's possible we could really standardize it. Maybe not; it may just become more specialized for whatever net group you are talking to.

Benjamin said...


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