Thursday, December 27, 2007


Okay, I know nobody asked, but, it's my blog, so: you know what I hate?

People who are "against" having signs, ATMs, drivers tests, or ANYTHING available in languages other than English due to the logic that if people are going to live in the United States, they should learn to speak and read English.

Why does this tick me off? Becuase the majority of people who were born, raised ,and "educated" in the United States do not have a good grasp of either spelling or grammar!

Here are some of the most common misspellings that irk me:

  • People using "loose" when they really mean "lose", as in, "Don't loose your car keys." AHHHHHHHHH!
  • People slaughtering the phrase "moot point". I actually saw a guy in his forties send the sentence "I guess this is a mute point." today. TODAY.
  • "irregardless". And for those of you who say that it's in the dictionary, yes, it is, and this is what Merriam Webster says about it:"Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead." says "Irregardless is considered nonstandard because of the two negative elements ir- and -less. It was probably formed on the analogy of such words as irrespective, irrelevant, and irreparable." So people - STOP SAYING 'IRREGARDLESS'!
  • Incorrect comma usage. This makes me nuts. There are people who have no idea how to use them, there are people who just don't use them, and there are people who overuse them.
  • Incorrect apostrophe usage. This also makes me nuts. "boys" means more than one boy. "Boy's" is possessive, and refers to ONE BOY, as in "The boy's shoe fell off."

People who move to the United States from another country should, for their own sakes, attempt to learn to speak English if they don't already. I know many people that who have moved to the US from other countries and have learned to speak English. But hey, let's keep in mind that the majority of people growing up in Europe and South America learn more than one language, which is not the norm here in the United States. And the people who learn English as a second language as adults - I understand why they would make mistakes with spelling and grammar. I speak some Spanish, but since I don't use it every day, I'm not completely fluent. I'd love to be, but it's not easy to do that. I can read and write fairly well in Spanish, but I'm horrible with the accent marks when writing - I'll just never get those.

But why is it that most of the time, the people muttering "Well, if they wanna live here, they better learn to speak our language" are the ones who don't speak their own language well?


Michelle L. said...

You have hit on something that is definitely a sore spot with me, too!!

Here are some of mine:

The inversion of quiet and quite. Yeah, I know spell-check didn't catch it. That's because quiet is still a word. Try reading what you write instead of relying in the computer to do it for you.

The consistent mispelling of definitely as definately.

Intersting "literally" into sentences for no reason, regardless of what you actually mean.

Using the word "theory" when you really mean "untested hypothesis." Learn science people. This is fifth grade shit. You can't dismiss something by saying "it's just a theory." Because if something is a theory, it means that it has stood up to fairly rigorous scientific testing.

Rachel said...

Some of mine:
Advice and Advise
Their and They're

And I love it that you commented on the "Irregardless" thing. That annoys the crap right out of me!

Feminist Gal said...

haha, i love this post - it is all SO true.
The reason this cracks me up though is twofold:

1. my family immigrated here from Russia but my dad ALWAYS gets irritated when he hears people speaking Spanish (he dismisses the years he spent speaking russian and expecting people to understand him...) Needless to say, i'm the only liberal in my family and my parents are, on top of being republican, racist... yuck.

2. America was built on different cultures coming together, people need to calm the fuck down and have some patience.

Frankly though, i found that i speak English with much fewer errors than my native speaking counterparts :) which always cracks me up!

Some of my pet peeves: than/then and accept/except...

Oh and since i am definitely not perfect: I always mess up effect/affect, how do you use those correctly anyway?! ;)

LOVE the blog!!

Adri said...

irregardless is one of my favorites! worse, people don't get it when you explain why it's wrong...

Lilith said...

I just found your blog, I like it :)

I'm totally with you about hating when people are intolerant of other languages, but as a linguistics major, I always feel the need to defend nonstandard dialects when someone says people can't speak their own language. Everyone speaks their own language right, but that language might be a different variety of English from what you speak. Errors in the transmission of language from parents and others to a person (resulting in neologisms like "irregardless," which actually depends on a good understanding of a grammatical rule, plus a misunderstanding of a word) are normal and part of the cause of language change over time, which is inevitable. But it seems like you're mostly talking about writing rather than speaking. Writing is a different matter, because we don't do it naturally, like speaking. So I'd encourage you to note the difference, but I have no objections to your criticisms of misspellings.