October 4, 2007

Speak•ing Prop´er•ly

Let me aks you a question. What? You’ve never heard of “aks”? Well, if you haven’t noticed, it’s the new way to pronounce the word “ask.” From what I can tell, the mispronunciation of ask isn’t the only casualty of the Americanized English language.

...Here are a few things on which we need to work in an effort to at least pretend that we know how to speak correctly. If we can’t even master these, is it really worth worrying about the whole English versus Spanish debate?

• The word ignorant means lacking education or awareness of something. It’s not a catch-all description that can be applied to something that one doesn’t like, even though it’s become popular to do so.

...I recently saw a news story on television in which a woman referred to a disease as being “ignorant.” I’m not sure how a disease can be ignorant, but if this lady is able to communicate with diseases on a higher intellectual plane, more power to her.

• The term surreal is an adjective describing a twentieth century literary and artistic movement which expresses the workings of the subconscious via trippy images. Surreal is not a synonym for the term unreal.

• Apostrophes are not added to any and every word ending with the letter S. Apostrophes are used to show possession and in contractions.

Their, they’re, and there are not interchangeable, nor are you’re and your.

• The word of is not interchangeable with the word have in phrases like should have, would have, and could have. To say should of, would of, and could of doesn’t even make any sense.

• Finally, I’ve saved my biggest language peeve for last.

...The correct phrase is “couldn’t care less”—not “could care less.” It’s unfortunate, but this new phrase of “could care less” has spread like wildfire, from daily conversation to song titles. I even discovered it not once but twice in a so-called professional journal a few weeks ago.

...Think about it: If you could care less, why would you mention it to anyone? To say that you couldn’t care less means that you can’t possibly care any less than you currently do.

...Now I’m wondering how many people are thinking that they could care less about an ignorant person like me. There sitting their at they’re computer’s pondering such a surreal thought.