Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Surveying Blogdom From My High Horse

I don't mean to be snooty, looking down from my high horse at the commoners milling about. My goal is not to pass judgment, but to air some less-than-pristine laundry that has been flapping itself to tatters in Commentland, of Blogdom. My world is on an express elevator to H. E. Doublehockeysticks in a jet-powered handbasket. Why must people be so determined to destroy the English language?

I love words. Sometimes, I even create my own. I twist them, and turn them, slide them to and fro, then build a sentence that mirrors my mind's image of the point I am trying to get across. Too bad, so sad, if I annoy people who don't approve of my preposition placement. They can get their own handbaskets.

While I may stack my words in an unconventional manner, I usually manage to build a sound structure. That is to say, when I am not fiddling about making up words to tickle my fancy, I use bona fide words in their proper context. My architecture is built of actual bricks, not of mostly bricks, with an odd pillow here and an ice cream cone there.That would be a disaster in the making.

I am not referring to commenters on my blogs, or regular, everyday blogs that mellow folks use for entertainment and relaxation, or simple typos that occur when one thinks faster than one can type. I am talking about comments left on national blogs of the newsy or political bent. Comments where the writing conjures up an over-caffeinated blow-hard, frothing at the fingers. Or a college student fraught with emotion. For those subgroups, I must offer my unsolicited advice: Google is your friend!

If you do not know for certain how a word is spelled, or the subtle differences in usage, please, for the love of civilized communication, look it up! I'm not telling you to find a word in the dictionary if you don't know how to spell it. That is just ridiculous advice from childhood. You are on your electronic device posting the comment. So type in a reasonable facsimile of the questionable word for Google, and voila! Your word will pop up. Did you see that? I typed voila. Not wala. Not viola. Voila. If you want to use the dictionary of slang to look up your words, you should stick to your own personal blog. Or those of your friends. Don't go showing your butt for the whole world to see.

Is anybody else tired of reading how something extra was just icy on the cake, how someone waited to see what was coming down the pipe next, or bemoaned surveys that were not accurate because surveyors only called people on lanlines. I had to chastise my own son for declaring something deader than a doorknob. I try to tell myself that it's kids, just kids, who don't read books anymore, and spend their waking hours texting and reading bad abbreviations. But I fear that the problem is more insidious.

Only last week, I was accosted by little own, buku, twittle, and maylay. It's hard enough to figure out what people are trying to say, little own decipher their creative spellings gleaned from buku I'm-okay-you're-okay-everyone's-a-winner years of creative phonics lessons, while teachers twittled their thumbs instead of teaching the three Rs, resulting in a maylay in the academic community as standardized tests scores fall year after year.

Yeah. Let's hear it for let alone, beaucoup, twiddle, and melee. My friend Google introduced us.


knancy said...

Another way I see this is pretty personal. When I watch Jeopardy, I usually know the answers. Sometimes, though, if I imagine myself on the show, I would not pronounce some of the answers correctly. I could spell them but that would not win a game. The reason I can spell them and perhaps not pronounce them is due to reading a lot on my own and not in a class room. Even looking up the pronunciation doesn't stay with me long as I don't use the words/names in every day conversation. I still feel good about my writing though.

Val Thevictorian said...

You are safe from my sharp-tongued fingers because you know how to SPELL them! You illustrate my point, that the more you read, the more complete your vocabulary.

Imagine yourself competing on SNL Jeopardy, with their versions of Sean Connery and Burt Reynolds. You will be the champion.

knancy said...

Oh! I forgot to say, "Foniks duz not werk for me".

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Poor grammar is reaching epidemic proportions. I heard a co-worker saying that she had had 'boughten' an item and really liked it. Later on she asked if I could borrow her some money. This was shortly after we moved to Minnesota from Georgia. I grew up hearing my mother's family say things like "you ain't the onliest one" and "I'm fixin to knock your head off, if you don't shut your mouth" and "I ain't a gonna do it". I must say it was refreshing to know that they are everywhere.