Sunday, January 30, 2011

Don't They Teach Grammar in School in the 21st Century

Look up the word 'myself' in a dictionary. I looked it up online. I learned that this word is used both as a reflexive pronoun or in place of 'me' for intensity.


Nowhere does it say that using the word myself for no reason other than to attempt to sound smart and to really sound stupid is appropriate. Are you confused? Read on.

I've received many e-mails that end with this sentence: If you have any questions, call myself. Why oh why ... doesn't call me do the trick. Blondie even did a song about it in the late 70s or early 80s. You remember:
Color me your color baby, color me your car. Color me your color darling, I know who you are. Come up off your color chart, I know where you're coming from. Call me on the line. Call me call me any time. Call me, oh my love. When you're ready we can share the wine, call me.
It doesn't say call myself.

While I'm at it, it's time to dump on the talking heads on the over-the-air and cable networks. They love to invent words. They love to make verbs out of nouns and then turn around and make nouns out of the verbs that they made out of nouns.

Example: Radical has become a noun (some might argue, but a person who displays radical tendencies is often referred to as a radical). Now, radicalize has become a verb. Come on people, radicalize is not a word. And, to make it worse, the act of radicalizing someone has become radicalization.

This is as bad as the duo credited to none other than Al Gore in the venerable Oxford English Dictionary. He is credited with having coined the verb (ouch, it's not a verb, it never was a verb, and it never should be a verb, but the OED says it's a verb) 'incentivize', and it's even uglier cousin, the non-noun, 'incentivization'. What's the matter, is motivate no longer a legitimate word? Is providing an incentive to cumbersome?

And, then there is one of my other favorites -- the use of impact as a verb. Look up the etymology. Impact comes from the same root as incite. It implies a physical collision whereas affect (effect is a noun) does not imply a physical collision.

There are many more of these horrendous uses of words that I could come up with, but that's enough for today's rant.

You think I'm too stuffy here, comment. You think I'm wrong, comment. It's my blog and my turn to rant, and if you don't believe it, You Don't Know John.

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