Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Grammar Nazi



Now that I have a cell phone, I am forced to stop complaining about most to the viral annoyances brought forcefully into contemporary culture via the Typhoid Mary that is text messaging. I now text while walking, shopping, talking, driving, etc, and begrudgingly absorb all the disgusted looks I earn, only mildly nostalgic for the days when I gave those same looks to others.

BUT I will not abide the further degradation of the English language, especially that of the written. It does not take that much longer to write "are" than "R". Are those two button clicks really going to make or break your life's efficiency? Wigger please.

The problem is the written word, and grammar in general, is already facing such shocking abuse. I have, in my still short life, seen the accepted spelling of the word "okay" shift to "ok", which while succinct, is just shamefully lazy and a clear act of submission. The shift is still not complete; I find my Mozilla browser still recognizes the full spelling as correct, and the abbreviation as incorrect. But I know Word prefers the two-letter spelling, and I can't help but always remember cartoonist Bill Watterson's story of an editor changing his text from the correct spelling of okay to the abbreviation. I know it's incredibly pretentious, but I empathize with his outrage.

For me, though, the largest outrage is the increasingly flagrant abuse of the apostrophe. Let me begin this rant by disclosing that I have often had difficulty remembering when it was appropriate to use and apostrophe with "its". You know, until I managed to just remember the rule. However, the growing use of an apostrophe when pluralizing anything is astonishing and sick-making. Honestly. It is not that difficult, we all learned this in elementary school. Apostrophes are for possession and contractions. period. Except for with it's and its, but really. There is never any need to use an apostrophe when writing the word "balls", as in "Your usage of the written word sucks balls".
Except, I guess, for the rare situation when you would write something like, "That ball's vein looks like it's going to burst." But really, how often does someone write that? This might be the first time in the history of the written word. Maybe.

I don't have any succinct way to wrap this all up. I suppose with more time I might come up with another mildly funny point, then join all my points into a neat bouquet of bitter rage and present them with a final thought, but I've been on hold with the county of Los Angeles for a full 27 minutes now, and i think my head may explode from the repetitive stress of listening to their Muzak over and over.
My whatever god they pray to have mercy on their souls. And mine.

1 comment:

Guillermo said...

I write about my ball's bursting all the time! In Penthouse Forum! Zing!