Saturday, January 27, 2007

Huff Puff

Well I've spent all week sorting out bits of paper. The up side is my house is inordinately orderly. To me. The rest of my family may think the piles of crap all over the floor are just piles of crap, but to me they are SORTED piles of crap, that just need putting away. Which is now easy, because they are sorted. I've just got to add up some numbers, ring my accountant on Monday so he can work out the tax, and then go to the tax office and give them the form, and then to the bank to pay the tax. Peachy.

The down side to shuffling paper all week is I've done little else (apart from feed the family and ferry Celyn to and from school). And I have a ton of scrapbooky things I need (neeeeeeeeed) to get done pronto.

So of course I've been catching up on a few blogs this morning, as you do when you have lots of deadlines looming *sigh* And a couple of things have caught my eye. On Mormon Mommy Wars there's been an interesting discussion about language and phrases that drive one crazy. Such as my own personal favourite...when people say "I did it off my own back." It's BAT, folks...BAT! And don't even get me started on spelling and grammar. But while I'm on the subject... it's "loose" when your trousers are flapping around your waistband, and "lose" when you can't find something. Don't mix them up or I'm likely to tut. And "alot" is not a word. It's TWO words. A lot. And (as eloquently explained by Ross in one episode of Friends), 'your' means belongs to you..."your book, your pencil, your backside" whereas 'you're' (note apostrophe) means YOU ARE..."you're going to the cinema" "you're going to get Chrissie tutting at you if you mix up your yourses." Same with 'their', 'there' and 'they're'.

I'm a grammar nazi. I can understand people not knowing how to spell uncommon words... I do look things up occasionally myself. But when writing everyday-all-garden-so-blinkin'-common-it's-unbelievable words, then it's just bone idleness not to learn how to spell things correctly. Pah! "I see grammatical mistakes *says she, in a 'Sixth Sense' voice* ...they're everywheeeeere!"

However, I don't get all bent out of shape about pronounciation. I remark on it because I really enjoy accents and dialects...I love that we all speak differently (imagine if we all said everything exactly the same...no regional/national accent or dialect...that would be so dull!) and if I were ever to do my Masters in English, that would definitely be my thesis subject. I love it when Swansea people say "fabberluss" for fabulous (fab-u-luss), and "morve" for mauve (I say 'mow-ve'). It even makes me chuckle when Americans say "Wor-cester-shire" for 'Woos-Tuh-Shuh'. I think 'bathers' instead of 'swimming costume' is fun. And I got teased last week at our Shape-Up for Design seminar when I said "muh-stosh" (moustache) in front of a room of Welshies. Julia was repeating, "Ooo muh-STOSH, muh-STOSH!" in a posh voice, and they all agreed (apart from English Sue!) that it was, indeed, 'muh-STASH'.

"Chrissie, Chrissie...I say muh-stosh too. Ignore them" says Sue. She's from Northampton. LOL

So. What words and phrases that people say or spell wrong drive you nuts? I can't be alone... can I?

* Edited to add another one I just thought of. I really really wish people would learn how to use either "my friend and I" or "my friend and me". Both are correct, depending on the sentence. "My friend and I went shopping" is correct, but "The bird flew near my friend and I" is NOT! It should be "The bird flew near my friend and me". And if you want an explanation as to why, then I shall witter on for a bit more.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hehe :o)

I once did an English language assingment entitled, 'does spelling really matter?'. I fought the case of no to be honest. We explored the theory that if only the phonetic alphabet were taught then it would be of much better use to those who do actually have learning difficulties when it comes to spelling. (I can't remember the name for it now!)
Twas interesting :o) I love English language. (Even the bits that don't make sense)

Chrissie said...

Ooo cool essay assignment. I would argue yes though. Even a comma omitted from a sentence can change its meaning entirely. ENTIRELY! And if newspapers, books etc. were printed in a phonetic English, then it would be subject to dialect and especially accent, and therefore totally not understood in many parts of the country/world. There HAS to be a standard.

I can take on board the changing of words over time to accommodate language progression. Like, nobody ever puts the apostrophe in halloween any more (should be hallowe'en as a contraction of 'all hallow even') and there's a good argument as to why. But from making oneself understood (which is one of the key purposes of language, is it not?), there HAS to be a standard.

Anonymous said...

I agree that there has to be a standard. The phonetic alphabet took some getting used to! So I'd definately rather the current grammatical system :o)
It is crazy how technology has also had a profound effect on the English language. Text/email talk is being so often I wonder how long it will take before we see those little abreviations being accepted as 'standard'.

Anonymous said...

My text large enough now?

Beth said...

I quite agree with both of you, plus the bit about texting, I have found that I use it sometimes when on a forum posting a message. Anyhooo, I'm a bit of a stickler for using the correct grammar, but moreso, correct spellings, examples being like those you've used Chrissie, 'their', 'there' (for their), and 'they're', and said in a sentence without the correct punctuation can indeed mean something entirely different. Oooh what a lovely post on yuor Blog Chrissie. Beth XX

Tina said...

I'm totalyl with you on this one Chrissie; I cannot abide poor grammar!

I regularly used to answer letters at work, from people asking us to 'salt out' (sort out) problems with cars!!! Astonishing.

Tina said...

Oh dear, there was a spelling mistake in my comment. How will I sleep?

Oh, and it's pronounced

'mous-tarche'!!

Chrissie said...

Mous-Tarche. THANK YOU!!!!! (see Welsh people. SEE!!!)

LOL

Chrissie said...

Ooo...do you mean Mooooo-staaaa-sh.

MOOOOO staaash? Seriously? LOL

Muh-staaash, surely?! ROFL!

misteejay said...

What's your thought on controversy - should it be pronounced "contra-versy" or " con-trov-ersy" - both seem to be used in the media.

Language can be sooooooo perplexing.

Hey, and what about names/place names - try telling London Underground that they are not being 'posh', they are just showing their ignorance...it is not "Play-stow" (Plaistow) the 'i' is silent and it should be pronounced "Plar-stow". It is not "Strat-ford" although it might well be spelt that way - it's "Strat-fud". Ooooooooo, don't get me started...:o) Toni

Chrissie said...

I say "con-troversy" but I think both are correct (like Fee-Nance or Fie-Nance for 'finance'). It's accent...and class has some play on things as well.

As for place names...again that's one I argue about with my husband. I say places should be pronounced how the local people who live in them pronounce it (stands to reason?) So I say "New-Cass-le" for Newcastle (instead of New-Caah-sle which is how I would normally pronounce it). He says I'm poncy and that we don't say "Pareee" for Paris (I DO however say Ran-ce for Reims in France, rather than Reems which is how Brits say it...as I used to live there!). But then the other day it occurred to me that very few (if any) Northerners would EVER EVER say Bah-th for the town of Bath (which is how it IS pronounced!)...and would probably stick to Ba-th. So I may revert back to New-Cah-sle and be done with it! LOL!

Didn't know it was Plar-stow though (I would have said Play-stow!) I would say Strat-fud though. Start-ford is probably someone not first generation British giving the announcement, do you think??? Asians or West Indians do tend to say a hard R in such words. Just a theory.

I don't find language perplexing (esp. accent things like this). I find it completely FASCINATING! I love the English language!

misteejay said...

I remember when I first started work I had to phone another office to enquire about a member of staff - Mr Sidebottom. I had enough common sense to realise that it probably wasn't pronounced as it looked but I really didn't expect to be told by his secretary that it was "Sidy-bow-tem" :o)

julia said...

I used to live close to Plaistow in the US and they add a 'd' they say Plad-stow!!!

Flat Golly said...

Fascinating subject!

My absolute hate(thanks to my Sister for first pointing this out) is the use of 'should of'. It should be 'should have' which was contracted to 'should've' which has lead to the mispronunciation....drives me nuts!

Chrissie said...

Oh I'm with you Sue. That's another on my list of irritating ones.

Kim said...

I tell you what I don't like ( and I'm going to bring it up on Room 101 when they invite me) is when they paint the words DEAD SLOW in areas that they want you to drive slowly in. Grrrrrr