Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I found this fascinating quote today:

OK, so, maybe that's a bit extreme; but anyone who lives in our household has probably gotten used to hearing me growl, "fewer!" when some talking head -- especially on the news -- uses "less" when the proper term would be, well, "fewer." For example, a report on the state of the U.S. economy that aired not too long ago mentioned that the economic stimulus plan had generated less jobs than expected. (It's painful even to type that...) No, no, NO!!! The plan has created FEWER jobs!!! Sigh. Generations of English teachers must be spinning in their graves...Fr. John McCuen, Observations from an Empty Well, Nov 2009

A man after my own heart! I just about lose it when I hear these so-called journalists go on in their somber tones about serious topics, and they don't have a clue that they have lessened it's effect on me because they have mangled the delivery. I'm left sitting, yelling at the television or screaming at the radio, correcting the bad grammar. I've totally ignored the message: I'm skewering the messenger. My kids are used to it by now.....they're adults, with kids of their own. But two of my daughters say that now when they interview people for positions, or have employee meetings this little buzzer goes off in their heads: "Oh, that doesn't sound right. Mom would not like that at ALL."

I know you're busy, so I'll just condense my usual rants about the Fall Of The Correct Usage Of Grammar and The Dumbing Down Of America. My family has heard it already. Several times.

1.) TROOP refers to a specific association of people (more than 1) such as a Boy Scout troop, Brownie troop NOT an individual person ie: twenty troops were killed today in Iraq.
2.) REGIME is sort of a political overthrow of government, not a REGIMEN. My exercise regimen leaves a lot to be desired, but we won't go there.
3.) Using MYSELF instead of ME or I in a statement. "Sarah Palin and myself will be at the book signing at Costco today." Of course, saying Sarah and I would be anywhere together is a fantasy and very dumb.
4.)I HAVE GOT to tell you that in English-classes-past this was a definite no-no. Any form of these two words used together was incorrect, but now has morphed into acceptable. I still cringe.
5.) As in the case of FEWER and LESS, the correct usage of MOST and MAJORITY has also taken a hit. It has to do with numbers: most of the class would agree, but the majority of the thirty students have come to accept it I guess. Did you get that?
6.) I'm not letting this one go: not only using MYSELF incorrectly, but placing it/me before everyone else you're discussing. "Myself, John, Betty, and Mary are going out for lunch today." Apparently you're hungrier than the rest of your friends or you would have said "John, Betty, Mary, and I are going out for lunch today." Of course, you're treating, aren't you?

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