Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spelling and formatting

When I dropped the post below, I noticed a coupla things that are worth mentioning. This information should be easily available to my audience at any time. To that end, I've added a page with the same title as this post - see the "Bafflegab" page.


Tsotsi said...

A few gripes:

1. I would really like to know what became of the word “take?” Apparently it is no longer used in America: neither by the educated nor the uneducated. One now “brings” both to and from. We don't “take” anything anywhere anymore. Even highly educated University graduates don't know the difference.

2. The word “none” comes from two words, namely, no one; not a single one. One being the operative word. Singular subjects are followed by singular verbs.

3. The death of the adverb should also be noted. We are apparently too bloody lazy (or too poorly educated) to use it.

4. And what the %#@$ is coversate? Conversating?

David said...

I could not agree more! Particularly #2 above. When people say "None of them were there" I want to kill. It's "None of them WAS there" - please take note!

And on #3: Please please please do not kill the adverb! Adverbs modify verbs (and adjectives modify nouns). When you do something to a verb, use an adverb - it's easy, because the usual tipoff is the suffix -ly. Don't say "The band plays loud." As odd as it is to our modern ears, the correct word is loudLY.

I thank you!

David said...

OK, while we're on the topic, one more peeve:

What happened to the word "use"? We never use "use" anymore - instead, it's fashionable to use "utilize." Please. "Use" is a pleasant-sounding, monosyllabic word, very useful in its own right. While "utilize" does have its place in life, I would say that 90% of the time the long form is used, the short one would have been a better choice. Please utilize it!!!
(Take note of the use of the two forms in this paragraph, and you'll be OK.)

OK, one more. (Will it ever end?) Misuse of the apostrophe, particularly with regard to "it's" versus "its." It's easy, folks - just remember that "it's" is the short form of "it is," or "it has" - nothing more, nothing less. So if you mean "it is" then it's "it's." (See?) The confusion no doubt stems from the fact that the apostrophe normally denotes the possessive, as in "David's blog." But "its" is the proper form when used in the possessive - one of those English language exceptions. Just remember the "it is" rule, and you'll be OK. Don't worry about the possessive when you use this word.