Don't Taze Me, Bro...Teach Me!
Hypercorrection makes me hypercrazy. It seems to have reached the point where if one does NOT hypercorrect it sounds wrong. And I don't know who to blame, but I know there is plenty of blame to go around. And plenty of offenders. I have considered packing heat in the form of a tazer for the express purpose of shooting at and paralyzing all those who abuse the language at the wrong time (i.e., when I overhear it and am already in the throes of a serious chocolate withdrawl), but the cons of that plan so clearly outweigh the pros, I won't even insult your intelligence by enumerating them.
Instead, the kinder, gentler side of me—the side that lets my dog lick me on the mouth—has won out. For now at least. I have decided that instead of simply ranting and criticizing and generally freaking out over something that obviously no one cares about but me, I will instead try a more productive approach.
The new approach, unfortunately, does not involve a tazer. As much as I would love to condition the populace at large through the tried-and-true method of electroshock therapy (whose effectiveness I am convinced has been not just underrated but perhaps completely squashed as a result of elaborate conspiracies, the likes of which could only be orchestrated by the ACLU, the Tea Party, or the largely underground My-Kid-Is-Not-A-Menace-Just-Because-He-Tortures-Your-Cat-And-Keeps-Starting-Fires-In-Our-Livingroom-Society), it's not the most feasible solution. It would be fun, of course, to run around tazing grammar felons, but it's more likely to land me in court than to start a solid grassroots movement toward better speaking.
Hypercorrection is not the only problem that needs to be addressed, as you well know. The bad news is that there are far more than 31 flavors of screwing up the English language, most of which you can hear in a single walk through the mall or even after spending five minutes reading almost any blog; the correlative good news is that widespread ignorance, laziness, and the tendency for most of us to have long ago blocked out everything related to middle school English classes should provide me oodles of fodder for future posts.
Oh...I almost forgot. My new approach? Teaching. Not tazing.
Yep, I am going to provide a free and needed service. Right here on the Happy Dog blog. Feel free to leave comments here or on the Wild Peeves page to lobby for a lesson. And check back often for easy-to-understand instruction that will hardly insult you at all. Or better yet, sign up via email and get lessons right in your mailbox. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I'm good like that.