Wild Peeves

Some people call them "pet" peeves, but these mistakes and misusages are not tame and domesticated and contained. On the contrary, they are WILD. And they are running rampant through our daily conversations, lifting their legs and marking reputable publications, spilling out of the mouths of news anchors and celebrities and politicians and talkshow hosts.

Unlike the intrusions of wolves and deer and skunks in the streets and neighborhoods we consider to be "ours," the wild animals of improper grammar, pronunciation, and usage truly do intrude on what should be protected and saved. Save the English language. Kill the Wild Peeves.

Here are some Wild Peeves I would like to see hunted and bludgeoned into extinction. Certainly, each deserves that more be said about it, but for now, all I have the time to do is list a few of my unfavorites. I hope you'll comment and leave some of your own to put on the Kill List.

Stuff You Should Have Mastered by Third Grade

to vs. too
its vs. it's
your vs. you're
there vs. their vs. they're
a lot (yep, it's two words)

Stoopid Spellings

breath vs. breathe
lose vs. loose
grammar, not grammer
definite, not definate
separate, not seperate

Hypercorrections That You Think Make You Sound Smart

Q: How are you? A: Well, thank you.
Please feel free to call Bill or myself with questions.
I think it's apropos that we break for lunch.
I wish I was rich.
She feels badly that she is late.

Words I'm Mad I Can't Say Anymore Because People Don't Know What They Mean

oral, orally

This is just the beginning of my interminable rant about the deterioration of the English language. But get in on the conversation now if you want.

What drives you crazy?


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for addressing the "well" issue!!!!!!

It drives me BATTTTTYYYYY!!!

As for the "I wish I was rich", I always say "were" and would have been quite right 20 years ago. My research has, however, shown that TECHNICALLY both are right. The use of "was" still sounds positively ill bred to me, though.

Happy Dog said...

@Anonymous: I really need to know where you researched because I am going to find the brick-and-mortar of whoever said both "was" and "were" are TECHNICALLY correct, haul those logohaters out into the mean streets by their lower lips, and flog them with wet noodles!

No, seriously, I can't find anything (reputable or unreputable) that says we can give up on "were" for future conditional. But if it were true, would the famous Fiddler on the Roof song have to be rewritten???