Author: Luisa Perkins
•4:01 PM
Christine's question for today's Scavenger Hunt post is:

What would you do if you could wave a magic wand and completely remove from the world, or at least from the English language, one each of the following;
A colloquialism
A common written grammatical error
A single abbreviation
A homonym, in whole or part
A ‘mis-definable’ term (example if a tin-whistle is made of tin, then what is a foghorn made of? You probably even know the linguistic name for such a thing.)

Oh, how this Grammar Fascista wishes she had a Fairy Godmother to do just this sort of thing. Then she would not be reduced to yelling at the television and billboards in her frustration over The Decline and Fall of the English Language.

Here are my wishes, Dear Fairy:

Colloquialism: "My bad." Oh, how I hate this phrase; I don't really know why. It's just icky. I forgive my buddy (I wish) Joss Whedon, who used it once on "Buffy." And I forgive Amy Heckerling, who popularized it in the first place by using it in the script for the otherwise terrific movie "Clueless."

Common Written Grammatical Error: My biggest pet peeve in this area is the misuse of the contraction 'it's.' 'It's' ALWAYS stands for 'it is,' NEVER for the third person possessive form of 'it.' Here's an easy way to remember: his, hers, its. No apostrophes to be found, right? Right. It's easy.

Abbreviation: This will only make sense to LDS/Mormons. We have four books of canonized scripture: The Holy Bible (we generally use the KJV in English), The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine & Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. The Doctrine & Covenants, which is a book of latter-day revelations from the Lord to Joseph Smith and other prophets of our church, is often abbreviated 'D&C.' I find this to be an unfortunate coincidence; therefore, I never use this abbreviation (except when taking notes) and I cringe when I hear it spoken.

Homonym: I can't think of any I would eliminate. Could the fairy grant that everyone just get them straight from now on?

'Mis-definable term' (No, I don't know the linguistic term for this concept, Christine. Sorry to disappoint.): 'Clowning around' is supposed to be synonymous with 'fooling around,' but since clowns are EVIL and not at all funny (except in Springfield, where they are funny BECAUSE they are evil), I would prefer that this term never be used again.

Clap your hands if you believe in fairies, and maybe my wishes will come true!
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15 comments:

On 20/11/07 , christine said...

"his, hers, its" - WHY did my elementary school teachers never tell me that? I could have remembered THAT!

 
On 20/11/07 , Annette Lyon said...

*sniff* What a wonderful world it would be . . .

 
On 20/11/07 , christine said...

It was my freshman college roommate that finally helped me to understand he use of good vs well. 'a good noun comes from a verb well served'
(ex. You are a good runner because you run well.)
I guess I am a grammatically late bloomer.

 
On 20/11/07 , Kimberly said...

I was reading this and thinking, "Yes, yes! Me too, me too!"

Except that the it's/its debaucle comes a close second to your/you're in my book.

 
On 20/11/07 , Dedee said...

The Doctrine and Covenants thing drives me batty!!!! I also hate it when people mix up they and them. Theys is not a word!!!

I'm wishing with you!

 
On 20/11/07 , painted maypole said...

clap clap clap clap clap

 
On 20/11/07 , Who Am I? said...

I'm not a fan of "D&C" either.

 
On 20/11/07 , Thalia's Child said...

hear hear!

 
On 21/11/07 , Sirdar said...

I'm not a writer but it's possible that I misuse the word its incorrectly. My bad :-(

 
On 21/11/07 , david mcmahon said...

G'day from Australia,

I'm a fellow writer and I came here from Kimberly's blog. I've enjoyed my first visit here.

Always a pleasure to ``meet'' another writer.

 
On 21/11/07 , anjmae said...

and that 'people' is not the plural of 'person'
I am totally with you on the its/it's and your/you're (via comments) PLUS I grieve over dangling participles, i.e., 'where did you buy that at?' shoot me now, please
ps. what is the term for an auditory hallucination?

 
On 21/11/07 , Tristi Pinkston said...

I am clapping.

And I hate it when people say "Where's it at?"

Grrrrr.

 
On 21/11/07 , Radioactive Jam said...

Admit it: you *like* yelling at the TV.

Clowning around. Heh.

 
On 22/11/07 , dawn said...

I am so with you on the clown thing. As for the others, I don't think I have ever used 'my bad' and I try to eliminate grammatical errors in my writing, but, I am no writer, so it's not easy to accomplish.

 
On 23/11/07 , Jen of A2eatwrite said...

LOL, we were just discussing these kinds of errors at our Thanksgiving table yesterday! And Happy Thanksgiving!