This is an etymological rant.
Sadly, I am dead serious.
I've been trying to be nice about this, but I've got to get this out of my system. I love blogs. I also love silly, sweet, ridiculous fanfic. I feel like it is the literary equivalent to reality television. Like reality TV, there are some that are wonderfully written (yes, I am implying that 'reality' tv is scripted), and there are others that are ... well ... not.
I ALSO have respect for the English language. I apologize to everyone out there who knows what a misplaced modifier is. And to those who know how to conjugate verbs. However, there seem to be a shocking number of people who have never been taught the grammar rules Mrs. P drilled into my graduating class by the end of eleventh grade. (If Mr. F and Mr. P hadn't scared you into grammatical submission within the first two weeks of ninth grade...) I'll admit it: I went to a freak-brain-farm school. When I first joined facebook, I joined a group called "I went to a public school that might as well have been a private school... bitch."
This is why...
Our school cheer was equal parts Greek and gibberish. Phi Chi Psi! Kappa Lambda Pi! Ai Protus Protus Ai, L-C-I! Hullaballoo! Hullaballoo, Hullaballoo-ballah... seriously, we yelled that at basketball games. People would have thought we were nuts or snobs or both except that's been our school cheer since the 1930s. And yes, the C-I stand for collegiate institute.
This may have resulted in my being a horrific snob. Sort of. I'd prove why we're not snobs, but the photo is of people who probably don't want me... actually screw it. It's on facebook anyways.
(a prize to whoever can guess which one of these guys is my ex...)
People who can’t write piss me off.
Not the ones who have no creativity; I can’t hold that against them. The ones who are creative but don’t give a rat’s ass about grammar, or spelling, or proper conjugation. Or if the word they are using actually exists. *gritting teeeeeeth*
I’m not saying I’m perfect (in fact, I KNOW my grammar is dodgy, so much so that I got my cousin to give me a “dialogue punctuation tutorial” because she’s an ace writer). All I’m saying is that I at least try not to use words that don’t exist. Unless they are nouns denoting non-existent things. Like something magic. Or paranormal. Or mythical. And even then I prefer using existing nouns.
I wish I'd written them down, because some of them are downright unforgivable. They make me cringe. The worst part is that I don't want to comment on people's posts if they include one of those cringe-inducing clauses because my opinion of the entire thing, no matter how interesting an idea or good a plot, is marred by the fact that the author doesn't have a proper grasp of the language.
It just boils my blood when people don’t even use spell check. Or grammar check. IT'S THERE, USE IT!!! Or when they use non-existent past tenses that I knew were wrong by age five. Like tooken. NOT A WORD. It's taken. Or took. I heard a girl my age use this word on the Skytrain tonight. I practically cried laughing. It’s like saying wronger.I also hate when people don't proof-read their work. I'll be the first to admit that my eyes glaze over sometimes; I count on my readers to correct me on spelling mistakes (usually the mistakes are actual words simply in the wrong tense because I've changed the sentence around or something). The is no excuse for having glaring errors.
I also kind of hate when people when people write alot <-- NOT A WORD!!! it's two words. A and LOT. Do you not see the little red dotted line under the word alot? That means it is WRONG.
Or when people write it's to denote possession. It's is a bloody contraction: it should only be used when it can be replaced by the words it and is. I also hate when people do the opposite, or used them interchangeably, like they are one and the same. Grrrrrr.
Same deal with they're and their and there. They don't mean the same thing. At all.
Or using to when you mean too. The first is a preposition, the second is a synonym of 'as well' or denotes an excess of the word it precedes too much, too often, and too irritating.
What gets me is the sad irony of confusing the words write, right and rite. If you're a writer, please get it right. It makes my eyes bleed when people get it wrong. If you don't know the first thing about grammar, buy a copy of Strunk & White's 'The Elements of Style' - it's 95 pages long and 10$. It is a writer's bible. If you really want to get fancy, buy the 'Chicago Manual of Stlye.' Warning: it's about 80$ or so. Minimum.
I get that the English language is annoying as all hell - it is one of the messiest languages grammatically because it has Greek, Romance and Germanic roots. But it does not excuse anyone from using the word thunk unless it is being used onomatopoeiacally (I am well aware that spell check does not recognize that word, but mostly I blame that on blogger's rather pathetic vocabulary). My point is that thunk is not a past tense of the word think.
You cannot conjugate the word think like the word drink.
Drink, drank, drunk. Yes.
Think, thank, thunk. NOOOOO!
Maybe I was just spoiled with a half-decent education, but it scares me when people in post-secondary institutions write with the same proficiency as I did when I was eight. In French. Which was my second language. Which has approximately 300 irregular verbs. Which I had to memorize before puberty.
I'm a massive snob, but my snobbery is derived from a desire to prevent an already bastardized language from being subjected to further humiliation at the hands of the international blogging community.