December 10, 2009

A LITTLE DUMB

When I started writing this blog, I promised myself I wouldn't hold back. I would say what was on my mind (kind of) and speak the truth (sometimes). I promised myself that no matter how lame a thought might be, and how isolated I may be in my view point, that I would still say it. I would write for myself and not for "the people."

"You should at least use spell check," my Mom would say. "And at least use proper grammar..."
"What's wrong with my grammar?"
"....And you shouldn't say words like 'vagina.' "
"Okay, Mom."
"....Or 'dude.' I hate 'dude....'"
OMG, dude. I get it. Why does mom gotta bug like that, yo.

The truth is though, my mom kind of has a point. Sure, I can write. But I don't always write RIGHT. Believe me. I know. In high school, I was the only one in AP English who needed/used cliff notes. While everyone used the class to ensure (or is it "assure"?) a head start in college, I used it as an opportunity to get some action from the nerdy boys. I was definitely the dumbest smart kid in the class and was perfectly fine with that stature.

But these days, I'm not perfectly "fine." I'm perfectly disheveled and my attention to details, words, and unfortunately wit, isn't exactly, well... perfect. In fact, some of you have even noticed.... A couple weeks ago, I got an email from a friend/reader who said that she was so sorry to mention it, but that after reading the ode to my bangs, she had to tell me about a slight mistake. The sentence in my post read:
And though I never EVER strayed (with the exception of a very long/side swept
thing I tried right after college), for all intensive purposes, I have always been loyal...

Embarrassed and thankful for having readers that have a better grasp on the English language than I, I changed it immediately. Apparently, for 33 years I have been saying "intensive purposes" when in fact I should be saying "INTENTS AND PURPOSES." Who knew?!

"What?!" said my friend J, "Of course it's 'intents and purposes'. Everyone knows that."
"No," said his very educated and professional wife A, "I thought it was 'intense and purposes.'"
"Yeah," said his sister T (a 5th grade teacher with a masters in education), "I agree with J-Ko. I thought it was 'intensive purposes' too. I've been saying it wrong this whole time too?!"
"How is that there is a room full of sophisticated and intelligent women (with great butts I might add), saying something that seems so obvious, so ridiculously wrong?"
"Frightening," said T, "I'm shaping our youth."
"Shocking," said A, "I feel like I should know that."
"Embarrassing," I said, "I am a WRI-TER.... And this by the way, this is definitely going to be a blog post."
Without missing a beat, J chimed back in, "You want me to proof that before you post it??"
Ha. Ha.

The truth is though, I think I say a lot of things wrong. We all do. Not that I'm trying to pass the buck (or is it "dodge a bullet"?), but one of my very best friends, a Psychology Professor (a PROFESSOR people), says "irregardless." I think she knows "irregardless" is not a word, but she says it anyway, claiming that it souuuuuuunds like a word. Unfortunately, there is no such word. In fact, if you look up the definition of "Irregardless" on Merriam-Webster Online, they suggest not using it. "Use 'regardless' instead."

Even Wikipedia has a list of commonly misused English Words.... And I know the fact that we are all a little dumb (sometimes) doesn't excuse my misuse, but it should at least make me relatable to "the people...." And while I've never been fully sure of when/how to use "affect" or"effect," I can ASSURE you that being a little dumb is better than being a little lame.

So please, feel free to proof read, comment and share your thoughts on my writing.... I may resent your remark, but at least, AT LEAST, I would never "resemble that remark." Because that, THAT would definitely be a little dumb....

6 comments:

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

This post had me rolling! I'm one of those people that will hear someone say something incorrectly and inwardly cringe every time they say it - but I wouldn't have the balls to bring it to their attention. I once had a very intelligent and well-read friend who said "pacifically" instead of "specifically." That drove me nuts, but I never called him on it. Maybe that's why we've lost touch? ;)

I can think of one thing I say incorrectly, and that's "February." I know it's Feb-roo-ary, but I can't bring myself to say anything but "Feb-yoo-ary." It just sounds wrong, even though it isn't.

You wanna know what really bugs me? When people say "I could care less." Because they really "COULDN'T care less." Y'know?

Anyway ...

Cristie Ritz King said...

This is hilarious (as was the bangs post!). I notice these things all the time, but because I am certain that I make similar mistakes at least once a day I could never point them out. I also confess that I hit Grammar Girl up every, single time I have to use affect or effect and I am a former English teacher. Ooops. It's motherhood. Babies make you dumb.:)

sammysam said...

Hilarious. For a lot of my life I said the same thing- "intensive purposes." It made perfect sense to me!
We all have our versions of it: My friend, one of the smartest people I know, insists on misusing "infer" (replacing "imply"), and maddeningly favors the word "expodentially."

I've learned to bite my lip and keep quiet- at least it's entertaining!

The Calico Cat said...

At the end of the day, I (You/we) am (are) reading a blog. Not a great novel, not even a book proposal. I can "see" many an error (alot - is a personal peeve) but in my mind, I "hear" the intent & that is what matters.

Hell, I barely proofread & still miss a lot - I can't type, so I think that what I told my fingers to do was correct.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog, very funny, and very true!

I, too, cringe at the thought of mispronounced words or sayings, but often find myself guilty of mix ups as well. Shit happens, and mine are usually minor, as I am close to perfect. (kidding)

However, the one mistake that shockingly is made A LOT ( and it drives me crazy) is the word SUPPOSEDLY. I cannot tell you how many times i have heard people say SUPPOSIBLY...I assume that is just their way of mashing "Supposedly" and "Possibly" together in order to save time...either that or they are just plain stupid...
AND "orientated" instead of "oriented" just really get my goat!! (is that even a saying?)

The (Un)Experienced Mom said...

I love this post b/c I do that kind of stuff all the time. And especially when you are writing it, it's so different than saying it. So I am often staring at words or phrases thinking, "Hmmm that doesn't look right."

In fact, I am wondering if my blog name "(Un)Experienced" is really a word. B/c every time I Google it, besides my blog coming up, it asks me if I want to search, "(In)Experienced." Hmmm....

Happy Holidays!

Tamara
www.theunexperiencedmom.com