Who would have thought there are so many ways to mangle the English language? It seems to be getting worse as we move farther away from verbal and formal written communication in favor of texting and e-mailing.
Pet Peeves: 8 Misuses of the English Language
I'm not necessarily listing the most common misuses, just the ones that really get on my nerves.
Bad Grammar Blues
Oh, my poor ears!
I'm not a grammar snob; I make mistakes, too. But, many of the grammar rules I learned (from as far back as elementary school) really stuck with me. When I hear them being broken, it's like having knitting needles inserted into my ears. Here is a list of the worst offenders.
1. Using "there's" in place of "there are"
It's just wrong.
This is, by far, the worst one. It's also such a common misusage, most people don't even notice it when they hear it.
Example: "There's too many people in here."
WRONG! There's is a contraction for there is. There is too many people in here? No. There ARE too many people in here.
Where did that X come from? Expecially is not a word. The correct word is especially. That's right, with an S. It is very easy to pronounce. Really. Try it.
3. Else or elts?
What are you saying?
The word is else. There is no T in it. Though I've never actually seen anyone spell it as elts, I've frequently heard it mispronounced that way.
For example, "What elts is there?" Now, let's correct that: "What else is there?" See? Not so difficult, is it?
Nucular is another made up word. The real word is nuclear. Say it with me: noo-klee-ar. That's fairly easy to pronounce, isn't it?
Okay, this one isn't all that common, but it is atrocious. Whenever I hear an adult utter this childish idiom, I turn to get a good look at the offender. I am always surprised to see what appears to be a normal looking person, as opposed to the unshod, straw-hat-wearing, denim-overalls-clad hillbilly I expected to see.
Instead of "Lookit!", try, "Look at that!" Or simply, "Look!" Your message will come across clearly, and people won't wonder if you dropped out of the fifth grade.
6. Like vs. Such As
It's all about clarification.
It's really just a matter of clarification. 'Such as' works better than 'like' when you are listing things. Here's an example: "There was an abundace of fresh produce like bananas, apples, and oranges." It gets the point across, but it could be clearer: "There was an abundance of fresh produce such as bananas, apples, and oranges." See how much better that is?
7. Nouns are not verbs
Just don't go there.
Apparently, it's trendy to replace verbs with nouns (or, less frequently, adjectives). People that do this do not sound cool. They sound like idiots.
Here's an example of incorrect usage: "Hypocrite much?" Unless there's a new dance called the hypocrite, it's still a noun. For those of you who don't know, a noun is a person, place or thing.
Merriam-Webster defines hypocrite as 1.) (noun) A person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion. 2.) (noun) A person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.
So, instead of asking (incorrectly), "Hypocrite much?", the question should be something to the effect of, "Do you act in contradiction to your stated beliefs or feelings much?" Or, you could rephrase it as a statement, "You frequently put on a false appearance of virtue."
Getting back to the original question, "Hypocrite much?" Let's replace that noun with some verbs, for some examples of a correct question.
You get the idea.
Not familiar with verbs?
8. Idn't & Wadn't
These are becoming more and more common. The actual words are 'isn't' and 'wasn't', but people seem to be getting lazy about enunciating.
"That was a big tree, wadn't it?" Why, no, Bubba, it WASN'T.
"It's going to rain, idn't it?" No, it ISN'T going to rain.