Sunday, August 21, 2011

the English language

I am deeply concerned by the state of our language.  Sure people can talk about politics, the economy, the stock market, and the wars on terror; but me, I am afraid for language.  I am watching the collective world collapse before me on twitter, on facebook, in resumes, and in cover letters.

 Things like text talk. Extremes in capitalization -ee cummings wannabes to the other extreme of everything in caps.  Apostrophes in your's, their's, and our's.  Atrocious spelling.  Not to mention an absence or plethora, take your pick, of commas, colons, semicolons, hyphens, and dash marks. All willy nilly, hither and yon.  It makes me crazy.  I lose sleep.

 I see it in signs.  Up north, most cottages have custom signs.  I have lost count of the possessive people who own the spaces.  The Smith's.  The White's.  The Neighbor's.  I have to overcome the urge to stop and notify the occupants that there is a problem; the sign is not up to code (apostrophe police code) and we will have to remove pending further inspection.  (Thank goodness Paul is driving or I could be in jail by now).

Then there is this.  For a moment, let's overlook the entire capitalization issue.
From 2011-08-20
Wouldn't you be a little concerned about this?  It's feasible that should you happen to meander through Greenbush, people might simultaneously bolt from their homes to come and hug you. Or worse.  Maybe a flash mob of sorts, with locals in raincoats shouting, "We Are GREENBUSH," something akin to that horrible TV commercial.  They are, after all, People Loving People.
My question is this:  Are they people loving each other? Or are they a kind, loving people who love all kinds of other people?  I assume it's the later and perhaps they meant to use an en dash, as in people-loving people.  I haven't really spent enough time in Greenbush to discern their intention but I am going to speculate wildly.
Oh, and I love Greenbush.  Almost bought a cottage there.

If you don't now, do follow Grammar Girl on fb, twitter or online.  Of course, you can always check the dictionary. Or Google. Or read Eats, Shoots &  Leaves.  Or take an English class.

I will always put two spaces after the period.  I am just stubborn that way.  I have come around to the Oxford comma.  Alright, already. I know.  I should build a bridge and get over it.  And get a life.   Cheers.  
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