Call The Grammar Police. Paleeze!

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Are any of you as frustrated with the decline of the English language as we are here at BoomerCafé? Well, we just found out, we’re not alone. Leslie Handler of Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, wants to straight things out. By shouting, Call The Grammar Police. Paleeze!

Sup w u? Ur sis called. C u 2nite.

This was a recent text I sent. I may be a boomer, but I can still text with the best of ‘em… as long as I’m still allowed to write when it’s necessary. I do worry; however, that proper grammar is becoming a completely lost art.

Writer Leslie Handler.

Writer Leslie Handler.

I recently read an essay written on the topic of the abandonment of the essay in the SAT college entrance exams. It got me thinking about the state of the written word today.

I love writing. It’s a passion. But I do understand that for many, it’s a painful source of frustration. As I write this, I keep thinking about my own grammatical issues. I have a problem with tenses. I know there’s a past, present, and future tense, but did you know that there are others? There’s the simple present, the present perfect, the present continuous, and even the present perfect continuous. That’s just for starters.

I have a terrible time with these. Thank God I have an awesome editor who makes me look good, because it can get intense (pun totally intended). But as bad as I am at grammar, I now realize that there are others who are much worse than I (please note: I did not write “much worse than me”).

If your grammar is bad theirs always someone worse and if your good at it thats because this sentence drives you crazy.

There are six errors in that sentence. As I said, I can be just as guilty as the next guy when it comes to poor grammar, but I’ve been amazed at the common errors I’ve seen out in public lately. If you ask me, some of them show just a little too much cleavage.

basic-english-grammar

The following is a sign I recently saw posted online:

Seat Belts must be worn

Doors must be shut

Its the Law

And how about this one:

Perfection has It’s Price

How would you like to order this off the breakfast menu?

Includes eggs, toast and orange juice.

I don’t know about you, but I like my toast dry and not mixed in with my OJ.

I wonder if the writers of the following sentences understood the meaning of what was actually written.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.

For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

The last three really make me laugh, but at the same time, they make me sad. In an era in which the teaching of keyboarding has replaced the teaching of cursive, has texting replaced grammar? What am I to think when I go to buy fish and they tell me that it’s “fresh frozen?” Well is it fresh, or is it frozen? And what about the infomercial touting their product as “genuine faux?” Is it genuine or not?

Test your skills on a few of my pet peeves.

Is it “affect” or “effect?”

Should you use “like” or “such as?”

“All of a sudden” or “all of the sudden?”

“Who” or “Whom?”

The good news is, my spell check tried to correct most of the errors in the bloopers I used in this piece. The bad news is, it only caught most of them.

Leslie Handler is freelance essayist for Newsworks of Philadelphia and a blogger for The Huffington Post.

9 Comments

  1. My favorite would be “New and Improved!” OK, which is it? Is it new, or is it last month’s model that someone has “improved”???

    BTW, is “Fairless Hills” a faux pas? Or is there a Fairmore Hills just down the road? LOL

    1. Ah yes. Thanks Denver, “new and improved” is a winner. I’ll add it to one of my other favorites: stop light. Is it a stop sign or a traffic light? Where’s the “go light?”

      Try my silly town name with a speech impediment.

      Isn’t this fun?

  2. Hi Leslie, I appreciate your passion for good writing. I love to write, too. But, it is an ongoing learning process. Also, I fight with my text “auto correct” on my cell phone and the word choices the program selects.

    1. Hi Ria,

      I feel your pain. That’s why I’m able to reply to you here. I agree. I’ll put on my boxing gloves for e-mails, but I’ve accepted my collection of tickets from the grammar police regarding texts. “Sup, u, luv, btw, etc r all grammatically correct in the new and improved genuine faux Handler Texting pocket guide to proper grammar and spelling.

      1. My friendly readers, I remain disappointed. Is anyone gonna call us out for any errors in the intro paragraph?

      2. Thank you for this, Leslie!!

        OH MY GRAVY–do I EVER identify with this post!! I’m glad I’m not the only “grammar Nazi.” Some of of the worst offenses for me are these gems:

        “Well, you have to take the sweet with the bitter.” (NO, NO, NO! It’s ‘take the bitter with the sweet!’

        “I’m going now, so……” (So WHAT? That’s no way to end a sentence!)

        Found on a menu: “Your choice of super juice.” (Do you perhaps mean ‘soup or juice?’

        “So like am I like going to like jail?” (No, you are not ‘like’ going to jail, you are REALLY AND TRULY going to jail!)

        ..and there are soooooooo many more!

        I swear my tombstone will read “Still griping about the decline of the English language.”

        Thanks for this terrific post!

        Jane

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