Monday, September 21, 2009

Offensive Post! (The Post Formerly Known as "Grammar According to Allie")

Grammar is a subject that is very dear to me.  However, I don't agree with some of the commonly accepted ways to use it.

Wait!  Don't stop reading!

This is not some snobby diatribe stressing the importance of proper grammar.

It is about making grammar better - my way.

1. "Very Unique"

Uttering the phrase "very unique" is like punching grammar in the face.  The reasoning goes that "unique" means "different from anything else in the world" so to say that something is "very unique" is completely unnecessary.

No it's not.

Every person in the world is unique.  Every snowflake is unique.  Property owners want you to think that their sh*tty 60's apartment with the "decorative" stairs to nowhere is unique.  But to say that individuals like Marilyn Manson or the late Michael Jackson are unique is an egregious understatement.  Yes, we are all different - but they are really, really different.  They are to "different" what Pluto used to be to the Solar System before it was so unceremoniously demoted (why do I feel the need to include Pluto in all of my grammar posts?)  - they are on the very outer edge of the spectrum.   They have a much greater distance between themselves and normal (which is still unique, just more normally so.)  Our language should allow for a descriptor to reflect that increased distance.

2. "..............................."

The number of dots in an ellipsis should reflect the length of the pause.

Writing would be so much more descriptive - so much more malleable and honest.

Example #1:

Jenny chewed her lip and fiddled with the pages of her Algebra textbook as she tried to find the right words.  Finally, she said "Mr. Smith... I'm.......... Pregnant."


"Uh................................................................................................................" said Mr. Smith.  

I know that it is not right to make light of student-teacher sex scandals, but it is my blog and I do what I want.  And for your information, Mr. Smith turned out to be a great father and he married Jenny the moment she turned 18.

Example #2:

"Knock Knock..."


"Who's There?"


"Jerry the Mute..."


"Jerry the Mute who?"


"........................................."

I also know that it is not right to make up Knock Knock jokes that poke fun at serious disabilities, but if you are offended now, you might want to reconsider reading further.  Also, you may want to pause and reflect on the sheer genius behind that joke since it is not every day that I come up with something that awesome.

Example #3

Upon noticing the packet of prescription Valtrex on the nightstand, Jenny asked "Mr. Johnson, what is Valtrex for..................?" 


"... it is Valium for large dinosaurs, my Dear..." 


Being an English teacher, Mr. Johnson knew not to pause as long as Jenny.    

(Don't worry - Jenny is legal in this story.)

3.  Daylight Saving Time, Down Syndrome and Dived

Over the years, people have added unnecessary S's to Daylight Saving time and Down Syndrome.  The first one is simple:  we are saving daylight.  It makes sense.

The second one doesn't compute quite as neatly.

Apparently Dr. Down didn't want to be like Dr. Alzheimer, Dr. Hodgkin, Dr. Asburger,  or Dr. Huntington.  He wanted to be more unique, so he simply named the disease he discovered after himself.  No apostrophe or S needed.

Some words are so commonly misused that they should be adopted as standard simply so that the smart people aren't the ones sounding like illiterate dummies.

For example, did you know that "dove" is not a verb?  Despite the fact that everyone and their dog uses it in such a manner, it is still considered correct to use the word "dived."

"I dived off the proverbial cliff when I decided to write this offensive post." 

But "dived" sounds retarded (so does "Down Syndrome" but I think I could get in some sort of trouble for saying that or something.......)

We should adopt "dove" so that I don't look like an idiot for trying to be grammatically correct.

4.  Favre

How this series of letters came to be pronounced "farv" I will never know.

Faver?  Sure.

Fav-ray?  Why not?

 Favery?  I guess it works.

But "farv??" What kind of dyslexic French a**hole came up with that one?*

While we are on the subject, I think I should address French as a whole.  French is supposedly the most romantic language there is - if you consider completely unnecessary and phonetically nonsensical extra letters romantic.   -eaux is supposed to make and "o" sound.  Really?   Are you so full of yourselves that you thought "Forget zee O.  We need four letters because our language eez four time better!"

I personally think that France would be world dominant if they didn't have all those superfluous letters slowing them down.

While we are on the subject of being on the subject of talking about foreign words, I thought I might mention something to my American friends.

If you are trying to pronounce a foreign word in an otherwise English sentence, please don't pronounce the word with a heavy accent.  It makes you sound pretentious and douche-y .

*I am in no way insulting Brett Favre himself.  If I were to do that, it would  decrease my chances of ever bearing his grizzled, womb-warrior children, and I definitely wouldn't want to do that.  

5.  Less/Fewer

I am going to back Strunk and White 100 percent on this one.

If there is one mistake that I cannot stand, it is the confusion of "less" with "fewer."

You commonly see this error in grocery stores: "Express Checkout - 10 Items or Less." 

Also in Porta-Potties: "This Unit is Designed to Accommodate the Needs of 10 People or Less During a Normal Work Week."  

Less is supposed to refer to an amount that cannot be counted - like air or sand.  Fewer refers to a number of things that are countable, such as oxygen molecules or grains of sand.

A few more examples:

- Jenny is less of a tramp because she slept with fewer teachers than Veronica.


- I made that Knock Knock joke less offensive by including fewer references to disabled people.  


- Mr. Johnson now uses less Valtrex because he has fewer Herpes sores.  


- Other languages are less awesome than French because they use fewer unnecessary letters. 


- "Less" should be used less often than "fewer" because there are fewer instances where "less" is appropriate.   Nonetheless, "less" is used more.  

I hope that your lives have been enriched by my mighty opinion.

I am sorry if I have offended you, but you should try to be less offendable.

Febriana Febriana

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