Friday, April 28, 2006


Like many of my blogging friends, I am very grammar-minded. I read a great deal, write a little, and teach English to small, and not-so-small, children. One of my greatest pet peeves is huge signs with spelling/usage/grammar errors. Small, mom-and-pop-made signs trouble me, but not nearly to the degree that billboards and the like do.

My absolute most hated, grammatically incorrect company is Westfield Shopping Town. Their slogan, and I'm not kidding, is Things That Westfield Do. THINGS THAT WESTFIELD DO. This is painted on the walls of the mall and printed on their shopping bags. Things That Westfield Can Do. Fine. Things That Westfield Does. Westfield is a singular noun, people. People won't go to the mall with me anymore because I just cannot let this go.

There used to be a billboard at the corner of Racine and Eastwood that said, "Home Depot: Fixed Pricing Across the Carolina's" that drove me to distraction. It is right beside a store called Larrys'. Does that store belong to more than one Larry? Or is a store only for people named Larry? I cannot understand this.

My friend Kasey was telling me about a segment she heard on Bob and Sheri about the English Language crossing 1 billion words. New Additions for this year include celebutante and podcast. You might think that I would dissaprove of new words but I don't. I love them. Any time we can be more specific, use a more perfect word, I think we should, even if we have to make up a word to say what we mean better. I love celebutante. That's hilarious to me--and very descriptive. What was it we used to say in science class? It has parsimony.

I was saddened to learn that buck naked has been morphed almost universally into butt naked, a phrase that makes dramatically less sense. I was thinking of the phrase "butt fuck nowhere," that was common to my area of suburban Maryland when I was growing up. I think this too was a mutation, beginning with bum fuck--as in, "He lives out in bum fuck." How did this get to be a descriptor?

The world is full of mysteries.

1 comment:

Space Kase said...

Word, Meg. There are oh-so-many mysteries. And sometimes, in one's dreams, the authors of famous classic books become different people.