For All Intensive Purposes

thereI love, nay, adore, a good list. The following list is just some of the spelling, syntax, grammar, punctuation and pronunciation errors people make. I am not an expert in this area, but I do know a bit, and I am not alone. I conducted a mini Facebook survey earlier this week and received a very passionate response from a number of people who feel as I do about this matter. Look, I know it is not the most pressing issue facing us today, but, and I say this as an atheist, “God is in the details”.

1 – I was inspired to write this post by my Super Tops Awesome Best Friend, who (whom?) last week shared on Facebook David Mitchell’s Soap Box rant regarding the American tendency to say “I could care less”. I loved this when I first saw it a few weeks ago, to the point where I found myself shouting in vehement agreement at the television.

2 – The title of this post is something that really effs me off. Not only it is incorrect, but it MAKES NO SENSE. Think about it. The correct phrase is FOR/TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES. It utilises two synonyms for emphasis. If you do not understand this, then I would like to have a quiet word with you. You stand warned.

3 – I HATE IT when people pronounce “mischievous” as “mis-chee-vee-ous”. Look at how this word is spelled. There is no “i” directly before the “ous”. And, yet, people pop it in there. Why? WHY? I want to smash their (THEIR) faces in.

4 – Do not get me started on apostrophes. Too late. They are used to denote possession (Kate’s blog) or a contraction (Kate’s cranky). They have nothing to do with quantity (apple’s for sale). They are not to be used in possessive pronouns (the train is taking its time, NOT the train is taking it’s time), except when one is talking about one’s things, experiences, etc. It’s means it is. Simple.

The remaining items on this list come from the Facebook responses mentioned above.

5 – Saying “could of” instead of “could have”. (With thanks to DH and RY).

6 – Saying “I brought this today” when they mean “bought” (purchased). (With thanks again to DH).

7 – Saying “I’ll reach out”. As in “I’ll contact you”. I think this one is brought to us by the Americans; not grammatically incorrect, but it really bugs me. (With thanks to NH). (This is a new one for me, and it bugs me, too).

8 – Using “disconnect” as a noun instead of a verb, eg “there was a disconnect”. (With thanks to RS).

9 – Saying “more better”. (With thanks to AD).

10 – Alot. (With thanks to LA).

11 – Whatevs. (With thanks to AD).

12 – “I ain’t done nuffin” Excusing the pronunciation issues, it doesn’t make sense! You’re effectively saying “I haven’t done nothing”. In other words “I HAVE done SOMETHING”. Grrr! (With thanks to MW).

13 – Saying “pacifically” instead of “specifically”. (With thanks again to MW).

It goes without saying that Lynne Truss is one of my heroines, she of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves fame. If you thought grammar and punctuation couldn’t possibly be funny, then I urge you to read this book.

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4 responses to “For All Intensive Purposes

  1. Crap. Youd fink dat people wood be able ta spell wouldnt ya. And youd fink dem cood use a apostraphee & da rite gramma hey. Its disscustin i say. Who woz there teacha i wanna no. Cause theyre teacha aint teached dem nuffin. Disspiccabul. Knot like me but becoz i can spell gist bout anyfing and uze eggselent gramma two hey.

  2. Pingback: The Lost (and Found) Art of Taking Charge | marrickville maman·

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