Lately I have been listening to people speak and wondering why so many of them are butchering the English language, right front of my eyes, or should I say ears. Now, I am not talking about using large words or speaking with an air of superiority decipherable only by eighty-year-old university professors, but I am referring to everyday language spoken by everyday people.
I cringe every time I hear someone put an ‘S’ on the end of the word ‘you’ or the word ‘all’ and contractions are okay to use from time to time but words like ain't are just not proper. I also get a kick out of words that end in ING, because only too often is the ‘G’ forgotten.
So what is the reason for this, I asked myself? Everyone I know went to school and learned proper grammar and most people know the difference between a noun and a verb, but why is it so difficult to compose a proper sentence during a conversation?
Perhaps it is because we are always in a rush and do not have time to complete a sentence or to think about the proper way to use the English language when conversing. Perhaps texting is the culprit, where typos and spelling mistakes are accepted, in fact, considered the norm.
Spell check on our computers has done for grammar what a calculator did for simple arithmetic. There is also a big movement underfoot to eliminate cursive writing from the education system, which scares me, not because I love writing, but because we are moving very quickly to an age from which we cannot go back.
Perhaps people have been butchering the English language forever both spoken and written, and I seem to be noticing it more lately. I am not sure if it is because people do not care as much, or perhaps they never have.
Feasibly I'm far too critical and am making a mountain out of the molehill. Possibly it's okay to say ‘you’s guys’ or ‘all’s that matters is…’ but I can't help wincing when I hear someone say, ‘ lookin’ out the window’ or ‘walkin’ down the street’.
Another peeve I have is that all Canadian word ‘eh’. I checked the Internet, various dictionaries and colloquial books, but nowhere could I find its origin. Some say it originates in the US and others say it is French, but it's about as Canadian as maple syrup. Having said that, I still pick up on sentences such as ‘How’s it going eh?’ Or when you don't understand something a simple ‘eh?’ Is all you need to invoke an answer.
I listen to politicians on television and am amazed at how successful they are at slaughtering our language. I've heard people say it doesn't matter how you say it, as long as your message gets out, but I must disagree. I think the way we articulate, speaks a lot about the type of person you are: your upbringing, your respect for education and learning, your place in the community and the future within your grasp.
Last year sometime. I wrote a column for caps about people saying no problem instead of thank you, which seems to be a norm nowadays. Perhaps I am being too critical in the world is changing at a fairly fast speed and it is forgetting to take me along.
At first I was going to close this column off using a number of incorrect English terms, however, instead I think I will wander the streets and engage people in conversation, just to see if I can add something new to my vocabulary. Who knows, perhaps I will and of course I will gladly share it with you’s guys. That's about all’s I can say.