Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Whut RU??? Stoopid!?

I have a whole bunch of things to talk about but I'm setting them all aside to talk about one thing only: people are getter dumber each time I cruise the Interwebs and I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Look: it's simple. "Your" is NOT the same word as "you're" and, yes, it does matter. I understand that UR is the texting abbreviation for "you're", so it's clear that this contraction is pretty common. So far, so good. "You're" is a squashed together, 'familiar' form of "you are" as in, "You're going to get your ass kicked by your third-grade teacher unless you stop texting and pay attention in class." See how craftily I've used BOTH sound-alike, but very different, forms, one of which means "the person, place or thing that belongs to YOU" and the other one which . . . which I've already explained a gazillion times. Gad.

Don't mess with My Beloved Language. Just don't.

"CDs" are many compact discs, like the box full your girlfriend threw out when she caught you cheating, just like you're doing now to your NEW girlfriend, you prick. "CD's" means something that is the property of the CD, like, "The CD's surface scratches are a result of your girlfriend rubbing its surface against her leg the day prior to her last waxing to clean off the hairy fingerprints you left on it the last time you used it."

See how simple English can be? See how you can understand how words work. See how you can make words work for you. See how you won't look like a babbling buffoon when you are able to follow the rules and use words correctly. See how people smarter, or at least, cleverer than you will welcome you into the Smart and Clever Club where you will be regaled with banter and chatter of all ilks.

In general, I see quite a bit of mangling in forums. The worst is Yahoo's Answers, which is an awful forum where logged-in users can post some burning question, like, "How do I break up with my boyfriend without telling him?" or some such twaddle and other users can then "answer", with their answers subsequently rated for "accuracy" by other users. So, in short, it's the blind leading the deaf and verified by the cognitively-challenged, resulting in answers rated based on popularity. Here's a question I'd like to post: "How do I repair a rupture to the inferior vena cava in a suppurating patient that's not a candidate for exchange therapy and I need the answer in the next ninety seconds as we're in surgery and the patient will die. (Actually, there was a recent episode on House with this element integral to the motif - ooooo, cultural currency! I like it!) The point is, if I ever get to it and I happen to be getting to it . . . right . . . now, is that if one excuses the foreign users of My Beloved Language who should be clapped heartily on their collective scapulas for their minimal mastery of a language other than the one taught to them by their mamas, the balance of the local mumbling constituency murderizes written speech to an AWESOME degree.

Let's attack that word for a moment. Yes, I know my generation used and uses "cool" in a similar way, but, c'mon, it's not the same. "Awesome" is utterly over the top while cool slides into home. A massive lightning storm is "awesome." The parting of the Red Sea, if God had done did it, would be truly "awesome." Finding a parking spot in time to make the next screening of Saw 23 on a busy summer night at the googleplex is NOT awesome; neither is the latest stuffed-crust monstrosity from Pizza Slut "awesome", unless it's delivered with its own bubbling volcano to keep it piping hot. That would be awesome. Got it? Cool, Daddy-o.

But, back to contractions and possessive forms, before your eyes totally glaze over. "It's" is short for "it is"; "its", without the little squiggly thing that goes between the t and the s, which is called an apostrophe, which is kinda pronounced like "catastrophe" only without the "c" at the beginning and with other letters in between, is a possessive form, meaning "the word that follows describes some property of this thing of ours that we're talking about over here." Would you say, "It puts the lotion on it's skin" - " . . . it is skin?" Does that make sense? Well? Does it?

So, I'm not so concerned about the pimply-faced bag-stuffers cruising the web on their Sidekicks, stoking anoymous forums with their fractured English as I am with on-line print, such as news pieces I've seen with increased frequency of glaring errors, and not errors solely of my opinion, mind you, but black-book, editor's red- and blue-pencil stuff. This worries me velly mucho because the readers will absorb and take with them these errors as a matter of course and can then always cite, "Well, that's how it was written in that Reuters article, so who do you think is right? You or a news service with international cred?" Me, because no amount of brand identity can make a wrong right.

"There" for "their" for "they're" or "chosed" for "chose" or "sale" for "sell" as in "I am saleing my seester because my family hasn't eaten in two weeks and is really hungry." And on and on.

Kids, do your homework and learn your own damn language. Teachers, teach the damn fundamentals - a mastery of the basics is the doorway to the youngins to grow up to be just like me. Writers, publishers and anyone in a position of authority - CHECK YOUR WORK or I will.