Pedantically Officious

OK. Here’s the rub. I am an admitted snob regarding the English language. Errors in grammar, punctuation, pronunciation and spelling drive me around the bend. I readily confess that I am not perfect. An occasional gem of grammatical inaccuracy will escape my lips. I have often experienced a brain cramp which inhibits the correct spelling of a word. However, I know my error and take steps to correct it and prevent a recurrence.

Some say to me that I am too rigid, that language is a living organism which is meant to evolve and grow. Perhaps. Some say to me that correctness is, ultimately, unimportant as long as communication is achieved. Perhaps. Some say to me that the rules of grammar are too restrictive and are only observed by those who wish to maintain some state of superiority over those less learned. Not likely.

There are certain everyday words in our native tongue which have been subject to particular abuse in this day and age and, folks, it is time to stand and object. The following are egregious examples of words which are regularly and habitually mispronounced in both our everyday conversations and in the national media, as well. The words are listed with their correct spellings, a phonetically correct pronunciation and finally, the offending mispronunciation, also in phonetics.

Here they are , in no particular order of offense:

Athlete correct: ath-leet incorrect: ath-uh-leet

Realtor correct: ree-awl-tore incorrect: ree-lah-tore

Jewelry correct: jew-ul-ree incorrect: jew-lah-ree

Probably correct: prah-baw-blee incorrect: prah-bul-lee

Supposedly correct: sah-po-zed-lee incorrect: sah-po-zah-blee

Oh, there are so, so many more but I need to stop before I appear a bit TOO concerned. If you find yourself guilty of these grammatical fractures, you will always have something by which to remember me; and that’s not too objectionable, I hope.

P.S. If you find any misspellings or grammatical errors contained within, please don’t feel obliged to tell me. I have already found them and have already chastised myself 🙂


9 Responses to “Pedantically Officious”

  1. 1 Chris C
    April 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Heee..heee heee….you obviously don’t live in the New York area! You would smack me if I said coffee in front of you…in Jersey it’s cawfee!

  2. April 16, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    LOL….accents don’t bother me…you should hear MINE!!My issue is with pronunciation which doesn’t even approach correctness. It’s just a pet peeve. But, you know, the world still turns!!


  3. 3 Beverly
    April 16, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Peter, I love you! You left “battery” off your list— that always makes me wince.

  4. 4 Chris C
    April 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    You would wince then with realtor and jewelry with me. But around here that is the way everyone pronounces it…now you are making me pronounce a bunch of different words to see how I say them…LOL!

    R-ange – orange
    lawg island – long island (but that’s not my fault…my cousins grew up there and I picked up their New York accent on that one!!)

    This is fun….

  5. 5 Succah Schiffman
    April 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    My favorite grammatical error is using “their” when
    we mean his or her. It seems that the plural is now being
    used everywhere. Nobody understands agreement anymore.
    ex. Everyone gave his (or her) all. They all gave their all. Now, they just say,”Everyone gave their all”. I suppose this arose out of the movement not to
    discriminate against women since, in classical grammer,
    “every one” includes women even though “his” is used.
    Someday, this will be an arcane question on the SAT’s.
    I love your crochet blog and look forward to more patterns.

  6. April 29, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    We can add to that:
    Your for You’re
    Who’s for Whose (or vice versa)
    That for Which or Who

    My very favorite verbosity is “I’m the type of person who….(fill in the blank) rather simply “I ….(fill in the blank). Somehow the extra words for emphasis only serves to disguise the intention of the phrase. Give me pithy every time! Oh well!

    Thanks for your kind words.

  7. 7 Arlene
    May 3, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I have a friend who corrects me all the time about the usage of the words bring and take. ex You take a cake to someones house but take the cake pan home. you don’t bring a cake to someones house. etc. (unless to my house and I wouldn’t care if you brought or took it too my house as long as you brought one !!)

  8. 8 Arlene
    May 3, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    ammendment to my post. take a cake bring the pan home

  9. 9 Chris C
    May 5, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    I had a boyfriend who would make fun of me when I said I was going to “put up a pot of sauce” Meaning I was going to make a pot of sauce (tomato sauce…I never called it gravy even though I’m Italian)

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