Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Do you cringe whenever you hear the English language being decimated?

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU ALL, BUT I CRINGE whenever I hear folks today butchering the English language. I mean, it's bad enough that the word "like" is over-used ad nauseum; and grammar, in general, has become lax to the point of ridiculous. But it really, really grates me to hear people inserting extra syllables into ordinary words, and/or dropping letters altogether.

Examples: Sixteen has become "sixtee-an"; mean has become "mee-an"; and didn't has become "did-ennt"; etc. And people (especially women) love to drop letters, as does the female anchor on the show, America This Morning, who pronounces "Putin" as "Poo-in"... I guess that would be okay if you're twelve or thirtee-an, but that silliness should be out of your system by the time you're old enough to become a professional journalist!

And don't even get me started on the declaratory sentences that sound like questions because the speaker increased their intonation as if what they were saying was a yes-no question. For instance, WHY would the statement, "I'm leaving the house in a few minutes to do some grocery shopping," be spoken as if it's a question? "I'm leaving the house in a few minutes to do some grocery shopping?"

AAARGH! Are you telling me or ASKING me whether you're leaving the house? Sheesh! Snap out of it! (And yes, I know, English teachers go crazy when you start your sentences with a preposition. I adopted that bad habit a LONG time ago! So, sue me!)

Maybe I'm just growing old and cantankerous, I don't know. Or perhaps I just have "an old soul," because, in all honesty, language-botching has always bugged me. Back in "my day" (the Vietnam Era and the "hippie generation" where Timothy Leary suggested we all "turn on, tune in, drop out") it always galled me to pieces to hear the crazy slang of the day, or watch the goofy behavior of people my age.

I remember, while I was a young soldier stationed at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, we had some pot-smoking macho white guys who, during their off-duty time would walk around like gorillas with a "hitch in their get-along"; arms dangling loosely at their sides, palms facing backward, knuckles practically dragging the ground, clearly believing themselves to "look hip" and sound impressive by talking like a bunch of illiterate Troglodytes.

"Hey, baby, like, what's happenin'? I really dig you. Wanna scoot over to my pad and drop a dime?"

(As much as I hate to admit it, I was stupid enough to marry one of those buffoons, because he had me convinced he was the smartest person on the planet, and that I was extremely blessed to even be in his presence. The reality was that he was dumber than a bag of hammers, kept getting busted down in rank, and ultimately ended up in prison for killing someone while high on Heroin. Trust me, I had learned my lesson, because experience often IS the best teacher!)

Anyway, then there were the black "cool" guys who couldn't pass other black guys without engaging in ridiculously long "dapping" rituals just to say "how ya doin'?" (Dapping - look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls - LOL!) It was truly hilarious to watch the endless "dapping" going on in the chow lines on a daily basis.

Also, way back when, people would use terms like, “cool, far out, funky, groovy, outta sight, stoned, stoked and bummed out.” They referred to guys as “cats” and girls as “chicks” or “foxes”; and policemen were known as “fuzz” and "pigs." Back then, we didn’t “have fun”; we “had a gas.” People who were known to “do drugs” were referred to as “freaks.” Those who didn’t were called “squares” or “downers.”

Obviously, yours truly was considered a “downer” on many fronts. Still am, I guess because I'm filled with much discernment and common sense. But honestly, it’s not because I’m trying to be “mee-an”; and I sure hope I “did-ennt” upset anyone with my little rant!

Realizing that times and people do change, and that nothing stays the same, I have to admit that I am sad to see that much of the western world has not only been falling apart, but has also been busy reverting back to "as the days of Noah were" (Matthew 24:37-39); spawning myriad self-centered, loud-mouthed armchair experts on everything, who respect nothing and no one; and who no longer wish to work for living.

Ironically, those traits actually started “in my day” with the likes of the "beatniks." "drop-outs" and "hippies" who thought they were the smartest, coolest beings on the planet...


  1. Oh Carmen! We could be bookends. I go nuts whenever I hear or read improper grammar diction. Especially from journalists. Their editors are just as much to blame. Language is the tool of their trade and they cannot use that tool correctly. I often can be heard talking back to the t.v. or radio correcting their grammar. It makes my ears hurt. Don't even get me started on the ordinary person. My son gave me a tee shirt printed with, "In my head I am correcting your grammar right now." I guess I have a reputation...

    1. Joan, you just said it all, sis! I'm ashamed of my chosen profession of journalism, because some of today's journalists are absolutely atrocious! Not only do they break every grammar rule, but these days, they get to insert their own opinions into every story. That is NOT what I was taught in journalism school! (BTW, I love that T-shirt, LOL!)


  3. Carmen, a few articles I found that I would like to share with you (as it relates to the topic):



  4. I too cringe when I hear the English language being decimated. Do you believe or think that Hebrew was the original language from the Creation to Babel?

  5. Yes,yes and yes! Thank you Carmen. It drives me nuts too. Especially when "journalists and editors" do it. After all language and grammar are the tools of their trade. Imagine a carpenter using a hammer to turn a screw. That's the first clue to look elsewhere.

  6. I'm an older freak too, nearing 70, and enjoyed this walk down memory lane with terms from those Woodstock years! But as a trained missionary/translator, we know all language is organic and we have to accept change. We just don't have to like it. Thanks for writing!


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