Watching the movie "The Heartbreak Kid" this weekend brought to mind a topic that I love to love: grammar -- of the English variety, to be specific. Ben Stiller's wife in the movie broached the topic of living together and used the word "inhabitate" -- which was fortunately met with great resistance from Ben's character and a request that she consult Webster's Dictionary to seek further guidance regarding the correct verb and its proper usage. As I've said in the past -- I'm no English major, journalist, teacher or member of any other profession in which it is my specific duty to correct the misspeak of society; however, as your friend, it is my privilege and pleasure to share with you just a few of the most commonly misused and abused terms to which my sensitive ears have been victims over the years:
-> Intended meaning: To hold a discussion
-> Example(s): "Why are we still conversating about this?"
-> Correct word: Converse
-> Etymology: A word so often misspoken that it was allegedly added to the dictionary (and/or otherwise recognized) by Webster's New Millennium Dictionary of English. From Biggie to Beyoncé, this fictitious word has been chanted to a melody and recited by music fans worldwide to ill effect.
-> Intended meaning: Without regard, care or consideration
-> Example(s): "Irregardless, she shouldn't have done that"
-> Correct word: Regardless
-> Etymology: I wish I knew. There is absolutely no excuse for a double-negative in the SAME DAMN WORD. None whatsoever. It's worse than saying "I can't not do this never." What the fuck are you saying? Either you are or you aren't. Both the prefix "ir-" and the suffix "-less" are intended to indicate a lack of something -- whether it be regard, rationale, compassion or anything else human. There is absolutely no sound reason to use both at once. I'd sure like to have a nice conversation with the foolhardy individual who first spread that poisonous, filthy word to the masses so that I might enlighten him/her to the folly of his/her ways.
-> Intended tense(s): Present Progressive, Present, Imperfect, etc
-> Example(s): "Who be doing that?"; "Why you be saying stuff like that?"
-> Correct wording: Usually the correct tense of "do" or whichever verb succeeds "be"
-> Etymology: Pure colloquialism that has far too often rolled off the tongues of those skilled in American slang -- which is often referred to as Ebonics, in what appears to have been intended as a more PC term and/or empowering to African Americans. Honestly, to suggest that slang is unique or specific to blacks probably generated the inverse of whatever emotion was intended or desired here -- good job. As my buddy Music Snob might say -- DO BETTER!
-> Intended meaning: Contraction for "you are"
-> Example(s): "Just call me when your outside."
-> Correct wording: You're.
-> Etymology: As in "you're welcome." Which is what I'll say when you thank me for this later. There are people out there who probably think that nothing is awry in the example that I gave. Naturally, this is an error reserved for writing -- but an utterly complete & comprehensive grammar check is just so far off from reality that we all need to stay on our toes. This atrocity can easily be avoided... if you require assistance, please take a look here for a handy guide. Please also refer to the "their/they're" dilemma.
I'm sure that I've overlooked a plethora of other misnomers and otherwise faulty verbiage (please note that I did not say "verbage"), but I'm hoping that you guys and your lovely commentary will help resolve that issue (i.e., I cracked open the coconut -- now it's time to eat).
I hope that all of my educated brethren will join me in yet another crusade -- this time to bring the everlasting joy that comes with a firm grasp of one's language of birth and to end the seemingly interminable verbal atrocities spewing from the orifices of our fellow Earthlings.
*Only when not intended for use as a possessive pronoun.