Tuesday, June 8, 2010

observations on language.....omg

parent, impact, gone missing.....let the language games begin......

i had parents. not an odd thing, you all did. know them or not, like them or not, you had them. biologically, physiologically, genetically you had to. not possible not to. and mine were ...... i dunno....average. better than some, worse than others, but i firmly believe, in my current state of mostly sane, (but for the occasional lapse), they did the best they could with what they had. children of the great depression, both of them. for a while, each, in his/her own family, were kind of poor. ok, very poor. grandma k, (don't forget, i'm davidk) took in boarders, or so i've been told, to make ends meet. grandma s, (mom's side), well, let's just say that after the trip from europe to escape oppression, and some lean years in america at the turn of the 20th century, and the great depression, and subsequent world war, there were a paint store, taxis, some shady deals, a brush, (however big or small) with the mob, and they ended up, well, comfortable. my forebears, were plain people with good intentions who came to america as immigrants, that went through ellis island, all proper like, and began a new life here, with only their home language in their mouths. they stayed, worked hard, made a life, produced 1st generation offspring that spoke english as a 1st language and yiddish as backup. (or vice versa, i wasn't actually there). but both of my parents, were bilingual, mostly english, pretty good yiddish. they went to american schools in jersey city, nj, grew up, met, dad fought in the great war, came home, married, had kids, a/k/a me.....(and a couple of others, whom i'll leave out of the blog until i get permission).....and we grew up with a good (i'd like to say old fashioned) grade school education, except that it wasn't old fashioned. it was 2nd generation new american to our people. might have been old fashioned to the descendents of the mayflower gang, who'd been here awhile, but not so, us. but..... and this is a big but..... we learned grammar. it began right after alphabet. not sure, maybe 1st, maybe 2nd grade. by then you had to speak proper. haha, kidding. properly. or just proper english. (it works either way if you're taught proper grammar). and i was. i'm still smarter than a 5th grader. to this day i can diagram a sentence. (if you don't know what that means, then chances are your grammar sucks). and so i choose to take issue with some daily usage of the current language known as american english.

parent. noun. father or mother. one that begets or brings off offspring. (webster's dictionary...and merriam knows some shit).

for example, i have 2 parents. (noun). jane is about to become a parent. (noun).
hi blanche, how are your parents? (plural noun). oh, she had a kid at 14 but she's a great parent.(noun) and on and on.

suddenly, i hear............moesha doesn't parent very well. (verb)??? her parenting skills are lacking. (adjective? modifying skills?). there are classes at the college in parenting (gerund?).......WTF??? who decided that parent is no longer a noun? i hate to use this excuse but maybe i was absent that day. but you hear it all the time now, and i don't like it. i don't like it one bit. i won't use it. i'd like to see the sentence diagrammed, thank you very much.

impact. noun. the striking of one thing against another; foreceful contact; collision. influence.

for example. the job market statistics had a very negative impact on the stock market. (noun). and so on. i think you get it.

suddenly i hear, the smell of her intoxicating perfume impacted his judgement on whether or not to bed her down. (verb??). putting 2 kids through college will impact your financial as well as mental health. (future verb??). the oil belching from the spill is impacting the tourism in st petersburg, not to mention the political environment. (verb??). HELP!!! what happend to the rules? this is one in which i refuse to participate. i have enough verbs, a dictionary filled with verbs. verbs i haven't even used yet, so i don't need to add impact to the list.

i could go on, but i think you get the drift of it. i urge you all to be wary of bastardizing your language and grammar. be afraid, lest we all speak poorly.
it's a slippery slope at best.

ok. while i'm on the subject, slightly different, but this one pisses me off the absolute most.



i first heard the late peter jennings use it on the nightly news and my eyes crossed. i always loved him. so handsome, so classy, and the best english ever, especially because he was canadian, eh? so.......

let's do grammar drills:
me: where's your son?
mary: : oh, he's.....
gone fishing
gone shopping
gone blading
gone hunting
gone swimming
gone scuba diving...etc.

now, i know how to fish, shop, blade, hunt, swim, scuba dive.....but i don't know how to miss. can someone please tell me how to miss, so i can go missing?

more grammar drills:
me i miss my momma
i miss the days before i had 12 communication devices
i miss the days when i could hold my water
i miss drinking and driving
i miss qaaludes.... etc.

but i can't wrap my mind around he's gone missing.
see, here's the thing. i'd say,
where is he? oh, he's missing.
or even, as a phrase, he's among the missing.
but he hasn't GONE missing.

me:  miss dubois, where's little elmo today?
miss dubois: oh, he's gone missing.?????
me no, i think it's he missed a day of school.

diane sawyer: two marines went missing today in iraq
me no, diane, i think two marines went hunting for snipers today and are now missing in action
should we change the lyrics of the hymn amazing grace?

i once was lost, but now i'm found........


i once went missing, but now i'm found.....

i think not. i won't have it, i tell you, i just won't!!!! (ok, truth be told, i suppose it sounds cool to say it, because it's a new phrase, and everyone jumps on the bandwagon when there's a new catchy, kitschy item, (like let's give a shout out for oprah......or ..can i get a fist bump, and suddenly everyone at the water cooler is touching knuckles......hmmmm......give me my props, ......catchy, i know, but it's still WRONG!)
i'll fight this gone missing thing til there's i'm no longer able to make a fist or shout out or until i've gone dead.

so let's give it up, give a shout out, high five, david's in the house, show some respect.......for me!!!! (ugh.....how about just, let's hear it for the boy?)

there, now you know. i'm a stickler for language, and this whole generation of bastardized english, ebonics, hip-hop song lyrics, rap, poetic license run amok, and the like, is enough to drive me to a series of martinis. (not that i really need a reason).

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