Friday, August 12, 2011

Proper Grammar And A Turkey Call

Maybe it's because it has been a long week or perhaps because I've had to get up too early every day this week, but I'm in the mood for an end-of-week mini-rant. This always bothers me, but I'm going to get it off my chest so I can get on with the weekend.

There has been a general decline in proper English and grammar over the years and I suspect much of it has resulted from the Internet, texting, and street slang. I realize things change, words are "invented", and the use of handheld devices has caused us to use shortcuts when typing. On the other hand, it's pretty sad when we can't even master the simple basics of our language and grammar. And before you try to knock me off my high horse, I'm not pointing to any one thing or person in particular. My strong suits in school were always composition, grammar, and literature. I sucked at math. Period. Because of my natural fondness for English composition and grammar, I tend to notice things that bug me. That's not to say I am perfect in these areas because I certainly am not. I just wish we could learn the basic rules. And I don't seek out these things - they just jump out at me. Most of the time, I notice this stuff on the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook.

The big ones.....

Lose: the opposite of win OR when something is lost
Loose: the opposite of tight

It's: abbreviation of "it is" (It's going to be hot today OR it is going to be hot today.)
Its: possessive, ownership (Its tracks were everywhere.)

You're: abbreviation of "you are" (You're welcome OR you are welcome.)
Your: possessive, ownership (This is your deer stand.)

They're: abbreviation of "they are" (They're going fishing OR they are going fishing.)
Their: possessive, ownership (Their cabin is on the hill.)
There: location, place (We are going to hunt over there.)

Affect: changes or influences something (The snow should not affect our hunting.)
Effect:  a result (The effects of the full moon were dramatic.)
These two can be tricky sometimes, but a quick Internet search can help you with the correct usage.

Like I said, I am not an expert and I don't spend time looking for grammatical errors. These are just some of the simple ones that tend to be obvious. I make plenty of mistakes, but I try to be conscious of what I type. On the Internet, what you type is what people see. You represent yourself with the written word. Obviously, shorthand and abbreviations are common and accepted now, especially on Twitter or when texting because characters are at a premium. There really isn't an excuse for not having the basics of our language down pat, though.

Well, that's off my chest now and I'm looking forward to our last regular bass tournament of the season tomorrow! It's a night tourney and doesn't start until 6pm, but we're going to hit the lake early and just fish for fun before the serious fishing starts.

And just so we end on a good note, here's a training video for you turkey hunters. I watched this many times when I was learning how to use a turkey call. Note: *Contains semi-adult content that may be disturbing to some viewers. On the other hand, it may not disturb you at all.

Enjoy your weekend!


TexWisGirl said...

LMAO! sorry, maybe i should be offended but i'm not.

okay - i admit to having a weak spot on affect and effect - i really have to stop and think on it.

another one that i see TOO often is TOO and TO. even printed in our local papers... makes me crazy!

okay. thanks for the rant. i'll try to proofread my posts more carefully before hitting 'publish'. :)

p.s. glad you didn't mention folks who type without capital letters. :)

kmurray said...

It doesn't matter how many times I see that video, I always have to watch it at least twice when it's posted. The first time to laugh my you-know-what off and the second because I just can't believe she did that! Too funny!

As for the grammar rant, all good points and all things I should remember but I don't. Ain't never been real good at the proper writtin' 'n stuff ;-)

darlin said...

The video is hilarious! I am sitting here by myself laughing, now I'm wondering what my shrink would say if she knew I was laughing out loud at my computer. Who cares, it's Friday!

I can relate to your rant, kids today are not learning how to master the English language. I agree with what you said when you mentioned "You represent yourself with the written word", kids today are in a ton of trouble if this is the case. My niece who is 16 can't even spell, let alone write a story. This was unheard of back in the black and white days. However, because I'm currently in university I find that sometimes my writing on my blog is stuffy and I dummy it down. I'm in essay mode most of the time and on my papers I get busted all the time for comma splices... not spelling, not word usage, but darn comma splices.

Have a fantastic weekend and all the best to you in the tournament. I hope you're planning on posting photos from your last tournament, you take some amazing shots.

JATunnell said...

I totally agree. I worked at a retail store for 15 years. We actually started making any one filling out an application do it right there. So we could see if they knew how to write. One kid brought his mom in to help him fill out the app.
I'm not even sure they teach English Composition in school anymore.
Can you imagine these kids in another 10-20 years, running some government office???

Bill said...

I always get a good laugh from that video. I think my 'main problem' and something that I can't seem to 'stop' doing is using these dang 'single quotation marks'. I just can't stop. Not sure why.

Good luck in the tournament!

wanderingowloutside said...

I'm with you on the grammar, Brian. Drives me nuts, sometimes.