Monday, August 31, 2009

Catablogue: Mangled English

For the final catablogue entry of the month, I offer you a veritable smorgasbord of blogs all related to abuse of the English language. I realize that it can seem elitist to revel in the speaking and writing errors of others; after all, nobody's perfect--and the English language's usage rules are constantly evolving to reflect our changing world and the inventiveness of people who enjoy playing with language for effect. But ignoring the rules of grammar, usage, mechanics, etc., for no apparent reason is a different matter altogether. When the rules are broken egregiously or ignored so inexcusably as to constitute an affront to the sensibilities of the general English-speaking populace, then one of these bloggers is likely to point it out:

Literally, a Web Log: An English Language Grammar Blog Tracking Abuse of the Word "Literally" -- Someone who says, "I literally died of laughter!" but who is not speaking from beyond the grave is a person who doesn't understand how to use the word "literally."

Apostrophe Catastrophes: The Worlds' Worst. Punctuation; -- Oftentimes a reader can figure out the meaning behind a poorly punctuated sentence, but should he/she have to? And let's review: except in the case of lowercase letters (e.g., "dot your i's and cross your t's"), the apostrophe is not used to form plurals. Stop inserting apostrophes in phrases such as "music of the 1980s" (not "1980's") or "apples are on sale" (not "apple's")!

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks -- When a reader sees quotation marks, he/she judges from the context whether the author is directly quoting someone or being ironic (e.g., if my car comes back from the garage just as inoperable as when I brought it in, I could write that the mechanic "fixed" my car). That ironic effect is achieved unintentionally by businesses that toss in quotation marks randomly on signs or ads or menus (e.g., the breakfast special suddenly sounds suspicious when the menu lists it as a breakfast "special").

GrammarBlog: Mocking Poor Grammar Since 2007 -- The sidebar of this blog asks, "Do you think people who don't know the difference between 'your' and 'you're' should be strung up by their gonads? You do? Welcome to GrammarBlog." That says it all.

(What is a catablogue?)

No comments:

Post a Comment