Back from August Break

Posted: September 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

Or: The grammar ninja strikes again – a rant.

OK, people, it’s September. Back to school time. The perfect moment, I think for a little grammar lesson. Because a) I can and b) this drives me beyond insane.

The expression is “BATED breath” not baited. I don’t care if even magazines and newspapers are using the wrong expression it’s BATED damn it!  BATED. Granted, we no longer use the word, and even less the verb, which is actually a contraction of  ABATED, as in abate, as in “to make less active or intense“, as in to hold your breath. NOT sit around with a fishhook in your mouth!

Unless of course it’s Fish Hoek Sauvignon Blanc in which case you have my blessing.

Otherwise, don’t even go there. Really. Just don’t.

And for the record, again, it’s “whet your appetite“. not “wet”. As in “to sharpen, to make keen or more acute“.  Sharpen, not dump into the pool. Whet dammit! WHET.

Just because two words sound the same does not make them interchangeable – viz. the expression “to the manor born” which has morphed into “to the manner born”, out of simple bloody minded laziness. And, as far as I’m concerned the whole essence of the expression is lost. Gone, vapourized, sent off into the ether. It is an ex essence.

It has been dumbed down. As usual. Which i find sad. Why is nothing ever “dumbed up” I wonder?

And speaking of  homophones: Their isn’t they’re and much less there.

Its isn’t it’s.

And your and you’re are two totally different animals.

The plural of CD and DVD is CDs and DVDs – there is no damn apostrophe!  It’s not a possessive, it’s a plural and I don’t give a sweet flying fuck what you might see in ads, magazines, newspapers or books.  It’s WRONG!




This concludes today’s lesson on grammar and spelling.  I’m sure you now realize why BB is the teacher and I gave that particular career a pass.

  1. geogypsy says:

    Thank you! I too am bothered by poor grammar and this misuse of words.

  2. geewits says:

    And it’s so irritating to see these mistakes everyday. ha ha ha ha ha. That one drives me insane and I see it all the time – even in expensive ads. “Everyday” as one word means commonplace or usual and is an adjective (An everyday occurence). “Every day” means every day.
    Jazz, why are these people torturing us? Hell, I saw “were” used for “we’re” the other day and got a twitch in my eye. And people wonder why we drink.

  3. pinklea says:

    We can do it, you and I! We can rid the world of poor grammar and stupid spelling errors, one blog post at a time!

    And I AM a teacher and I DO teach like that, except with less expletives. I think it’s all easier in French, though. The rules to follow are clearer and there seem to be fewer exceptions. ( Of course, there is l’accord des adjectifs to deal with … )

  4. mrwriteon says:

    Just one more reason why I love you. Thanks for this.

  5. Jazz says:

    Geo – Looks like it’s all us old ‘uns.

    Geewits – Oh yeah, everyday. A pox on the next person to write that.

    Pink – I think you’re just a little optimistic here – accord avec être ou avoir?

    Ian – Damn! I can do no wrong.

  6. e says:

    Thank you. I have missed your wit and humour. You are correct. We are murdering English every day and the results are not pretty.

    Happy weekend to you.

  7. Jazz says:

    e – Yes, August was a break from my usual sarcasm and nastiness. Hopefully I’m back!

  8. BIg Brother says:

    Good for you lil sister. I just finished giving a lesson on tricky homophones to my students because it also drives me up the wall when they misuse them but at least they have the excuse that it is their second language.

    • Jazz says:

      If it’s your second language, it’s pardonable. If not, you should be shot. Course that would make a huge dent in the English speaking population.

  9. Please add it’s “champing at the bit,” not chomping.

  10. XUP says:

    Here! Here! Your so right. Theirs no excuse for bad grammar. I wish I’d of written this. Its hard to know what the affect of all this sloppy writing will be over the course of time. Hopefully, we won’t loose the ability to write completely so we don’t turn in to a nation of yokels.

  11. lime says:

    bless you my dear. i felt so alone in my pedantry until now.

  12. lime says:

    of course i did just omit capital letters and the requisite comma in that previous comment. perhaps i should flog myself.

  13. Suldog says:

    My favorite (aside from ‘bated’, which I’ve misspelled ON PURPOSE for use as a joke – “I’ll be waiting with baited breath, but I’ll use mouthwash before you get here.”) is HAIR-brained, which it isn’t. It’s HARE-brained, as in the close cousin of a rabbit and with the same general lack of intelligence.

  14. Dumdad says:

    You rock.

    I’m with you on this but I’m afraid its (only joshing) it’s a losing battle. But I shall endeavour to keep the faith and try to write and spell correctly.

  15. Kimberly says:

    How about taking something for ‘granite’ instead of ‘granted’? Which is fine perhaps if you work in a rock quarry or other rock related field, but is not the intention of the phrase.

    I’m guessing you will all enjoy a look at the 100 most mispronounced words site:

  16. Jocelyn says:

    My students all think the phrase is “nip it in the butt” instead of “nip it in the bud.” Deep sigh.

    For the DVDs versus DVD’s one, I have grammar handbooks that say using the apostrophe is necessary with acronymic “words”–that is, “words” that generally aren’t easily pluralized. So I don’t get too het up over that one, as I have books that make the case either way.

  17. alison says:

    This is why I love you..

  18. Warty Mammal says:

    Thank you. Could you please also expound on:

    principle vs. principal
    effect vs. affect
    their vs. there vs. they’re

    I think I’m going to borrow the phrase “nip it in the butt” from Jocelyn, though.

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