August 18, 2005

I'm Gettin' Real Annoyed

Of all my many pet peeves about grammar, and I have many, though they might not be readily discernible with my penchant for hitting the "save" button before proofreading, one common occurance that bothers me the most is the dropping of the "-ly" suffix on words.

A few years ago, Tennessee put signs all over the place that said "Drive Careful." They grated on my nerves every time I drove past one. Would it have been so difficult to say "Drive Safely?" It even would have saved a whole letter.

The magazine Real Simple drives me up the wall. Although I've enjoyed every issue I've ever looked at, I will never subscribe just on principle.

All around me, people are dropping "-ly" and I just hate hearing it. To add insult to injury, as far as I'm concerned, they are seducing my son to the dark side. He hears a constant barrage of phrases like "real easy" and "do it quick" outside the home and he's starting to imitate it. Not only that, but already at the tender age of five completely convinced of his own mental superiority to mom and dad, he refuses to believe us when we correct him. He hears and sees it everywhere. How could he possibly be wrong?

Other than blindfolding him, stuffing his ears with cotton and locking him in the house, I'm not sure how to prevent the "-ly" dropping from seeping in, but I'm going to keep correcting it, because to do otherwise is unthinkable. Bring back the "-ly" and save my son from barbarism.


You could not be more right about this! On one of my first dates with my now fiancee, she told me a story involving a neighbor of her parents who had put up a sign on their street that said "Drive Slow." As soon as she told me someone had done such a thing, I cringed. That was her reaction as well. She said that it did not make her want to "drive slow," but fast, right over the top of their stupid sign. I suggested we go over in the middle of the night and add a sign that simply says "ly."

Posted by: David G. Kern at August 18, 2005 03:39 PM

::scuffs toe on ground:: I'm real sorry about that.


My peeve is the word "hisself." I correct the kids every time one of them says it, but I am stymied by the fact that their MOTHER says it. Grr. (But you didn't hear that from me.)

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 18, 2005 04:54 PM

Oh I hear you!!!

One of my pet peeves is the use of the phrase "How come?" instead of "Why?". I forbid my children from saying it.

Oh and saying "ice tea" instead of "iced tea"

Posted by: chris at August 19, 2005 06:41 AM

Wow! A chance for my anal-retentiveness to shine!

Having worked in an office environment most of my adult life, I can't tell you the number of times I've seen a piece of paper taped to the lid of the copy machine saying, "Copier broke." To which, I always say in my loudest voice, "Not only doesn't it have any money, it doesn't work either!"

The other thing that's guaranteed to induce a cringe is using the phrase, "that's a whole nuther thing" instead of "another whole thing."

(Unless, of course, you're just using it as part of your on-line schtick, and then it's always appropriate.)

Just what is a "nuther" anyway? And why would I want a whole one?

Posted by: LittleA at August 19, 2005 07:31 AM

Just hang in there! My mom corrected me constantly and I do well most of the time. When I don't remember which gammer is correct, at least I know I don't know.

Around here, the big pet peeve is less and fewer. Target is one of the few stores I have seen with a sign that reads 10 items or fewer.

Posted by: George at August 20, 2005 08:53 AM

Did you hear about that book "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves"? The author apparently picketed a movie theater with an apostrophe on a long stick once (undoubtedly one was missing).

Posted by: Lenise at August 22, 2005 10:54 AM

Yes, we have Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, although I haven't read it yet. It's in the bedside pile.

Posted by: Jordana at August 22, 2005 03:46 PM