Archive for May 25, 2007

Duhmb & Duhhhhhhhhhh

May 25, 2007 Leave a comment

IF just one more person, on the radio airwaves, uses the pronoun his as the possessive prefix for -self, I am telling! Did these guys all take extra gym? sniff too many jock straps? What in their brain tells them himself, just can’t be right?

A few years back, I was friendly with someone who was not the best educated person I’d ever met. Though she had many admirable qualities, I think her years as a junkie and lover to a dude doing time for armed robbery, left her a bit short in the grammar department. So, when she said; ‘ he just ain’t hisself since he’s in prison,’ I didn’t correct her after the first dozen times. But she wasn’t part of a nationally syndicated radio program. More importantly, she was good looking.

In a previous work here, I limply pointed out many of these jock hosts add the suffix -ness to words the way Mr. Bush adds zeroes to the left of the defense decimal. Doing it so often, they occasionally are correct by default. OR is that defaultness? Listen, I had big problems in school with grammar specific tests. I know gerunds are words not German rodents, but I couldn’t identify one for love or a deviant. I’m not perfect as God & my old high school English teacher Miss Ritz know; frankly, I enjoy speaking in a word gumbo-like street patois as much as the next pseudo-intellectual. Any early in the day reader of this old blahg, must have quite a hearty chuckle at my typos.

But how does an individual, without the basic grasp of spoken English get a job public speaking? and could they tell me how to do it too! If I knew 20 years ago how lax the standards would be now, I’d have had a whole different life. Again, some time back, I came across a major publishing house whose novels had more than a handful of typos. Not just one author or the same book, but several titles found on library shelves. Somebody needs to be fired for installing that spellchecker. But how does it get past a human proofreader? do they even employ one?

You might go into shock, but I once collaborated on & edited a college level text. One day, long after the publishing, for a laugh I decided to proof it again. Yep—I found a mistake. Now, 3 other people had looked the manuscript and the galleys over and missed it too. So, I know how it feels to feel and look stupid. I offered the aforementioned publisher my services. I haven’t heard from them. Apparently one error is much worse than say, 6! I guess it stands out more in an otherwise pristine field, like my car in the golf course parking lot.

I’m not demanding the language always be spoken formally. That would be stilted & lacking in texture. Here in Virginny local announcers often pronounce the word vehicle, vee-hickle, QED. That actually speaks for itself quite well. They are guys who were huntin’ & fishin’ when Miss Crabtree was larnin’ folks how to talk good. They also say a long vowel a when doing ad copy because they believe it makes them sound professional, as in the following: Zeke & Jody’s Pre-wrecked Veehickles is having aye sale. . ..

Prick that I am, I called the station manager once and asked why he allowed this. He told me: ‘ hey! I’m still trying to get them to wear shoes!’ That may well be sarcastic, having fun at the damnyankee know it all’s expense. But I think he needs to take aye good look at hisself in the mirror!