Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Moot" not "Mute"

I always say that I'm pretty loose with language.
In reality, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to language.
I never really learned to type with more than two fingers - three at the most.
Throughout high school and college, I'd always known one girl or another who would type my papers for me.
I never had to learn to type nor to be concerned with spelling, syntax, grammar, whatever....
I was (am) just lazy.

While reading the comments section of an old post, someone pointed out that I used "mute" when I should have used "moot".
Sure, I know the difference and even know when to use each.
But I never made the correction to the original post.
Like the drip marks in a Basquiat painting - ones mistakes are more telling than ones corrections.
Sometimes it could be a typo, sometimes I could have been using a similar word earlier and had gotten stuck on a certain spelling (I was writing "contractor" all day and later misspelled "computer" as "computor" in one case.), sometimes I get stuck between using SAE and Ebonics, sometimes I fail to proofread my posts or comments.
As I said, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to language.

Most people don't even notice or don't care.
Not even notoriously erudite pedants (Like SeeNew or (the now deceased) Mills) care about mistakes on blogs.
(Unless someone is trying to be a bit too cute by making sumpsimus corrections that do not apply. If this is the case, one should be ready to receive a years worth schooling, in fifty words or less, from some of the best minds on the Internet.)
Most understand that most people are just being colloquial.
Some people use 'a' before a vowel when they should be using 'an'.
But this should be read as 'uh apple' not 'a apple', for example.
Most people just write the way they speak.
These are just blogs after all.

But our language is always evolving.
Those of a certain age would never use the word "snuck" - we were taught to use "sneaked".
Many from the same group would use the word "shone" instead of "shined".
Most would know that the phrase is "used to" (with a "d') not "use to".
And when did "affect" become interchangeable with "effect"?
When did prepositional phrases become acceptable for usage by media outlets?
As I said, I'm pretty bad (or is it poor?) when it comes to grammar, spelling, antecedents or even syntax.
I'm just lazy.

6 comments:

Liam said...

i often struggle with a lot of what is in this post, these days though... i just dont care anymore. lazy.
my old blog would take forever because with each post id edit and reedit and proof read and double check and i realized, its a blog im out of school so just like you, lazy is an okay remedy for things such as this.

brohammas said...

You have no idea how many emails I have gotten from my little sister, who has a degree in clinical writing, complaining about the horrible spelling errors on my blog.
I explain to her that I have never done second draft of any of my posts and don't usually re-read any of them till after I post them.
She usually responds with, "and thats why you make yourself look like an idiot."

Of course I am proud of myself because I just typed this whole comment with three fingers, never looking up from the keyboard once.


Why in the world am I proud of this... maybe my sister is right.

amanda said...

I didn't realize how many words I speak are inaccurate until I started to use them on the computer and the spell checker always queried them. Then I had to choose between the correct word or forcing it to accept my speech patterns.

I was educated during the lax years following the sixties when grammar and syntax were dirty words. I barely know what a vowel is. It made it very difficult and embarrassing when I was learning Chinese and couldn't understand the English explanations for the way the language was structured.

DF said...

I think I just don't care. If you can't get the bigger picture then realistically you probably aren't trying to understand what I'm writing anyway.

I always thought blogs didn't have those conditions but I see someone is actually keeping track. WTF

Desertflower said...

Sumpsimous? That's a new one. But you always send me to the Google to look up new words! Like Sisyphus, who knew..LOL!

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