Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Grammar Gorilla

Some time ago, I came across a website called The Grammar Gorillas. I said to Brutus, “Finally, the greatest of the great apes will banish the peccadilloes of the English language.” Hah! I was sorely disappointed. The Grammar Gorillas deal only with parts of speech. What would I do with parts of speech? If I wanted to talk about nouns, prepositions, or conjunctions, I would consult with Dr. Knickerbocker, my old Latin Professor. Five seconds later, I would fall asleep on top of his desk.

I have decided to take matters into my own hands. Henceforth, I shall banish contractions. Contractions are at the roots of so many problems. Consider “It’s” and “Its.” If you just write, “It is,” all you have to remember is that “it” never takes an apostrophe. “You’re” and “your” are similar culprits of confusion. Banish the apostrophe! “You’re” becomes “you are.” Worst of all is the they’re/their/there Triumvirate. Preposterous! First, remove the apostrophe, so that you have “they are.” To remember the difference between “there and their,” all you have to do is to put a “t” in front of “here” to get the opposite word. By process of elimination, "their" becomes the possessive of a group: "Their party is over there. They are having a great time drinking banana daquiris."

From now on, I will not use any contractions. They are bothersome, fiddly things that do nothing but cause perfectly reasonable people to worry and fuss.

Amendment: I have decided to retain one contraction for personal use: "Y'all." I would hate to see “Y’all” disappear from the English language.

10 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

In childbirth even lady gorillas have contractions as they regret coupling with over-excited male gorillas.

Thank you for the tip about "there" and "here" - I will use this little rule as I bring knowledge and enlightenment to the children of north Sheffield.

Fridaysweb said...

Brad, you can drop the apostrophe from yall. Where I'm from (or should that say, where I am from?), it's not really a contraction. Yall is a collective term, thus needing no contraction. Kind of like their. Many people think yall is a shortened version of you all, but it's really not. Not in the true southern sense of the word.

Just to make you squirm - *peck*

HitManJ said...

Amy, I will have to disagree with you here. The grammatically correct form is "y'all." It IS a contraction for "you all." While used as a term for a collective, it is STILL just "you all." The "true southern sense" of which you speak is not grammatically accurate. Just because everyone down here by me says "same o, same o" doesn't make it right. They are still conveying the message "Same old, same old" and therefore should say "Same o', same o'." Constant improper use does not make it ok.

As you can tell, my biggest frustration "down here" is grammar. While we don't have to always use exact, correct grammar (such as ending sentences with prepositions: "the lady with whom I went to the store"), we should not excuse ourselves from at least gaining some handle on our own language. This is how garbage like "ebonics" gets started. Someone got too lazy and began to just say whatever hit his tongue. Someone else let him and next thing you know, we have forgotten how to phrase simple sentences like "Look, mom, there it is"--as opposed to "Look, ma, der day go."

Now I know how the British felt around, say, 1825? How long do you reckon it took for us to shake the marbled out of our mouth?

Amy, love, I mean no disrespect to you or the Southern race. I am very passionate about knowledge and laziness. Laziness begets ignorance and we're already struggling for respect from the rest of our own country, let alone the world. We have to force ourselves to rise above the stereotypes and change life for the better.

And use your turn signals, fuckers!

Nonny said...

Christ J, write a book why don't ya.

Brad, As someone who, during their brief 2 1/2 years at university was an English major I cannot in good conscience stop using contractions. I certainly applaud your effort to clarify the meaning of contractions, but honostly I love apostrophes, They're so cute. But not as cute as you :)

Nonny said...

PS: Puddin was mean to me!

Lady K said...

LMAO at J! Dude, CHILL! MELLOW! And do not forget to turn OFF your turn signal when you are not using it. (Brad, notice I used no contractions - hooray!)

abcgirl said...

hmm... i wonder if we could apply similar logic to "their"... if we remove the "t" then we have "heir" which means...both words have connotations of possession! or, erm... maybe that's just confusing.

Brad the Gorilla said...

Nonny--
Where was Mr. Pudding mean to you? Mr. Pudding, I'll have you know that if you make Nonny unhappy, I will sit on you. And I'll drink all your beer. (I've developed a taste for it in the past week, thank you very much for that case of local brew you sent from Sheffield. The duty was murder, but the beer was delicious.) So, don't do it.

I will write more later. I need to watch the new "Battlestar Galactica" on DVD now. I'm on the first season, and I'm hooked. Starbuck is my hero.

Brad the Gorilla said...

P.S. Oh No! I have used contractions. I am so embarrassed. What will I do? I could delete the comment. Whoops... the message came up saying, "This comment will stick to this post forever, and this post may not be deleted." Foiled!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

ABCGirl--
I thought the same thing, too, about "heir."