14 April 2014

Curled Up In a Feeble Position

by Fran Rizer




Did you catch all the words that were misused?  I thought I did, but when I went back to read it again, I found two more.  I disagree with the thought at the beginning that misuse might be the result of someone wishing to sound more elite or educated though I believe that's the cause of those people who use "I" as the object of a compound pronoun.  

Somehow they seem to think "me" is an inferior pronoun, so they say such things as "Between you and I..." which is incorrect since "I" is the nominative form and "me" is objective. As you writers know, "Between you and me" is correct.  Another one that is heard sometimes is "for you and I."  Once again, as the object of the preposition "for," the correct choice is "me."  When I taught, I told my students on those compound objects of prepositions, they could find the right word by leaving out the "you."  As they used to tell me, "You're right, Ms. Rizer, I wouldn't say 'for I.'"

Nobody confesses to ever watching "Honey Boo Boo," so this will be news to everyone--Mama June and her girls constantly misuse words, sometimes homophones, sometimes just words that sound similar in their speech. The problem here is that while they do it to appear hopelessly stupid rednecks, it's very obvious that those bits are scripted.


I had a character who did that in one of the Callie books.  Among other misused words, she didn't want to stay out in the night air very long because she was afraid of catching "ammonia." I think she was the young wife of the old pharmacist found dead in the hot tub in Casket Case, but I'm not positive.

I can be amused by such language, but I recently sent out a manuscript where the protagonist swiped her bank debit card and entered her "pen" instead of her PIN....just wasn't being careful in my writing.  Nothing wrong with writing it that way (we all make mistakes), but I should have caught it in proofing. The problem is that I SENT IT TO MY AGENT.  Maybe it will work more like the cartoon below than like him thinking I'm losing it.


This gives me the idea for another contest.  Somewhere in this blog is a mispelled word. The first one to point it out on comments will get a prize.

Now, for my favorite:


Since this blog has just been playing around with words anyway and Leigh loves puns, I'll add this:


That's enough foolishness for one day.  Have a great one, and 
remember...

Until we meet again, take care of… you.

11 comments:

Robert Lopresti said...

No mention of Mrs. Malaprop? I am reminded of a day in college when we were discussing someone who had problems with using the wrong words and a friend of mine said, seriously, "Maybe he just can't talk it good." Indeed.

Anonymous said...

How fun! And yes, Mr. Lopresi, I too thought of Mrs. Malaprop! But the puns were particularly nice addition to the malapropisms! What a nice Monday morning read!

David Dean said...

Very funny stuff, Fran. Thanks, it was a nice start to the week.

Fran Rizer said...

Rob, don't know why I didn't think of Mrs. Malaprop, but the only reason is that I didn't think of her. Anon and David, thanks for your comments. Hope all of you have a great week.

Dale Andrews said...

Great piece, Fran. Nice to start Mo nday off with a smile.

Years back when I was teaching legal writing I had a student who absolutely consistently used "of" instead of "have" (e.g., "The court should of ruled against the defendant.) On her first paper I circled every one of them and gave her a C-. In our conference reviewing the paper she calmly explained to me that I was being unfair, and that this was just the way she had always written. I listened, smiling, and told her that the C- was, in fact, a gift and that if this happened again she would get an F. Well, it didn't. Tough medicine but without a smack in the face this kid was otherwise never going to get a job!

Dixon Hill said...

Fran, the barbell one reminds me of the baseball one I heard: "He wondered why the ball kept getting bigger, and then it hit him." Great puns! I loved them all.

Dale, that student was lucky to have you as a prof. Otherwise, you're right, she'd never of gotten a job! At least, I'd never of hired her. lol

--Dixon

Dixon Hill said...

Fran, the barbell one reminds me of the baseball one I heard: "He wondered why the ball kept getting bigger, and then it hit him." Great puns! I loved them all.

Dale, that student was lucky to have you as a prof. Otherwise, you're right, she'd never of gotten a job! At least, I'd never of hired her. lol

--Dixon

Fran Rizer said...

Dixon, I agree that Dale's student was lucky to have him as a prof. Too many teachers these days either don't know correct form themselves or think they are being mean if they try to teach students the rules that they will need to abide by in the adult world.
I'm glad both of you enjoyed these humorous efforts, none of which were original with me, but all of which amused me also.

Jan Grape said...

I'm online but don't know for how long. Thanks for covering for me. I keep saying I'm going to get an emergency column up but still don't. But I will cover you next week, Fran.
You're collum is phunny fer sure. Thanks for the laugh. I thought of Mrs. Malaprop. I never saw the play but my husband had seen it and mentioned it several times. Hope everyone has a good week. I'm going to the wedding of a cousin tonight. She's been single a long time, is a grandmother, am so happy for her. At 50 she deserved happiness, aft raising 3 kids alone.

Leigh Lundin said...

Ha! Clever mispelled word! I didn't catch it the first pass and had to go back again!

I liked the post dramatic stress disorder and the PMS jokes aren't funny. A friend insists the first two letters in PMS stand for premeditated murder.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend I grew up with that had a hearing issue, she pronounced 30% of her words wrong, and after trying to get her to say it right a couple times she got frustrated. My grandma and her mom always said things wrong, with my grandmother one example: we have a park, potter park, she says parters park all the time, and her and her mom both took tarlinol for pain. She wiggthrow a fit and yell if we correct her, so with here comes honey boo boo you think nobody could be that ignorant, but I am surrounded by it.