I'll, Aisle, Isle
Feb 26, 2014 | 1860 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
You'll what?!  Say the same sound and call it three different words, three different thoughts?  Well, yes.  I thought I would.

English, with its various roots in language, is often a strange combination of words which sound either alike or very similar, but with dissimilar meanings.  An "isle" is an island.  An aisle is a walking space in a building.  "I'll" is contraction for "I will."

Contractions give us some interesting sound alike words.  The contraction for "I would have" is "I would've."  Because it sounds like "I would of," a legion of people (mostly younger) think that the term is "I would of," not "I would've."  And because ignorance of spelling, word usage and language is becoming an epidemic in America, those who spell the term incorrectly increase in numbers daily.

"There, there," some might caution me.  Which leads to the continually annoying lack of understanding of the difference in usage among "there," "their," and "they're."  "There" is a place.  "Their" is a possessive.  "They're" is a contraction.  They don't mean the same thing. 

Of course, the people who need to learn this do not read columns in newspapers.  They read texts, and tweets, and posts by other equally ignorant authors.

I'm channeling my inner Mrs. Seago, for those of you who had her for senior English.  Mama was always a stickler for using the language properly, too.  It is a safe bet that most of you do know the difference between correct usages of the words and phrases I have mentioned here. 

Knowing such distinctions is a fading talent.  I see published material everywhere in which those being paid to write cannot correctly use the words they employ in their writing.

Do you roll your eyes every time someone uses "your," the possessive, instead of "you're," the contraction meaning "you are"?  I do.  And I read it every day used incorrectly, particularly on message boards.

Unfortunately, most of those who use these words and terms with incorrect spelling simply do not care that there is a correct way to express a thought and an incorrect, misleading way.  If their mistake is pointed out, they quickly rely upon the worst overkill in the history of language, labeling those who understand the difference "grammar Nazis."  Really?  Insisting that one know the difference between "your" and "you're" is on the same level as brutalizing and killing millions?

Language matters.  Words matter.  Spelling matters.  Why? Because using language properly produces clarity of thought, and identifies one as either knowledgeable about language or ignorant of it.

It troubles me when I see college graduates writing on message boards or social media without any sense of proper grammar, syntax, or spelling.  It worries me that generations to come will simply abandon correctly written language for the hodgepodge of abbreviations made popular by texting.  OMG! IDK wat Ill due whn tht hapins.
© 2014, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved
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