Stop the idiot English-mangler madness!


A freakin’ brain-damaged opossum wouldn’t take more than five minutes to note the following:

1. There is no such word as “alot.” There are properly two – count 'em – TWO WORDS. “A lot,” thank you very much. Is your time so incredibly valuable that hitting the space bar between the two words is worth pursuing as a policy? Ditched class that day to hang out in the mall? Lost the concept along with a bunch of other brain cells while smoking crack? Then go to remedial class and do not pass “Go.”

**2. “Like” is not a substitute for “said.” **
Honeychile, (or dude, as the case may be), you betray you low-rent vacuous Valley Girl tendencies when you utter some vapid, sense-free statement as – “And I was like, ‘Omigod!’” No, you were not “like” anything. You said – or exclaimed, or moaned or wailed or shrieked – “Omigod!” You might have intoned it or warbled it, whispered it, interjected it, muttered it, yelled it, sobbed it, sniveled it, barked it, stammered it, pleaded it, rejoined it, affirmed it, blabbed it, brayed it, drawled it, droned it, declared it, enunciated it, fumed it, growled it – Or dozens of other substitutes for “said,” NONE OF WHICH IS “LIKE.” Pay attention now, we’re going to throw in, at absolutely no extra cost, a free link to a site containing over FOUR HUNDRED synonyms for said. Give us all a break. Learn just one of them. Make it your life’s work.

**3. It’s “Iced tea,” with the “d.” ** None of this “ice tea” crap. Don’t get me started on that one. You know who you are. Stop it. Stop it right now.

Thank you. You may return to your duties

Caffeine can be both a friend and an enemy.

I’ve never understood posts like this. Or people who post to tell me I’ve mis-spelled a word, or used a word that ain’t proper english. Or that I neglected to capitalize the E in the previous sentence. It comes across as excessively anal of the person who posts the correction, it doesn’t really add anything to the topic at hand most of the times, and in almose every case, who the hell cares? Yeah, they said “Ice tea.” So what? Did you not know they were referring to a beverage? Were you confused by the word “alot”? Did you not realize from the context of the post that they meant many ?

You need to learn to let a few things go…

I’m afraid we lost this fight quite a while ago.

When I was growing up, (back in the mesozoic) we drank iced tea and turned up our noses at skimmed milk and our fathers, if so inclined, cussed about those damned whatevers. However, for a number of words, the past participle is fading into the remote past. Even purveyors of food label their products “ice tea” and “skim milk.” And “damn” shows up as an adjective so often that I doubt one person in 20 on this rather educated MB realize that it was originally a participle.

Feel free to continue using the participles, yourself, (and you have my permission to crack the skull of any churl who tries to “correct” you if you use a past participle correctly), but give over rants that will simply raise your blood pressure without resolving in your favor. The language changes; keep your grumbling to yourself or risk being branded a fogey. (Although I confess I have been branded a geezer and wear the label with pride.)


Dude, quick warning. Do not tease the Language Police when they are active in their duties. You will find yourself eviscerated with words you’ve never heard of.

Do not tease the Language Police, and do not taunt the Happy Fun Ball.

I’m only trying to save you…

Too late…

Please. I’m such a spoonerist in real life I’m just happy if what I said came out in the right order.

The OP’s t-shirt.

How about a nonlethal drink?


You should do what i did - become an Atlantic Monthly Word Police Officer. You take a short test, and if you pass you are awarded an online diploma, as well a citation that you can print out and deliver to those who mutilate the language.

The Word Police test can be taken here, and it’s not especially difficult. They put up a new one every so often, and you can take different tests in order to become certified in different aspects of grammar and usage. Past exams can be found here.

This is all, of course, a rather tongue-in-cheek exercise.

Something for all of you who think this whole thing is overdone.

Actually, the “I’m like” thing is very interesting - a classmate did a report on it in dialectology class. It turns out that there is a very slight shade of meaning between “I’m like” and “I said”. “I’m like” indicates that the quote is inexact; in fact, in the recording the student did of some thirteen-year-old girls, one of them begins, “I’m like - um, I said -” when she means to introduce a direct quotation (the fact that it was a direct quotation was germane to the sentence).

Also, the student reported that use of “I’m like” approached 100%. Too late. :wink:

As long as we are calling out the spelling police here is a felony. There is just no excuse for this.

Thank you one and all. It was a theraputic rant. And, yes, I know I’m fighting a losing battle, particularly on the past participle front. (Thanks, tomndebb.) I was particularly annoyed by a a local summer kiosk offering “Hawaiian shave ice.”

matt_mcl brings up a useful distinction. If “like” were used in that way, it would be fine. However, in my experience, “like” is used in every instance where dialogue is quoted.

mhendo, thanks for the tip. Yes, I immediately followed the link and got my certificate. It will make a handsome addition to my cubicle at work.

Casey1505, I take your point. Yes, I did understand that “alot” was intended to mean “many.” If eveyone constantly spelled your name “Kasey,” would it not annoy you, even though we would “know” what they intended?
By the way, the term “excessively anal” is often hurled as a defense by the excessively sloppy and lazy. You are correct that it is possible to be overconcerned with small details in some instances. In others, however, small details can mean the literal difference between life and death. I had an uncle who died because a medical technician misread a decimal point and gave him ten times the chemotheraphy medicine he was supposed to receive. It’s a continuum, and we happen to be at different places in different subjects.

Thanks to everyone else for the insights and the nifty links. It is truly sad when the youth of today cannot even spell obscenities correctly.

I do not understand the problem with “like”. It is quite possible I said no such thing, only something like it. Works fine for me.

Like, what are the answers? I fucking give up. :mad:

Answers in bold:

  1. “He doesn’t misuse language often, but when he does, it makes him nauseous”

means that when he misuses language, he becomes sickened.
means that when he misuses language, he becomes sickening.
means that when he misuses language, he goes to sea.

  1. “Word Police officers are rarely officious”

means that officers are rarely to be found in the office.
means that officers are rarely strict and stern.
means that officers are rarely meddlesome and oversolicitous.

  1. “She gave them an unwrapped tin of shelled almonds”

means that the tin had no wrapping on it, and the almonds had shells.
means that the tin had no wrapping on it, and the almonds had no shells.
means that they’ll be sure to invite her back.

  1. “The sentence is wrong because an adverb has been substituted for an adjective”

means that the sentence incorrectly contains an adverb.
means that the sentence incorrectly contains an adjective.
means that the sentence incorrectly uses advertising lingo.

  1. “The program is scheduled for twelve P.M.”

means that it’s scheduled for noon.
means that it’s scheduled for midnight.
**must have been said in error; it doesn’t properly mean either of the choices above. **

And the bonus question you have to answer to get your diploma:

“While you have almost passed this Word Police entrance exam, you haven’t quite”

is tautological.
is true at this point.
is both tautological and true at this point.

I have to agree. Typos are one thing, everyone makes them from time to time. But just plain not caring? That, in part, is what is wrong with our schools today. No one is that cavalier about people who aren’t proficient at math(s).

I hate when I make typos and/or grammatical errors. When I’m sleepy they slip by me, even when I preview. But the simple ones that are made over and over again by the same people, it’s obvious that they don’t care, and to me, that’s like someone being fat, or unbathed. Or like a horribly clashing outfit. Have a bit of pride in yourself, some sense of order.

It makes me cringe when I am speaking to a “professional” customer service rep and they say something like “no, we don’t got none”. Or how everyone in this day and age, when asked how they are, answer “I’m doing good” (Cringe!!! Doing WELL!!! argh).

I am sleepy right this minute, so am not doing a very good job of explaining this. But, with people like that? It’s as if, despite their 8 - 10 hour 5 day a week exposure to “proper english” their ears remain closed.

I’m with the OP, I think it would be nice if people took a little more pride in themselves and spoke and wrote properly. I don’t think ranting about it is being anal though, it’s not like we’re actually going up to these people and telling them off regarding their poor grammatical habits.

I rarely ever say anything to anyone who makes these errors (though when some store clerk says “don’t got none” I frequently have to bite my tongue to keep from saying “Have Any!!! you don’t Have Any!!!”). And the rare times I do say something, it’s to someone who is generally well-spoken, but has said something incorrect that has a double meaning and is funny etc.

It is interesting (if the Atlantic Monthly actually marks it that way) that only the first meaning is supposedly correct. It was not that long ago when the only correct option would have been the second meaning. While the meanings have been reversing over the last 25 years, I would say that either would count as “correct” for another couple of years.

From the usage comment in the Merriam-Webster:

Thanks. Smarmy language weasels.

Actually, tomndebb you are correct. “… sickening” is listed as the right answer, not “… sickened.”