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My biggest peeve is folks who don't know the English language, or choose not to use it, you decide. Whether it's "its" versus "it's", "you're" versus "your", "paid" versus "payed", it really doesn't matter. Now, I'm getting more flexible (not flexable) about prepositions you might end a sentence with. And incomplete sentences. And I know it's a fault, but I much prefer "tho" to "though": I'm lazy, prosecute me! I can deal with poor spoken English (tho it sometimes pains me), as I can make allowances for composition on the run. There's no "backspace" when you're talking, so I can accept "she don't" (brrrrr!) in place of "she doesn't". But blatant, clearly WRONG and BAD written English just irritates the **** out of me!

In this day and age of spell-checkers, you won't find "payed" as a valid word. Most word processors will call attention to words with or missing apostrophes for personal pronouns or contractions, respectively. And most will catch mis-use of "their", "there", and "they're" and similar words. I don't want to pull the old "...when WE were in school, they actually TAUGHT US (yadda yadda)." But they DID! We had to drill for hours, to make sure we got it right. And if we turned in a paper of any kind with a grammatical error, it was marked in RED and points were deducted.

Nowadays, the teachers don't want to hurt the kids' feelings, so they say, "As long as the point gets across, the grammar isn't that important." Oh, no? Wait until that ignoramus gets into the business world and writes things like, "Their is somethin wrong with this project." The (educated) reader will instantly form an opinion about the care with which the writer composed the critique of the project. I can tell you that resumes I reviewed were instantly trashed if the composer didn't spend the time to spell-check and verify the grammar. Gosh, maybe that's why you don't have a job right now!

I don't have the answer to this; the educational community does. I'll do whatever I can to influence them, but my tax dollars to education seem to be wasted away on watering the football field. But that's another beef.

As time goes by, I may choose to post (with no citation) some of the crazy English I've been receiving. Watch out!

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5/9/2006: All that rant, then I get this from my buddy:
Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are. The olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can raed tihs psas it on !!

I highly recommend the book "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" by Lynne Truss. It's a hillarious work by a lady who clearly agrees with me on written English, especially punctuation. My apologies to her for any incorrect placement or usage of colons and semi-colons. I am quite sure the commas and periods are absolutely correct!

I also enjoyed "Mother Tongue : English and How It Got That Way" by Bill Bryson. It documents the sources of the English language, destroys some myths, and teaches tolerance of an ever-changing language. I'm not sure I'm that flexible!

I just ran this through Word for a spell/grammatical check. It found the errors I made on purpose, and also I found that I misspelled "blatant" as "blatent". Think of all the email I would have received if I had not spent the extra thirty seconds to check it out. I don't think my psyche could have taken it!

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