In my quest to make the world a less error-ridden place, linguistically speaking (pun intended), I am routinely opposed by my eldest sister.
She says things to me like, ‘Don’t correct people when they are speaking it is so annoying’. Only she often uses much less printable language.
For years I ignored her, and corrected as I saw fit. ‘I think you actually meant to say you are WARY of dogs. If you were WEARY of them they’d be making you tired.’ And, ‘I think you have it on your CONSCIENCE not your CONSCIOUS’. That sort of thing.
One day, big sis had been at me so much that I was uncharacteristically, albeit only temporarily, taking a break from correcting people.
So that’s how I found myself standing frozen in the bottle shop with one leg raised and an arm outstretched to step towards a woman and tell her, probably while shaking her by the shoulders, that if you’re going to butcher a spoken language at least make sure it’s your own.
Woman in bottle shop to her friend who was attempting to suggest which wine to buy, ‘Oh, so you think you’re an AFISHONDO now’.
I’ve always regretted not setting her right. Because this sort of things spreads from person to person and generation to generation. In 10 years Sydney-siders everywhere will not know that the word is actually AFICIONADO.
Think I’m exaggerating? Think again. On an episode of Friends one of the girls has to tell Joey that SUPPOSABLY is not a word. Which it isn’t because it is SUPPOSEDLY.
Still think I’m panicking, and that was just a character making a funny word crime on a sitcom? How about this, I am almost 100% certain that one day when I was innocently watching the Bold and the Beautiful I heard Dr Taylor Hayes nee Hamilton and sometimes called Forrester, who is a psychiatrist of some repute and an articulate individual, use SUPPOSABLY in a sentence. The actress fumbling her line? A dumbass in the scriptwriting room? We don’t know but either way it is a crime and must be stopped.
And here’s a little message to my dear sister, a librarian in a school and follower of this blog:
For the last time the word is CLICHED. There is no such word as CLICHEISH! And if you don’t stop using it I am going to post a pic up here of you in your 80s Madonna-lookalike glory days and send the link to the computer in the staffroom. Or teacher’s lounge for our American followers.
Am I fighting dirty? Hell yes, the War On Error must be won at all costs.