AMBIENT THOUGHT – EPISODE One Hundred Seventy Four: Writing Your Own Websters?

The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.

EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY FOUR: WRITING YOUR OWN WEBSTERS?

book-1798

Once upon a time, there was a book called a dictionary.

You could find a dictionary in schools, libraries, offices, and homes. If you were a student in school, you may have had a smaller paperback version in your backpack. I did.

Now, these books held words and their definitions.

These words were, in a sense, set in stone. The definition next to the word was what the word meant no if’s, and’s, or but’s. Some words could mean more than one thing and even had different ways you could use that word. Maybe in one instance, it was a noun. Then in another, it could be an adverb. Or a verb or conjunction or whatever.

The dictionary was the law and we were the citizens of that law.

But now, dictionaries are online. You can Google any word and find out the definitions, the origin of said word, and little audio clips to tell you how to pronounce the word correctly.

It’s amazing.

The technology that we have to explain our languages (all of them) would blow back the hair of me and my classmates when I was a kid.

And with all of this technology and the ease of access to it… we still find ways to make up our own definitions that are completely wrong.

Just a few examples:
The word ideal for idea.
I think that’s a great ideal.
Oh, boy.

The word irregardless.
Have you used it in any sentence? You’d be wrong. There is no… such… word. It’s just regardless. That’s it.

The word literally.
Ahh, uh, you know what? Don’t get me started. Go look it up and use it right next time.

And people who use, there, their, they’re wrong when they type. And whose, who’s, whom. These are examples of homophones. We were taught them in school if you remember (probably not. And honestly, it’s OK if you don’t remember the name. Just use the right word in the right place.

Look, nobody is perfect and not everybody wants to be a writer but it’s all just common sense… cents, since. I have made some big mistakes in how I used words so I can be just as guilty.
But here’s the difference. I fix the problem. I learn how to properly use whatever word I was using wrong and I use it correctly (not right).

Sometimes saying a word is difficult for people. When I was in the seventh grade, we were in science class and I remember having a hard time saying oxygen (aak·suh·jn). I pronounced it aak-suh-gun, as in bang-bang, a gun.
Yeah, I was laughed at when I said it in front of the class. The teacher tried to correct me (oxygen, o-x-y-g-e-n) but for some reason, I couldn’t say it. To say I was embarrassed is no small statement. Mortified is more like it. But I studied it and was able to say it. I’m not sure why my mind couldn’t take that step but I got there.

And then there’s the word philanthropist. If I don’t think about it hard, I still have a hard time saying it.

I might have trouble saying a certain word, I can still use words in a sentence correctly almost all of the time. I did say nobody is perfect. And with spellcheck and my personal favorite, Grammarly, typing words and forming sentences correctly should be a breeze. We have the technology at our fingertips to use and type words the way they are supposed to be used even if we don’t know the names of types of words. At least, they can be used correctly. It’s like being able to play music but not know how to read it.

Maybe people have got lazy due to texting and abbreviations. Or it’s just out of laziness and not caring how stupid one might look.
Or maybe it’s the revenge we are trying to use on our parents and teachers that made us do homework after school so we couldn’t go out and play with our friends or miss that after school TV show. Maybe it’s a way to stick it to the man and use words wrong and misspelled and using our middle fingers to type them out.

Maybe.

Or it’s like I said and just plain old laziness.
My money is on that one.

But, like I said, I’m guilty of using the wrong word or misspelling or even using the wrong punctuation from time to time. And you’ll want to call me out.
“Hey, high and mighty, see this? You screwed up. You’re no better than us.”
I get it and I’ll understand.
But guess what? I’ll feel bad about it for a few minutes, maybe go bang my head against a rare and elusive thing called a dictionary (not the small paperback version either). But then I’ll come back, fix the problem and not do it again. So your taunting would cause me to better than before while you are still using since for sense and there for their.  Your taunting and bullying and need to get revenge for me pointing out a fault in you will cause me to become even MORE POWERFUL (use the voice of Darth Vader for that last bit).

So, the next time you write on Facebook or any social media, double-check what you wrote before hitting the POST button. And if you use a lot of abbreviations in your texts, don’t use them anywhere else.

Write right. Alright?

Post Script – Apparently, I have been saying siren wrong my whole life. Since I can remember, I have been saying si-REEN. And no matter how many times I have heard it spoken correctly by EVERYBODY ELSE, I have yet to change it.
So, there’s that.

 

-Loyd Elmore Jr
March 13th, 2020

 

I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.

 

2 thoughts on “AMBIENT THOUGHT – EPISODE One Hundred Seventy Four: Writing Your Own Websters?

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