Monday, January 26, 2009

Linguistical Patrollage

Or like that.

The word du jour of the day today is "ideal." It's a fine and noble thing to have an ideal, or even more than one -- but not, oh so very especially not, when "It's a good ideal to avoid the growing traffic jam on XXth Street Southbound," comes burbling out of the televisor early in the morning.

No, by the painfully broken heart of dear, sweet Daniel Webster, it is not. It's wise to do so; it is clever. It could even be said to to be "a good idea."

It's a small thing but an important distinction. It did serve one good purpose: convinced me to get out of bed early, so I might locate my second-best umbrella and go forth to apply it to the thick, unresonant skulls of those who abuse perfectly good words. Do you think it would help at all?

Or is my outrage, in the ultimate analysis, merely the outward manifestation of a foolish ideal?

(Still to come: mondegreen. Ooooo).

13 comments:

Shermlock Shomes said...

Or is my outrage, in the ultimate analysis, merely the outward manifestation of a foolish ideal?

I'm glad you axed that question.

Old Grouch said...

"Do you think it would help at all?"

With traffic droids?

YMBK.

alan said...

Someone has to hold the line.

I'm just glad it's not me.

Charles Pergiel said...

The other word of the day is deja vu. Didn't I just say that?

Kelly said...

I'm not as skilled with words as I used to be. (Illness caused it, so I'm hoping it's correctable in time.)But I have trouble with things like choosing "who" or "whom", or holding my own in grammar debates that reach the point where your time would be better spent helping the dwarves figure out exactly where they can cut Loki's head off. I may not always be able to spell correctly anymore, and I may use a comma when I should have used a semicolon. But I know the difference between an idea and an ideal. I know why Latinos are not Hispanics. I know why "niggardly" is not a racial slur, and why people sound idiotic when they refer to someone being mistaken as being a liar, even if they call it "accidently lied". I know those words don't mean what they think those words mean.

Timmeehh said...

A cop pulls over a guy from Arkansas.

Cop : Do you have any ID?

Driver : 'Bout what?

rickn8or said...

While we're at it, when did the big swap of the past tense of "plead" happen? When did it go from:
"The mayor pled guilty..."

to:

"The mayor pleaded guilty..."

Why wasn't I consulted?

Eric Hammer said...

You are absolutely right! Don't even get me started on the horrific abuse "ironic" sees. It has even been changed in newer dictionaries to reflect the incorrect usage! HERESY!

BobG said...

Of course, if the person is from Boston, then the word would be pronounced "idear".

Word Verification: exenhose

Wayne Conrad said...

I'll bet you've noticed these distortions:

Nobody has a "thing" anymore, whether it's an accident, lightning or a flood. They have a "thing" situation.

Nobody uses anything: they utilize it instead.

Like rickn8or, I've noticed the regularization of verbs. "swimmed" instead of "swam," "drived" instead of "drove."

Not only can I not stand to watch the talking heads, nobody can stand to be in the room with me for my yelling at them. I do not consider myself well educated or well spoken, but the talking heads are so bad that I seem like a Rhodes scholar by comparison.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

But why, by the broken heart of Daniel Webster, were you redundant in pointing out that the word du jour was of the day?

Roberta X said...

:) It was a nod to the aware! Most folks will let it slip by, uncommented.

phlegmfatale said...

Maybe the news reader said "it's a good ideal" because they was hopped-up on eXpresso. There's a lot of that about.