Maybe I’m too easily irritated, but when I hear or read some misbegotten patch of language issuing from the cranial mainsprings of otherwise intelligent, articulate, informed public figures, I get, well, irritated. Without, I hope, too much crankiness, I now adduce mother-tongue missteps which, to my senses , amount to serious linguistic criminality. Maybe this blog can help sentence these felonious sentences and sentence fragments to permanent detention.
The Media is, er, are… the message, maybe
When it comes to confusing the singular and the plural, the broadcast media class seems to be almost singularly guilty. Hey, all you professionals with perfect diction, dash over to your dictionaries. The words criteria, media, bacteria, etc. are plurals .So befuddled are so many regarding this class of singular/plural distinction, I actually once witnessed the following: During a new-client pitch, our ad agency’s media director,referred to his proposed TV/radio/print campaign as a “three-pronged plan employing three mediums”. Worst still, judging from their nods of approval, everyone in the prospective-client assemblage clearly didn’t notice.
Moving- Forward March
There’s nothing inherently incorrect in the stock sports-coach phrase, “moving forward’, but when it immediately follows a statement made in the future tense, isn’t it just another clumsy tautology?
When did the construction”I said to myself” irrationally morph into “I thought to myself”? I wonder, is there anyone else around one can think to ?
How often you been subjected the expression “his (or her) own self-interest”? If you’ve ever mistakenly uttered that chunk of sinful superfluity yourself, please humbly own it. And stop.
Like, “As” Not “Like”
It is not infrequently that my ears are scalded by the locution “Like I said” by putatively well-educated media somebodies. I think it was my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Chuchut, who guided me on the twisting road to correct “like”and “as” usage. Here’s a tip. When you’re a little unsure, think of Shakespeare and ask yourself if he would have ever written anything called Like You Like It.
Am I being too harshly judgmental? Alright, alright already, I hereby lessen the charge to linguistic misdemeanor. The sentence? Cease and desist.
Filed under: Language