19 April 2009

More Spelling Annoyances

I'm here again after another good stretch of time between posts. Once again I must turn your attention to another set of annoyingly common and commonly annoying spelling mistakes a great deal of people make when making comments for public perusal.

Yes, it's true. People write comments that they know others in the general public will read. They seek to make a point in their writing, whether it be a snappy comeback directed at a previous commenter, witty commentary on the subject in question, or to provide additional insight into the discussion.

However, no matter the purpose in their discourse, too many times do they subject the readers to a mind-numbing plethora of poor grammar and bad spelling. (I define "bad" here as simultaneously "incorrect" and "destined to doom the future of humanity when pigeons and jackals with better spelling skills than the greater percentage of English-speaking peoples take out their rage with red ink pens and pleather-encased spell-checking dictionaries.")

That brings me to the point of this essay:

Common Misspellings and How to Fix Them

Common Misspelling #1
"Voila" vs. "Viola"

Voila (pronounced "vwa-la"): a French exclamatory word similar in meaning to "Presto!" or "There it is!"

Example of misspelling in context: "I took a little paint and a little chalk and viola: my picture was complete."

Viola (pronounced "vee-o'-luh" or "vy-o'-luh"): a stringed instrument larger than a violin; a certain genus of plants.

Example of misspelling in context: "I play second chair voila. My brother plays first chair presto, and his wife plays in the ta-da section."

Common Misspelling #2
"Definitely" vs. "Definately"

Definitely (pronounced "def'-i-net-ly"): without doubt or question.

Example of misspelling in context: "He is definately going to be late for practice.

Definately (pronounced "def-i-nate'-ly"): the wrong way to spell "definitely."

Proposed correct usage of the misspelled word: "The giant attacking Todd and Lee made Todd go definately*."

Common Misspelling #3
"To" vs. "Too" vs. "Two"

To (pronounced "too"): a preposition expressing direction.

Too (pronounced "too"): very; extremely; in addition; as well; also; additionally; furthermore.

Two (pronounced "too"): a cardinal number that is the same as one plus one, three minus one, the square root of four, twelve divided by six, and the digit in the ones place juxtaposed with the number four in the tens place of the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Example of misspellings in context: "Too make it two the to o'clock showing of The Miracle on 42nd Street, you need two make a left on avenue number too, but don't go to far or you'll find yourself falling intwo a mess of trouble, the likes of which you've not seen since your terrible toos."

Correct usage: "That was too funny." "He went to the store." "She bought two eggs."


If I can persuade even one...hundred percent of the general population to obey the correct spelling and usage of just these few words, I would still have a long way to go; but at least I would not have to strain my brain and annoy my left brain so much trying to decipher the hidden meaning behind everyone's comments. Keep in mind, I understand the basic evolution of language and the fact that technology helps to bridge gaps between different-speaking cultures by speeding up the changes in language. I understand all that. But, shouldn't there be some kind of structure, some sort of rules put in place to stabilize it?

With that said, I close with this.

*In case you don't get it: "The giant attacking Todd and Lee made Todd go 'deaf and ate Lee.'"

(This MySBlentry was originally posted on 20 January 2009 at 11:57AM.)

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