Sunday, September 02, 2007

Between the A and the T

I picked up Wesley the other day from the Creek Nation Daycare, and he asked, "Where's" It was like the "at" was tacked on at the end of the sentence like he was developing a more sophisticated way of communicating. I had to choke back the urge to correct his grammar. It sounded horrible. I was thinking, "where in the hell did he learn that at?"

(J/K) I was thinking, "where in the hell did he learn that?" I rephrased the question--"Where's mommie? She's at work, son." I did the same thing for the youth on the mission trip, except I was more direct.
Youth: "Where's the hammer at?"
Me: "It is superfluous to ask, 'Where's the hammer at?" "Where's the hammer?" works just fine, doesn't it?"
Youth, in her own mind: "What is superfluous?" or "Whatever."
Me, in my own head, imagining what she is saying in her own head: "Wow, he's right! I think I remember that from some 4th grade English class. Maybe I'll start valuing my education by actually using it in day to day life!"
I wonder if my own personal mission to help the youth speak English stuck with them. It is such an epidemic--and I don't think it is just regional. I remember it in L A too. I think it is just people becoming lazy with their speech. It drives me nucking futs!

Of course, on the other hand, I don't speak or type perfect with perfect grammar either, and it is really annoying to hear people correcting other people's grammar. One of my favorite quotes I think is from designing women, and Suzanne I think is being corrected by Julia. Suzanne says something like, "where's my makeup brush at?" and Julia lets her know she sounds like an uneducated something or other for ending her sentence in a preposition. So Suzanne retorts, "Okay, where's my makeup brush at....beeeiiitch!"

1 comment:

  1. Can we also get agitated at people who can't use apostrophes correctly? If I had five minutes of time to speak to the entire English-speaking world, I would give a brief lesson on their usage. "Contraction, possession, but never, never, never pluralization."