Sunday, November 22, 2015

Famously, Tellingly, Worryingly

Welcome to the American Conversation

I’ve been noticing for the past ten years how many speakers and writers have changed the syntax of words in ways that I don’t like.

The oldest examples are the ways that articles and prepositions have been disappearing:

You don’t graduate from high school anymore, you graduate high school

It’s not the prom anymore, it’s Prom

More recently, I have noticed that the word “fun” which used to be simply a noun, has also become an adjective:

We had a fun time.

The word “famous” which was used as an adjective, and then as a noun ( Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous)  and then as an adverb  ( We got along famously) has now become an adjective:

Henry Ford famously said “History is bunk.”

Television and advertising are responsible for many of these, which have come into common usage. In my college students’ essays, I find

A revelation has become  “the reveal”

A reward or lesson learned has become  “the takeaway”

‘the” has been replaced with “that” ( She worked to achieve that desired weight)

Cause for Concern  has become  “concerning”

And so many participles have become adjectives by adding “ly” to the “ing” ending .

I could go on, but these are the first to come to mind.

The English Language is a living thing, and so it keeps changing. I guess I am an old grump, but these bother me

1 comment:

Marion said...

THANK YOU!!!! You hit on all of my pet peeves but one: "Would you like to come with?" I go INSANE every time I hear that on television. A preposition needs an object. I think that social media, especially Twitter, has made an entire generation grammatically lazy. It's sad. xo