According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Y'all shouldn't talk like dat

Friday, July 29, 2011

Y'all shouldn't talk like dat

Hello loyal readers. Sam and I would like to have a word with you – about 500 actually, because that’s how long our blog posts usually run.

You know that old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” Well, words may not break our bones, but they certainly can assault our ears. A couple of words have insinuated themselves so pervasively into our American vernacular recently that people seem to be drawn to them like moths to a flame. It appears we are stuck with these words into the foreseeable future.

We are talking about “dreamt” and “snuck.” The correct words are dreamed and sneaked. Good grief dreamt and snuck make us sound like uneducated gutter snipes. What would Professor Henry Higgins think? Personally, I wish we could hang little sticky poison boxes in shade trees and trap those words until they became extinct. Sam must agree because he’s barking.

I’m not sure, but I think the use of dreamt and snuck slithered by some news copy writers or editors like slimy snakes in the grass, when the editing people weren’t paying enough attention to what their young reporters were writing. And voila! If dreamt and snuck were good enough for television and radio news, then surely they were good enough for the rest of us.

This reminds me of my earlier years when ain’t was being flung around like so much confetti. Everybody knew  ain’t was not a proper English word - we were taught that in school -then some danged dictionary officially acknowledged it as part of the American vernacular and ain’t was off to the presses.

Am I the only old fuddy duddy in the world? (Sam’s barking again). I mean, if you follow dreamt and snuck to their logical conclusions, we’ll soon wind up with words like: pucked for peeked); frucked for freaked; snuzzed for sneezed; slupt for slept and so on. We already say, I seen for I saw; I went or I go for I said.

Constant texting on cell phones has to be largely responsible for this language murder. The faster and more often you text, the more you look for word shortcuts. My youngest daughter – bless her heart –told me one time I should text her rather than call her on the telephone because she didn’t have time to talk. I’m still trying to figure out why it’s more efficient to text than to talk because I can type a novel on my computer faster than I can text “I luv u,” on my cell phone.

Man, dreamt and snuck really grate on me! Aren’t we just being lazy when we use words like those? Is it such a great effort to speak properly? I dreamt the other night that I asked my niece in the other Washington to lobby Congress to stem this tide of backwater-speak and she said she’d see what she could do. Unfortunately, our elected representatives were so ashamed of themselves over the budget bickering they appear to have snuck out of town.

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