Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Days of 'Your'

The time has come when I can no longer ignore the rage building up inside of me. No, I’m not talking about my so-far-unsuccessful plight to get a job here, nor is this about social justice for immigrants. This is about idiocy… ‘your’ idiocy, to be exact. There is a huge ‘your’ problem going on. It’s not necessarily your fault, but if, like me, you have a basic grasp of the English language, it's certainly responsible for your headaches. And if you haven’t yet guessed the subject of my tirade, then YOU’RE probably one of the people at fault.

I can’t count the number of times in a day I come across the misuse of the word ‘your’. I used to think it was limited to facebook, and possibly texting (hey, ur, like, saving text space, rite?), but it isn’t. I’ve seen it appear in online articles, supposedly edited, but evidently not. Every time I’m forced to read things like ‘lol your funny’, I die a little inside. If raging against stupidity makes me an elitist, well good! If the world had more elitists, maybe it would be a better (or at least more literate) place.

Here is what I think when someone uses 'your' instead of 'you're'. They write 'your invited', and in my head I hear 'MY invited'? What is an 'invited'? I didn't think I owned an 'invited'! Well now I must go out and buy an 'invited' since I'm obviously supposed to have one. Now, of course I know what they mean, but I choose to silently mock them. It soothes me. Other, more popular (wah!) blogs like this one also spew forth wit for those of us fed up with the deterioration of the English language.

Now, I know what you're going to say. "Cait, you of all people should know that languages are constantly evolving". This is true. New words are invented every day for technology, music, politics (heh heh... teabaggers) etc. But this doesn't excuse the laziness of native speakers when it comes to simple grammar. It's not a split infinitive, people, it's just a common homonym. And if you missed that class in JUNIOR HIGH (gah! pen in hand coming dangerously close to poking out eyes!... calm, calm...), homonyms are words that SOUND the same, but are SPELLED differently. Like be and bee? Why, that's right! Gold star for you!

Yes, I realize I have more education than most, and that education systems are quite different depending on where you grew up, but this should have been covered by the time you were 12. Even my Korean students managed not to use the wrong 'your/you're', and they don't even use the roman alphabet in their mother tongue. That's right, 10 year old Korean children have a better grasp of the English language than the 'your' crowd.

How someone who only speaks English can't manage to master their native language boggles the mind. In this world of technology and ever-expanding internationalism, communication is everything. Wouldn't you want be respected for your writing? Well, maybe not.

All I know is, I'd thank you lazy, grammar-shirkers* for inspiring this blog... but you'd just go on about MY welcome.

*New word!

N.B - Bonus points for understanding my play on words in the title. (Self congratulatory pat on back).


Cait said...

An astute reader points out that it is equally hilarious when people state 'your right'.

"Your right. As opposed to your left."

Lisa Kauffmann said...

Sooooo true Cait. You hit it on the head!!! I go nuts with the your/ you're debacle.. Its akin to nails on a chalkboard...