Thursday, June 12, 2008

A short English lesson

I'm a little reluctant to say that I have a problem with people using English incorrectly because surely some knucklehead will come along and kindly proof-read all my previous posts for correctness.

However, the mis-use of the word "literally" is about to bring me to my knees. For some reason, this is the one that the crazies seem to prefer:

Patient One: "I was literally screaming my head off."
Me: No, ma'am, your head is still, in fact, attached to your neck, as evidenced by the fact that you are able to carry on this conversation, as unpleasant as it is.

Patient Two: "I am literally bouncing off the walls."
Me: No, sir, unless you are calling me from some distant planet where gravity is not king, I'm sure you are just a little antsy.

Patient Three: "I am literally losing my mind."
Me: (imagining this woman pursuing her elusive mind around the living room, whistling and for some reason, shaking her keys at it) Ma'am, hold to speak to the doctor.

Sometimes my mental images of these people benefit them greatly.

3 comments:

Janet said...

You are my friend. I too have problems with the misuse of language. I was a copy editor for years and I still can't read a book without spotting every error. Unfortunately this does not always translate to my own speaking or writing. I have had to bite my tongue (and yes, literally) many times since moving here over the people who misuse words. One example is saying "ideal" instead of "idea." And the people doing it are college-educated and in positions of influence!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I get bugged when I read other people's bad English, but I know I'm one of the worse offenders.

I get annoyed with sentences ending in prepostitions, but that is because my husband is always pointing that out to me.

Anvilcloud said...

It's odd how expressions creep into our language. I've may have even said something like that without thinking. I hope not, but ...