Write? Right? Rite? Wrong!

English is certainly a strange language. I was taught the language phonetically, which must have been someone’s idea of a very cruel joke.

Spell “tough.” Now spell “though.”

“But I don’t know how to spell them.”

“Well, then look them up in the dictionary.”

“But if I can’t…never mind.”

Sincere and insincere are opposites. Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing even though dealing with fire should be the one area in which there should be no room for confusion.

Then, of course, you’ve got all of those weird plurals: a pride of lions, a gaggle of geese, a murder of crows, and a shitload of politicians.

As if it isn’t confusing enough, every single group comes up with its own jargon.

Then, people have the nerve to complain that, “No one understands me.”

One response to “Write? Right? Rite? Wrong!

  1. Steve, you’re so “rite” about our “American” vernacular. For example, I was thinking about this one word that can be a noun, verb, adj, adv, and a prep…and has more meanings than any other two-letter word I can think of.
    The Word is “UP!”

    It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the
    list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

    At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and
    why are politicians UP for election (or if there is a tie, a toss UP), and
    why is it UP to a secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends,
    brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP leftovers, and clean
    UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

    At other times, this little word has real special meaning. People stir
    UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

    To be dressed is one thing–but to be dressed UP is special.

    And this UP thing is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is
    blocked UP…We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

    We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! It’s UP to us…not to screw UP!

    To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word
    UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost
    1/4 of the page, and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

    If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many
    ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t
    give UP, you may wind UP with (UP to) a hundred or more.

    When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes
    out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it soaks UP the earth. When
    it does not rain for a while, things dry UP.

    One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP for now. My time is UP!
    Did this crack you UP? Now I’ll shut UP!

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