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Archive for March 4th, 2011

Briefly (does not mean “In Knickers”)

Posted by Dirck on 4 March, 2011

A short Friday post, in which I complain about things.  Again.  For a very slight change, the complaint today is about a couple of new oddities in written English that need to be stamped on before the entirely descriptive dictionaries (the Oxford and Webster’s Big Buk Ov Speling Miztayks being the most popular) set them down as valid options.  I’m sure my awareness of these two little nasties is just a statistical anomaly like the one that prompted last Thursday’s diatribe, but is seems that they’re everywhere I look.

Now, class, sit up straight, and attend to the chalk-board:  Weary and wearily mean respectively “tired or exhausted” and “in a manner of one who is weary”.  If what you meant by either of these is “cautious” or “cautiously,” you will find that the word you want to found yourself upon is wary.  Offering someone advice to “Go into that situation wearily” is probably the near-opposite of what you mean to say, as tired people tend to be inattentive.

Next, if you are shaking your fist at an authority figure (which I’m sure some of your are doing right now), you may be said to be acting defiantly.  If, however, you are reassuring someone that you will appear at their birthday party, I rather hope you meant to use definitely.  “I will defiantly be there at 3:00” only makes sense if you’re expected at 6:30.

The former may fall under the same inattention to written language as the they’re/their/there and your/you’re conundrums.  The latter is probably a combination of inattentive typing along with falling prey to the urge to spell it “definately”.  I am hardly one to be pointing at poor spelling in online forums, since a lot of the entries in my pen collection look like they were done after I’d had a new set of hands installed.  However, the number of people performing these particular typos is startling, and include some folks who I consider more than merely adequately literate.

How about this– I promise to pay more arrention to my tpying, and you all do the saym.  We’ll all look like we’re nearly smart that way, and fewer people will feel (sic).

Today’s pen, not so given to typing errors:  Parker 65
Today’s ink:  Skrip blue-black

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