On speaking my mind….

I’m an English major. I love everything there is about the English language. Okay, everything except diagramming, which I have found to be a complete waste of my time. It accomplishes approximately nothing and should I ever take to teaching English, this will be a fairly glossed-over section of my lesson plans. I’d rather somebody understand the function of an adverb or past participle or conjunction than know what kind of stupid line it has to go on.

Really. I love English.

I can sometimes get really judge-y about it too. I find it difficult to understand how native speakers of the language have such a flimsy grasp of it. There are four very basic parts of the language everyone should know: noun, verb, adverb, adjective. True, English is one of the most difficult (Roman) languages to figure out when it comes to conjugating and otherwise USING the words, but c’mon. You need to know what those four do and how they function.

My dad was really hard on my siblings and me about proper usage. He was in Toastmaster’s for a really long time and definitely honed his public speaking skills. He rules at public speaking…and he’s a marvelous actor so this all works out rather well. So any time he’d hear us use “pause words” (um, like, this sort of thing), he’d snap his fingers at us. I don’t really use pause words in my normal speech anymore. Sure, from time to time, I catch myself saying them, but I have this fear of hearing my dad’s fingers snap any time I say “um”.

I tend to use “big words” when I’m expressing myself or a thought. It freaks people out a little bit. My boss, namely. It weirds him out that I described a man as a “perfect specimen of humanity” rather than calling him “hot”. The guy is attractive, but he’s also a) my friend’s brother and b) a professional body builder. These two things combined seem to qualify him, in my mind, for better adjectives than “hot”. And while I’m a pretty heavy-duty swearer (my sailor friend has implied that I’m worse than him, which I find hard to believe, frankly), I try to rely more on “real words” rather than an F-bomb or other such four-letter nonsense. There are millions of words out there for the taking, after all.

So with all this in mind, why in the world do I have such a hard time leaving a damn voice-mail for a client. “Hi, this is Micah. Um, just returning your, uh, call from earlier. Give me a call when you, um, get a chance and we can, uh, go over your, uh questions.” Then I nearly forget to leave my phone number and sound even more insane.

Honestly. I don’t even know why I bother with voice-mails half the time.

And one more thing: if you don’t know what a big word means, how it’s pronounced, or how to properly use it, DON’T USE IT. You just sound ridiculous and I’ll judge you inside my head. I just will.

2 thoughts on “On speaking my mind….

  1. is it just me or does the misuse of your/you're make you want to hurt people?

    honestly, how bad is it that i'm actually elated when i see it used correctly… “someone was paying attention in 3rd grade…thank the sweet baby jesus”

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