Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 12, 2011 / 7 Shevat, 5771

A curmudgeon offers a lesson in proper English usage

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I once read that we have a hormone that provides a certain amount of inhibition against speaking our minds. As we age we lose that hormone.

All I can say is, "uh-oh." It's already happening to me. I know this because of how often I mentally -- and lately actually -- correct other people's English. I just this morning sent an e-mail back to a friend with a correction. She used "I could care less" when of course she meant, "I couldn't care less."

What kind of a person corrects other people's language use? Well, a curmudgeon, that's who. I am increasingly becoming one.

Now I'm the first to admit that I give editors snits because I will often -- deliberately or otherwise -- break the rules of grammar. Actually, because I went to grade school in the 1970s, I never actually learned the rules of grammar. I just kind of felt my way along. So, for instance, I like to start sentences with "and," apparently a "no-no." I also tend to use sentence fragments. A lot. And I'll probably never get "which" vs. "that" quite right.

Now even I accept that sometimes "you" just sounds better than "one," even when the latter is technically correct, so okay. You don't have to go out of your way to sound stiff. I'm even comfortable with the politically correct use of some pronouns. "He" used to often mean, "he or she" and no one was particularly offended. Now one person is often rendered "them" for the sake of gender politics. "Check with your child, then have them return the form." Ick, but at least I know why it's happening.

But still, there are a few iterations of the English language that make me simply, increasingly, crazy. Things that go way beyond "I did good" when one does "well." Mistakes that elicit increasingly an on-the-spot correction from this curmudgeon, and not just when it comes to my kids. Fortunately, the aforementioned friend is the type who "couldn't care less" that I correct her.

Here are a few more:

"Anyways" is not a word. Ever. "Anyway" is.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


"I literally blew up at her!" Well, no , unless you physically exploded into bits on the spot, you did not "literally" blow-up at anyone.

Unless you want the folks at the bank to toss money at you as you pass it, you had better "go to" the bank," not "go by" the bank.

No one has "Sister-in-laws." But you might have several "sisters-in-law.'

"I feel badly" about something tells me that you have poor nerve endings in the tips of your fingers. Rather, you probably felt "bad" about something.

But the mother of all mistakes, the one that causes me mental fireworks partly because I routinely hear it from newscasters, in movies, and even from my children's teachers, is the misuse of pronouns when one probably thinks he or she is being very proper indeed. "Would you like to go with David and I?" is wrong, wrong, wrong. One uses together whatever pronouns one would use separately. I would say, "would you like to go with me?" So, if I ask you to go to the movies with "us," I would say "please go with Dave and me."

I once found myself really attracted to a guy partly because he used pronouns correctly in such circumstances. I think we can agree that's a little sick.

More to the point, five years ago none of this would have phased me. Not anymore. That protective hormone is dropping by the day.

Anyway, I'm guessing it would be pretty easy for readers to pick through this column and find various mistakes of mine. Please feel free to note same and send along to me. Seriously. One reason I know I'm losing that hormone? I'm increasingly happy to meet my fellow curmudgeons.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

BUY BETSY'S BOOK
"It Takes a Parent : How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting Our Kids — and What to Do About It"  

"Hart urges parents to focus...on instilling industry, frugality, sincerity and humility. She encourages parents to reclaim the word "no." Contrary to advice you may have received, you needn't give your child choices, or offer alternatives, or explain to little Suzie why she can't eat eight cookies right before bed-you're the parent, and sometimes you can just say no."

  —   Kirkus Reports

Sales help fund JWR.

Betsy Hart Archives

© 2007, Scripps Howard News Servic

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles