The Ever Morphing, Humorous, Exciting, Dumber? Aspects of the English Language

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on June 30, 2010 in Language, Writing |

Seeing as I’m a nerdy writer-type, I find discussions about grammar and language fascinating. The really cool thing about these discussions are that they are so often humorous. I know, you’re thinking, Grammar and language, humorous. No way! But really, just go with me on this (I have amusing examples to back me up).

Take this video about English:

If you didn’t laugh at this, well, I suspect you may lack a pulse. It reminded me of a particular discussion I once had with my brother and hubby about superlatives, in particular the word “dumber.” (And, for the record, my brother and hubby are not dumber than I (or is it me?) because I am not dumb at all!)

Another hilarious blog post about the Alot is over at Hyperbole and a Half. And check out agent Kristin Nelson sharing funny church-bulletin bloopers at Pub Rants.

My personal stance on the English language errs on the side of tradition (except on this blog because I prefer a more conversational tone here, like it’s just you and me, sitting on the hammock on a warm summer day, chatting it up about…well, as my blog description says…whatever), but I’m always open to new interpretations of words, grammar, and style.

That’s why language is so exciting: It’s always evolving, morphing, and adapting to suit current needs. And that means there’s always room for more debate!

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  • Rochelle says:

    Of course language is fascinating and fun! I wish I remembered the name of the website that has a collection of quotation mistakes on it. Like a sign advertising "homemade" pies. I guess they're not so homemade after all if you only put that word in quotes!

    If I've heard anything more ridiculous and annoying than "I could care less," it must be "He laughed all the way to the bank." No, he didn't, you buffoon.

    Supposedly, there was an instance of Liberace (the Lady Gaga of his day, for younger readers – ok, not really) being told by an interviewer that his shows were getting dreadful reviews, and asked him his response. Mr. Showmanship replied: "I cried all the way to the bank!" It was a great dig at critics, and actually made sense. What the heck is "laughed to the bank" supposed to mean? Who wouldn't be happy going to the bank?

    And, yes, you are correct about the "dumber than" argument. One joke must have an amount of dumbth, for the other to be dumber.

  • Katie L. Carroll (KT) says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Rochelle! I can only hope that the hubby and bro read your comment…just so they know I was right!

  • Donna M. McDine says:

    Thank you for sharing this terrific video!

  • Rochelle says:

    I found the quote website:

    Beware of the pseudo-bees!

  • Katie L. Carroll (KT) says:

    Glad you enjoyed the video, Donna. Thanks for the quote site, Rochelle. I'll have to check it out.

  • Ruth Donnelly says:

    That video is hilarious–and absolutely correct! Thanks for sharing it!

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