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The Times
  • Charlotte Guedry: Words, glorious words!

  • Each of us should try, every day, to use the best words we can. And you know what? We should do it because we want to, ‘irregardless’ of what everyone else thinks of us!

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  • I have this friend who is FOREVER making up words or using them incorrectly.
    At first it was kind of sweet. She’d say things like, “Oh, that dinner was fandabulous,”?or that, yes, Channing Tatum really is rather a “gottie!”?(Her version of hot and gorgeous combined.) Like I said, kind of sweet in her own little way.
    Lately, though, she has been using words incorrectly, and it is driving me absolutely crazy.
    The main offender escaping her mouth lately is the word “irregardless.” It makes my skin crawl when I hear it. “Irregardless of what he thinks, I’m going to go out with the girls,” she’ll say. Or, “I’m going to buy those shoes irregardless of the color.”
    Honestly, I can feel my teeth begin to clench, and my brain becomes a pressure cooker.
    “Hey, you do know that’s not really a word, right?” I ask.
    “So?” she responds.
    There’s not a whole lot of places I can take that conversation.
    Society has begun to use words that are slang or informal in place of words that actually properly say what it is people are trying to say. So many people are using words incorrectly a lot of the time.
    I get business letters where people have used the word “ain’t.” That should be unacceptable. People ranting and raving that they “could care less!” Again, WRONG! Are they listening to themselves??If they actually could care less, as they say, then that takes the caring to an entirely different level. They could, in fact, care less. The proper term is, “I couldn’t care less.”
    Oh, what about when people say, “I literally died from laughing so hard.”?No you didn’t. If you had, you wouldn’t be telling us your story, as the word “literal” means it actually happened.
    You didn’t literally die from laughing. You may have laughed a lot. You may have found whatever was said to be the funniest thing you’d ever heard, but you did not literally die from laughing!
    I know that as the years have come and gone, many people have become more relaxed in their speaking. I get it, I do, but it just doesn’t stop me from picking up on the incorrect use of words and phrases and feeling somehow disappointed.
    I love the English language. It’s beautiful to hear. We have a plethora of amazing words that serve their purpose well.?They sound nice, and they do, indeed, say what they actually mean.?There really is no excuse for using words incorrectly.
    They’re, there and their. The concept isn’t difficult to get right, yet I’ve seen plenty of professional Power Point presentations where those three are completely muddled up.
    Page 2 of 2 - Loose and lose. Again, the words actually have completely different meanings, yet they are a pair that is frequently confused.
    Affect and effect. Again, these two words can leave people in dire straits.
    Using words properly allows us to present ourselves in the best possible light. Yes, I know, that shouldn’t matter. We should be respected for who we are, without people scrutinizing everything that comes out of our mouths. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. What we say has an enormous bearing on how we are perceived.
    Each of us should try, every day, to use the best words we can. And you know what? We should do it because we want to, ‘irregardless’ of what everyone else thinks of us!
    Charlotte Guedry is the Editor of the Gonzales (La.) Weekly Citizen.?You can reach her by emailing editor@weeklycitizen.com.
     
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