Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Comfortability, revisited...

So Faisal, the Master Aficionado of Comfortability Extraordinaire (aka MACE... and yes, I DID spend several minutes coming up with an acronym), sent me a message last night to inform me of the fact that a baseball commentator had used the made-up word "comfortability" on the air, thus, apparently lending credence to its so-called "right" to be a real word. Much like Pinocchio wished to be a real boy, comfortability wishes to be a real word. (Shut up, Singing Cricket... you can wish upon all the stars you want... it won't change anything...)

Just a few weeks ago, my friend Nick posted something on his Facebook wall about how he'd heard a sports commentator use the made-up word "physicaling." It was used in the sentence, "Right now, South Carolina is just out physicaling Georgia." (Perhaps that should be hyphenated? Out-physicaling?) I only mention this to illustrate the fact that many sports commentators aren't exactly English-language experts. (Perhaps a few are, who knows. But they're certainly not the ones using "comfortability" and "physicaling." ;))

I, being a nerdy kinda girl, have many language pet peeves that probably roll right off the backs (or off the ears... or eyes, depending on the medium...) of most English-language speakers. Comfortability and physicaling aside, there are quite a few words that are commonly misused that tend to drive me crazy. (I suppose I shouldn't let such things bother me... :)) There are the easy-to-miss-one-letter-on-the-keyboard words like choose and chose and lose and loose (although I've seen them interchanged so frequently that I have to assume some people don't realize they're different words...); and then there are the "you should know which ones to use by now" words like then and than, your and you're, and there, their and they're. (Really, you should KNOW which ones to use by now...).

And then there's the Me vs. I Conundrum, which I've become even more acutely aware of since joining Facebook. People love to post pictures of themselves with their friends/family/dogs/whoever... and it is very rare that I see a correctly captioned photo. Almost everyone -- even people who are decent writers -- will caption a photo with something like, "my dog and I," or "Joe, John, Jimmy and I." It seems that, after years of hearing the "so-and-so and I" format (who didn't have an English teacher who drilled that into their head??), we've become too scared to use "so-and-so and ME," even when "me" is the proper word. You wouldn't say, "here's a picture of I..." You'd say, "here's a picture of me." In the same way, the proper way to caption a photo would be, "my dog and me" or "Joe, John, Jimmy and me." This is ME. Not, "this is I."

Okay, I'm getting too nerdy even for my own taste... I want to push myself into a locker and call myself "teacher's pet." I should obviously shut up now. Right after I let the MACE know how wrong he is... (And, by the way, I am hoping I didn't make any mistakes in this post... because no doubt someone... SOMEone... will feel compelled to point them out to me... :))

I'm off to post some Facebook pictures of my cat... and me...


G said...

I love using made up dopey words.

Currently my fave is "conversate".

But where else except on FB or the blogs can you run amuck without worrying about Quebec's Grammar Police (yes, it is real) coming after you for mispelling the word "misspell" or the word "skool".


Mom said...

I think you got that from me, Lisa. It drives me crazy when I see certain words used incorrectly. I've seen teachers on FB using "I" instead of "me". That's scary!

However, Pastor David uses the word "comfortability", so it must be a real word. :-)

Lisa said...

G -- Quebec has grammar police?? I am SO there! (Unless they're French grammar police, in which case I'd be in jail pretty quickly... :))

Mom -- David may use "comfortability" a lot, but he also uses pictures of David Hasselhoff (in a speedo, no less) for his profile pic, wants you to learn to play metal music on the piano, and laughs at completely inappropriate things. :) (Of course, he DOES know more about the Constitution than anyone I've ever met in my life... but that doesn't make him an expert on comfortability... :))