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I have sinned …

July 9, 2010

Blog Marathon Post 9

I have sinned. The crime that I committed is not a petty one. It’s something that can lead to enough misunderstandings and wars 😐 It has the power to destroy, destruct and annihilate.

Grammar Nazis came looking for me and brought me before the jury. The jury consisted of Wren and Martin, Lynne Truss, my English teachers from school and The Queen (afterall, its her English). Yours truly stood before the jury, eyes downcast, and head heavy with shame; waiting for the verdict.

The jury started reading out the charges against me.

Charge No. 1: She has used lets instead of let’s on many occasions, be it while inviting people over or going out with friends.

Lynne Truss: “Hmm, interesting dewdrop, you think apostrophes can be used and omitted whenever you want? Haven’t I written one whole book on this?”

English Teacher from third standard peers through her dark rimmed glasses.

The Queen: “The kids of this age have no respect for the legacy that I have built over these years”

Charge No. 2: She has written innumerable mails ending with “Please revert back to me in case of any doubts”.

Dewdrop(in her mind): “I want to dig a hole and bury myself now”

Wren and Martin: “By reverting back, are you inferring that they should come back to you with double the force?”

English teacher from fifth standard faints 😐

The Queen: “The kids of this age … legacy … no respect … ”

Charge No.3: She has ‘given’ many exams instead of taking them.

Wren and Martin, Lynne Truss (with a disappointed look): “No comments”

English Teacher from fourth standard leaves the room.

Charge No.4: She has used ‘a few bucks’ in conversations way too many times

Dewdrop(thinking aloud): “Sorry Rupee or Rupiya”

Wren and Martin: “A slang, oh god, I better not comment on this”

Lynne Truss: “I don’t appreciate the use of slangs itself, forget about Indianising it”

The Queen: “Oh, the kids of this age … blah blah … legacy … no respect”

Jury Verdict: Go back to your school grammar textbooks, learn from Wren and Martin’s grammar textbooks; Lynne Truss’s ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ (which you have been putting off for so long now) and read, read and read more.

Dewdrop accepts the verdict wholeheartedly.

Sue conducted a Red Marker Blogathon in the month of June. I couldn’t participate in it because I just discovered her blog yesterday. However, I sat up and read all the posts related to the Red Marker Blogathon through the night. I learnt a lot, I laughed at some funny anecdotes, at the same time, I was ashamed to see some of mistakes I make in my daily English usage. I am far from reading or writing perfect English. But, I am making a conscious effort to improve myself. Whenever someone corrects something that I have written or told, I appreciate it.

We Indians are known for indianising the Queen’s English, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t write or speak language in a proper manner. I have listed below some of the common mistakes we make so that we all can learn from it.

– How many times have we used The Greengrocer’s Apostrophe at the wrong places? ‘I went to buy some book’s and I have many friend’s’, when the usage of apostrophe in these cases are totally uncalled for.

I am tensed – Really? Past or Present, it remains tense: I am tense, I was tense.

– The difference between It’s/Its or you’re/your– Its is possessive form, It’s means It is or It has. You’re = You are, Your is again the possessive form. We are combining two words using the apostrophe ‘.

– You know, you are beside me now, but there can be someone besides you in my life 🙂

– The ubiquitous usage of ‘Anyways’ – How many more times does someone have to tell us that its ‘Anyway’, please omit the ‘s’.

– Usage of marriage instead of wedding – Believe me, no one other that the husband and wife can say how their marriage is, but you can very well ask your friend “How was Priya’s wedding?”

– Mixing up ‘can’ and ‘may’ – ‘can’ denotes the ability to do something and ‘may’ denotes permission. “You can enter the class, but you may not”, the teacher says

– We ‘lose’ the game and the ring becomes ’loose’, not the otherway round.

– You TELL someone something, but you SAY something to someone.

Beware, Grammar Nazis can come looking for you anytime. Let’s start with simple rules like clicking that spell check/grammar check in MSWord or Outlook before sending out something; proof reading; or asking someone to proof read what we wrote. Lets respect the language and pave the way for better communication.

Do you have any pet peeves that you would like to share? Funny anecdotes related to the usage of a language? In the meantime, let me go and get my copy of ‘Eats, shoots and Leaves’.

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16 Comments
  1. ha ha ha ha ha!The most common mistake i do is using past tense with did.. 😀 & i feel especially embarrassed when i notice my mistake almost as soon as i make it 😀

  2. Loved it! 🙂 Considering that I am also one of those who have put off reading "Eats, Shoots and Leaves"; I better start soon too! on a different note, query: I am sinned or I have sinned? I am a sinner? or I am sinned against! or was this the whole point of the title? ;-)Pooj

  3. i didn't know that 'i was tense' is the right usagereally an eye opener post…no wonder grammarians frown upon indianised english and slangeveryone needs to brush up the basics from wren and martin and the like now and then

  4. oops u are making me feel guilty.. I should also get my copy soon..

  5. PB :) permalink

    Good one Dewdrop … The jury scene is a nice creative piece … :)and oops … if someone as good with language as u make such mistakes, think abt ppl like me … lucky that I was not put on trial like you, the chargesheet would have run into pages and the verdict would have been more severe :))

  6. he he he… 😀

  7. Nice post summing up the Red Marker Blogathon. And yes, I have received many "marriage invitations" 🙂

  8. @kishley: I used to do it earlier, I hard to try hard to get out of it :)@Pooj: That was the whole point of the title, but considering the fact that many won't understand it, I am changing it :)@Aparna: yeah, we really need to visit wren and martin often !!!@Dhanya: Lets read it together :)@PB: That was so sweet of you, but yeah, I am far from writing/using perfect English@Hitha: :D@Padma: Thanks for your input 🙂

  9. Creativity unplugged ah 🙂 this reminded me of the joke "Comma killed a man"

  10. You have made the mistake again in the last-but-one paragraph: "Lets respect the language and pave the way for better communication." Ain't it 'let's' wih the apostrophe? 🙂

  11. @RM: Its totally unplugged 🙂 Yeah, its an age old joke very appropriate for the post.@deepdowne: Oops, rightly pointed out 😦 Corrected it. Thanks for pointing it out 🙂

  12. hear hear!all worship lynn truss now!

  13. @ughsome: Yes, we all do 🙂 Amen.

  14. Hullo. RMB was so much fun, I am seriously considering a repeat next year. If so, feel free to submit this post then. Lots of people sent links to old posts and why not.

  15. You know what, this post sounds eerily (creepily is more like it) similar to another really good blogger I read. If at all you HAD to lift her post, why lift one that talks about terrible grammar? Because you girl, have no sense of grammar at all.Blogs really need to stop being an open medium. Trust me, the indiblogger rank says nothing about you.This is disgusting.

  16. @Sue: Thanks. Would love to submit this post for RMB next year and thanks for the huge learning experience :)@Tamanna: Wow, if you think I picked this post from another blogger, please feel free to link that post in your comment. Then I will also get to understand how similar it is. That way, you will get to substantiate your claim too.This is my post and entirely a piece of my imagination.I never said I speak/write in perfect grammar. To improve myself was the whole purpose of this post.

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