01 September 2008

Scratching that itch

One of the ways in which I help my duly protected citizenry (you) in the pursuit of awesome is the ruthless, cut-throat manner in which I manage their language skills - I correct them.

Basic communication is an important skill in surviving even the simplest first contact encounters with the local gentry, and so I do my best to equip you all as best I can and to right that which is wrong.

As such, the following are to be adhered to and absorbed post-haste:

  • Words that end "-ing" (the present participle action noun of a verb) have a "g" at the end of them. Use it. It's a letter, the seventh in our Roman alphabet, and deserves to be pronounced along with the other 25.

  • Yes, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet. Among them are "y" and "o". They go in front of "u" to form the word "you".

  • With reference to the first point, you are no longer permitted to say things like "I itched it" for two reasons:
    1. Replacing verbs with their past-participle (or otherwise) gerund action noun isn't big or clever.
    2. You didn't itch it. You scratched it.

  • Here is the definition of gerund. Learn it. It is both big and clever to know such things.

  • When someone asks "How are you?" it is no longer permitted for you to reply "Good". The question is not a query of your quality, reliability or general well-behavedness. You must replace "Good" with "I am well" or a similar derivative suited to the options open to you in your own colloquial lexicon*.

I go now to meditate further on the lexicographical misgivings of my charges (you) and will return to dispense further mandates when I find that I can no longer resist scratching that itch.


*Where "Good" is not among them