The Constant Grammarian: Three Grammar Resolutions You'll Want to Keep in 2014
The Huffington Post article “7 Things You Totes Need to Stop Saying if You’re Over 30” has been making its way around my Facebook feed this week, and even though most of my friends (on FB and IRL) are in the over-30 camp, the consensus response seems to be along the lines of, “But I don’t want to stop saying ‘totes adorbs’!”
It’s hard not to embrace these linguistic trends. Sprint makes a point of encouraging our Totes McGotes tendencies, and if you abide by Queen of 2013 Miley Cyrus’ rules, it’s your mouth so you can say what you want (to).
Grammarians bemoaning the death of the proper English language might argue that if 2013 has been the year of the selfie, we ought to slow down in 2014 and reclaim self-portraiture. That perhaps we should toss “thx” and “srsly” to the curb and start using actual vowels again. That it’s time to stop talking about twerking altogether.
I don’t agree, but in 2014 I’d like to think we’ll find the happy medium between embracing the culture of abbreviation and sticking to our guns when it really counts. Here’re three of my own word-focused new year’s resolutions:
Keep proofreading. For better or worse, having an iPhone makes it easier to work from wherever. I resolve to slow down, read and re-read my emails before hitting send — lest I let autocorrect make me look careless (or crazy).
Look it up. The other day my husband asked me to explain to him the difference between “biannual” and “semiannual.” I rattled off some know-it-all answer (so 2013 of me) — and then, rightly, second-guessed myself and looked it up. Turns out that those words are synonyms, and if you’re talking about something that happens once every other year, it’s biennial. Related resolution: It’s OK to be wrong.
Continue using words that are fun — just not professionally. Like my Facebook friends clinging mightily to “cray cray,” I’m not willing to give up my new favorite slack-jawed expression — derp — anytime soon. But I won’t finish off work emails with “thx,” and I won’t ever put in a request for some “me time,” and I promise to never, ever use the word “amazeballs” in a professional setting (unless I’m referring to these).
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