Pardon My Grammar
Many times I’ve had my use of the English language criticized and my grammar scoffed at by the Grammar Police, but it don’t bother me, I tells ya. All those criticisms just roll off me like water off a duck. I’ve been out of college for more years than some of you have been alive and there’s not much chance of me taking any kind of remedial grammar or English courses. I don’t want to learn how to diagram a sentence! I forgot that nonsense in grade school, and I’ve never used it since. And don’t snivel – diagramming sentences would not improve my grammar or my use –or misuse– of the English language.
Can you imagine the hoots and hollers I’d get if I wrote this?
“Grammatically, for he/she/it we use “does” or “doesn’t” like in,
He doesn’t eat meat.
but these days I’m observing the usage of the above sentence(especially in American movies) like this,
He don’t eat meat.
So, after a lot of observations, I’m assuming that both usages are correct.
My assumption – When to use “don’t”?
In temporary situations like,
He don’t have a pen.
…Worth noting: though the validity of he don’t in various dialects is debatable, I’ve yet to come across a dialect in which he doesn’t isn’t considered correct. In other words, as a non-native speaker, it is always safest to err on the side of caution and use he doesn’t. Speakers of ‘don’t dialects’ might possibly find it a tad uppity or overly formal—but not incorrect…
Nope! I did not write that I tells ya, it came from a site that claims:
“English Language & Usage Stack Exchange” is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.”
If you doesn’t like that, write to the guy who wrote it; don’t kill the messenger.
Hey Grammar Cop, did I use that semi-colon correctly?
Anyway, here’s what I think. I think the purpose of language, both the spoken and the written, is to communicate. If you’re gonna fret over passive voice, active voice, verb agreement, gerund usages, prepositions and the like, I think you should teach English, edit books, or subscribe to the “How to Make Fun of — and Criticize — Stupid People Who Don’t Write Well” newsletter.
Let’s get on with this. Language is for communication. If you speak or write and successfully communicate your thoughts or ideas, that’s good enough for me.
If I tell you – “Make certainly that you don’t drop your computer in to the bathtub if it got water in it!” Criticize the English if you must, but don’t ignore my warning! Or go ahead, correct that sentence, and ruin your computer.
The English language is alive – IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE!. And because it’s alive, it’s constantly changing.
We think teenagers don’t use the English language good. Right? Oh sorry… don’t use the English language “well”, is that better? It may surprise you to learn that many words that were once slang are now proper and have been officially approved by the English & Grammar Police (EGP).
Let’s take a look at a couple of 1920’s slang phrases and words that are now accepted by the EGP:
Darcy is the cat’s pajamas. It means she’s the best. (Don’t get all excited, I’m just making an example).
Darcy is certainly not a wallflower, she’s the center of attention!
Who doesn’t use OK? Eh?
“OK started off as the LOL of its time. Then Martin Van Buren’s presidential campaign popularized it and its brevity proved useful for sending telegraph messages. You can read more about the history of the word in Allan Metcalf’s book, OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word.”
Now, let’s move along, shall we?
Back when I was a kid the word “busted” meant broken. To my kids, busted meant getting caught doing something wrong or getting arrested. Now, if you say something like “Darlene is busted”, it means Darlene is ugly.
Originally hip was — and still is — a joint in the body. Hip over the years has evolved to mean fashionable (cool) and the word hip evolved into Hippie and more recently “Hipster”. Darcy certainly are one of those.
And then we have words hipsters create by combining words to make new words that somehow find their way into the Oxford dictionary. I’m assuming that the Oxford dictionary is the Bible of English words for the EGP.
This hipster word is a combination of the word friend and the word enemy. It’s self-defining – I should not have to explain it. See how cool and flexible English is? The EGP should learn this.
A combination of the words “Brother” and “Romance” bromance is an intense relationship between two straight men.
Guess? Yes! Gigantic and enormous combined to make the word ginormous. No definition needed. Darcy’s yacht is ginormous.
And now some more from www.yourdictionary.com…
Read: To ‘read’ someone means you’re calling them out for their bad behavior. ‘Wow. Stefon read Amy for filth at last night’s dinner.’
Salty: Angry or bitter about something. ‘Why are you so salty? I said I would share if I win the lottery.’
Ship: Short for’romantic relationship,’ sometimes used as a verb. ‘Everyone wants to ship Edward and bella, but they say they’re just good friends.
The tea: When someone is dishing’the tea,’ they’re gossiping, particularly with the juiciest or most dramatic gossip.’Let’s call Wendy. She always has the tea.’
Thirsty: If someone’s ‘thirsty,’ it means they’re a little too eager or even desperate.’Look at the way she dressed for their second date. She’s way too thirsty.’
Throw shade: To’throw shade’ means to insult or say something unkind about someone.’I can’t believe he said that. He just threw some serious shade.’
Woke: Slang for’awakened,’ as in being highly aware of social injustices. ‘If you’re so woke, why didn’t you vote?’
YOLO: An acronym for’you only live once,’ encouraging people to seize the day.’Of course you should go on that trip to Dublin! YOLO!
And even more slang from “USA Today”
“…Bruh = another way of saying ‘bro’ or ‘brother’
Canceled = done, deleted, finished, blocked on social media
Clout Chaser = someone who tries to latch on to other, more popular people
Clout Demon = a wannabe
Cringey = awkward, uncomfortable, cringe-worthy
Curve = reject someone’s advances
Dead A–= To be completely and honestly serious
Dead = overwhelmed or exhausted
Dime = rating of attractiveness, 10/10
Down in the DM = direct messaging someone privately, usually to hook up
Drip, Drippin = flashy, ostentatious
Extra = over the top
F2F = face to face, meeting in person
Fam = the friends you are closest with
Finna = going to/about to, short for ‘fixing to’
Finsta = a fake Instagram account
Fleeky = amazing or great
Glow-Up = an incredible transformation
Goals = a lifestyle to strive for
GOAT = greatest of all time, mainly used in sports
Gucci = good, cool
High-key = a lot, wanting everyone to know something
Hit a lick = to steal something
Hundo P = 100 percent, confirming something
It’s lit = cool, awesome, great
I’m weak = something so funny it made you weak
Juice = credibility, respect, can also mean booze or drugs
Kickback = a casual get together
KMS/KYS = kill myself, kill yourself, used sarcastically
Lean = an intoxicating drink made using soda and cough syrup
Meme = a joke or reference to something
OP = out of pocket, used when something is extreme or offensive
Pods = disposable cartridge for a nicotine vaporizer
Ratchet = loud, obnoxious, trashy
Saucy = feisty or sassy
Savage = wild or harsh
Shook = shocked, upset
Sips tea = minding your own business
Smash = to hook up
Squad = your closest group of friends
Stan = have an intense fandom for a particular object, such as a singer, athlete, or company
Straight fire = popular, trendy, or awesome
Sus = short for suspect, when something is suspicious or sketchy
TBH = to be honest
Tea = gossip
Thicc = voluptuous, curvy body (usually a compliment)
Thirsty = wants attention, or usually from a specific person
Tweaking = high, usually on amphetamines
V = very
Wig = when something crazy or unexpected (good) happens
Woke = enlightened about social issues, originally to describe being aware about racism and police violence.
(If ya want to be even more high key, you can read more…)
You certainly don’t want to be a clout demon, do you? Of course, you don’t.
The point to this saucy essay is that if you obsess over grammar and proper English, you might miss the point of what you’re reading – you might miss what the writer is trying to communicate. This could be very harmful and even dangerous.
For instance, a member of the English & Grammar Police might be so incensed by a road sign that reads: “Drive Careful. Bridge out a head” they would drive their car into the river once spanned by the now, non-existent bridge. I can hear them yammering about poor grammar as the car splashes into the river.
I am used to people throwing shade about my writing. But I’m telling you shade throwers and grammar cops – don’t expect me to glow up any time soon; it ain’t gonna happen.
I don’t think my writing is fleeky, but I do think I’m woke. I think all you grammar police are cringey.
And all you members of the EGP, who do you think makes more money? The author of a best-selling novel or the editors who edited it? I think all of you are a bit thirsty.
And to everyone who is reading this who don’t belong to the EGP and who do get the point, I think you’re all the GOAT! I hope you found this essay lit!
Now before I get even more rachet, I hereby declare this essay canceled.