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Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz

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Blogs by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz

More on the Abuse of Words
2/20/2008 9:50:14 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Three words that are often abused today are the preposition "of," the noun/verb "disrespect," and the adjective "awesome."

 

Since my last blog, in which I addressed how people misuse the words up, down, take, bring, and catch, I have found myself contemplating the misuse of other common words, one of which is the preposition “of.” The abuse of this word is a fairly recent trend and far more common in written communication, notably student papers, than oral communication; however, there is an obvious reason for this imbalance, and that is how when one uses a contraction, for example, “should’ve” for “should have,” the final syllable, the “‘ve” in this case, is phonetically similar to “of.” In fact, they sound alike. As a result, I have deduced that when students are required to write formal papers, in which one does not use contractions, they write the way they talk, thus writing, “I should of been paying attention to Ms. Carol’s lecture on prepositions;” instead of “I should have been paying attention to Ms. Carol’s lecture on prepositions.” Of course, one has to wonder exactly what precipitated this rather annoying development, especially since one never saw students confusing “of” with “should” in the past. And, in my opinion, the abuse is the result of today’s students’ aversion to reading. In fact, today’s students, more often that not, are what one might describe as  “eruditely challenged;” that is, if one wishes to be politically correct.

 

Next on my list is the word “disrespect.” The problem is how so many people today are indiscriminately using it as a verb. Yes, it can be used as a verb. However, the first definition, which is the preferred definition, in Webster New World Dictionary tells one that “disrespect” is a noun meaning “a lack of respect or esteem.” (I have tried to gain my family’s appreciation, but all anyone ever shows me is disrespect.) Yet, as I said, it can also be used as a verb, and when used as a verb, it means to show a lack of respect for someone or something. Moreover, Merriam Webster’s Dictionary states that the usage of “disrespect” as a verb dates back to 1614 (I wonder how they pinpointed the exact year?). However, when it comes using “disrespect” as a verb in today’s society, the consensus among the more educated populace is that one should never use “disrespect” as a verb, at least not in formal speech or academic text, that is, unless one does not mind being considered “eruditely challenged.”

 

Last but certainly not least is the word “awesome.” This word is so overused by young people today that it has totally lost all meaning. For example, on campus one might hear the following conversation:

 

Student One says, “Hey, Dude, you see the new Spiderman yet?”

“Yep, saw it this weekend,” says Student Two. “Man, it’s awesome.”

“Yeah, awesome,” replies Student One as he scratches his nose. “So what you think of the Saints this season?”

“Awesome, man, awesome; they’re gonna make the Super Bowl for sure.”

“Yeah, awesome, all right.”

Student Two then says, “How you like the new Taco Majestic they got at Taco Heaven down on the highway?”

Student one smiles broadly. “Awesome, man, awesome.”

“Yeah,” says Student Two. “Awesome, all right. Biggest taco money can buy.” He nods toward the parking lot. “See Ms. Carol’s Tundra, now that’s an awesome truck.”

Student one nods. “Yeah, awesome, man, awesome. And speaking of Ms. Carol, she’s an awesome instructor.”

“Yep,” replies Student One, “Ms. Carol’s awesome, all right.”

 

And on and on they go—awesome this and awesome that, when according to Webster’s, if something is “awesome,” it inspires within one a feeling of awe, which is “a mixed feeling of reverence, fear, and wonder caused by something majestic, sublime, or sacred.” With that in mind, one could very well describe the Sistine Chapel as awesome, or the Grand Canyon, or Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, but a movie, a taco, a truck, or, heaven forbid, Ms. Carol? Oh, please, not in one’s wildest imagination.



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More Blogs by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz
• Have You Ever Wondered? - Monday, February 08, 2010
• Students Write the Darnedest Things - Thursday, December 17, 2009
• Random Brain Droppings - Saturday, November 07, 2009
• To Twitter or not to Twitter, That Is the Question. - Monday, June 29, 2009
• Levy "Sin" Taxes on Actual Sins - Thursday, May 14, 2009
• What's New in My World? - Sunday, April 05, 2009
• To Blog or Not to Blog? - Sunday, March 08, 2009
• New Year's Predictions for 2009 - Thursday, January 01, 2009
• Christmas 2008 - Saturday, December 27, 2008
• What I Learn from the Newspaper - Thursday, December 11, 2008
• Totally Inane Messages - Monday, December 01, 2008
• Is America a "Civilized" Nation - Saturday, November 29, 2008
• What Thanksgiving Means - Wednesday, November 26, 2008
• Autumn, Sarah Palin, & Cultural Literacy - Sunday, November 09, 2008
• Thank You, America - Tuesday, November 04, 2008
• The Perfect Husband - Friday, October 24, 2008
• Sarah Who? - Monday, October 06, 2008
• Rats Abandoning a Sinking Ship - Friday, September 26, 2008
• Why Do So Many Students Detest Reading? - Monday, September 22, 2008
• What's in a Name? - Saturday, September 13, 2008
• Waiting for Gustav - Sunday, September 07, 2008
• It's Time for Change - Friday, August 29, 2008
• George Washington, He Ain't - Saturday, August 23, 2008
• More Money Than Common Sense - Friday, August 15, 2008
• The Loss of the Ability to Communicate - Thursday, August 14, 2008
• The Wonders of Modern Technology - Sunday, August 10, 2008
• Water, Water, Everywhere - Thursday, August 07, 2008
• A Different World - Sunday, August 03, 2008
• Thinking" Consumerism - Thursday, July 31, 2008
• Mr. Fix It -- Not My Husband - Saturday, July 26, 2008
• Pour Me Another Cup of Coffee - Sunday, July 20, 2008
• Southern Cooking - Friday, July 18, 2008
• The Value of Human Life - Friday, July 11, 2008
• Running on Empty - Sunday, July 06, 2008
• A Question of Respect - Friday, July 04, 2008
• Monkey See, Monkey Do - Thursday, July 03, 2008
• English Only - Tuesday, July 01, 2008
• Jesus for President - Friday, June 27, 2008
• Do You Believe in Bad Luck? - Thursday, June 26, 2008
• Existing versus Living - Tuesday, June 24, 2008
• The Rich Are Different - Sunday, June 22, 2008
• Spirit Dog -- Goodbye My Friend - Wednesday, June 18, 2008
• What's in a Name? - Tuesday, June 17, 2008
• Are Some People Really That Dumb? - Monday, June 16, 2008
• An Appalling State of Affairs - Wednesday, June 11, 2008
• The Ongoing Stupidity of the Human Race - Sunday, June 08, 2008
• Living in Fear - Friday, June 06, 2008
• An Epiphany about Survival - Monday, June 02, 2008
• Abusing the System -- Handouts from Uncle Sam - Saturday, May 31, 2008
• When 50 Cents Was a Fortune - Wednesday, May 28, 2008
• The Greed of the Human Race - Saturday, May 24, 2008
• I Have Been Living an Illusion - Friday, May 23, 2008
• Today's Children Lack Imagination - Sunday, May 18, 2008
• The Three Perfect Foods - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
• Kids & Pets Alone in Vehicles - Saturday, May 10, 2008
• Into the Valley of Death - Friday, May 09, 2008
• In Remembrance of Outhouses - Monday, May 05, 2008
• Family Is Family - Saturday, May 03, 2008
• Thank You, Mr. President - Thursday, May 01, 2008
• Just the Right Word - Thursday, April 24, 2008
• America, Overweight and Gaining: A Byproduct of Capitalism - Friday, April 18, 2008
• Only in Southern Louisiana - Wednesday, April 16, 2008
• Why I Don't Trust Doctors - Saturday, April 12, 2008
• Mama Wisdom - Thursday, April 10, 2008
• Who Is To Blame? - Tuesday, April 08, 2008
• Smoking Ain't So Bad for You After All - Friday, April 04, 2008
• In the News: Children Plot to Kill Teacher - Wednesday, April 02, 2008
• If I Were An Advice Columnist - Sunday, March 30, 2008
• In the News - Thursday, March 27, 2008
• How to Tell When You're Getting Old - Sunday, March 23, 2008
• The Most Heartbreaking Profession in the World - Wednesday, March 19, 2008
• My Kingdom for an Honest Politician - Friday, March 14, 2008
• Let's Simplify the Divorce Process - Sunday, March 09, 2008
• Restaurants Should Ban Kids, Not Smoking - Sunday, March 02, 2008
• Technology and the Destruction of Language - Friday, February 29, 2008
• Our Friend, Mr. Comma, and How He Is Being Abused - Thursday, February 28, 2008
• More on the Abuse of the English Language - Monday, February 25, 2008
•  More on the Abuse of Words - Wednesday, February 20, 2008  
• Slaughtering the Mother Tongue - Sunday, February 17, 2008
• Slaughter of the Innocents - Thursday, February 14, 2008
• Valentines Day - Bah, Humbug! - Wednesday, February 13, 2008
• Election Day - Saturday, February 09, 2008
• Today's Pathetic Television Fare - Wednesday, February 06, 2008
• Something Is Definitely Rotten in Denmark - Sunday, February 03, 2008
• Georgia Good Old Boys & Pickup Trucks - Thursday, January 31, 2008
• Shop 'til You Drop - Sunday, January 27, 2008
• The State of Our Economy - Friday, January 25, 2008
• Love Is Such a Little Word - Wednesday, January 23, 2008
• A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words - Monday, January 21, 2008
• Winning the Lottery - Saturday, January 19, 2008
• What Is Going On With Today's Children? - Wednesday, January 16, 2008
• Flip-Flopping -- The New Trend in Politics - Monday, January 14, 2008
• Religion - Walking the Walk - Saturday, January 12, 2008
• You Can't Transplant a Southerner - Friday, January 11, 2008
• Punishment --Southern Style - Thursday, January 10, 2008
• Today's Children - Wednesday, January 09, 2008
• I Love the South--Especially Our Language - Tuesday, January 08, 2008
• Freedom of Expression: Who Decides? - Monday, January 07, 2008
• You Can't Go Home Again - Sunday, January 06, 2008
• Predictions for 2008 - Friday, January 04, 2008
• Up, Up, and Away--The Price of Oil - Thursday, January 03, 2008
• High School Reunion - Tuesday, January 01, 2008
• New Year's Resolutions - Monday, December 31, 2007
• All God's Creatures, Great and Small - Sunday, December 30, 2007
• Send Me A Man (or Woman) Who Reads - Saturday, December 29, 2007
• Dante's Inferno--Revised - Friday, December 28, 2007
• America’s Expanding Waistline: A Byproduct of Capitalism - Friday, December 28, 2007
• Why We Cannot Live Deliberately - Wednesday, December 26, 2007
• The Ideal President -- My Opinion - Tuesday, December 25, 2007
• Going Deeper and Deeper into Debt - Monday, December 24, 2007
• Cell Phones -- Bane or Blessing? - Sunday, December 23, 2007
• Greed--A Natural Human Condition - Saturday, December 22, 2007
• So This Is Christmas? - Friday, December 21, 2007
• Rush Limbaugh & Double Standards - Thursday, December 20, 2007
• Growing Old Ain't for Sissies - Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Looking Up When Your Circumstances Have You Down by KJ Jacobs

A story of miracles and the sustaining power of Jesus Christ in my life...  
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