Sunday, March 29, 2009


I love words and language. I love metaphors and similes and idiomatic expressions and irony and sarcasm and puns. Everything we do is shaped by language - I often think that my first memories start from when I could first speak, and that the memories before then are lost in the garbled baby speak language that is unreadable by me, and so I can't remember them.

It excites me to see weird words, I want to speak them and feel them being shaped by my mouth and mind. I want to write them down, write with them, use them in my stories and blog posts and emails and in general conversation. Words like thaumaturgy. The definition:

n. The working of miracles or magic feats.
thauma·turgic, thauma·turgi·cal adj.

It's so exciting. It reminds me of metallurgy, so it conjures (and yes, I've used conjure there on purpose) up images of a scholarly type working with some malleable, molten-liquid, silvery magical substance, taking notes and waving his wand. The possibilities are endless.

And so, the natural progression of this post is to move on to a rant of sorts. I judge you for using bad grammar. I recently watched Marley and Me (great movie, by the way), and I also came across a book written by Steve Irwin's wife, called Irwin and Me. And it drives me mad. The fact that a book - a book! - can be titled in a manner that is grammatically incorrect makes me want to crumple up into a little ball and explode. The fact that some editor allowed that to go to print is abhorrent. The movie title - I know the name is an alliteration and it makes for a nice sounding title, but just that fact is not reason enough, as far as I'm concerned, to break the grammatical laws.

The English language is changing all the time, molding like the silvery substance in my thaumaturgy example, but surely grammatical rules still hold place? How many people realize that Marley and Me should be Marley and I? If these kinds of errors are made common in popular culture and media, how will we ever escape their incorrect use? I don't think we will. The sms, email and chat client method of communication is altering our usage of language drastically, and soon enough we shall all be speaking like children.

No comments: