The English language — used or abused

I love the English language. I always have. I was brought up with English being practically my first language (I still find it hilarious when I have to fill out forms stating it is my second language!) I will admit that I have the tendency to get pedantic when it comes to it’s usage. Lately, I’ve been thinking how people, some of whom have English as their first language, literally murder it either with the wrong use of grammar, pronunciation or spelling or something that just makes no sense whatsoever. I decided then to write a post about things that annoy me with regards to how people ‘abuse’ the language.They include:1. Anyways: This is used instead of “anyway”. I still have not figured out why.

2. Youse: This is what some Aussies use to imply “all of you”. It can be used in a sentence such as “I would like youse to come to my house for dinner”. Makes me cringe!!!!

3. Brang: This is used as the past tense of bring i.e brought. (And I am dead serious). I have heard most kids (teens included) here using “brang” instead of “brought” and although I’m a school psychologist and not an English teacher, I find myself correcting them everytime they use the bloody ‘word’!

4. Proudy: This was common in India and was used to define a person who is proud/conceited. For example, Ram is such a proudy.

5. They’re/There/Their: Funny how many people actually confuse the context in which these words are used. This includes university students/markers. It’s obviously something spell check does not pick up! I had someone mark one of my essays and actually change a correct ‘their’ to ‘there’. Go figure!

6. Councellor/Councilor/Councelor: These are just some of the ways I’ve seen the word “counsellor” being spelt. Some of these also happen to pop up in job advertisements. Wonder why spell check didn’t pick some of those up!

7. Make friendship: Ah, the eternal question about “making friendship” with someone. Frequently used by strangers on the internet: Would you like to make friendship with me?

8. Where/Were: Again, similar to the there/their/they’re issue and used interchangeably. See above.

9. Your/You’re: Once again, similar to the previous issue. It is used interchangeably. For example, Your going to the movies, eh?

10. American spellings: This has always made me mad. How difficult is it to spell ‘behaviour’ compared to ‘behavior’? Or ‘socks’ compared to ‘sox’?

Well, I will stop there for now. I guess I’ve whinged enough for a day. I would however love to hear if anyone else has heard anything bizarre in the way people speak/write/use the language.

Until next time,


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  • Raahi
    23 September 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Oh the there/their/they’re drives me nuts too!

    A number of people also confuse ‘then’ with ‘than’. Makes me squirm if I can’t correct them.

    But seriously ‘brang’? hehe…

    I’m guilty of American spelling now too…behavior, color, flavor, neighbor.:)

  • Psych Babbler
    24 September 2008 at 1:30 am

    Hehe…yeah I noticed your American spellings (Don’t worry — not judging!) I actually forgot about the then/than error…but now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ve noticed it around here as well.

    And yeah…’brang’ has GOT to be one of the worst forms of a ‘word’

    Ahh…the days when we were taught English…they don’t teach them English the same way in English-speaking countries.

  • Matt Parker
    18 November 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Yeah about this .our/or ,I always have to go with .or not because i like it but because the spell checker always converts .our to .or !Its annoying !!

    Oh I love to say colour instead of color.

    And lol at “Brang”

  • Nimisha
    20 November 2009 at 9:21 am

    Aah! This post has ‘brang’ in memories of the whole lot of ‘bought/brought’; ‘its/it’s’; ‘loser/looser'(s) that I have encountered! 😛

    Wonderful blog! 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    21 November 2009 at 6:08 am

    @ Matt: Oh yeah, I have noticed that too. Y’know what else I’ve noticed recently…people using ‘of’ instead of ‘have’.

    @ Nimisha: Welcome! Oh…how could I have forgotten the its/it’s and loser/looser saga!!!