1/31/11

A tiny pet peeve turns into an aneurysm.

WARNING:  You will get an aneurysm if you read this post.  

There was a great post from Pimp My Novel about "An Incomplete Education" where everyday grammar mistakes are turned into comics.  We are all guilty of abusing these classics and the comic visualization just helps us nail the concept home.

But...
I'm have a slight problem with the logical explanation here:


Yes, "alot" is NOT a word.  According to the logic above you would not write "alittle, abunch, acantaloupe, aprokchop" etc. Fair enough but what about these words, words that seem to have the same meaning together as they do a part: cannot, without, within, and maybe? Did they once have a life of their own and through pour pronunciation they were forced into an eternity of marriage?

Now let's take the same "a lot" logic and apply it to "cannot," the opposite occurs here.  Should we start using "willnot," "couldnot," "wantnot,"cantaloupenot," "porchopnot?" Okay, I got a little ridiculous but you see what I mean?  Maybenot?

All this lead me to do extensive research on cannot vs can not. (Simplest explanation here.) Though there are several points that are highly debatable: whether either is universal, if not what they mean, is it for emphatic purposes, blah, blah, blah, the overall consensus is: if it is impossible then it's "cannot" (i.e.I cannot go back in time.) and if you can but are simply not going to then it is "can not." This seems like a silly/weak explanation to me. Wouldn't "can not" work for either scenario?  (Is that a legitimate sentence in green.  I bet I broke 10 different grammar laws there. Oy!)

And there's more...

"Cannot" has been in the language as one word for hundreds of years.  Did someone come up with this explanation to blow smoke up the proverbial butts of the ancient literary gods? Maybe they were wrong? Or they may be right.  Apparently it's all debatable.  According to the "cannot" vs. "can not" proper usage, if  it "is not" possible should I use "isnot?" (i.e. It isnot possible to travel in time.) J

I'm not even going to touch my other examples (without, within, maybe.) Don't shoot me for draining your brain on Monday.  Like I said, my tiny pet peeve turned into an aneurysm.

Here are some more head scratchers: maybe vs. may be, apart vs a part, overall vs. over all, everyday vs every day, into vs in to...

8 comments :

  1. BANG! My brain is drained.






    that was me shooting you.

    LOL

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  2. Good God Girl! You need a day off. I would shoot you, but I cannot see you. May be if I squint alittle. A las, even now, I feel a welling up from with in. I wish I could time travel back to be fore I read this post, but you are right. It isnot possible.

    Looking for extra strength Tylenol...

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  3. LOL...Please, Nicole, shoot me. I thunk to hard on that one. I'm glad to know others now share my misery from that painful post.

    Matt, I can still call you Matt right? (You can still call me Girl if you wish ;)) I'm so sorry. I should delete this post now before I inflict anyone else to this sort of pain and torture. But I have a point right? Painful as it may be...or maybe my freaking brain works differently than most. I think I'll add a warning to my post. There, now I feel better. Glad we could work this out between us.

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  4. Actually you touched on a subject I’ve always wondered about. I guess the scary part is that I found your logic…well, logical.

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  5. Jane you found my logic logical? That's relieving...and scary. I new my ramblings would make sense to someone. It's not wonder English is the most complicated language to learn when we cannot even decipher the meaning of our own words. Ha!

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  6. Bwah ha ha! You need to go here right now and laugh your headache away:

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hahaha, that is so funny. I don't know which is funnier the Alot made of beer cans or the Alot swimming with Michael Phelps. Too funny. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Ahh! I had to come read this after tweeting with you last night. LOL I totally agree. And I've probably uttered similar things, if not identical. :D

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