Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Don't Loose You Head!

Time was, nobody saw as many dead bodies as a reporter on the crime beat, and nobody saw as many misspelled words as an English teacher. But nowadays, thanks to the Internet, anyone can get to read just as many misspellings and mangled usages as any English teacher.

For instance, before I got on the Internet, I don't believe I had ever in my life seen the word lose misspelled as loose: "We knew we were going to loose the game."

I just don't get it. I mean, to my eye, loose doesn't look like "looze." It doesn't even remotely look like "looze"; it looks like "looss," and to me it could never look like anything but "looss."

Then there's the use of you as a possessive— that is, you in place of your: "What is you name?" Or "Don't loose you head!"

Once again, I simply do not get it. Many a time down through the years, I've encountered written confusion between your and you're. But never in my life out here in meatspace— indeed, never in my life until I got on the Internet— had I ever seen you used in place of your.

There are many of these Common Internet Misspellings— misspellings that I see often on the Internet, but seldom if ever saw back in the pre-WWW era.

For instance, definately is a Common Internet Misspelling (CIM) for definitely.

And formally known as is a CIM for formerly known as.

Just as midas well is a CIM for might as well.

Just as doggy-dog world is a CIM for dog-eat-dog world.

And just as choldren, childern, and even choldern are CIMs for children. (Though I do sometimes hear people pronounce children as "chohldren." Just as I often hear people say "melk" for milk.)

I tend to be "usage first" when it comes to matters of grammar— note, "usage first," not "usage, the only arbiter"— you know, ain't, split infinitives, that sort of thing. But on matters of spelling, I tend to be much more sticky. I think it's no coincidence that just in recent years— just since the Internet became popular— I've begun to run across "Internet-like" misspellings frequently— not just once in a while, but frequently— not only on websites, but also on product labels and on professionally printed, publicly posted signs.

And whether on a website or in everyday life, I do draw the line at the likes of "southmore" for sophomore, and (no, I'm not making this one up) "southball" for softball.



Blogger Mr. E said...

I have problems spelling words. I think that it comes from taking too many years (7 total) of German though. I flip "ie" with "ei" in words and do other things that would be perfectly fine in the German language. That is just my two cents worth though...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 10:19:00 PM  

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