Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Words Words Words

There. It means a place, a location, as in “over there, under there, in there.” It’s easy to remember: it’s the same as “here” only it takes longer to get there.

Their. It means that the something in question belongs to them. Their download, their heir, their stupid spelling mistake.

When you post a message on YouTube, if you are silly enough to do so, please use the correct their/there. I realize that most people comment on videos are 1) drunk 2) 12 or 3) in a locked correctional facility. But you’d think that they could at least get it right. It’s not like they couldn’t double check--they’ve got time.

We frustrated English majors have nothing better to do than obsess over such things, but I swanney, nothing makes me write off what someone writes faster than a misuse of their/there.

But lest you chalk this up to the rantings of a housewife who shouldn’t even be viewing Black Eyed Peas videos, this is important, people. One misunderstanding, one wrong use, and we could have a new world war. Troy fell because of a misspoken word. OJ was acquitted because the Prosecution misused a word. Oedipus became his own stepfather and killed his dad, all over a word.

Okay, none of that’s true, but you weren’t sure, were you? It could have been true.

These are the things that keep me awake at night, that offer me joy and self-aggrandizement.

On my gravestone, I want you to carve “She knew the difference between their and there.”