You need educating; I’m here to help
It’s 2013 already in case you haven’t figured it out. What have you learned? How ’bout something new?
“You need coolin’, baby, I’m not foolin’,
I’m gonna send you back to schoolin’,
Way down inside honey, you need it …”
– Led Zeppelin
Hokay … ready class? Good. Because, apparently, you need a little edjumacatin’ with regard to Ten Commonly-Misused Expressions From British English and concerning 8 New Punctuation Marks We Desperately Need.
Let’s take a gander at a few of the Commonly Misused Expressions first, then we’ll get into the fun stuff. Work before play, after all.
Now, if you know any of the expressions in the above article, chances are you may mis-know them. In other words: You know them incorrectly. Me? I know all of them and have used all of them … and in their proper form. It’s not because my aim is to feel superior. And it’s not because I’m a know-it-all — far, far from it if fact. It’s simply because I’m in love with the English language and all its vagaries, quirks and kinks. Some call me a freak (and they would be right) but I just think these things interesting. It stems simply from my thankfulness I don’t speak another language and am forced to learn English, an exceedingly difficult tongue to master.
Anywho … let’s look at one of my pet peeves: “champing at the bit.”
This is actually a pretty easy one to decipher. Whereas “chomping” is often replaced for “champing” in the expression (as the two are more often than not used as synonyms), you have to understand there is an added element to “champing” not commonly associated with “chomping.” And that, my good students, is the idea of impatience. Even the explanation given uses “frustrated” and “excitable” as illustrations. “A frustrated or excitable horse will sometimes mouth his (or her) bit….” So the proper verbalization of the expression makes perfect sense to me. I’ve debated with a great many people on this particular declaration (both comically and otherwise) and, interestingly, it continues to be a point of contention in their minds.
Now … “nip it in the butt” just makes no sense whatsoever. The first definition of “nip” that comes to (my strange) mind is “to take a chunk out of” or “bite.” And if you’re doing that, you’re certainly not taking a bite out of the butt of “it,” are you? I mean, what is “it” … ??? An animal? An ogre? A Lego figure? Why in the world would you want to do that … ?!? See? It makes no sense. I get the fact this expression takes a little more understanding than some of the others. But if that truly is the case, then one shouldn’t be using it in the first place. Right? Right.
And yes, I use “wait with bated breath” often in my writing and in speaking. And usually with a highly sarcastigative flair.
Which brings us to the somewhat fun 8 New Punctuation Marks We Desperately Need.
In regard to “bated breath,” you might be able to see where I could use the “sarcastises” quite nicely, thank you very much. I believe they would get a pretty good workout in my little world.
But the one that is favorite in my book? The Superellipsis.
CliqueClack Big Cheese Keith McDuffee once referred to me as “Captain Ellipsis” a long, long time ago (and may still) because, yes, I have tendency to utilize this most wonderful of punctuation marks to emphasize thoughts or cause pause with its use as my (odd) needs require. But a superellipsis? Well … while it might look a bit awkward in its utilization, the meaning behind it is raucously applauded. And I’m certain not just by me.
The other punctuation marks? With the exception of the two I’m about to mention, too many are like emoticons, pointless and nonsensical.
The “Hemi-Demi-Semi Colon” is stupid. Here’s why: Per its definition, if you’re too dim to know when you should use any of the marks on their own, you shouldn’t be using this new-fangled hybrid. It makes you appear brainless. And the “Andorpersand” is simply too awkward. Really: Who gives a rat’s ass if someone hates the very existence of the phrase “and/or” … ???
Class? You are dismissed.
“Here’s something, here’s something that you’re never gonna forget, baby
B-B-B-Baby, you know, you know, you know, you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet
You need an education, got to go to school …”
– Bachman-Turner Overdrive
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