Pardon Me a Grammar Nazi Rant

Look, I don’t like the Grammar Nazi any more than the next guy, but that’s the guy who nitpicks other folks’ usages to make himself feel superior. Occasionally, however, grammar intervention is needed to save all that is right and true.

Let’s go back to grade school, shall we? You can add ing to verbs. You can add ing to run and make running. You can add ing to jump and make jumping. You can add ing to rant and make ranting, which is what this article amounts to. You cannot, however, add ing to a noun and magically make it a verb. You cannot, for example, add ing to brain and make it mean thinking, no matter how much you might want to or how clever you might think it would be.

So, to whom is this rant directed? (Catch that? “To whom.” Mrs. White would be so proud.) I listen to a lot of sports talk radio because I can’t listen to the cheerleading for war that characterizes so much of “conservative” talk radio without my blood pressure skyrocketing to dangerously high levels. Listen to me Mr. Sports Talk Radio Guy. This is for you. No you are not efforting your next guest because EFFORTING IS NOT A FREAKIN’ WORD! Effort is a person, place or thing. Therefore, it is a noun. Therefore, no you cannot just add an ing to it to make it a verb. The English language does not work that way. You may be making an effort. You may be attempting to secure your next guest, but no you are not efforting, and the fact that Spell Check lights up when I type that word should tell you this.

I’m all for allowing common usages to become standard over time. For example, I think ain’t is fine when you are deliberately attempting to be informal. But, as the good knee-jerk reactionary that I am, I am opposed to trendy usages and especially dorks who don’t realize that their supposedly trendy usage is actually now passé. What’s next? Are they going to start Rickrolling people?

So KNOCK IT OFF, before I’m forced to march on your studios with pitchfork in hand!

That is all.

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