Thursday, January 01, 2009

I Suppose this is Supposed to Make Sense

Disclaimer: Grammar Rant. Many more to come!

I love Lynne Truss, the author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. She is a grammar maven when it comes to the incorrect use of punctuation and I must admit I can be a bit of a grammar stickler myself. It must be the English teacher still channeling inside me.

I'm in good company though. Frank McCourt, the author of Angela's Ashes said, "If Lynn Truss were Roman Catholic I'd nominate her for sainthood."

At least I'm in the company of saints. Please keep that in mind as you read on.

My pet peeve this week surfaced in one of the holiday newsletters I received. I suppose I shouldn't have been so upset but there were so many errors on so many levels that my grammar radar was blipping like crazy. The biggest offense? The misuse of the words suppose and supposed.

Some gentle enlightenment, dear readers.

SUPPOSE- most commonly means think, guess, imagine.
means required or obliged. Supposed can also mean mistakenly believed as in "Her supposed friend failed to support her in her disagreement."

"Suppose your friends don't come when the are supposed to?"
"I suppose it's supposed to snow tonight"
"Am I supposed to care?"

I suppose this will never reach the people who are supposed to benefit by this but I suppose I feel better now.


Wendy Fleming said...

Grate! Now I am fraid to write anything to yew> for fear I will be judged, Why cant yew just be a puncheduashun freek by yourself and leeve peeple to theyre own truble??? I am happy their is not a red marker that yew can use on my emails, AND no more Crissmas letters from me! Wen

Katie said...

haha.. love the post and wendy's comment. i remember you racking me over the coals for this one (both in spoken language and in papers).

Wendi Siegel said...

I thought I was the only person in the world with a red pen stuck up her ****.
I don't let any of my staff send out anything I haven't proof-read. When I teach at the college level, I correct my students' grammar and they cannot get full credit on an assignment if it isn't grammatically correct, regardless of the content.
Even worse, I correct the spoken grammar of people I don't even know. All the above sure makes me extremely popular, of course!