I was listening to the 80s channel on my XM radio today, and a song by .38 Special came on. Normally, I’d be lunging to change the channel because, ugh, .38 Special, but today, I noticed something first. Their song was titled “Hold On Loosely.” Do you see that? Loosely. They used an adverb in their song title, and they used it correctly.
Ah, bliss. Even if it was a crappy song.
See, I get grumpy about grammatically incorrect things or things that are deliberately misspelled. Yeah, I’m a little obsessive-compulsive on this front. I admit it. But I always notice, and it always bugs me.
The biggest offender for me is the fast food industry. I cannot abide “drive-thru.” Blech. It took a lot of effort me to even type that phrase. It’s so wrong. It even looks ugly. I don’t like “lite” instead of “light,” either. Heaven forbid that I have to go through a drive-thru and order a lite item. I can’t even enjoy it at that point. And it’s not like these people just aren’t good spellers. They did that on purpose. They can’t even say that they deliberately misspelled these things so they could copyright them, a la the Krispy Kreme folks. They just like to be all quik and EZ. (Yes, I’m being sarcastic again. I know. Shocker.)
And there was this commercial for a Tunica, Mississippi casino that aired back in the late 1990s in the Memphis area that David and I still joke about it. A bunch of scantily clad girls are sitting in a locker room, ostensibly changing their sweaty workout clothes after exercising. One woman says meaningfully, “I went to Sad Desperate Casino last night and got lucky…” One of her friends says, “Oh yeah? How lucky?” And the first girl leers and says, “Reeeeeeeal lucky.” I’m not going to say that everyone who went to Sad Desperate Casino used bad grammar because I know for a fact that they didn’t—I, er, have friends who really did go there and, um, really did get lucky–but geez. Would it have been that hard for the girl to say “Reeeeeeeeally lucky”? Just tack on a nice quick “ly” at the end? To make up for the tacky innuendo and the super-tight shiny spandex?
Hey, I heard that! I heard you muttering “pedant” under your breath!
I don’t like misused puncutation marks either. I loved the book Eats Shoots and Leaves. And I was delighted to happen across the blog Apostrophe Abuse and (hee hee) the “blog” of “unnecessary quotation marks. Ah, my people. When I was in college, I volunteered as a group leader at a youth conference at the Montreat Conference Center in North Carolina, and the ice machine down the hall from my room had a sign with a really egregious example of punctuation abuse posted on it:
Do Not Put Your Hands in “THE” ice machine. Huh? Why was “the” put in quotation marks, and why was it capitalized, too? It was a mystery. A grating, annoying mystery. The ice was good, though.
Okay, I’ll stop ranting now. Please, go forth and use adverbs and punctuation marks judiciously.