I have a few bad habits that even drive me nuts.
I oversleep when I need to get up. I take showers that are too hot and steam up the bathroom. I leave dishes in my sink overnight. I stay up too late reading. I leave nail polish on long after it has chipped.
And I am not great with grammar when I am speaking.
I like to think of myself as a writer, even if I am still working on the professional part of the equation. As a writer, there is a certain grasp of language that people expect from you. They assume you will use proper grammar, and that you know how to spell most words. When I am writing, I do okay with this, but that can partially be attributed to spell and grammar checks, and partially attributed to the ability to edit.
When I speak, the words come out with minimal editing. I end sentences with prepositions, I say I am doing ‘good’ instead of ‘well’ and I slur words, saying ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to.’ It drives me nuts to hear some of these words come out of my own mouth, but they usually come out before I have had time to even consider stopping them. It is a simple habit, and one that I am trying to break.
I am not the only one who makes these mistakes. Many people say these things without thinking, and without realizing it is incorrect. According to a class I took a couple of years ago, it is simply the evolution of language.
I am a firm believer in evolution. I have seen the science, and I think there is merit. It doesn’t mean everything will have a large, unexplainable change overnight, but gradual changes do happen.
Reading a classic novel, it is easy to see the changes in speech patterns that have occurred over the years. There is no two ways about it, we do not sound the same as we used to sound. Slang changes, grammatical slipping becomes common; the way we speak becomes something else. I can see the changes that have been made, but I do not always support them.
I don’t like that profanity has become common place. There is a time and a place for everything, including the so called ‘bad’ words of my childhood. However, in my opinion, constant use of these words shows a lack of creativity. Yes, I can insult someone with a crude word, but it is too easy. I am not only showing what I think of them, but also that I am not intelligent enough to come up with a clever insult. It is laziness.
I don’t like when I say ‘gonna’ or realize I made grammatical errors in my speech. It is embarrassing to me. It makes me feel as though I am not smart enough to use the proper words. Pretty soon I swear I am hearing the spelling errors I am making when I speak. You may think it is crazy, but I can hear them. They are there.
I know many people are going to roll their eyes and say it’s not a big deal. I sound just like every other person out there, and that is okay. Evolution of language; we all say the same mistakes, so it is fine. None of us are perfect. I am certain that even after I proofread this post, some mistake will be left behind and someone will be laughing when they see the mistake in my rant about grammar.
But I like to improve myself. I want to be able to speak and know that others are not going to be mentally tallying my IQ points based on the number of mistakes I make. I want to preserve something of the proper ways of speech, even if it is only reminding myself to say ‘going to.’