It’s very difficult to communicate and be clearly understood, I think. I think this because I’m beginning to believe that people don’t listen openly – nor do they read attentively when the communication is written.
I’ve run into several instances of this, but this morning there was a example that really grabbed me. There was a Facebook post that said “I can only get through American Idol if I get up and get a glass of wine after Keith Urban speaks”. That was followed by the comment “I take it you don’t like Keith?”. No! Wait! Read! the post said AFTER Urban speaks – so why would you think I don’t like him? Perhaps it’s because I don’t like what follows – hence the word “after”? Frustration. (What follows and the reason for the departure and the wine is a whole ‘nother post).
Then there is the prolific usage of apostrophes. Those little guys that float in the air between letters in words, that people like to toss about, placing them hither thither and yon, most frequently at the end of words that end in s. Why? Well, because we don’t remember what we were taught in school – for some of us there’s good reason for that because was school was many years ago. For others, those for whom school was not so long ago? Obvious. They don’t listen.
In that paragraph, I’ve used one of those little floaty guys before an s – in the word there’s. That’s because (as in the word that’s beginning this sentence) I converted two words – there is, that is – into one word, and the little floaty apostrophe guy replaces the i. Makes sense, right? Misuse of these little guys creates so much confusion. In an ad, for instance: “this brush has many use’s”. Huh? “use is”?
And yes, there are reasons to use an apostrophe other than to replace the “i” in two words and make it one – those reasons are easily found by using Google to find the rules for using apostrophes. And carrying on a discussion is more easily done if we all listen or read more carefully. Hear/read the words – don’t add to or subtract from without asking questions.
Give me hope that we are not becoming a country of deaf illiterates!