As a former English teacher, and native Anglophone, I am perpetually annoyed at the improper use of the language.
Let's take much vs. many.
I have MUCH time and I have MANY minutes.
NOT I have many time and much minutes.
It's just regardless people.
Supposibly ---It's so wrong I am not even sure how it exists.
And the DOUBLE NEGATIVE.
If you don't have no time---that means you
When someone speaks like this I cringe, but I don't actually SAY anything because it's not really hurting anyone.
But there was one exception......
A couple of summers ago, my local Library was hosting a family reading session that explored the theme of "under the ocean".
I live in a very multicultural community, and the staff reflected in both the customers and staff of the Library. I don't go often, but on a trek home from the mall, Youngest and I swung through to take advantage of the air conditioning. The story time room you see was in the basement. The nice, cold, basement.
The lady presenting the event introduced herself a Svetlana, her Eastern European accent evident in her English.
"He-lo every-won! Pleese, we will stat wit a game to ghess the sea creature. I vill gif you clus and you ghess."
I figured it was a good time for me to scroll through my email on my phone while he sat, heard a story and got cooled off before we hit the road.
Svetlana began her clues, the kids started shouting guesses and I started to tune them out and zone in on my screen. Much clapping ensued when each sea creature described was guessed, and I stepped to the back of the room, grabbed a chair and sat.
By the forth e-mail, I was aware of the noise, or more accurately, the absence of it. The room had gone still. I could hear Svetlana talking animatedly at the front of the room, and tried to tune into what she was saying.
You know! I know you do!
It is soft, and very long and wave around in the water.
It does not have fins but some people do eat them!
I was confused. How hard could this be?
And then I heard it....
It has 8 long TESTICLES and waves them around in like this! She wiggled her arms like seaweed over her head.
These TESTICLES can be as long as a football field!
I scanned the room.
Looks of horror and confusion.
"Come on keeds, you know this." Still more waving.
"Their TESTICLES can grab you and...."
Parents started to raise their hands, and I suspected a few cell phones sat at 9-1- at this point.
I shot from my seat.
Now I was waving MY arms.
Her eyes found me at the back of the room, arms waving.
"I'm sorry, were you guessing?"
I whipped my arms behind my back.
I think you mean TEN-TA-CLES!
"What was I saying?"
"Not TENTACLES, that's for sure,"I heard a mother mumble a few rows ahead of me.
Svetlana laughed it off, blaming the English language for its "quirky intricacies" and story time continued. Most of the kids remained oblivious.
As I exited, Svetlana stopped me.
"Tank you for correcting my English. It is not my first language. I never knew this word in English before and so now I do."
(Aaaaaannnnd now so does a lot of small children who are probably having very interesting conversations with their parents.)
When I asked Youngest what he thought of our Library time, he replied with:
How do you make an octopus laugh?I dunno honey, how?You give him TEN TICKLES!
Oh the quirky intricacies of the English language.....