Monday, September 20, 2010

Abroad v. A Broad with a digression to Baited v. Bated and other nonsense

So I tried to bait my newest BFF favorite blog Snarky Grammar into doing this Abroad v. A Broad post and analysis, but instead was just told that they'd be waiting with bated breath for me to do it. Yeah, I know. I was thinking that too. What the hell is a bated and how is that affecting my breath? Apparently it is the correct, albeit nearly extinct, adjective for that expression used by really dead people like Shakespeare and Mark Twain. It comes from the verb abate, and there ain't any other uses for it according to my extensive research (read: I checked out this one site). So, we're already off track a little bit, but this is one of those verbs I will never use again and will push for its universal elimination.

Now on to the Abroad versus A Broad content. Personally I don't know any idiots that have ever made that mistake in their writing or speaking, at least unintentionally. I can see it being exploited by a comedian or Saturday Night Live or blogger in a humorous way. But just in case you get the two confused, read this post anonymously because you are probably not too grammatically sharp. Otherwise let me try to entertain you.

Abroad. Here's what Merriam-Webster offers as a definition. (Speaking of Websters, Noah was probably one of those old dead guys that used to use bate as a verb). Most of you normal people probably associate this word with definition #3, like when you travel from the U.S. to Colombia, you are traveling abroad.

1. over a wide area : widely

2. away from one's home

3. beyond the boundaries of one's country

4. in wide circulation : about

5. wide of the mark : astray

A Broad. Apparently A is just a modifier of Broad in this situation. I usually like more broads, but this definition is distinctly singular. This word is much more exciting than abroad, at least that's my personal viewpoint. Merriam-Webster, at least online, was much too proper to give a decent noun definition for this word, so I am relying on my old standby Urban Dictionary. I think definition #1 is the best, and a lot of raters agree, though feel free to read the others and disagree all you want.

Broad                      Votes:  (1895 up, 117 down)

Word for a woman. Less respectable than lady but much more respectable than bitch.

example: Man, look at those two broads. They are smokin.

Wow, I couldn't have defined broad any better myself, though I'd have used the singular since we are talking about A Broad. I definitely would have also thrown in chick just slightly above broad for another modern-day example, but that's just me. It's not like this word is so negative, more like when my parents used to tell me they didn't like the word "bucks" when referring to money.

If the Urban Dictionary isn't your go-to guide, well how's Wiki? "Broad is simply a slang term for woman. But more specifically refers to either a prostitute or a woman of loose morals."

Personally, I don't hear the prostitute or loose moral angle, but of course I've been known to be wrong. When I close my eyes, I hear this word coming from the mouth of Mel at Mel's Diner while speaking to (or about) Flo.

Here are a few uses that I found during my research. It doesn't seem like these ladies are taking the loose morals definition too seriously!

1. First, a chick that truly "gets it" with her A Broad Abroad blog.

2. Here's a lady that makes you figure out the double meaning yourself on her blog. How clever! And another and another.

3. Definitely used for derogatory effect, but only saying that they think Governor Palin isn't too smart. I don't think this author meant "slut" no matter how much he probably doesn't like her.

Wrapping this up, I hope you learned something today. If not, Kiss My Grits! As always, tell me where I went wrong, what poor grammar I used in my post, and how you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm married, so I'm prepared.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Use Gooder Grammar

I am not going to say I am a perfect writer. Far from it. But I bet 95% of the time you can judge a person's success by looking at how she expresses herself in writing.

Seriously, I am tired of seeing atrocious grammatical mistakes to the point of not being able to understand the meaning. From people that should know better too, sometimes. I call this site "Grammar Prude" but don't think for a second that I am some sort of fanatic. If I were to start with some snotty Rules of Grammar book, I guess what I'd do is sort through it to pick the rules that are important and the ones that can be ignored and make my own book. The whole point is whether you can communicate effectively. So don't comb through my writing and say, "That's not even a full sentence", because I already know that and don't care. You understanded it!

I've had a lot of practice being a pain in the ass grammar jerk.  I married a foreigner back in 1997, and with her blessing, I  was to correct all of her grammatical mistakes to help her improve her English. It felt like I was finally getting even for all the times my parents corrected me. And it did help! You know..."Did you went to the store?" doesn't happen anymore. But after several years, those corrections got so annoying, turned to a fight, and now I only infrequently make any comment.

So get ready for some ranting and raving. I'll try to stay on topic and make things interesting. Let me know what you think.