While we’re on the subject, other non-interchangable homophones include to, too and two, weather and whether, compliment and complement, discreet and discrete, and about a skidillion others. The ones I mention are just what I picked up on Facebook last week.
Can I ax you something?
No, you may not. I can’t think of a single thing that needs to be axed at the moment. And I am inclined not to let you ask, either.
Yeah, but so what if people know what you’re tryna say?
I’m sorry, could you back up and take another run at that sentence, using grown-up language this time?
What’s the difference? It doesn’t effect me.
Oh, yes it does. For starters, you apparently don’t know the difference between affect, to change, and effect, a result. And it does affect you. You use the incorrect word and the effect is that you don’t sound nearly as smart as you probably are. Or aren’t. The jury’s still out.
You understood what I was saying.
It was a lucky guess. No, actually, that affect-effect confusion-slash-ignorance has become so common that I more or less expect it, which is kind of sad.
But aren’t you the one who says language is always growing and evolving?
Yes, I am, and I stand by the statement. I’m just not sure that use of apostrophes to form plurals (as I see frequently, to my horror – the bird’s sat on a wire, for example) counts as growth. To say nothing of Ima and ax. Let’s just say I’m tryna figure it out.
© 2013 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.