Call me a snob if you will, but one of the things that disturb and irritate me to no end is bad written English. Bad spoken English is bad enough, but over the years, I have heard it so much that I have pretty much learnt to tune it out.
"Let me know when should I add the onions." Relevant words strung together does not a sentence make.
"My hairs are dirty. I need to wash them." Really? Your hairs are dirty? As a collective?
But you can have this conversation only so many times before you start ignoring the wrong usage of the word or stop talking to the person who repeatedly commits these sacrilegious acts (which is what I did, and I highly recommend this course of action).
Another oft committed error that annoys the bejeesus out of me is the interchanged usage of 'wedding' and 'marriage'.
Last week, someone asked me, "So, I heard that your marriage is over.", and I burst out laughing. I know that they meant 'wedding', and not marriage, but the usage is hilarious because it means something entirely different.
A lot of wedding invitations invite you to attend the marriage, rather than the wedding.
Really, Mrs. The Queen? Did you really invite1800 people to be a spectator of William's and Kate's marriage for as long as they both shall live? Or did you mean wedding?
Of course, when I pointed this to my mother, she only laughed at me and asked me when I had grown so much as to think that I could correct the Queen's English! And that confused me. Is the usage of the word 'marriage' as a substitute for 'wedding' acceptable now?
But like I said, bad spoken English DOES NOT bother me. Or at least, I am trying to let it not bother me. And you can see the progress I have made in this regard. However, bad written English is unpardonable. UNPARDONABLE.
So recently, I bought my hundredth cookbook and in about ten minutes of reading it, parts of my insides started to wither and die.
Let me elucidate with examples.
"This can be eaten in itself." Do you mean, "by itself"?
"One of my favourite drinks moments is in Goa, during breakfast after an early morning swim at a shack." You swam at the shack? In the sand? Amidst the tables and chairs? That's ingenious! Teach me also!!!!
These jewels appear in the first 2 pages and set up a great context for me to view her book. From then on, I wasn't reading her recipes, but trying to find grammatical errors in them, which I did to my heart's content, because they were a dime a dozen.
And I have two questions.
Firstly, don't books in India get edited by anyone before they get published these days?
Secondly, if I write a book and I promise to use better English, can I get it published by the same people? Will it also become a best seller like these awful books are? I really feel that for once in my life, I have been absolutely inspired by mediocrity! And it does not feel good!
p.s. If there are any grammatical errors in this post, I lay the blame on Murphy.