A few days ago I was reading an article for work and I came across the phrase “nip it in the bud”. I glanced over it fast and assumed that the saying had been edited so that it was more appropriate since it was a professional article. However, the phrase stuck in my head and when I got home I decided to Google it.
To my surprise, it was in fact the right saying. For my whole life I always thought the phrase was “nip it in the butt”. I Googled this phrase as well and was made aware that this is a common “misspelling” of the phrase. The thing is, I didnt just misspell it. I had a whole theory behind why it made sense.
The original phrase comes from gardening. The phrase means to put a stop to something early in development. According to Phrase Finder, “This phrase derives from the de-budding of plants. The earlier form of the phrase was ‘nip in the bloom’ and this is cited in Henry Chettle’s romance Piers Plainnes Seaven Yeres Prentiship, 1595.”
My version has the same intent but with a little twist. I thought the saying was more of a scare tactic. Basically if you don’t cut out the behavior that you are doing you will get nipped (bit, pinched,ect) in the butt. This was pretty powerful for me growing up. My mom would always tell me that something needed to be nipped in the “butt” (or at least that’s what I thought she said) and I would always imagine getting pinched hard in the butt or something and I would cut out whatever I was doing.
The phrase does make more sense now that I know what it is but I do have a soft spot for my version. Maybe I will use them both whenever I see fit. Why not? Who would notice?
So bloggers, which version of the phrase do you use? Did you have it right?
I will warn you before I get into this that this was not a scheduled post. This is the English nerd in me about to rant! So, I was at work when outlook sent me a little pop up, “Marketing Meeting Has Been Canceled”.
Now anyone who is not an English nerd would probably be super excited to get that pop-up. No meeting means more time to do work. More time to write and more time to research. But that was not the problem! The problem was the word “canceled”. The word stuck out to me like a sore thumb. Is that REALLY how you spell it? All this time through all my schooling, I have been spelling it wrong? Outlook couldn’t be wrong could they?!
So I took to Google to figure this out. And to my surprise there weren’t a lot of good answers out there. The general discussion out there was the word was originally spelled “cancelled” but around the 1980’s America decided to adopt the spelling “canceled” and it has been widely accepted and used in publications in the states.
Now, although Americans always think they are right this doesn’t mean this is the “right” spelling so I decided to dig a little deeper. And I found the rule. And guess what Americans, you are doing it wrong!
The rule is: “The rule behind this is that verbs which end in a short vowel sound require the final consonant of the verb to be repeated in the past tense version of the verb, whereas verbs that end in a long vowel sound do not require repeating the final consonant”
Once I found out that we, as Americans, were doing it wrong. I took to Facebook to see how many people thought they knew the “right” way to do things. To my surprise people thought this was a case of where you use the word, or some other rule like that and they were certain enough to start a little Facebook brawl.
Still learning to do screenshots but you get the gist
So to all my friends out there who think because America has adopted the spelling “canceled” that makes it right, you are wrong. There are rules in the English language for a reason. Just because one day we decide to break said rule doesn’t make it right.
How do you guys choose to spell this word? Does one spelling bother you or does it make no difference either way?
Okay this was not my previously scheduled post. But, the English major in me is literally cringing at the article I just read on Blogher. If you want to see the article check it out here: http://www.blogher.com/literally-now-literally-means-figuratively-are-you-literally-ok-it.
For those who don’t choose to read the article, here is the premise. Google has just added a new definition to the word literally. The second definition is: “used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling.” I am not lying, see for yourself:
Now there are so many reasons why this new definition bothers me. First and foremost, you cannot use the word when defining said word! It just isn’t proper and makes absolutely no sense. That would be like trying to describe a person your friend has never met to said friend and the interaction going like this.
Me: “Have you ever met Sally?”
Friend: “No, what does she look like”
Me: “Well she looks like…Sally.”
Super helpful, and super informative….not! This is not a proper definition google!
And the other reason this definition bothers me is it is just not accurate! Yes blogher explains contranyms and how there are other words that act the same way. However, has the whole world forgotten sarcasm?!
I have never seen someone use the word literally, as figuratively and not be using it in a sarcastic manner. If we start changing all definition to match our sarcastic tones then sarcasm will no longer exist. I think this is language butchering at its finest.
So bloggers, is this just an English major pet peeve or does this bother others? I would love to hear from you!