Monday, October 05, 2009

A Little About Not Much

Geez, when I left home last time, it was still broiler weather in Redding, with the temps regularly topping 100 degrees. Shorts and t-shirts everywhere. Now, a few days after my arrival back home, I'm sitting in a coffee place watching people walk in wearing jackets and sweaters.

It's kind of weird having Dylan back in school. I should have tackled chores at home today, but with Rhonda at work and Dylan in school, the place seems so empty. (I hope the dogs won't feel hurt if they read this.)

My online amigo Thom G once posted a link to Grammar Girl. She's quite a story. Her name is Mignon Fogarty, and she started the "Grammar Girl" thing more or less as a hobby, creating podcasts on grammar and usage for iTunes. She was surprised to learn one day that her podcasts were the number two rated downloads on the site. She was further surprised another day when the folks from Oprah's show contacted her asking her to appear. Now she has a New York Times bestseller on the shelves, with another book on the way later this month. I was reading her book while flying home from Louisiana and learned something interesting: Most people under the age of thirty-five say "on accident," while most people over forty say "by accident." It seems a bit of a mystery how that language usage generation gap came about; a university professor even wrote a paper on the divide, but he didn't provide a firm answer.

You're likely aware that California has a law in effect allowing the possession of marijuana for medical purposes. I was surprised to learn here that in Redding, where Shasta County's D.A. seems to take a conservative/authoritarian stance (he slaps people with felonies for possession of methamphetamine for quantities far below what sentencing guidelines call for), we now have thirteen medical marijuana dispensaries.

Man, I'll bet sales of Pink Floyd and reggae music have boomed in our county.


Kelly said...

Well, I guess it shows my age, but "on accident" doesn't even make sense to me.

And, hey... are you saying that I'm supposed to be high (probably another expression that pinpoints my age range) to reap the most benefit from my Pink Floyd albums??!! Oh, well...

Hope your dogs didn't see your entry since I'm sure they would have been hurt!

Mary Paddock said...

I blame the internet. Seriously, it's interesting to see how younger people have changed our language in just a few years. Living with teenagers requires that one keep up and I occasionally have to ask for definitions. Curiously, I think I use both phrases interchangeably.

Pam said...

As an English major I'm afraid I'm a constant corrector.

My grandson's get irritated but parrot back the corrections. What often surprises me is how many elementary school teachers use bad grammar in speaking to students.

I wince.

Bob Barbanes said...

Damn, I wished I lived in Cali. I should of been born their. I'm sure it's only on accident that I was born in NYC. Oh no, you ditnt!

Let's see...what other egregious grammar errors do young peoples routinely make? Don't get me started. (Oh wait, you already did!)

But seriously, I do wish I lived in California. And I've already got the requisite PF and Bob/Ziggy Marley albums, yes, albums if you must know. Doesn't help much that I'm not a smoker of anything- cigarettes or weed. Never was. But I could be! When I think of all of the hangovers I *could* have avoided...all the brownies I *could* have eaten...

Can I get a prescription?

Can I get an amen?