Posted by: JDM..... | February 25, 2010

Fingernails & blackboards…..

…..may the twain never meet…

Most folks have pet peeves. Mine are several, and each is well fed. I’m a bit of a language junkie, and am certainly as disinclined as the next curmudgeon to abide by my own pedantic demands regarding the proper delivery of verbiage. I was an editor for several years, way back when, and I guess that makes me feel entitled. My attitude kind of reminds me of a slogan I spotted recently that admonished “I don’t need anger management….you need to stop pissing me off.

I like that.

My chosen annoyance for public flogging today is the increasingly common use of “on accident” instead of the correct “BY accident.

My daughter used to say that. Drove me crazy. She also used to say “pizz-ghetti” instead of ”SPAH-ghetti”. She out grew both. I wish those suffering from delayed enlightenment syndrome would do the same.

I performed a cursory search for commentary about the matter and was surprised to discover that I’m not the only one who finds such grammatical sloth irritating. I can forgive it in a nine year old, but am dismayed when I see such clumsy usage lingering under a professional by-line like a Sunday morning beer fart that just won’t go away. Evidently, the matter has been hashed over quite vigorously, but without resolution. Older writers are adamant that “by accident” is correct. Younger writers are amused by the bile their faulty prose causes and are allegedly destined to continue saying “on accident” until their aging critics dwindle through irrelevance to nonexistence and they can say whatever they goddamned well please.

At least until their grandchildren embark upon the destruction of the English language by opting for “BY accident” or some such contextual obscenity.



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