Sunday, May 21, 2006

When Did this Become Acceptable?


When did it become acceptable for speakers of the English language to say "People that" instead of "People who?" I don't remember the rule, but I know that when you are referring to a person or people you should say who and when you are referring to a thing, an inanimate object, you say that. It has become so ingrained in our speech patterns that even I, abhoring it as I do, am guilty of saying it in spite of myself. It is the same with the word "like". When it first began to be used incorrectly, it was youngsters and teens who said it wrong and now it has pervaded into adult speech patterns. Another word that bothers me is "awesome". Some people cannot speak more than one sentence without using it multiple times. Buy yourselves a dictionary people! Expand your vocabulary!

Speaking of dictionaries, the one I keep by my computer is a hard-back issue of Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, which I received in 1960, when I was a member of The Diamond Department Store College Board. I think I will have to buy a new one, since mr. kenju used a word today that is not in my old dictionary. The word is bloviate. Miriam-Webster online defines it thus: to speak or write in a verbose or windy manner.

Ha! Do you think he was trying to tell me something!?

25 comments:

Uncle KT said...

I was just passing through your blog using the "next blog" button and I wanted to let you know that I really like the quote at the head of your blog.

Prego said...

I have a gripe about the way kids apologize these days. "My bad," seems to suffice.

I know it was your bad, you little f****er, now APOLOGIZE!

Anonymous said...

I've noticed the same thing, particularly online. Apparently it has become so common that even grammar sites claim it's ok, but to me it doesn't sound correct when someone says "people that".

Bonnie said...

I was going to post something similar to what you said about the word "like" on my blog except the word rubbing on my skin like a piece of sandpaper is "absolutely".

srp said...

Several weeks ago you suggested that people WHO participate in the "meet 'n greet" post more than once a weekend. I took your advice to heart. I just sent a post up which includes a book you might enjoy. I found it at Barnes and Nobel in the cutrate bin. It is a book with colorful but now all but forgotten English words and their meanings. Some are quite funny and so far none have been present in any spell check program.

Laura said...

LOL, Does Mr. Kenju have his own blog?

Off topic just a bit.. have you ever noticed a string of popup ads from "atribal fusion" when you click on the Merriam-Webster site? I used to use dictionary.com with good results, but loaded the Meriam-Webster site as an extension to Firefox.
However, these pop up ads from aTribalFusion seem to slip right past my popup blocker. Just wondering if other's have had the same problem.

Theo said...

it seems that our maner of speaking and writing is morphing into something different. right, wrong, or otherwise, the change is real.

i DO hope that in my speech and in my writing i honor some of the ole' ways, bloviate or not.

Chancy said...

My pet peeve is someone who answers" No Problem" after I have said "Thank You"

What ever happened to "You're Welcome"

I never thought it was a problem in the first place until they replied "no problem"

Paul said...

I had hardly finished your first question when I stood for an ovation. [Whistle...whistle...cheer...cheer...]

I, like, have a huge pet peeve, you, know? How huge is a strike out? How huge is a slam dunk? How huge is another first down? How huge is an A in English? Those sportscasters and sportscastresses, like, totally blow me away when, like, they call everything huge.

And then, where do you put the punctuation mark? Inside or outside the quote marks? Hmmm....

Jamie Dawn said...

People that post like you do, Kenju, are really like totally awesome!

Peter said...

The trend probably started when so many people started acting very much like inanimate objects Judy.
I'm so pleased to hear that I'm not the only one with a REAL dicionary by the computer, I CHOOSE to disregard it's advice at times though.
Like yours my dictionary didn't have bloviate in it, I am thinking of a variation blogviate, with the same definition but specifically for blogs.

Miss Cellania said...

I believe I learned the word "bloviate" from either Kissinger or Agnew. Which just shows how old I am!

My personal pet peeve is people who say "no offense" just before they say something really offensive.

Beverly said...

I know a lady in leadership position who talks about "the person which lives" in such and such a place. Drives me crazy!!!

srp said...

the girl likes to post without punctuation or capitalization it drives me crazy.......
here from michele this time
lol

Inanna said...

Verbose? Windy? Maybe he was talking about the weahther. He'd better hope so. Hee hee hee.

Ravvy said...

our English *even tho it varies differently country to country* had gone right down hill because of email and chat rooms and the like. The whole process of shortening words and prases and sentences into numerical and alphabetical shortcase has gone from the computers to our mouths. There is hardly a person i know who actually speaks propper english, because so many people dont. Mind you, i dont think its all due to computers and the like but thats my opinion.

Ps - Yes i'll be having a party, cos its my 21st, im kinda forced to. but none the less, it'll be a party to remember!!!
And i just havent seen that many ppl post on one thing before, i understand that its probable not the biggest every either.. thanks for dropping by!

Ravvy said...

PS... ive worked out people also like to say what they're not...

"Not Bad"
"Not too shabby"
"Not Good"
"Not Happy Jan"

And as a check out operator ive noticed alot of people in Adelaide, Australia, for example, answer one question with another, mainly in greetings im talking about here...

ME: "Hi how are you today!?!"
THEM: "How are you?"
ME decides if they can only answer one question with another ME is not speaking to them unless necessary :P

Bizarre...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh dear...I think I have been using 'like' waaaay before the teenagers started to do it but not in the same way....Another bad habit I got into in High School was saying..."You Know?" a lot!!!! Like, at the end of sentences cause I really wanted assurance that I was understtod, you know?
LOL! Help Me!

Merle said...

Hi Judy ~~ Apart from the bad grammer, I
shudder for the future of spelling.
Too many shortcuts and mispelled words
Will our future generations be able to
spell correctly. I have my doubts.
Thanks for your comments. Did you go to
college or did your mother win that one?
Take care, Merle.

Lisa said...

I agree, Judy! Great post! Michele sent me today

Robin said...

Yeah, people which do that are, like, not awesome!!

Finn said...

No one knows how to use grammar anymore. It's a shame.

And yes, you might want purchase a new dictionary. The wonderful thing about the English language is that it is always changing.

I keep an unabridged dictionary in my house; it weighs more than my son. Oh, but it has everthing in it. Bliss.

Happy Monday; Michele sent me!

Mamacita said...

It IS "people who." It's NOT "people that."

Just because IGNORANT people use the wrong word all the time, doesn't mean it's now become right. (that's other people, not us, by the way)

You go, girl. Bloviate away; keep telling it LIKE it is. (also wrong.)

Love,
The Grammar Nazi (that's what they call me over on the teacher forum. . . . .)

Margaret said...

How about less versus fewer? That's the grammatical issue that I argue about the most. In teaching, the agreement with Everyone..his/her versus their is tricky. As native speakers, we don't know our language very well.

Hale McKay said...

I saw the word bloviate in a news article recently. It was used to describe Tony Blair. I think it's fitting for most of the British who can ramble at length without actually saying anything pertinent.