Tuesday, February 5, 2008

LangAlert: False Contractions

(PREPOSITION FALLS, MN)... This just in from the Word Wildlife Federation: The contraction "there're," whose ranks have aggressively depleted over the past 10 years, has just been downgraded from "endangered" to "near extinct."

According to organization spokespersons, nearly 98 percent of Americans now use the singular to-be verb, "is," with the generic "there" in spoken sentences that contain a quantifiable noun. Examples of the false replacement include, "Is there any cookies left?" to the more common contraction form: "There's many reasons to be alarmed."

Word scientists suspect a hip-hopic link to the near extinction of the article "an," but that relationship is being described as "correlative, not causal." Some say a more likely suspect is U.S. President George W. Bush, who once set a shining example for America's youth by asking, "Is our children learning?"

"There's justifiable reason to be alarmed," said WWF spokespersons Dan Gling and Portis Ipples. "There're simply not many 'there'res' left to give."

6 comments:

fab4fan said...

I think you mean "THERE'RE simply not many 'they'res' left to give." But you're to be forgiven; it's another endangered contraction.

Marc Conklin said...

My God, how embarrassing. I've since changed it.

The Wordman said...

hey, you know where to find Portis!? that dude owes me 50 bucks!

the other week he was all, "the relative clause in English is toast", and I was like, "the problem with you is, is that you can't handle vernacular redundancy. especially when it's a token of language production. there is a lot of people around who're willing to change predicate constructions midstream, and you just can't handle that, can you? dude?"

Portis couldn't answer me. and damn him if I haven't seen him since. and he owes me 50 bucks -- did I mention that?

Anonymous said...

Short-changin' the wordman...(bobbing heads here)

Ted said...

So haven't found much work yet? Got to go picking on the President's inability to speak? That's pretty low hanging fruit.

Marc Conklin said...

Picking on the President is pretty fast, easy and convenient. Disrupts the workflow about as much as a sneeze.