So, wha’ cha’ doin’? “Hey, mon.” “You go, girl.” For some, these phrases might be trashy language, if not unintelligible. These, along with “gay, me, myself and I ,who, whose, who’s, its, it’s, they’re, their, there”, with their ungrammatically correct usage — are part and parcel of the constantly changing English language. For some of us, it is difficult to accept when many of our most beautiful words, such as “gay”, are now a less than salutary adjective. Gay used to describe an unusually happy, exciting time, and was a useful word to have available. Now, “gay” is considered derogatory, especially if used with a certain inflection. What a shame to lose our gaiety to a coarser definition.
Why does our English change? Some changes are caused by uneducated people. Yup. It might not be PC to say, but, saying “myself” instead of “I” when a subject pronoun is needed is just poor English. Unfortunately, many professional athletes use “myself” as a substitute for “I” and that error has become so common that I notice even professionals who should know better now speak grammatically sinful sentences such as “Six priests and myself…..” . Another problematic use of “myself” is in place of “me”. “He gave the football to ‘myself'”. In this instance, “me” is the correct pronoun to use because “me” is the form of “I” to use when you need an object of a preposition! So, while “myself” is a great word in apposition, such as “I, myself, speak good English”, when you want to emphasize “I”, it is NOT a subject pronoun nor a direct object.
Similarly, “its” is the possessive form of “it”, NOT “it’s”! You must not add an apostrophe to “it” and expect it to become possessive. It simply is wrong. The same with “who”. “Whose” is the possessive form of “who” and “who’s”, with the apostrophe, means “who is”. When a language does not follow a rule, you have to memorize the correct form.
However, one of the beauties of the English language, especially in America, is that our language flourishes every day when new, self-defining words, such as “internet, blogging, dissing” and even foreign words — deja vu, amigo, macho — are added. These additions make English so much more efficient for all of us. After all, it is easy to say “internet” when everyone understands exactly what you are talking about. Some languages do not accept new words and they end up having to use multiple words to “explain” the object when English just goes merrily along with a brand, new word. English has become one of the most beautiful and universal of all languages because it graciously accepts words from every nationality, ethnicity and even words that the “elite” prefer not to consider.
That is why, today, I am proud to announce yet another new word, coined by my husband. That word is “junkyard” and, it means the equivalent of locker room.
“What?”, you say.
While the subject is a little risque, still it now acceptable to talk about the more personal parts of a person’s anatomy….even on tv. Last night, my husband heard a tv show character referring to his private parts as “junk”. “Junk” is not a new word, but it is new when it refers to the specific anatomical parts of a man. Keeping that in mind, my husband cleverly figured out that, if junk can refer to a man’s most intimate details, then, a locker room filled with men would be a “junkyard”.
So, now we have JUNKYARD……..another new addition to the wonderful English language, thanks to my creative husband!