Lots of people read the newspaper and get annoyed. I know I do, but what annoys me probably doesn’t even register for anyone else.
I don’t read the ‘front’ of the paper because my blood pressure is high enough. I see blurbs all day on the internet and if some headline catches my attention I will go to the source and read more completely. My husband watches the local news and then the world news every night. I’m usually making dinner at that time and will usually shout out to him “Wait till you hear what the asshole did today”. Understand, the current political climate aside, I worked in commercial real estate in New York City in the 70’s and 80’s and had business dealing with the asshole, so my contempt pre-dates his current assholery.
So, moving on.
My local paper is The Washington Post. On Friday there was an extensive obituary for Roy Clark. Sixth paragraph in starts “Raised in Washington…” My natural assumption is that he was raised in Washington state but but further on I read “Roy Linwood Clark was born in Meherrin, Va., on April 15, 1933, and grew up near a pig farm in Southeast Washington. His father, a laborer who later worked for Department of Health, Education and Welfare, played the guitar, fiddle and banjo in a square-dance group, and took him to performances by military bands and the National Symphony Orchestra.” Oho! Do you see what annoyed me here? The ‘Washington’ the obituary writer is referring to is Washington, D.C. But he doesn’t say that – he simply says ‘Washington’. Is that an indication of chauvinism or ignorance?
Interestingly enough is that an NPR obituary is almost word for word identical to the Washington Post obituary except for the geographical description – “Born Roy Linwood Clark on April 15, 1933, in Meherrin, Va., he grew up mostly in Washington, D.C., and gained a love of all kinds of music early on. His father, who played in a square dance band, took him to see the National Symphony Orchestra and military bands.” (emphasis added)
This morning, reading a review of a tv show, I came across this sentence “Lurid, sordid, sensational — it all means the same thing anymore, in the era of fast-traveling viral news and video clips.” My brain snapped to attention at the use of the word ‘anymore’. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that word used without a negative nearby, a ‘not’ or a ‘don’t’ in close proximity. Comprehending that the writer meant ‘nowadays’ or ‘these days’ and not trusting my own judgement in grammar and usage matters, I looked up the word ‘anymore’. Sure enough, the second meaning of ‘anymore’ is: “at the present time : NOW, NOWADAYS” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
I don’t think I was consciously aware of that usage of ‘anymore’. Confusing it with the phrase ‘any more’, two words, meaning ‘no longer’. I was wrong, the writer was correct and I learned something by checking it out.
(Oh my word – before hitting publish on this I did further research into the anymore/any more usage, any more referring to quantity and anymore referring to time and I am now a tad confused. Archaic usage vs common usage – it’s like learning a new language – make no assumptions. Plus various sources contradict each other and my head hurts!)
Not sure what the lesson is here. I’ve had the nasty reputation of always being right and I’ve had to explain to people that before I say something IS, I try to make damn sure that it IS. Perhaps fear of being embarrassed, fear of failure makes me cautious in shooting off my mouth, opinions aside, facts are facts and I like my facts to be factual.
The internet makes it so easy to check it out, whatever ‘it’ may be. Three cheers for the internet, it has saved me from embarrassing myself, not completely of course, because I am so good at self-embarrassment, but enough so that I can sleep a little better at night.