I am an admitted word nerd. I keep a running list of favorited words that I find in books I read, or hear, hoping to find a way to add them to a story someday.
There are words that will never trip easily off my tongue or fingertips, but are fabulous in their intricacy – “floccinaucinihilipilification” [flok-suh-naw-suh-nahy-hil-uh-pil-uh-fi-key-shuhn], which means “the act of judging something to be worthless.” How great is that word?
For all you lint pickers there is, “omphaloskepsis” [om-fuh-loh-skep-sis] – “contemplation of one’s naval as a means of meditation.” You now have a word for it.
The more complicated a word is, the more grandiose, the more I love it and must possess it, and in possessing it, flaunt it.
It’s the small, mundane words that I loath. Words like ‘”lay” and “lie,” “me” and “I,” that make me apoplectic.
My contentious relationship with “affect” and “effect” was finally resolved, so too my feud with “who” and “whom.”
Yet, “lay” and “lie” still vex me. The present tenses I can decipher, it’s those past, perfect, future, participles and pluperfects, that I struggle to grasp. Especially when one word works for several definitions and/or tenses, depending on the context. I usually search for an alternative, and avoid the bastages altogether.
For “me” and “I,” it’s not my ineptitude of their proper use that sets my teeth on edge, it’s when I find them used by others incorrectly.
I acknowledge the same could be said by others when I abuse “lay” and “lie,” and overindulge my comma usage. I own my hypocrisy.
“I” is subjective,“ and “me” is objective. As in “Susan and I are going to the store,” and “Do you want to go to the store with Susan and me?”
An exceptionally easy way to test which to use, is to simply remove the other name from the sentence.
“Do you want to go to the store with
Susan and me?” as opposed to “Do you want to go to the store with Susan and I?”
“Kathy went to the store with
Susan and me,” not “Kathy went to the store with Susan and I.”
The second sentences makes no sense, because They. Are. Wrong.
Word nerd rant over… resume normal.