I am writing this in defense of the English language. Even though it is a somewhat mongrel language, it deserves a little more respect than it receives today.

More and more misuse of words have become normal in everyday conversation. The following examples may illustrate my point:

1. Prior to COVID-19, my wife and I were having breakfast at a local restaurant. Sitting in a booth directly behind us were four teenage girls. One girl in particular kept using the word “like” over and over again. I finally decided to count the number of times she used that word. In exactly one minute, she said “like” in her conversation 47 times!

2. People who start their sentences thus: “OK, so. ...”

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “okay” or “OK” means to approve or authorize something. What is it the speaker is authorizing or approving when beginning a sentence? Also, the word “so” can be an adjective, pronoun or conjunction; however, it may be used as an introductory participle (“so here we are”).

3. When did the word “drug” start being used, especially by law enforcement officials who say, “I ‘drug’ him across the floor.” What happened to the correct verb “dragged?”

4. How many times have you heard, “Me and Sally are going to the mall.” The proper and more polite sentence would be “Sally and I are going to the mall.”

5. Where did the expression, “He/she goes...” come from? I want to ask, Where are he/she going?

As professor Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady” lamented, “Why can’t the English learn to speak correctly?” I’m sure he would also like Americans to do the same.

P.S. I am not an English teacher, only a concerned individual about the misuse of our language.

Robert E. Eade


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