I ran across the above article in the Boston Globe about the usage of "way". I read articles like this because I am pedantic at heart and I want to know I am not alone. That there are people who not only are interested but that some even make a living from this quirk.
James Kilpatrick was one. Though it was not his main source of income. He, a staunch conservative, was best known for his part in a segment of "60 Minutes" called "Point-Counterpoint". In the segment, he and Shana Alexander would debate some current political issue. You may know of this only by the parody on Saturday Night Live with Jane Curtain and Dan Akroyd.
Kilpatrick also wrote a conservative political column that was syndicated nationally. In addition, he wrote one which was called "The Writer's Art", which is why I bring him up. These columns would mull over the usage of phrases and words and how they were improperly, or properly, used in various print media. He also wrote a number of books on the subject.
The reason that I remember his column is that he disappointed me so in one of them. I wanted to write to him and complain. The column of offense included a piece on the use of the phrase "try and..." vs "try to..."
I bring this up because the phrase "try and..." has become acceptable. Not to me, of course, but to the Powers That Be (henceforth, PTB) who decide what is acceptable word usage. It seemed to me that the PTB gave in much too easily to the masses on this one.
The phrase is used in this manner... "I will try and pick that up for you when I go to the store." You cannot try to do something and then do it in the same sentence is how I look at it. Doesn't it make more sense to say "I will try to pick that up for you...?" It also rolls off the tongue more easily.
Perhaps it bothers me because I move my mental lips when I read. That is, I read out loud to myself inside my head. I even envision speaking to an audience while reading, as if I am reciting passages or reading a story to children.
The worst thing is that it, the "try and...", has become the norm. I read books and it is rampant throughout each. And I mentally correct it as I read. I can't help it.
But that is not what that Boston Globe column focused on. It focused on the use of the word "way" as an adjective. It was quite informative. I hadn't ever thought about it as proper or improper usage. I mean, I did consider "way cool" as likely to be improper usage but I never thought of "way off" as such.
Now I will. I will be mentally replacing it with "far" as I read it. Even though the column points out that it has become acceptable usage.
I sometimes think the world is out to make my life way miserable.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago