One of my connections wrote a post today about pet peeves, and it got me to thinking about one of ine. It’s pronunciation and grammar, and people who refuse to learn to speak better.
It has frequently made people think I’m a snob, but I like to speak clearly and concisely. I take liberties here and there, but I do try my best. Some people though… I really wonder about them. They pronounce things totally wrong and have horrible grammar, and they don’t seem to care. When someone tells them that they’re getting it wrong, even if it’s very politely, they’ll say “whatever” or waggle their hand dismissively. Some people even get mad.
I don’t get it. Why would you not want to be better? I see it a lot in older people, and I understand that you’ve been saying things a certain way for a long time, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay and it doesn’t mean you can’t change. Why would anyone purposely maintain a fault when they could fix it? Not knowing is one thing, but once you know, why wouldn’t you want to be better?
It makes me think of my first mother-in-law. She used to thank me for correcting her. She hadn’t had much schooling and was a very simple woman. I corrected her on a word once, and she thanked me and said I was free to do it at any time, because she wanted to be better. I thought that was awesome, but most people are really resistant to it, and it boggles my mind.
Some things really trip my head out, like someone I know who says things like “We ain’t that long got back”, which apparently means “we haven’t been back long”. Or one who pronounces Malibu “Ma-LEE-boo” and notoriety “nuh-ri-eh-tee”. I get the hand waggle any time I say something. Another person I know says things like “They wuz gunna” and “Tooz-dee” (Tuesday).
Why are people resistant to being better? I don’t often mess up my speaking, but when I do, I thank whoever points it out to me. I want to be better, so I take corrections when they’re given to me. One person once told me it made them feel stupid, but shouldn’t that be all the more reason to want to get it right? Wouldn’t you feel smarter and better if you learned to speak correctly?
How do you feel about people correcting your grammar or pronunciation? Do you take it as a chance to learn or take offense to it? Why?