Zelda would like to tell you something.
Actually, that’s a bit presumptuous on my part. She may very well be telling me to go away or asking me for a little head scratch. I really don’t know. It’s hard to tell with cats, you know. It’s not like they can speak.
Or can they…?
I’ve heard countless claims from various people over the years that their pet – dog, cat, iguana – can understand exactly what is being said, and though they can’t form the actual words (with the exception of a few elite examples), the pet can “talk back” to their owner. Of course, I generally look at them askance and wonder what they’re on and if they’re really hearing voices talking back to them. If that’s the case, my friend, it surely isn’t the dog. David Berkowitz anyone? Continue reading →
“Where’s it at?”
“I could care less.”
The first two sentences are or contain linguistic items that drive people crazy. I’ve heard any number of people complain about them. They are equal-opportunity annoyances. The third phrase is one that only a few people seem to be bothered by anymore, and I’ve already addressed why in this very sentence. We’ll get to that.
The at in the first phrase is actually a preposition that lends the sentence more precision. It’s not correct grammar in the traditional sense, but it does serve a purpose, albeit a redundant one. “At” is used to denote a specific location in time or space. No one cringes when “at” is used in a sentence. “She’s at home/school/the mall/a friend’s house.” “The party is at 10:00” The preposition serves to locate the item in time or space. Why is it cringe-worthy in a question? Is it because of the drilling we’ve all gotten about not ending a sentence in a preposition? Hasn’t that already been debunked? We have come to view the question ending in “at” as uneducated and that is what we are railing against. See? I just ended that sentence with a preposition, for just as Churchill, whether he said it or not, there are some things up with which I will not put. Continue reading →