Let me climb up on my soapbox here. Hang on, almost there. What the hell was that popping noise? A hip is not supposed to make that sound…
OK. Now, let me catch my breath…
So I’ve been reading lots of stories-in-progress in my creative writing class at grad school. Some are better than others; some I can’t wait to see published. That’s really not the point. We read our peer submitted works and then offer some commentaries on things we like, things we don’t, things that need work, etc. Kind of interesting, actually, to me at least.
Now I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t fit the mold of your typical college student. I’ve been out in the working world for a while. I could probably have fathered half the people in my class. But we’re all English majors here, we all use words regularly. I would argue that these youngsters are probably a lot fresher on their grammar skills. The last real grammar schooling I got came before most of these cats were born.
But it has never failed. EVERY story I’ve read thus far uses a word that just pisses on my boot: TOWARDS.
Now let me dust off ol’ creaky bones here, but back in my day (you have to say those words in a hoarse whisper to get the true effect), I was always told to use the word toward, with no s at the end. In every reference of that word’s usage in every grammar and style book I own (believe me, that’s quite a library), they all say the say thing: No s, not for us Americans, anyway. That’s a British usage, with the s. It doesn’t even belong in this hemisphere.
Plus, I don’t know if I used that word more than four or five times in a writing career that spanned two decades. Just saying. But it’s everywhere. So why would a bunch of kids, grown up in a world of acronym-fed alphabet soup, bother to use an extra letter if they didn’t have to?
Maybe they’re rebels. Perhaps, they just like getting us old bastards riled up.
I actually spent some time thinking on this one. Then it hit me…
Name a book most every person under the age of 30 has likely read at some point in their lifetime these days. Damn you, Potter! Why couldn’t they have latched on to another word: Muggles, quidditch or butterbeer, perhaps?