Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Gripes

I've decided to start a new weekly feature, "Monday Gripes." Each Monday, I'm going to post about a thing or two that really burns my toast. :-)

And naturally, I want to hear about the things that gripe YOU. So, here we go!

The first gripe I have for today is a grammatical one. You've heard it everywhere and no doubt it has just flown right over your head, since you're not an obsessive/compulsive editor like me. It's when people say "try and" instead of "try to." Examples:

We'll try and get there on time.
I will try and help you change your flat tire.
She'll try and make you an appointment.

Wrong, wrong, wrong! "Try and" implied you're doing two things at once, trying plus something else such as getting, helping, or making in the above examples. But what you're actually doing is trying TO do something--trying to get, trying to help, trying to make. So it should be:

We'll try to get there on time.
I will try to help you change your flat tire.
She'll try to make you an appointment.

If everyone who reads this will make that one small change, Liz will be a much happier camper!

My second gripe is something that happens to me all the time while driving. It seems there are many people out there who don't know how to MERGE. It happens all the time: I'm driving along an interstate or other limited access road, minding my own business. Someone drives up an on-ramp, much slower than the speed of the traffic they're trying to pull into, and simply, majestically, lumbers into my lane, forcing me to either speed up to get ahead of them, move into another lane, or, more likely, hit the brakes sharply to avoid rear-ending them.

This too is wrong, wrong, wrong.

When you're merging onto a highway, it is YOUR job to adjust your speed and merging so you move evenly into the flow of traffic, without causing said traffic to speed up, slow down, brake, or move to another lane. The ongoing traffic doesn't have to do anything; you're the one merging, it's up to you to make the adjustments.

There! I feel so much better now. Let me know what your Monday Gripes are, and we can commiserate! Happy Monday.

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