For me, it takes something “special” to go beyond the normal eye roll or what-the-heck blurt in reaction to any uttered or written bastardization of the English language. After all, when we have kids today who can’t spell or speak to an acceptable third-grade level but hold PhD’s in digital communication knowledge serving as the end-all and be-all to reaching and teaching the masses, it’s kind of to be expected that we’re undergoing a bit of devolving in terms of actual intelligence.
Even yours truly, by and large, accepts that.
But, sometimes, just wow. You know, one of those “oh, my Gooood” wows. Repeatedly. Without fail.
Been through the “It or They” struggles, the “There, They’re or Their” issues and the “Who or That” brain farts, all of which still famously exist. For my money, though, it’s now people saying “verse” when they mean “versus” that ranks up there with the preposterous use of the non-word “heighth” for decades, all because the masses overthought themselves into believing “height” had to match up with its more girth-riddled partner, “width.”
Lord, give me strength …
Never thought anything could catch up to that with teeth-gnawing brain pain for me, but so-and-so “verse” so-and-so is right there. If not beyond.
As someone who follows sports closely, am susceptible to the mental electric shock this craze concocts often since “vs.” in that realm is such a commonly used grouping of letters and punctuation that nowadays seems to spark an immediate “verse” by those who see it. Umm, word to the wise out there, “vs.” stands for versus, not verse.
But, really, the problem exists all over. It’s a vocabulary botching that has plagued the U.S. for half a decade – at minimum. Can’t nail down exactly where it started, but it afflicts all ages apparently.
It’s like a virus that keeps spreading. Doesn’t matter if your kid is an honors student or your middle-aged friend holds a degree from Harvard, because chances are they’re been infected – and succumbed to the stupidity.
Heck, turn on any radio station and the host talking about politics or sports is bound to utter “verse” in an incorrect sense – i.e., they ain’t talking about a song, a poem or something they came across in last night’s reading of the Bible.
Yo, Eagles fans, did you know it will be Nick Foles “verse” Tom Brady this coming Sunday … and Doug Pederson “verse” Bill Belichick, too?
Ugh, nails on the goddam chalkboard.
Annoying, beyond words.
Especially when you have such an easy solution to cure the “verse when you mean versus” disease.
No idea? Try this: “against” instead of either.
“Facing” works as well.
So, too, does “confronting.”
Try it, if only to spare me an annoyance-fueled aneurysm.
- Jack Kerwin