Monday, November 25, 2013

Fake Grammatical Forms

There may be perhaps four other people in the world who will find this post interesting or amusing or engaging or not sleep-inducing, but the fact that they are few is no reason to rob them of their enjoyment. Here I present fake grammatical categories which label irregular but common usages of speech.

Interrogative Imperative: a command that looks like a question. Often used by annoyed teenagers.
Example: The question "Are you done talking?" is in actuality the command "Stop talking."

Interrogative Declarative: a statement that looks like a question. Often used by, well, everyone.
Example: "You're going to drink that expired milk? Are you stupid?" Here, "Are you stupid?" is meant to make the statement, "You are stupid."

Super-Comparative: a middle ground between the comparative (e.g. more fun) and the superlative (e.g. most fun). To be used when something is more fun than "more fun," but is still not the "most fun."
Example: "This is even more funner than the other ride!"
Hyper-Superlative: a degree beyond the superlative (e.g. most fun). To be used when "most fun" just isn't fun enough; often requires an irregular superlative (e.g. "funnest").
Example: "That ride was the funnest ever... but this ride was even more funnest!"

Semi-inclusive Pronouns: a pronoun which refers to some members of a group but not the entire group. Used by cliques of middle school girls.
Example: "We're going to the mall after this." "Oh, great, which mall?" "Oh, not you; we are."

And a serious grammatical question:

Why do the same people who insist on gender-specific terms in most cases, e.g. "Congress-person" instead of "Congressman," also insist on abolishing gender-specific terms when those terms come from another language? Why do we increasingly hear people refer to both males and females as "actors" or "rectors" when there is a specific term for a female in those roles, that is "actress" and "rectress"? (Thankfully we still have "waitress" in use.) Why do some get offended at "being called a man" in their own language but not in another? Perhaps they just don't know? Thankfully some people still use these nouns properly--my fiancee, when giving directions while I'm driving, insists on being called the "navigatrix."

Friends, what other fake grammatical forms are we missing?


  1. Perhaps you could help define the grammatical term for this oft used noun modifying structure? Example: "like cats and stuff." instead of "cats".

    1. I'll have to think about that one. Maybe something like "generic simile" or something? Hmm...