Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Lynda Loveland: Grating grammar

Posted August 25, 2010
Updated August 27, 2010

Lynda Loveland

“She don’t like that.” Or, “where’d you put them chips at?”

It makes me shudder when I hear it. What do you do when your kids are around people who slaughter the English language and it rubs off on them?

Now, I’m NOT perfect. Not by a long shot. But, I do make an effort to use correct grammar. It may not always be right, but I do try. (We’re not talking about sentence structure, by the way.)

My five- and seven-year-old do well for the most part. Just the occasional correction. My three-year-old has a problem with saying “them” instead of “they." She’s pretty spot-on otherwise. In fact, she can be a little too big for her britches sometimes.

But getting back to contagious bad grammar, my kids pick up that stuff. Do you correct them, the kids, in front of the person who slices and dices the words coming out of their mouth? I have, discreetly though. I kinda hate to, but I want my kids to learn the correct usage.

I’m not talking about Southern slang or anything like that. I certainly don’t want to be rude. But dang, what’s a mom to do?

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here Thursdays.


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  • barretta1959 Aug 27, 2010

    I ain't gots a clue what you be talking about. This ain't no DC with all them rich cats. If yun knows whats I mean. It all starts with the homeys in da hacienda. Teach em what thems should knows and thems will see those others ignorants for what they are. And by the way, a private college prep school would help cuz.

  • FE Aug 27, 2010

    Lynda - I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.

    Part of my job was to review manuals/reports and etc. Many of my fellow employees would voluntarily bring such to me, asking for the "FE" high level review. For day to day conversation/correspondence, such is not necessary as we all make some mistakes, but when a product is going to be read by many and also represents your firm - well, you want it to be correct!

    Sadly, the ability to write coherent sentences or to engage in a meaningful conversation is quickly becoming a lost art. Many people cannot differentiate between you're/your, their/there/they're, lie/lay, its/it's, and many more. These words are not in the category of "picky" words that the grammar nuts can also choose to correct.

    Also, sit in a restaurant where there are many high school age students. Every other word is, like, you know, "LIKE," know what I mean??

    Teach your own children well, do the best in your profession, and grit your teeth at the rest.


  • 1 of the original Americans Aug 27, 2010

    I have, discreetly though. I kinda hate too, but I want my kids to learn the correct usage.

    really?? get over yourself!! You might be ms. perfect grammer but you can add to that ms. rude as heck to your titles!!! How dare you correct someone else in public? Wow, I believe in being the example for your kids and you should be the one spending the most consistance time with them therefore they will follow the example you set - hopefully they will not pick up on the "I have to correct everybody else so that I can feel good about me" syndrom you have (and yes the grammer errors are intended)

  • Killian Aug 27, 2010

    I don't correct other people's grammar in public (for me, it would just be rude), but I had to share a laugh.

    My kids are all starting college at age 16. Of course, the National Guard doesn't know this, and sent my middle child a letter offering to "improve her educational potential." The letter was filled with grammatical and mechanical mistakes. She was 16, had just finished her first year of college, and was totally disgusted. So she took a red pen, corrected their letter, and sent it back to them with an addendum: "Thank you for your letter. However, as a 16 year old college student who can write and speak with better diction that you apparently can, I sincerely doubt there is -anything- you can do to further my educational potential.

    I cracked up. =)

  • lawpirate is still around Aug 27, 2010

    As someone else said, you should MODEL the correct way back to your children; especially your younger child. I think in the case of really bad grammar, it's perfectly acceptable to let them know, whether by modeling back or by asking them to repeat it correctly, that their language needs a little straightening up!

  • blueridge Aug 26, 2010

    Lynda, thank you for noting the incorrect grammar today. I hear it every day - even from news reporters! The "I vs. Me" is the most incorrect grammar I hear from them. I cringe when I here it because I know they were taught this in elementary and high school while also being taught the same and more in their college journalism classes. Other words I have heard misused "is" vs. "are"; "them" vs. "those" or "they" and many more. I think it would be wonderful for Mark Roberts to have a program (many series) testing the English language AND spelling knowledge of our local citizens (students and adults). Grammar, spelling and math are not emphasized in school today as it was 25+ years ago. What happened to our fun times memorizing spelling and math in the classrooms and at home?

  • kittiboo Aug 26, 2010

    I heard you guys talking about this on the radio. I am usually a spelling/grammar nazi, but it bothers me more in print than it does when spoken. I can't stand to get an email or formal letter from someone that is full of mistakes.

    I agree with most people that I don't so much correct my daughter (she's only 2.5) but I do try to model or mirror back to her the correct way to say things. For the longest time she was saying "me" instead of "I" (me go with you) and here recently she's starting to use "I" without any correction from me- just from hearing us use pronouns correctly.

  • grassroots Aug 26, 2010

    I actually think the southern slang grates me a little more. My 3.5 yr old dd has picked up ya - not slang for "yes", but slang for "you". I am guilty of "do ya wanna go out to eat" when it is sandwiched within a casual sentence. But she'll say "I'm asking ya" or "I'm giving this to ya." Of course I correct her because it makes me cringe.

  • whyalltheproblems Aug 26, 2010

    I have to say the texting verbage is far more annoying and a disgrace to the english language than "she don't like that". However, I do correct my children when they don't use proper english because that's how I was raised and to me, it's the right thing to do. I wouldn't do it in front of the person who said it because I think that would be insulting to that person. There are worse things people can do than use improper english.

  • 2BHonest Aug 26, 2010

    Having been taught grammar by the best, Christine Johnson (HCHS); I cannot help but correct poor grammar in my home. I'm not all into sentence structure, but double negatives grate on my nerves!