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Try, try again

January 8, 2011 - Brad Siddons
I've written here about the written word, the spoken word, and about the difficulties people have with both versions of the English language as practiced here in the United States of America.

I'm not perfect when it comes to writing or speaking, and I don't expect perfection from others. Don't worry, I hear about it when I err, perhaps from lucky folks who believe they have achieved perfection. I'd love to learn their secrets, but in the vast majority of instances they choose to hide behind the cloak of anonymity. In any case, I try to take their darts as constructive criticism and use them as tools to pursue perfection. To do anything less is giving up.

Having said that, I will now try to expand on the real point of this piece of prose. Notice I said I will try to expand, not try and expand. Ouch, that really burns me. If I wanted to try something, and after completing that task expand something else, then I suppose try and expand would be the correct wording. It's unfortunate, at least in my opinion, that the try and (fill in the verb of your choice) is more often used, both in print and broadcasting media. When I heard a celebrated anchorwoman use try and three times in the same broadcast last week, well, that's when I decided to write this. When you hear it on TV, well, it must be ...

Not that I'm going to send this to CBS (oops, did I really do that?), or that I would expect anyone to change because of anything I might have to offer. Like the words further and farther, which are so commonly bolloxed that the incorrect usage is now accepted, I'm afraid that trying to keep try and from the “that's OK, it's close enough” bin would be futile.

Hey, I love futile causes, so I'll just keep trying.


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