I have a huge pet peeve about the term “constructive criticism”. It is a total oxymoron. I find nothing constructive about criticism. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the intent, and its usage in the business environment, but still! OXYMORON! The definition of criticism is the passing of unfavorable judgment, censure, or disapproval. The synonyms of criticism are; blame, censure, condemn, denounce, reprehend. Does this sound like a way to improve a person? Personally, I would prefer to be chastised. If you look in the scriptures, the words criticize, or criticism, never appear. If you look up criticize in the bible dictionary, it refers you to the word chasten, or chastisement. The Lord does not criticize, he chastens. In the dictionary today it lists what is considered an archaic definition for chasten, and it meant to refine, or purify. Maybe it is just semantics, but I personally would rather be refined; taught and molded to become better, than degraded, and humiliated into change. I vote that we change “constructive criticism” to "constructive chastisement". I love words and language. Discovering where a word “came from", its origin, gives insight into the meaning and it is interesting to see how the meaning of a word has changed through the passing of time.
I am fascinated by the meanings and also the usage of words. I find it interesting to hear how words are pronounced in different areas. A friend, who is from the East, was laughing at the way I pronounced “deal”. She said, I said, “dill” (like the pickle) I was sure I hadn’t, but in review, I had. Ugh, Utah dialect has caught me! When I was learning to spell, I got in the habit of saying words phonetically in my head, and when I am typing, I think of the sounds and “spell” the words. Confused? I think of the word deal pronounced like eel- with a long e sound, I KNOW how it is pronounced, but when I am speaking I’ve slurred it into “dill“. I see this slurring all the time here in Cache Valley. I see a sign on a car stating: “FOR SELL” or , “MUST SALE !”, and I think, what???? You can sell your car, or you can put it up for sale, but you can’t sale your car, it’s just not proper grammar or spelling! Another pet peeve is the word “ your”. Your is possessive. Remember the rule, if you can say “you are” in place of the word your, it is an abbreviation and should be spelled you’re. When I see a sign saying “your going to love Hawaii!” my brain says, my what is going to love Hawaii? I think, we Utahan’s sometimes get a little lazy when we are speaking. When I first moved to Utah, I noticed that if a word ended in -ing, the g sound was missing. In Utah, we go huntin’, fishin’ and swimmin'. We look for "dills" at the store, and when we find one, we got a "still". I’ve lived in Utah now, for 23 years, and slowly I’m sounding like a native, I wonder how long it will take my friend to find her language has been corrupted? Is it really corruption? I don’t think so, after all I have embraced “oh my heck!, but please, if I ever say “I seen four big bucks on the hill” please send me to grammar boot camp, ASAP! Thanks for listening, now go forth and use proper grammar!