Okay, folks, if you're reading this you probably already have a leg up on most of what we'll be discussing in today's class. But you might want a brush-up, or you might be new to the language and in search of all the fine-toothed grammar combing you can find. Regardless ( we'll get to that one... ) , please read on:
1 ) Literally. Let's get this out of the way 'cause many of you literally know this already. "Literally" does not mean "very," "totally" or "extremely." So if you were very drunk one night, you were not "literally" wasted. You were just really wasted. To be "literally" wasted you would have had to have been disposed of in a Dumpster. ( OK, maybe that example has been literal for some of you, but you get the gist. )
2 ) Myself. Barf! If I hear one more misuse of "myself," I'm going to throw up all over myself. Not literally, though. A lot of the time you hear people say "myself" when they mean "me." As in, "Damn! The Gaga impersonation contest is down to just Tayna and myself!" First, congratulations on making it to the finals; but second, the contest would be down, in that case, to "Tayna and me." Therenow you have a better chance of winning! Judges in gay bars care a lot about these things.
3 ) Irregardless. This one is super easy! Because it's not a word. Drop the "ir-" and you'll be that much closer to getting his number.
4 ) Yep. OK, this is a highly specific usage I'm going to criticize, and it's more from a place of etiquette than grammar, but here goes. If someone says, "thank you" or "thanks," and you reply, "yep," doesn't that sound just a shade rude? It's kind of like saying, "I acknowledge that you're thanking me, and you need to," which is a far cry from "you're welcome."
5 ) In which we live in. Paul McCartney and Axl Rose, this one's for you. With hope, though, we can all learn the greater lesson. "In which we live" will suffice, guys, thanks. That second preposition is just rock'n'roll ostentation. And I do realize the irony here that by offering this unsolicited advice I am not living and letting die, as your song recommends, but you guys are very wealthy so I think you'll be okay.
6 ) Comprised of. Not as cut and dried as "irregardless," but close to it. This phrase is pretty much always wrong. "Composed of" is generally what the speaker means, though he or she is using "comprised" as a way of maybe trying to elevate the sentence. Or just test you. Who knows? "Comprise" is more of a top-down verb, and "compose" is more bottom-up. That's not an innuendo. In any case, you'll get his number soooo much faster if you tell him your bedroom "comprises" things you'd rather not say out loud than "is comprised of" said things. ( This works especially well if you're trying to pick up an English teacher. That happens a lot, right? )
7 ) Notate. This is a word, but it's not the same as "note." If you want to be sure you take notice of something, "note" it, especially if you want to write it down in word form. Don't "notate" it. For instance, if Tayna looks like she might win the Gaga contest after all, you might be wise to note her moves on the dance floor to help you improve when you practice in your room. Here you're just paying good attention. If you were to "notate" her dance steps, you'd be transcribing them into dance notation, the written marks choreographers use. Although, Lord knows if you were that determined, you might be on your way to winning the next Gaga impersonation contest, if not a solid bid to be on next season's Dancing with the Stars.
If you're still reading, I'm literally out of my mind with excitement. Irregardless, I hope you notated some helpful tips for better surviving this weird English-speaking world in which we live in. It's a world comprised of idiots, like myself. Yep.
Homer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .