Thursday, March 19, 2009


I hate it when people use non-words. Usually a non-word will consist of two actual words shoved together like two San Francisco apartment buildings. Contractions, such as it's, you're, and they're do not constitute non-words. Non-words are just that, non-words.

One non-word that drives me absolutely bat-shit crazy is "Lookit".

"Johnny! Lookit the Lemurs! Lookit the Lemurs! Lookit! Lookit!"

It makes me want to beat someone severely about the head and shoulders with a hard metal object.

Another non-word is "Hella"

"That shit is like, hella cool."

"We went hella far."

"This coffee is hella hot."

Hella is a lighting equipment manufacturer, not an adjective.

One that really gets me is "Aks".

"I'm gonna aks my mama if I can go out tonight."

If you axe your mama, wouldn't that be tantamount to murder?

A really overused non-word that has found amazing commonality in the bay area, and elsewhere I'm sure, is "Finta".

"I'm finta get all up out this beotch."

"We finta go to the movies."

I can not even link finta to an actual word. The best I can figure is that it is somehow morphed from "fixing to".


Now, since originally writing this post and staging it, (yes, I stage posts for later dates when I have nothing creative to write about) I have discovered I use a few non-words myself.

Some I use are:

Whatnahayell - As in "Whatnahayell are y'all doin'?"

Lemmesee - "Lemmesee that thing."

Ahhite-ten - "You want me to work an extra hour? Ahhite-ten."

Uppinair - "If he's hiding in the attic, somebody has to go uppinair."

So no, even I am not immune...


Leslie said...

Me being a Southerner, I say "fixing to go" a lot. People up here in the Midwest just look at me weird when I do.
But when I lived Memphis, I had to learn how to speak Ebonics in order to converse with the local hoodlums.
For instance...
"How you is" translates to "How are you doing?"
Yeah. The English language is not what it used to be, that is for sure.

Teri Kathleen said...

I don't mind the "non-words" so much as mispronouncing the right words. My step-son had a spelling bee and the woman giving the words was doing the d for a t in the middle of words thing. Of course these elementary school kids were misspelling them, she couldn't pronounce them right! Irked me

Anonymous said...

I am guilty also.

Anonymous said...

"aks" is my biggest pet peeve. They just sound so ridiculous.

(and ironically enough as I write word verification to add the comment is 'disme', reminding me of yet another non-word......'diss me'

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh! Don't come down South, it's a whole lot worse here! LMAO! I am so guilty of this!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you added the update at the end. I can't think of any nonwords I use right now but I have a friend who says aks a lot. She's well educated and smart but it's a cultural thing. I think sometimes it's lazy and stupid to speak that way but it's good to admit that we all sometimes do it.

Not sure if that made sense. iz pretty tird rite now.

Mad Jack said...

My own list, including phrases:

zak-same or exact same As in, I saw the exact same thing down at K-Mart. It actually took me a while to decode this to 'exactly the same'.

so not As in, 'I'm so not trying to be difficult' or 'This is so not my bad'.

my bad Used in place of an apology and a declaration of responsibility.

no problem Used in place of 'you're welcome'. I find this very objectionable, as it implies that if the service were a problem it wouldn't have been performed.

dis For a general misuse of disrespect.

ustacould Can you dance? Well, I ustacould. Gimme a minute and I might could again.

I object to Ebonics as an accepted form of the English language. It isn't.