1. Lay – You don’t LAY on a bed, and neither does your character or anyone else, though it might be true to say you LIE there (in which case, it’s not a lie). You can LAY your teddy bear on a table. That’s all. Oh, well, a chicken can LAY an egg. But that would make you a redneck, because you have a chicken.
2. Loose – You didn’t LOOSE your teddy bear or wallet, you lost it. Although you may LOOSE your pitbull on an unsuspecting victim, but I’d rather you didn’t.
3. Less – You don’t have LESS marbles than I do, though yours may well be loose if you are using this word so wantonly. You probably have FEWER marbles than I do, however, if you’re seriously thinking of comparing things that cannot be counted. It would definitely make me LESS unhappy if you use FEWER redneck words in your writing.
And now, in return for tolerating my random grammar stickling…here are…
Three words I will allow you to use that most grammar sticklers wouldn’t!
1. Decimate – Yeah, technically, originally, this meant one in ten. Like back when everyone was Roman and spoke Latin and knew what deci meant. It doesn’t any more and as my teenagers say, nobody cares. Its main meaning nowadays is “kill, destroy, or remove a large percentage or part of,” you redneck Roman relic, you.
2. Literally – Yeah, technically, originally, this meant ACTUALLY or PRECISELY. But we all know what you mean and we’re just being jerks if we interrupt with a “did you know????” if you’re just trying to use it the way everybody else in the world does.
3. Nauseous – Yeah, technically, this means MAKE SOMEONE PUKE. So if you say you’re feeling nauseous, ha ha, we literalists should just throw up right on you. But I personally won’t, and indeed, I offer you my permission, as a stickler, to use this word any darn way you please.
What redneck words drive you crazy, in your writing or anybody else’s???