Here are some more linguistic abuses I'd like to see excised from my life.
Alumni There is nothing wrong with this word in and of itself, but let's get something straight people...IT'S PLURAL!!! If I hear one more supposedly educated person proclaim proudly, 'I am an alumni of that school.' I'm going to scream. A single person, depending on their gender, is either an alumnus, or an alumna, or a member of the alumni, but unless your name is Sybil you alone are not an alumni.
Irregardless This is not a word in the English language. Irrespective, which is the word most people mean to use when they use irregardless, is a real word. Regardless is a real word. Irregardless is not. Both real words mean without regard for, or in spite of. Irregardless means you slept through most of your English classes.
I know these are rather tiny nits to pick, but it seems to me that the English language is under almost daily attack from pop culture, internet abbreviation, and the general 'dumbing down' of America that I see where ever I look. This country used to venerate the great minds, the Einsteins,the Hawkings, the Kissingers, because they inspired us to emulate them. We strove for enlightenment and knowledge. Today we venerate people with names like Simpson, Carrey, and Bush because they make us feel smarter. As an educator I try my best to promote good grammar, even though it technically isn't part of what I teach, but when I heard a colleague use the word irregardless the other day while addressing a bunch of students it gave me pause. I have seen papers turned in by college freshmen that would make a 6th grade teacher cringe, but I don't blame the internet, or television, or movies. I blame parents. My mother worked two jobs for many years when it was just my brother, she, and me, but she still found the time to work with us at home with flash cards on our vocabulary skills. My brother and I read way beyond our grade levels almost from kindergarten. And I never once heard the phrase, 'Me and my friend' come out of her mouth. Parents need to take an active role in their children's education. Teachers are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated and they need all the help they can get to make kids understand that what they hear on MTV, or the latest Adam Sandler epic isn't necessarily the correct way to speak. Know what I'm sayin', beeyotch?