Sunday, October 14, 2012

What'n the World is Go'n On?

I'm wondering if it's too late to get a proposition on the November 6 ballot. Or maybe some kind of emergency legislation. I don't mean anything as drastic as Lincoln's suspending habeas corpus. But something must be done about that linguistic changeling—'n.

I can be as folksy as the next…not very folksy person, but this 'n thing has gotten out of of control. It's roaming about pretty freely, seeking whom it may devour. Here in the Word Crank home country, it seems to be devouring festivals.

Recent civic soirees include one called, ridiculously, "Break’n Bread" or, possibly, Break ’n Bread." It's hard to tell from the advertising if there is a space between "Break" and "'n." Either way, what does it mean? Yes, there seems to be food involved. Break’n Bread is sponsored by a group of restaurateurs and locavores, and is oh-so-hip. And yes, I know they mean "breaking bread," but for heaven's sake, why don't they just say so? The name actually says "Break and Bread." Why would a hoity-toity group of foodies butcher the name for its fundraiser?

And it gets worse. I refer to the Kick'n Chick'n Wing Fest. I simply can't wrap my brain around the illiteracy of that one. If deploying an 'n or two makes an event sound ever so much more fun and happening (happen'n? happ'n'n?), I wonder what the organizers of other events were thinking.

A suburb's "Arts and Music on the Green" sounds downright staid. It so easily could have been "Arts’n Music’n the Green." And how about the local celebration of all things Hispanic? It's called, simply, Fiesta. Perhaps the organizers went through ESL classes, and, so, actually learned grammar. ("Her English is too good, he said, Which clearly indicates that she is foreign." Lyric from "You Did It," My Fair Lady)

Sad. It could have been "Lat'n Fest."


  1. I always love your cantankerous observations on the English language. You always leave me wanting more. Here's to wish'n you posted more oft'n!