Verbal Turpitude

My family and I went to dinner Saturday night with two other couples. I don’t want to generalize, but I think it’s fair to say, since the women in the couples went to the same local school, that they grew up together.

At one point one of the women asked me what I did for a living, so I told her, and also that I had just been on a business trip for a week.

What happened next was like something out of a bad dream.

Both women responded, with the same tone and inflection in their voices, “Oh, wuzzyuh?”

Unfortunately, what I think they meant was, “Oh, WERE you?” But they have learned, beginning in grade school and progressing over the last 40 years or so, that was is an acceptable substitute for were and so were completely unfazed by my look of utter horror. Verbs were made to be conjugated. Let’s not forget that. But, again, this location is the only place I’ve ever heard women say things like, “Them are cute shoes.” Oy.

It is assaults like these on the English language that leave my ears bleeding and coining terms like verbal turpitude.



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2 responses to “Verbal Turpitude

  1. Rosemarie Rung

    The acceptance of new phrases like, “My bad” isn’t helping the situation either!

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