영어 Hint of the Day #29 AND 영어 Slang of the Day #13 : “You cannot make this stuff up.”

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WOOHOO!  Two in one: 영어 Hint of the Day #29 AND 영어 Slang of the Day #13

Today, I searched Twitter for “grammar.”  It was probably the funniest Twitter search I have ever conducted (you should search on it if you are feeling discouraged while studying English).  Anyways, here is a tweet (it’s not called a twit because a twit means a fool, or 바보)  that I found:

“RT @syfqhpauzi: a guy that is good-looking & talks proper grammar is attractive.”

영어 Hint of the Day #29:  “talks proper grammar” is incorrect
Thankfully, this person isn’t marketing herself as an English expert or 영어guru or anything like that.  So, she deserves some compassion and doesn’t deserve a place in the 영어 선생 Hall of Shame .  However, this tweet is grammatically wrong.


WOOHOO!  Two in one: 영어 Hint of the Day #29 AND 영어 Slang of the Day #13

Today, I searched Twitter for “grammar.”  It was probably the funniest Twitter search I have ever conducted (you should search on it if you are feeling discouraged while studying English).  Anyways, here is a tweet (it’s not called a twit because a twit means a fool, or 바보)  that I found:

“RT @syfqhpauzi: a guy that is good-looking & talks proper grammar is attractive.”

영어 Hint of the Day #29:  “talks proper grammar” is incorrect
Thankfully, this person isn’t marketing herself as an English expert or 영어guru or anything like that.  So, she deserves some compassion and doesn’t deserve a place in the 영어 선생 Hall of Shame .  However, this tweet is grammatically wrong.

(x)  A guy that is good-looking & talks proper grammar is attractive.
(o)  A guy that is good-looking and uses proper grammar is attractive.
(o)  A guy that is good-looking and speaks properly is attractive.

The point is that her use of “talks proper grammar” is incorrect.  First, the verb “talk” is not used with the noun/direct object “grammar.”  Most commonly, “use” is the verb that natives use.  Second, there is another possibility, and it is also wrong.  She may be describing the way in which grammar is used, i.e. she is trying to describe a verb.  Describing a verb requires an…adverb.  “Proper” cannot be the correct word here.  “Properly” would be used.  Either of the two alternatives above would be correct.

Slang of the Day #13:  “You cannot make this stuff up” means this something is so strange/funny/wierd, it must be true.

The fact that the author of this tweet is describing a man who she would find attractive, and the very characteristic she herself doesn’t possess that same characteristic, makes the message seem either sad, or funny, or both.  When a message or story or set of facts is ironic to this extent, you can use the phrase  “You cannot make this stuff up.” 
There are other ways of saying the same thing.  My favorite:
(o)  Truth is stranger than fiction.

It is a phrase to describe something so odd that it has to have occurred, or has been truthfully told.  In this tweet’s case, it is either very funny, or very sad, that the author is looking for a man that speaks properly, and that would make the man attractive.  Does this mean that the author, since she doesn’t use grammar properly, is not attractive?  While I have no comment on that, it is strange indeed that she made that comment while making an error in grammar:  you cannot make this stuff up.




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