Carole and I are fascinated with language and word use. When other couples talk about finances, vacations, or work with each other, we delve into the finer points of grammar, gerunds, and diagramming. We can kill a couple of hours on the road this way...and if for no other reason, she and I were meant for each other.
I pride myself on using the correct word form in any verbal or written circumstance. My mom drilled proper usage into me and fortunately, language fascinated me to the point that I made spectacular grades in any class where it was even remotely part of the curriculum. But I confess there is a word I use dozens of times a day that isn't even a real word. I'm not even sure how to spell it. I think it's "dudn't".
"Dudn't" is the natural contraction of "didn't" and "doesn't" and therefore covers both the present and past tenses. Some linguists feel it is mainly a Texas phenomon. Maybe the most commonly used sentence in Texas is, "It dudn't make no sense." Also helping in the use of "dudn't" are the acceptable words of "couldn't" and "wouldn't". Somehow to our feeble linguistic mind, "dudn't" should be the third word there in a natural trio.
Try as I might, and I have been trying hard, I can't eliminate "dudn't" from my speech patterns. I have this awful sense of foreboding that someday I'll suddenly be in the presence of the Queen of England, who then will ask me about the war with Iraq, prompting me to respond, "It dudn't make no sense". Actually, I wouldn't use the double negative there, but I'm sure the use of "dudn't" might cause the queenie to throw her tiara at my unclean lips.
Anyway, I'll keep working on it. And you be sure and stayed tuned for my next blog. Keeping with the language theme, I'm going to expose the single most common (and irritating) misuse of grammar in America today. It's positively scandalous. Just ask Carole.