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(This will undoubtedly be a recurring theme for me. I minored in English in college [with a French major ... go figure] and I am, simply, passionate about language. This is much the same way a physicist is passionate about, say, particles, but no one doubts the importance of his passion.)

The English language has, sadly, deteriorated to the point where I almost want to move somewhere else. While I know that language evolves and changes, I just can't help but think that the path English has taken is a dark and twisting one. Between "politically correct" terminology and, gods help us, ebonics, the words people are uttering now are either ludicrous or incomprehensible. I can't stand it.

Oh, yeah, and when will people learn that sarcasm is indicated with quotation marks and emphasis with italics or underscore? If I see one more sign that says, " "Finally", a new (whatever)," or "The "best" (whatever)," so help me ...

Just as pointer to how anal I can be about this, there's a Harley shop in my town from which I must avert my eyes as I drive past. (I know exactly what they meant to say, but that's not the point.) The place is called Bikers Dream. Just like that, no punctuation. It drives me insane. The "Dream" is supposed to be a noun, but with the omission of one little apostrophe, they've turned the innocent word into a verb, probably quite against its will.

I'm prepared to let split infinitives go, but as for the rest ... I'd just like everyone to promise me they won't use quotation marks for emphasis, ok? line intelligence . language . religion . driving . death . diversity . courtesy . losing things . spring . chatters . intelligence ... again line