Saturday, February 14, 2009

Matters of Usage

I can't stand people who spell definitely "definately" or write it's (it is) when they mean its (the possessive). The first is just carelessness--or the inability to use a spell-checker. The second happens because some people think the possessive is always formed by adding apostrophe s.

What's irking me now is having the receptionist at the doctor's office ask, "Do you have your driver's license and health insurance card?"

I'm always tempted to respond, "Yes" without reaching for my wallet, and waiting to see how long it takes her to ask again. For a while, I actually did respond, "I drove here--I'd better have my license."

What they really mean, of course, is "May I see your driver's license and insurance card?"

So why don't they just say that?

I guess there's a manual, or a course, called Office Manners for the Medical Profession that advises that the roundabout locution is more polite, because I've heard it three or four times in the last couple of weeks.

1 comment:

Sara J. Henry said...

What gets me is those signs that say "Speed Limit Enforced by Aircraft" - as if the aircraft will pull you over.