OK people, I’m putting on my grammar hat today, because I have a pet peeve. Tired of complaining about it to friends and acquaintances on a one-to-one basis, I am putting it out here on the wide wide world of web, so as to best reach more people, because quite frankly things are getting out of hand.
So, here’s the thing:
You know that big V between the two teams that are playing each other on the weekend? Like Lions V Velociraptors, or The Western Force V The Northern Hunger. You’ll see it a lot if you watch The Footy Show. Actually chances are, if you watch the Footy Show (or indeed present on the Footy Show) you are just the people I am trying to reach, so read on.
OK – the big V (sometimes written as ‘vs’) stands for VERSUS. It’s a Latin word. It means against.
Note the big ole U. It’s not ‘verses’. There is no verb ‘to verse’. (Unless we’re talking competitive poetry, which, well, whatever floats your boat, and if you’re into that you probably already know what I’m banging on about, so as you were, you adorable rhymey little things.) You can’t verse someone at footy, netball, naked luge, [insert your sport of choice here]. You just can’t. The Upper Turramurra Spotted Owls are not versing the Windale Heights Rabid Donkeys in the Grand Final this weekend, and it’s not just because they are fictitious, but also because the word ‘versing’ DOES NOT EXIST.
I understand kids saying it. I do. They are just conjugating what they think is a verb. My kids say it. And I correct them. Every time. And they roll my eyes at me. Every time. And also many other times, for many other things I say. It’s what kids do.
But it’s creeping into the vernacular. I keep hearing adults saying it too. Grown men and women, who should know better! I even saw it written somewhere in an actual publication last week (which so horrified me, I have blocked all memory of which publication from my brain).
Now I’m a simple girl. I’m not averse to droppin’ my g’s (although not, may I say, my g-bangers). I have been known to boldly split infinitives. I know I write messily and hastily, like a drunken fumble behind the pub on a Saturday night. Yet still I say – this ‘verses’ foolishness must stop. People, if your children say it you must correct them. If they are teenagers you must also shame them. And if your adult friends say it, you must slap them. Hard. Because I cannot take it any more!