Grammar Lesson

I know my public school education probably wasn’t the best.  For one thing, I didn’t try.  For another, most of my teachers were drunks or whores or both.  I thought my university education was pretty sound, but lately people around me are saying a couple of phrases that are not a part of my vocabulary.  Either I’ve been wrong for my whole life or the people around me are.  Knowing that most people can’t read a menu for content, I’m a little skeptical about the general public being correct. 

A rose by any other name...


See the beautiful rose?  What do you do?  Do you smell it or do you smell of it?  

I smell it.  I shove my nose down deep and inhale like a coke fiend on a three day bender. 

Southern people smell of it. 

When I smell of something, it’s usually not good.  To describe a day at work I would say, “I smell of hot grease, dead animals and old lady sweat.”  To describe a day at the lake with my dogs I would say, “I smell of fish and wet dogs.”  It’s a description, not an action. 



Oh!  Look at the yummy cake!  What are you going to do?  Are you going to taste it or taste of it.  

Actually, I’m going to devour it, but first I’m going to taste it.  

Again if something “tastes of“, it’s  a description, not an action.  “The rib sauce tastes of honey, ketchup, sugar and a hint of cayenne pepper.”  I don’t know what the hell, “I tasted of your rib sauce” even means.  

Is this a valid saying or is it being generated by the same dummies who say “warsh” instead of “wash”.  

Even if it is correct I can’t see myself saying, “I tasted of the fish.” 



16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whatigotsofar
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 04:02:11

    I like that use of “of” and I think will be to use it as such.

    Thanks for clearing that up. o_O


  2. izziedarling
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 06:04:30

    I’m Southern and I am with you 100-percent! My pet peeve is the word “done”. In my world, “done” refers to meat that is cooked … as in “well done”. “Finished” is a good word that should replace “done” in many instances. 🙂

    I have many gramatical pet peeves.


  3. Bob
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 06:26:30

    Well said!

    Thank you.


  4. noe noe girl
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 07:07:17

    too funny! I say of all the time being from NC and moving to VA. Just cant help it. Now I want a taste of that fish!

    So it must be a regional southern thing. The only other person I knew who used the phrase was from northern Florida. I just thought he was an idiot, then I started hearing other southerners say it and I thought maybe (gasp) I was the idiot.

    Thanks for stopping by and clearing that up.


  5. Zombieman
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 07:57:11

    So this would be ‘uber’ bad then:
    “I enjoyed my well finished steak. After I smelled of it, I tasted of it.”

    Yeah, that’s not good. I’d probably give you the dumb look.


  6. redriverpak
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 09:01:47

    I live in Texas. (I am FROM Oregon) Trust me, Texans do more to slaughter the English language than anyplace else I have been to. I have been here for over 20 years but I still get people that talk to me and say “yer not from round here are ya?” I must admit…they are wearing me down…..I have started actually writing “ya’ll” in my posts….I am about ready to stick my head in the oven and end it all….

    Please tell me that the Evening meal in Wyoming is DINNER and not SUPPER…. It’s Dinner people! Dinner!

    Yes, it’s dinner. Supper always throws me.

    I think I was a Texan in a former life. I say “y’all” (usually when I’m pissed) and I can pick up that twang in seconds flat. I’m fixin’ to do it now.


  7. beckyb26
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 10:03:01

    I love that we have different dialects in different parts of the country. That way we feel like we’re going to another part of the world, because we don’t understand them, yet they speak English and we don’t need a passport!

    (whining) Yes, but they are bringing their dialect to MY neck of the woods and I’m confused.


  8. DarcKnyt
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 10:38:44

    I’d say your definitions are largely correct. “Tasted of” might be disputable; meaning, it might carry both uses. (I’m not an English major to make an emphatic statement on it.) But the “smelled of” thing? Yeah … “smelled of” means scented, perfumed.

    You know what else I hate? Dropping the “to be” infinitive when the sentence calls for one. I’ve recently read this is an acceptable standard, but for God’s sake, “The lawn needs mowed” is just f**king stupid-sounding.

    You called me on that on one of my posts. I had a professor who would give an automatic F to anyone using “to be” or any variation of it in a paper. I still leave it out if I can help it.

    “Expecially” and “ex cetera” and “excape” are other favorites of mine.

    Aaarg! Let me ax you this, “How about expresso?”

    Around here, you’re required by law it seems to end all sentences with a preposition. “Where you been at?”

    I don’t see much of that, but people who think they are smart will ask, “Are you coming with?” Finish the damned sentence!!

    Ignorance: It knows no bounds, does it? And I’m never surprised how deep and wide it goes anymore.

    My mother has the worst possible grammar and she’s damned proud of it. I don’t imagine she’s original. Other people like her probably think they are clever by sounding like hicks. It drives me up the wall.


  9. blogmella
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 11:52:13

    You are correct! BUT I’m a bit common and sort of Cockneyish, so…

    If I was instructing somebody to do something, I might say “Have a taste of that”. OR I might say about myself, “I’m going to have a smell of that fish, before I eat it”. But those examples depend on the HAVE. I wouldn’t say “I’m going to smell of that fish”, unless I was rubbing it on me.

    Yay! Someone who speaks the King’s English and knows none of us Yanks do it right. 🙂

    Paula Deen in a famous southern something or other and I heard her on the Walmart television (the one that tells you what to buy) saying, “I like to have candles around because I like to smell of them.” Northern people think she means she likes to carry the scent on her clothes when she leaves the house. I know she means she likes to sniff them. It pisses me off that redneck language is broadcast nation wide.


  10. trailerparkbarbie
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 13:27:13

    You had me laughing so hard at”my teachers were drunks or whores or both” that I almost didn’t make it rhought the rest of the post. But, I did…and now I gotta go pee from laughing so hard at the rest of it! FUNNY STUFF!

    Well, they were. My 9th grade English teacher came in for class every morning at 8:45 (classes started at 8:30) all bleary eyed and reeking of last night’s booze and cigarettes. He would announce “free reading day” and promptly pass out on his desk. Most of the time when the bell rang to dismiss class, he wouldn’t even wake up.

    Two women 8th grade teachers worked their way through most of the male school staff and some of the students. I don’t think there was anyone those two whores wouldn’t sleep with.


  11. DarcsFalcon
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 14:09:05

    Oh my gosh! The list is too long to put here! There are so many peeves! Another one that makes Darc grind his teeth is “stepped foot in.” It’s “set foot in.”

    I’ve never heard “stepped foot in”, only “set foot in.”

    I hate when people say “reel-i-ty” when they mean realty, and “supposably” instead of supposedly. OH! And when people say “irregardless.” It’s not a word!!

    Oh yeah. Supposably and irregardless make my head near explode.

    So many ways to butcher the language and it’ painful to hear every time.


  12. izziedarling
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 15:20:50

    Supper makes my skin crawl. We eat dinner at mi casa.
    And I don’t think that Paula Deen/Dean is a real person – she appears to be a scary inflatable creature that speaks in the unknown tongue.

    She does, doesn’t she. I loathe the sound of her voice.


  13. morethananelectrician
    Jul 02, 2010 @ 04:05:28

    Originally from a northern state and moving to a southern state has made me realize that just about everyone is educated by drunks and whores…even homeschooled kids.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    It never ceases to amaze me just how dumb people can be.


  14. Lauren
    Jul 02, 2010 @ 08:36:20

    the grammar problem that bugs me the most deals with the word nuclear. you would be amazed how many people pronounce the damn word “nucular.” I have a bachelor’s in English, so I notice all the little grammar mistakes in day to day speech. It drives me nuts.

    Don’t even get me started on mispronouncing words. People need to stuff a sock in their mouths most of the time.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  15. Guy
    Jul 02, 2010 @ 13:05:18

    I live in Texas (and I grew up mostly in Oregon, just like one of your other posters here), but I say, “Smell of,” “taste of,” “warsh,” “y’all” and I understand “supper.” Some Southern people don’t eat lunch. They eat breakfast, dinner and supper. It’s getting a little blended now; dinner might only apply on the weekends at home and a person might otherwise have a lunch-hour when they’re on their job, but supper is pretty standard for the big meal at night. Did you know that the last meal of the day is called “supper” in the UK? (at least in more formal circles). Many Southern expressions are actually closer to the King’s English than their Midwestern counterparts.

    HAHAHA! At least you admit you do all the annoying grammar stuff. Well, the painting IS called “The Last Supper” not “The Last Dinner”. I suppose dinner & supper are what you were raised with. My grammy was a supper person, but she just couldn’t convert me.

    My pet peeves are when people pronounce the “t” in often, and the yuppie catch-phrases like “tone deaf,” or “proactive.” Not only are they incorrect, but they sound deliberately snooty.

    The snooty phrases tick me off as well…discourse, touch base, outside the box…they all sound cliched now.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!


  16. Sparty Girl
    Jul 03, 2010 @ 15:52:29

    If you start talking about words and phrases such as “proactive”, “touch base”, “outside the box” you are starting to get into an entirely other language: American Corporate-Speak. It takes several years to learn this language.

    But even after several years, doesn anyone really understand it?


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