Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Parlay Voo Fronsay?

I just can't take it anymore. I really can't. And it seems like it's all over the Internet, lurking around every blog post:


Don't get me wrong. I love violas, both this kind and this kind.

What I don't love is reading something to the effect of:

"Snip your threads, and viola! You're done!"

I speak almost no French, having taken just a smattering in my grade school days. I am not a multilingual snob, nor do I expect other non-French speakers to be experts in a language not their own. But the butchery of this poor word really must come to an end.

Switch the "i" and the "o" and Voila!  Vwa-lah. Ah yes, that's the word we're looking for!

And while we're on the subject, there's another French faux pas lurking on the Internet. The worst of it is, it's not even supposed to be French! I've got you wondering, right? So without further adieu...


Did you spot it?

Without further adieu would roughly translate to "without any more goodbyes." What we're really after here is without further ado, meaning, "without any more delay." Pronunciation may be similar, but that's where the similarity ends.

Ah, how nonchalantly we trample our poor, defenseless idioms. Yes, I do realize idioms have no feelings. But perhaps if we pretended that they did, we'd be far less glib about mauling them. Just today I saw case and point on a blog. I swallowed hard and tried to move on, but it's still bugging me.

Am I far too distressed about something that's ultimately of little consequence in the scheme of things? Absolutely. I totally acknowledge that. But really, a little respect for proper usage goes a long way.

Anyone want to recommend a good psychiatrist? Or perhaps I'll just re-read Eats, Shoots & Leaves to restore some equanimity to my battered grammatical soul.

P.S. -- Perhaps I should make it clear that I'm not (quite) as psychotic as this post might suggest, nor am I some embittered grammarian with perfect capitalization and punctuation. But I do enjoy a satisfying grammatical rant now and again, and you, dear reader, are lucky enough to be my audience. Assuming you've made it this far...


  1. I was just talking to my mom today about my recent online encounter with the word "walla" (I assumed from the context that it was supposed to be voila). :) Improper use of grammar drives me crazy!!! 8)

  2. :) I'm with you. I have a long list of irritatingly misused terms and spellings that are all over the internet, I'm afraid I probably am an embittered grammarian :)

  3. YES! THANK YOU!!! This drives me C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!

  4. It is always lovely to find a kindred spirit! My least favorite mangled expression is perhaps best left to a master to explain:

    "The dismissive 'I couldn't care less' is often used with the shortened 'not' mistakenly (and mysteriously) omitted: 'I could care less.' The error destroys the meaning of the sentence and is careless indeed"

    E.B. White, The Elements of Style

  5. Hear, hear! The whole "voila" thing drives me NUTS. :) "Oh, you snipped your threads and viola? As in, the musical intstrument?" Hehe. Anywayyyy...

  6. Hahahah this cracked me up because it's so true... Sadly!!


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