I’m not talking about the grade in American schools. Let the record reflect that I am not advocating poor grades in school.
I am referring to the letter “d” that comes at the end of many participial adjectives. At least it used to come at the end of them. America, it seems, has decided it no longer likes the letter “d.” It is gradually slipping into oblivion.
I was making a gallon of iced tea this morning and wondered if putting a small amount of citric acid in the tea would make it last longer (before it started to taste like Chinese-restaurant iced tea). When I Googled “iced tea” I got back just as many results for “ice tea.” No. The tea is not made of ice. It has been iced in order to make it cold. “Ice” is a noun or a verb. What is needed here is an adjective to describe what type of tea it is: tea that has been (or that is made to be) iced.
(And while we are sort of on the subject, Southerners: there is no such word as “unsweet.” It is “unsweetened.” Either iced tea has been sweetened with sugar or some other sweetener, or it remains in its original, unsweetened state. I’m about to start going Weird Al on all the “unsweet” labels in restaurants.)
Our local grocery store has an aisle marker pointing shoppers to the “can fruit.” I always wonder if this in an imperative. Do they want me to go down that aisle and can some fruit?
We are so used to seeing “old fashion” instead of “old-fashioned” and “time release” instead of “timed-release” (and yes, a two-word adjectival phrase in the attributive position should have a hyphen) that we don’t stop for a moment to realize that a phrase such as “old fashion lemonade” makes no sense whatsoever. “Fashion” is either a noun or a verb. It is not an adjective. If I have fashioned something in an old style, then it is “old fashioned.”
Shaved ice (Are we going to use the ice to shave, as with “shave cream”? Or has the ice been shaved into tiny pieces?)
I hear people say “cut and dry” more than I do “cut and dried,” which is the actual expression. “Cut and dried” refers to something that has been cut and then dried in order to preserve it (such as meat or flowers)–thus, figuratively, a subject that is fixed and about which there can be no debate.
The trend can only continue. I predict that soon we will see “bake beans” and “mash potatoes” (if there isn’t someone, somewhere, who is already saying and writing them that way). “En” will be the next to go: “Froze custard.” “Molt lava.” “I serve a riz Savior, he’s in the world today…”
Maybe we will end up like Hebrew in reverse and get rid of all consonants, leaving us with a vowels-only language. A ou a ouiaio o u eaie! (“That would make communication so much easier!”)
I’ve got a headache now. Got to go find some old fashion, time release aspirin and wash it down with a glass of ice tea. Maybe I’ll eat a fry egg too.