No Cognitive Test For Me, Please

I can sympathize with President Biden’s recent comments about cognitive tests. I believe he said something to the effect that every day is a mental...

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Let’s Stop With The ‘Full Stop’

Full stop may be the English language’s most annoying term these days.

For centuries, a period at the end of the sentence or the dropping of one’s voice has signaled the same thing: the thought ends here. It’s over. But today, many seem inclined to toss in the term “full stop” at the conclusion of a sentence. As though the listener didn’t quite understand what he or she was saying. I’m even seeing the term in print.

If the two words are supposed to be for emphasis, it might be more appropriate to say: “If you didn’t get my meaning, let me restate it … this nonsense has to end now.”

Imagine Shakespeare writing: “To be or not to be. That is the question. Full stop.”

I’m trying to remember the first time I heard the term. I think it was within the last two years that I noticed a dear friend—a Brit—had a particular fondness for it. It was quaint; part of his personality. Now that it has exploded in popularity, I am definitely over it. (Another one of those sloppy terms that creeps into the English language.)

When I looked up the term “full stop” on the Internet, it showed me a picture of a large period. Exactly, I thought. And then I remembered a time when people would say “period” at the end of a sentence. I suppose that was the precursor to “full stop.”

I can still hear my fathering growling: “You are not going to that party. Period.” I didn’t need to hear the word “period” to know that the discussion was over.

The search engine Bing explains that “full stop” is sort of a younger cousin to “at the end of the day,” which began as a Britishism—to the annoyance of many in the UK—and, of course, is now common here.”

If the British were irritated, they should have done away with the term before it had a chance to travel across the pond to the U. S.

I say let’s stop with the “full stop” and move onto tackling the current propensity to misuse the pronoun I. I’m not talking about anything having to do with gender, but the phrase “you and I.” When the I follows a conjunction, such as “with,” it is supposed to be “me.” As in, “Are you going to town with Mary and me.” Not, Mary and I.

I know it’s not easy, but I think we should all try to get this one small thing right. Or should I say, correct? Then maybe we can move on to “have went.”

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