Sunday, January 3, 2010

Making up Grammar

There is a commercial on television about a person who is using a drug to help him quit smoking. The person's name is Herb, and frankly, he's pretty creepy. But this post is not about that.

This post is about a sentence used in a voice over for that commercial, by someone who isn't Herb, but still may be creepy, not sure. The sentence is something to the effect that after a certain amount of time 44% of users "were quit".

Were quit?

First things first - there is a whole laundry list of pretty outrageous possible side effects with this drug, mood changes, suicidal thoughts or actions, tendencies toward violence, and I'm not sure that a less than 50% chance of it actually working is worth the risk of those side effects. But this post isn't about that.

Were quit.

Is that correct usage? How about 44% of people quit? Or, 44% of people had quit.

I think "were quit" is made up.

I know there are secondary, less common usages of words. War, for example, is a noun, but it is possible "to war" with a someone or another nation. (I think). But this just doesn't sound right.

I looked on google, and found this site that conjugates the VERB "to quit". Click here to go to it. There's a lot of ways to use quit here, and not a "were quit" in the bunch. Maybe "were quit" is correct usage, maybe it's jargon, maybe it has a specific meaning in certain industries. But I don't like it. That's what this post was about.

That is all.


Heather said...

I guess I never caught that. I'm going to have to pay better attention next time. Everytime I see that commercial, I light up a cig. Drives me insane!

A Valdese Blogger said...

Heather: lol. The commercial is unintentionally creepy, at least from my point of view.

Anonymous said...

Haha! I'm glad I'm not the only one this annoys the heck out of. I could ignore the commercial every time it came on if not for those two words.

Bianca Castafiore? said...

I was hoping that you would make "made-up grammar" a regular series... There is no lack of material.

Well, maybe in Valdese!