This past Monday I went to the barbershop in Donelson at lunch where I've been going to get my hair cut for several years now. I've noticed over the years that some of the most interesting conversations often happen in barber shops. This isn't usually the case for me at this particular shop since my barber, Abe, is the only one there on Mondays and it's usually pretty slow. Still, Abe and I have had some great political discussions this past year since he's a die hard liberal and I am a Mojo Nixon Libertarian.
On Monday, however, there was already someone in the chair and another man was waiting. I walked in just ahead of an older lady, who appeared to be in her late sixties. She was a talker, and everyone in the shop was soon talking about the GM Bankruptcy, the Chrysler Bankruptcy, etc. Various other topics were discussed that I've already forgotten, but soon after I got in the chair the lady behind me started complaining about how "the kids today don't have a clue how to use adverbs correctly. They say 'I want that so bad' instead of 'I want that so badly.'"
While she was talking I quickly tried to think whether I tend to do this myself. Honestly, I don't know. I don't think I tend to leave the -ly off adverbs, at least in what I write, but when I talk to people I'm not sure.
Later in the day I saw the promo spot for the new Project Natal for the X-Box 360. Wow. If it works as well as its shown in these demos this looks like one of the most massive leaps forward in gaming technology I've ever seen. I want one bad. (Just making sure you were paying attention there.)
This led me to the idea that soon it wouldn't be a problem to use a small voice recognition device to record everything I say during the day, then perform real time analysis on it. So if the device heard me dropping the -ly off adverbs it could give me a small buzz. Or it could generate a running score each week so I could compare my grammar score with my friends.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not really one of those people that thinks it's horrible that people drop the suffix off their adverbs. Languages are meant to evolve and in this case I think it's probably too late to save the adverbs from being abused. I just find it very interesting to think about how technology is going to converge into real life in the near future.