No. You didn’t SEEN anything.

Um, can we talk about something serious for a moment?

There is an epidemic in this country – an epidemic of extremely, extremely ignorant grammar, speaking, and writing skills. I understand colloquialisms. I do! I say ’em, too. But when you write these things out as your actual manner of speaking, it just puts the nail in my tightass coffin.

I don’t like to preach a lot about grammar here and if I can help it, I won’t write another one of these for a long time, if ever again. But I can’t help it this time. No, it’s not the You’re vs. Your thing; which is appalling, by the way. “Your welcome” always makes me want to say, “But is it my welcome?”

The issue at hand is the misuse of the word “seen.”

Seen is a conjugation of the verb “to see,” which means that if you want to use it, you may do so in the present, past and future perfect voice. Which also means that there is always another verb in between subject and the word “seen.”


  • You have seen
  • I had seen
  • We will have seen
  • They had seen

and so forth. There is absolutely NO conjugation that has subject + seen. None. Zip. Really! If you say, “I seen with my own eyes” or ask, “You seen it?” I strongly but gently advise you or your friend who does this to go back to elementary school grammar and brush up on this verb. (I won’t comment on, “You done seen it, too?”) I don’t know why this one thing in particular motivated me to write a post about it. I mean, yes, I can write bitchy rants, and I know that many people frown on those who take time to write stuff like this, but it just cooks my cactus – whatever that means.

It gives us, as Americans who speak English, an even worse reputation than we already have for being (proud) uneducated morons.

I am not without humor – clearly – so I am also posting one of my all-time favorite Friends scenes here with Ross and Rachel having yet another one of their epic fights, in which Ross corrects Rachel’s grammar in the letter she wrote to him. If for some reason you have never seen this, you’re welcome.

Thank you for reading my rant when you could have been doing any number of other things on this lovely Sunday afternoon.


  1. Oh, those little pet peeves we all have! I agree with you, btw! I’m glad I stumbled on your blog.

  2. I love the post! I completely agree. I struggle when I see the misuse of you’re/your, affect/effect, they’re/their/there… I could go on and on!! Thanks for making me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Thank you, Pam! It makes me feel good to know I’m not the only one out there whose teeth are set on edge by misappropriation of linguistics. What?

  4. Lunchbox says:

    Mine is “ask/axe”, as in “Can I axe you a question?” Since when did a question become a physical thing that you could chop down like the days of yore? <~~~~~Quick Friends reference.

  5. Haha, I am well familiarized with the ‘days of yore’ Friends reference! I can understand why that would annoy you. Kinda like nuclear vs. nuke-yu-lar. (Shudder.)

    • This one is just nonsensical (I don’t know which I dislike more – the sound of this word or the fact that it’s real). Someone saying “nuke-yu-lar” is as bad on my ears as Mayor Bloomberg doing his “speeches” in Spanish. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or be embarrassed.

      There are some other fun (not!) ones to toy with that we were speaking about over dinner last night. I can’t remember all of them, but radiator was one of them. A lot of people in NYC say “rad-iator” instead of “raid-iator.” I ask them, “Does it rad-iate heat? Do you listen to a rad-io? No. It raid-iates heat and you list to a raid-io.” Grrrrr.

      • Great points, Scott!! I totally wondered about the rad-iator thing. If you still had a blog, I’d ask you to expound on why New Yorkers say “stand on line” instead of “stand in line.”

      • I forgot about that one! I don’t know which one I say. I do know that I say “call out sick” while most people say “call in sick.” My logic is that I will be OUT of work. Others say that you call IN to say you’re not coming IN. Now I think I go back and forf and don’t know what the heck I say. Ah, the English language and your own vernacular.

  6. Just. Plain. Awesome. While the post was about “seen”, I’m happy that others ranted on the ones you were stating you weren’t picking on. How do you spell pet peeve everyone? Hom-o-phone.

    I done seen it on Zoe (<—- this one irks the heck outta me too!!!) blog when I was effected by axing a question. Your going to be so upset that there friend isn't coming to Zoe blog to.

    My fingers are now seething in disgust because I forced them to type that. What's scary (or sad?) is I had to think about that for at least 5 minutes to put it all together, where as others just spew it like it's nothing. "Uneducated morons" indeed. Check out all the posts/blogs/Facebook/Twitter/etc of all the school teachers. Talk about appalling.

    Ok, I'm done. For now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hello again
    I love language and the way we can mess about with it.
    I think it was the great Billy Conolly who said something along the lines of ” there’s no such thing as bad language, just language used badly.” Although I think he was talking more about swearing rather than actual grammar and suchlike.
    Here’s something else which is on the subject I hope :
    An English gentleman walks into a farmyard in Texas. He is looking to buy some food for his hens. He spies a farmhand leaning against a barn with a pail of chicken food in the one hand and a recently deceased chicken dangling lifelessly in the other.
    ” Excuse me my good man ” says the English gentleman. ” Can you tell me how much is your chicken seed ? ”
    The farmhand looks at him with utter contempt and disbelief before saying in a low Texas drawl … ” That chicken ain’t see’d nothing mister. It’s dead! ”
    That’s it for now.All the best from Scotland.

    • Haha, thank you for that! The joke quite accurately illustrates what I’m talking about. As for swearing, there’s definitely a time and place for it. Obviously I prefer it to be spelled correctly when used in writing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Haha, nice post. One of my all-time pet peeves: “I should of done…” or “I could of said…”. Makes my skin crawl EVERY TIME I see it. Or hear it. Or even just think about it.

    • Angie, you’re totally right! That makes me crazy, too. If I hadn’t written about seen, that could have been the other contender. Thanks for coming by the blog!

  9. omg Zoe your rants are one of life’s little pleasures! Or should I say…you’re rants ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. ^Writing “your welcome” just pierced my soul a little.

  11. Fight Like A Girl says:

    HAHAHAHAH!!!! I love this post! I admit that my spelling and grammar isn’t perfect (and I beg anyone who ever reads my writing and spots a mistake in my blog to TELL ME!), but when people are so blatantly ignorant of their crappy grammar it makes me want to cry. One of my unit assessors at uni has disgusting grammar, I often wonder how she managed to pass her essays. When she tells me she will ‘given out more details on wedsday’ and ‘dont forget youre mental health quiz is dew tomorrow’ I feel slightly better about my ability to pass the unit!

  12. Thank you!! I’m glad someone else can relate. And um, I know that spelling is not everyone’s forte but I do believe those in education should have a better grasp of language/writing/grammar than your colleague.

    • Fight Like A Girl says:

      Oh I totally agree, not everyone ‘gets’ the whole spelling thing, but it literally makes me anxious when a professional (I.e. Doctor, teacher and so on) have spelling that would put a 6 year old to shame!

  13. Kalimadoll says:

    I love this post!!! Haha.. ahh. I just finished facebook ranting on my status, pet peeve of the day being the misuse of the word seen. “I seen that”… No you did not!! I posted this blog entry as a link on my status. Thanks for this. Made my day to know I’m not the only person this drives crazy!!

    • You’re welcome, thanks for reposting it! It really is something that drives me crazy. It’s not a “colloquialism,” it’s just bad English!

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