I’m always going on about how glad I am that I learned English from the ground up. I can’t fathom the difficulty one must face trying to learn our sloppy, fickle, inconsistent tongue when one comes from, say, Poland or Mexico or Saturn.
To that end, I’m adding a new category to Hollywoodland. WORDZ will be the category where I dump the posts that marvel at the English language, that point out oddities of usage and that make fun of the malapropisms that riddle everyday usage. In short, it’s a place for me to flex my word snobbery.
I apologize in advance.
But here’s an example, taken from something I read in Gourmet Magazine last week.
Bob claimed that he was cleaning his gun when it accidentally went off. But his story didn’t jive with the autopsy report, which stated the victim’s body was riddled with forty-two bullet holes.
Jibe. The word is JIBE. I can’t tell you how often I see people use the word JIVE when they mean JIBE. I know it sounds weird, and I can understand why people go the jive-way, but look it up.
It’s also a sailing term, but it means something different. In sailing, to jibe is to shift the direction of the sailboat such that the boom swings from one side to the next, usually coldcocking someone and sending him into the drink, whereupon he is eaten by sharks.