Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Look, there it is!

We interrupt the party recap for a brief complaint.

I'm not the sort to go all Grammar or Spelling Nazi on people.  Especially on the internet, where grammar and spelling are often a bit more flexible concepts than in other fora.

But I've seen this one get screwed up way too many times -- and, I'm sorry, folks, when you mess it up, it just makes you look really ignorant.

Sample of what I've seen on the internet:  So, you mix up the ingredients, pour 'em in a cake pan, plop in in the oven for 20 minutes, and wah-la!  Chocolate Cake!

Alternative bad spelling:  walluh.  Also:  walla.

The word in question is:  Voila.  Feel free to leave off the accent on the "a" (like I did).  That's an acceptable variant (and, besides, getting accents on the internet requires extra key-strokes).  It's a French word.  Roughly translates into "See there" or, rather more loosely (and, yet, accurately), "There it is."

If you sat through Beginning French in school -- the first day was probably a lot of this:

"Ou est mon stylo?"  (Where is my pen?)

"Voila mon stylo!"  (There's my pen!)

Used in this here American Language that we speak, it's used a bit more in the "wow!  It's complete!" context, as in the "chocolate cake" example above.  Or what a magician would say when he reveals that the lion has just turned into his pretty assistant.  Folks are actually using it correctly -- just spelling it atrociously.

And, unless this is some sort of intentional anti-French thing along the lines of Freedom Fries (about which I never got the memo), there's really no excuse for it.

Thank you.


dklars said...

Oooooooooh!!! I SO agree with you.  That one really makes my eyes cross.  I can understand the need for "Abbreviated" English, but another that bothers me is "NEWAY"  It's only one more keystroke to spell "Anyway."  Argh.  Have a great holiday weekend!  ~~Kath~~

helmswondermom said...

I'm glad you brought this up.  I've seen it misspelled a few times in AOL journals.  Once, at least, I think the writer did it on purpose, but I'm not sure.

mlraminiak said...

I haven't seen that one before...  And I admit, if I did read "wa-lah" somewhere, it would take me a second or two to figure out what the hell it was supposed to mean.

We are such a well-educated, cosmopolitan culture, aren't we?  :P  Lisa  :-]