Friday, November 4, 2011

Get a Grip!

All my life -- long, currently dreary -- I've corrected "ahold" to "a hold," as in, "to get a hold of" someone, convinced that writers who spelled it as one word were, in a word, morons, like those folks who improperly apostrophize, as in "I sent you some photo's of our trip to Yosemite."

So I'm rereading The Naked and the Dead and here's Norman Mailer, no moron -- well, in most ways; let's not discuss his views of women which, as is quite clear from TNATD, are, let's say, a catalogue of Madonna-whore complexes without much of the Madonna part -- here, as I said, is Norman Mailer using the word "ahold" a lot (not "alot").

So I look it up and it turns out that several dictionaries allow this execrescence, so I guess I can no longer automatically consign those who use it to morondom. I suppose it's no crazier than "awhile" -- and I'd never write "come and sit a while" -- so I suppose I can't complain.  Even though I still don't like it.

Just in case you were wondering what I thought on the subject.

P.S. Spellcheck does not approve of "ahold."


  1. Dude--I think you should sit awhile and get ahold of yourself. This happens to alot of people.


    P. S. Love TNATD, and yes: Mailer = no moron. Loved The Executioner's Song too.

  2. God knows we all have our hot button issues. Me? I can hardly get through the day without double digit rants on one subject or another.

    Truth is, I don't need any reason -- grammatical or otherwise -- to consign people to morondom,and I don't think you should let this sudden discovery stop you from doing so either. It's not easy sitting in judgment but damn it, somebody's gotta do it.

    I'll admit, however, that I have mellowed with age. I realize now that it's no longer acceptable to slap people in the face when they misuse the word "literally."

  3. My equivalent was discovering that uber-literate British writers use "try and."

  4. Spellcheck (spell-check? spell check?) can be pretty moronic also (all so?)

  5. I was going to say the same as Paul. I just learned two weeks ago that "try and" is not incorrect. I was outraged!