January 31, 2009

Alphabetize Me!

A few years ago I heard a phrase that irritated me.

My children came home from school with homework where they had to put things in "ABC order." Would that also be known as alphabetical order? Why can't we just call it that? At home, that is what we call it.

In my grad class, we are doing this group annotated bibliography, and I've seen several of my classmates refer to the "ABC order" we need to use. What is wrong with alphabetical order? Am I losing my mind, or is alphabetical not a real word? It's pretty self explanatory, too--even for elementary students to understand.

I hate to say it, but I think the people using it are elementary teachers. They say weird things sometimes. I learned about hot dog and hamburger folds from them, and that really helps since the kids know about those, so sometimes those weird little things help. Although...horizontal and vertical should suffice, don't you think? Plus, I can't talk about hot dogs and hamburgers at certain times of the day without evoking distracting thoughts of lunch. Oh well, the scaffolding is there. It saves time.

But ABC order? Is that really necessary?

Do people also use 123 order?

If I go to work in an office, will my boss tell me to put things in ABC order? That would be funny.

Do we secondary school teachers say weird things, too?

I mean, other than what I caught myself saying to another teacher the other day: "You can't trust him; he totally tried to jack my shit when I wasn't looking!" That was a momentary lapse of class and age, but other than that...do we use weird terms, too?

Disclaimer: I say weird, inappropriate, and incorrect things. It's true. If it irritates you, tell me and I'll probably stop doing it. That doesn't include cool slang, though. I'm not quitting my slang.

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