Versus vs. Verse

Here’s another example of the language changing due to ignorance, which is something that bothers me because I am one of Those People.

Before anybody jumps on that statement to point out that language is always changing and it’s pedantic and fruitless to try to stop it, I’d like to say that I do know this. However, I make a distinction between:

  • changes that occur because we need new meanings and new words to express stuff that humans need to express (good or at least acceptable changes),
    and
  • changes that occur because people are ignorant and lazy and not lovers of words (bad changes that I can’t do anything about, but that I like to complain about).

With that out of the way, my topic today is the fact that many (too many) people no longer say “versus” when they want to make a comparison, but are now saying “verse.” I think this is because they have seen the abbreviation (vs. or v) but don’t actually know the long form.

Once again, this is being done by people who are supposedly well educated. Everybody seems to have a college degree nowadays, but our institutions of higher education are dropping the ball on this. These folks know enough to try to use this Latinate expression (yay, education) but not enough to say it correctly (boo, education).

Get with it people, if only out of kindness to People Like Me.

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