Grow the Grammar Nerds

Ugh, I forgot that I was going to blog about this and now I’m not going to be able to remember the exact wording. This morning, on NPR, dude said, “blah blah blah grow the economy.” And I keep hearing this use of “grow” that just sounds nails on chalkboard wrong to me, but I’m hearing it so often that I’m wondering if I’m just wrong.

Let’s take this sentence, which sounds wrong to me:

Obama will grow the economy through taxing the shit out of you. Ha ha ha, conservatives.”

Or this:

Economists hope the additional jobs will help grow the economy.

I would write those sentences as “Obama will help the economy grow by taxing the shit out of you.” and “Economists hope the additional jobs will help to grow the economy.”

I think something like “The farmer will grow corn this summer” is fine. But “The farmer will grow his household income by adding corn to his crops” absolutely does not. I also would think that “The farmer fed his kids cheese in order to grow healthy bones” is fine but “The farmer will grow his kids by feeding them cheese” sounds wrong.

Weigh in here, people. Do you think this is just a regional variation in use of grow or are these fuckers misusing it?

It could be a regional thing. I mean, I think that you can go towards the door even by walking backwards and I can’t break myself of it, even though I know it’s more correct to go toward and backward. But man, it grates on me.


4 thoughts on “Grow the Grammar Nerds

  1. Aunt B.,

    I think ‘grow the economy’ is a catch phrase designed to convey a broad goal {economic growth} among people who disagree with each other about the specific methods. ‘Growing the economy’ involves so many different things like lower unemployment, higher wages, greater exports etc that it is sort of meaningless.

  2. They meant to say “Economists hope additional sunshine vitamin C will help grow their hair.”

  3. It’s absolutely and utterly wrong. But like Mark Rodgers says, it’s a catchphrase. It joins “Live Green”, “Think Different” and others of that ilk in the “catchy but wrong” slogan department.

  4. I’m with Coble here. It is definitely ugly, awkward, and wrong. But it isn’t a complete tooth-grinder for me because it’s redolent of “incent/incentivize” and other unabashed corporate gobbledygook. (Hey, auto-correct knows that word!)

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