Word Abuse: CHECK + OUT


Why does everyone, now-a-days, have to “check” everything “out”? Is it not enough simply “to check”, “to examine”, or “to endorse” it? [EDITOR’S NOTE:   Be very careful when writing “endorse”; we strongly suspect that this word doesn’t exist!    Or, rather, shouldn’t exist!    Fowler said so, and he hasn’t changed his mind yet!     Make sure to not print this on the web-site.     Also, that split infinitive and that sentence-initial “Also” and that use of the phrase “sentence-initial” has caused my retinas to bleed – Ed.] For some people apparently it is not!   They do not have enough synonyms and think it makes them sound clever or assertive to yelp “check it out boyee” in order to impress some similar subhuman.    What on earth is wrong with, “examine it boyee”, for Heaven’s sake?    The world is changing and we’re being left behind.   Thank goodness we have this web-site to rein these high-spirited junkies in.

To clarify: in Proper English, the only thing that one can “check out” is a book at the library.   Or at least, until last week this was the case.    I ventured to my local bibliothèque recently and told the librarian,
“I would like to check out some books”, and she retorted, “Certainly, you may check out up to eight books”.   At this point I was all like, “Do you mean check out in the sense of ‘examining eight books to see whether they be “Cool”?’. Or in the traditional sense of my loaning and taking with me seven or eight delightful copies of the latest edition of Strunk and White which is even finer and more up-to-date than the last?”
, by which point she had taken two phone calls and was busy, so I left despondently.    I did not make this story up.

Anyway, it is by now clear that check out is ruining the language and the world, but its days are numbered!    We at the Proper English Foundation shall endeavour not to print this phrase, thus not giving it the Oxygens of Publicity (OOPs).     It’s as William Strunk said: “The best way to stop someone saying the wrong words is to cut off their air supply”. (Presumed quote) 

 
 

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