Friday, June 17, 2016


Since beginning Sue's News in 2010, I have written seven times in CRINGE, FAYETTE COUNTY TALK, about the use (misuse) of the word IDEAL being used in place of the word IDEA.  I have often wondered, "Is it only in Fayette County that people do not know the difference between IDEAL and IDEA?"  Recently, as I have been in contact with a large number of diverse people, I notice the prevalence of the problem.

Several years ago, at a Candidate's Forum, one of the candidates for public office said, "I have no ideal." in response to one of the questions being asked.  I cringed, mainly because he is from my political party.

I asked the Chair of our Party, "Will you please tell him the difference between IDEAL and IDEA?"

I no longer quiz or correct people about this peculiar usage;   however, several years ago I did talk to a friend because she also says IDEAL for IDEA.  She told me that her whole family says IDEAL.  I asked, "Didn't any teacher ever tell you the difference?"    She was confounded, and after my saying "IDEA", she would repeat after me, "IDEAL." I asked, "Do you know that they are two different words with two completely different meanings?" She stated that she cannot HEAR the difference.

I read that was the same problem--with people who say "AKS" or "AXE" for "ASK"--that they cannot HEAR the difference.  HOW can this be?  It is very difficult to believe how our Fayette County School System has failed its students.

In checking the Internet, I learned that the use of IDEAL in place of IDEA is mostly a problem in the North.  Of course, people from Massachusetts say "IDEAR" rather than "IDEAL", but that is just regional dialect, rather than actually NOT knowing the difference between the two words.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I heard IDEAL for IDEA yesterday! ML