March 4 – National Grammar Day

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I have a problem with “swag”. A serious problem with the way that people are using the word “swag”. It’s not just the people who are saying it: that is irrelevant, although it doesn’t surprise me that those using the word in the incorrect context are doing so, because those who use the word in such a manner are people usually associated with lower intelligence. The Free Online Dictionary provides the following definitions for “swag”:

swag
n.
1.
a. An ornamental drapery or curtain draped in a curve between two points.
b. An ornamental festoon of flowers or fruit.
c. A carving or plaster molding of such an ornament.
2. Promotional items, especially when given for free, considered as a group.
3. Slang Stolen property; loot.
4. Australian The pack or bundle containing the personal belongings of a swagman.

Notice none of those definitions can be applied to a person? If you say a person has “swag” you are saying that they are in possession of something stolen, ornamental or used for camping. I very much doubt this is what people have in mind when they say someone has “swag”, as a quick Google image search of the term will come up with a distinct lack of such items. This is the problem. If people want to say that someone is cocky, confident and “cool” then they should be saying that the person has swagger. Not swag. “Swagger” is a real word: it means “Walk or behave in a very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive way: “he swaggered along the corridor”.”
My point is the popular use of swag is stupid and incorrect. It’s similar to saying someone has “sty” instead of style. Aaaaaand that’s my bitch over for National Grammar Day. Grammar Nazi out!

~ Darcie Rae

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