A hella annoying expression

Recently, I was asked if, as a Bay Area native, I liked to use the word “hella.” I replied with an emphatic negative. My friends laughingly responded that they could never imagine me using the word, apparently deeming my vocabulary too conservative for such an expression. Little did they know, I harbor a substantially different motivation — a repulsion toward the misleading and ungrammatical nature of “hella.”

Presumably, “hella” is a contraction of the phrase “hell of a.” Though grammatically fine, this phrase is problematic when used simply to describe an extreme. After all, the word “hell” indicates utter horror, not just an extreme. So when someone says he had a “hell of a time,” I can only conclude that he experienced intense distress. And if that person says it with an exuberant look on his face, I can only scratch my head and wonder at the contradictions of life.

But the contraction “hella” is even worse, as it practically throws grammar out the window. A typical sentence using “hella” would resemble this: “That midterm was hella hard.” When I hear this, I mentally expand the contraction so the sentence becomes, “That midterm was hell of a hard.” Naturally, this leaves me in inner turmoil as I despairingly wait for the speaker to finish the sentence. Hell of a hard what? No one provides an answer. So I quietly add “exam” to the end of the unfinished sentence to ease my mental unrest.

Even more disturbing is a sentence such as this: “I hella aced the test.” Expanded, the sentence would read, “I hell of a aced the test.” This kind of grammar I can’t even begin to fix; I must simply turn my attention to happier things to avoid a hysterical breakdown.

What bothers me most is that the people I know who use the phrase “hella” are perfectly aware that a noun should follow a preposition such as “of.” Anyone who stated “that was heaven of tasty!” would immediately be recognized as grammatically challenged. But people never quite seem to consider what they’re saying when they use “hella.”

So the next time you’re about to use the word “hella,” stop to consider how appropriate and grammatical the expression really is. You don’t want to sound hella uneducated to people like me.

Read more here: http://www.dailycal.org/2014/10/15/hella-annoying-expression/
Copyright 2017