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Mr Manifesto
16th February 2004, 04:34 AM
Warning: This is a language wankers' thread. If you're the sort person who can't stand seeing people tiredly whinge about how the English language is being "raped", you'll hate this thread.

Here are some minor language abuses that really hack me off. If you're really bored, you can search my previous posts and see how many of the below I use.

Using 'Alternate' Instead of 'Alternative'
This one goes first, because it's the least offense in the language world. The reason being, it's a confusing rule. You usually use 'alternate' only when you refer something going to a state from x to y then back to x again.

eg, "The light flashed alternately red and green."

When most people use 'alternate', they actually mean 'alternative'. How many times have you heard 'alternate strategy'?

The kicker, though, is that there is an exception to this rule. When you talk about an alternative universe (like one where JFK didn't get assassinated and yada yada yada), you actually say 'alternate universe'. This is because so many American authors have used the term, it'd be more confusing to use the proper word than to keep going with what we have.

So, even though these words were just made to be mixed up with one another, I still get hacked off when people do it.

'Ongoing' Instead of 'Continuing'
The main reason I hate this is because usually the only people who use the word 'ongoing' are tossers of the highest order. But really, why use an awkword contraction when there's a perfectly good verb all ready to use?

Putting Something in French to Make Yourelf Sound Cool
This is becoming de rigueur among journos, sadly the left-leaning ones are more guilty of this than the right. Usually involves using a French phrase that you don't know the meaning of. Fortunately, not so many people are using a mauled version of the 'Plus ca change...' quote as used to be.

Yada, Yada, Yada
Look, if you can't be bothered to write a decent sentence, don't write it, okay? I hate this one used in everyday speech as well. Office workers most guilty of using it.

Memory Hole
This sets my teeth on edge. In fact, I think I just snapped a molar.

Ramp Up
This phrase conjures up many images, all of them homosexual. That's why so many journos and newsreaders use this term, to indulge their suppressed homoerotic impulses. That's my theory, I don't care if you think I'm projecting.

'-gate' Suffix
I hope I don't need to explain this one.

One Sentence Paragraphs
Usually used by ***** thick journos who managed to suck-@$$ their way to their own opinon columns.
It's great for two reasons.
It makes every sentence heavy with depth and meaning.
And, it uses up more column inches with less words.
Lucky, because the journos who use this style usually can't sustain an idea for a whole 500 words.

LuxFerum
16th February 2004, 05:38 AM
The ongoing rape of the english is a memory hole that contain exactly the alternate yada, yada, yada that Bill-gates is doing to ramp up microsoft, comprenez-vous ?:D

bug_girl
16th February 2004, 08:57 AM
the thing that drives me nuts is random use of appostrophes.
i.e, "Potatoe's"

Morwen
16th February 2004, 09:26 AM
Mr. Manifesto, I don't know if you did this on purpose, but... That word you created, "awkword", to denote a clumsy or ill-conceived use of the language, is a gem. I love it. I intend to start using it from now on. And it can be a verb, and a noun too!

LucyR
16th February 2004, 09:40 AM
"Uses of the Language that Hack Me Off" - that's pretty appalling for a start.

"Ramp up"? Slang term of electrical engineers and their ilk.

"This is this kicker...." I hate this expression.

Monketey Ghost
16th February 2004, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by bug_girl
the thing that drives me nuts is random use of appostrophes.
i.e, "Potatoe's"

Lessee... started a sentence with a lower case t... one too many pee's in apostrophe... one too many e's in potatos...

My English is perfect, however.

:p

Monketey Ghost
16th February 2004, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto
...(like one where JFK didn't get assassinated and yada yada yada...

...Yada, Yada, Yada
Look, if you can't be bothered to write a decent sentence, don't write it, okay?

This was en purposse, oui? (and, oui, I don't know French and just made up my own. I call it "Better French than real French")

:D

asthmatic camel
16th February 2004, 11:07 AM
Microsoft did fairly well in the piss-poor language stakes with "Based on NT technology". Based on new technology technology ? WTF ?

Gregory
16th February 2004, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto

'Ongoing' Instead of 'Continuing'
The main reason I hate this is because usually the only people who use the word 'ongoing' are tossers of the highest order. But really, why use an awkword contraction when there's a perfectly good verb all ready to use?

Because "ongoing" rolls off the tongue more smoothly than "continuing." At least I think it does. What's a tosser, anyway?

Melissa Johnson
16th February 2004, 12:52 PM
I've ranted about this word before:

impact

fer example:

..."It still remains to be seen how the new tax will impact those of us in certain income brackets..."



AIGGGH!

If it ain't about a meteorite or a wisdom tooth, I don't want to hear anything about impact ...

Not that anyone really seems to care. I've heard it cropping up all over in such context lately but I still refuse to use it, and I'll keep whining every time I hear it used that way...:D

Melissa Johnson
16th February 2004, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by Gregory


Because "ongoing" rolls off the tongue more smoothly than "continuing." At least I think it does. What's a tosser, anyway?

I think the term continuing on should be erased from the lexicon as well...it's icky.

sorgoth
16th February 2004, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Gregory


Because "ongoing" rolls off the tongue more smoothly than "continuing." At least I think it does. What's a tosser, anyway?

I agree. I use ongoing, just because it sounds nicer.

scribble
16th February 2004, 02:09 PM
"Disconnect"

As in "There was a disconnect between the marketing people and the programming staff."

IF you're going to use a word like that, then the word you are looking for is "disconnection." Disconnect is a verb. Don't nounify it, you bastiges!

Better yet, why not just say what you're trying to say?

Peter Jenkins
16th February 2004, 02:11 PM
Teen girl 1: "And I was like 'What?', and he was like 'Yeah' and I was like 'no way' and he was like 'Yeah!' and I was like" {holds hand up as if to indicate a 'halt' signal}
Teen girl 2: "No! I'd be like '**** off'"

Actual conversation heard on public transport recently.
Peter

Mr Manifesto
16th February 2004, 02:34 PM
WTF can you say about this passage?:

Beonic also provides unique, industrial-strength digital video technology for in-store security surveillance and monitoring. It effectively delivers twice the value to stores.

Beonic Media Press Release (http://www.beonic.com/media_jun2003.html)

Well, I suppose they could have used the phrase, 'very unique', but otherwise still a good example of language-mauling. "Industrial-strength digitial video technology"? And what's up with their use of 'effectively'?

epepke
16th February 2004, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto
Putting Something in French to Make Yourelf Sound Cool
This is becoming de rigueur among journos, sadly the left-leaning ones are more guilty of this than the right.[/B]

I like to use French to make things sound sarcastic.

My pet peeve is when people, nearly all of them, pronounce "short-lived" with a short I. "Short-lived" is like "big-nosed" or "fat-assed." The hyphen tells you it's a compound adjective, and the second word is a noun. People who are short-lived don't have a short live; they have a short life, with a long "i." The only reason that it isn't "short-lifed" is that there's a morphophonemic transformation from "f" to "v" when some suffixes are added.

mummymonkey
16th February 2004, 05:13 PM
I can't get worked up about short-lived rhyming with tort-ribbed.
There are worse crimes; such as speaking every sentence as if it where a question? I think the Australians started that? People who speak like that also sprinkle their sentences with like, lots of extra words? I don't like, like that.

Brown
16th February 2004, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by epepke
My pet peeve is when people, nearly all of them, pronounce "short-lived" with a short I. "Short-lived" is like "big-nosed" or "fat-assed." The hyphen tells you it's a compound adjective, and the second word is a noun. People who are short-lived don't have a short live; they have a short life, with a long "i." The only reason that it isn't "short-lifed" is that there's a morphophonemic transformation from "f" to "v" when some suffixes are added. I'm with you on this.

bug_girl
16th February 2004, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by No Answers
Lessee... started a sentence with a lower case t... one too many pee's in apostrophe... one too many e's in potatos...

the first two are correct, but the "potatoe's" was an example of the sort of thing that makes me nuts.
not only is it not posessive (potatoes' what??) but the apostrophe is in the wrong place. i see this a lot in groceries: "Tomatoe's $1.00"
everything seems to be posessive if it has an S.

(and i reserve the right to randomly capitalize when not at work.:p )

Mercutio
16th February 2004, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto
Warning: This is a language wankers' thread. If you're the sort person who can't stand seeing people tiredly whinge about how the English language is being "raped", you'll hate this thread.
.....

One Sentence Paragraphs
Usually used by ***** thick journos who managed to suck-@$$ their way to their own opinon columns.
It's great for two reasons.
It makes every sentence heavy with depth and meaning.
And, it uses up more column inches with less words.
Lucky, because the journos who use this style usually can't sustain an idea for a whole 500 words. Please..."fewer" words.

Mr Manifesto
16th February 2004, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by Mercutio
Please..."fewer" words.

I was writing in the style of those journalists. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. :D

LucyR
16th February 2004, 07:56 PM
Sticking to?...or sticking with?

Ove
16th February 2004, 11:01 PM
If it only was a new debate.:rolleyes:

Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter,
Condemned by every syllable she ever uttered.
By law she should be taken out and hung,
For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.
"Aaoooww!" ........ " Aaoooww"

Heaven's! What a noise!
This is what the British population,
Calls an elementary education.
Counsel, I think you picked a poor example.
Did I?
Hear them down in Soho square,
Dropping "h's" everywhere.
Speaking English anyway they like.

You sir, did you go to school? - Wadaya tike me for, a fool?

No one taught him 'take' instead of 'tike!

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction, by now, Should be antique.
If you spoke as she does, sir, Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too!
Hear a Yorkshireman, or worse,
Hear a Cornishman converse,
I'd rather hear a choir singing flat.
Chickens cackling in a barn Just like this one!

"Garn"!

I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that?
It's "Aoooow" and "Garn" that keep her in her place.
Not her wretched clothes and dirty face.

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction by now should be antique.
If you spoke as she does, sir, Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too.

An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him,
The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him.
One common language I'm afraid we'll never get.
Oh, why can't the English learn to set
A good example to people whose
English is painful to your ears?
The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely
disappears.

In America, they haven't used it for years!

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks have taught their Greek.
In France every Frenchman knows
his language fro "A" to "Zed"
The French never care what they do, actually,
as long as they pronounce in properly.
Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning.
And Hebrews learn it backwards,
which is absolutely frightening.
But use proper English you're regarded as a freak.
Why can't the English,
Why can't the English learn to speak?



:D :D :D

Always Free
17th February 2004, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by mummymonkey
I can't get worked up about short-lived rhyming with tort-ribbed.
There are worse crimes; such as speaking every sentence as if it where a question? I think the Australians started that? People who speak like that also sprinkle their sentences with like, lots of extra words? I don't like, like that.

Do you really believe that? Like, are you really being serious? Do we really give you that opinion? Can you like, give me an example of this? :p :D

Mr Manifesto
17th February 2004, 04:24 AM
Ngggh...

Neophilia
It started out harmlessly enough, with some fashion magazine declaring oxymoronically, "white is the new black." Of course, other fashion rags were titillated with this joke, not to mention ignorant of the shortness of its shelf-life. We were treated to, "Grey is the new black," "Pink is the new black," "Brown is..." well, you get the idea.

Unfortunately, so did they. And, if I may borrow from Cardinal Woolsey, once lodged there you could never ever get it out. Now we are treated to, "Retirement is the new adolescence" (Saga magazine); "Losing is the new winning" (Football365.com); "Are pets the new kids?" (Red Magazine); "If gay is the new straight, don't worry girls. Maybe bums are the new tits" (The Australian).*

Time and again some brain-dead journo pumps out a neophilism. I think we could ask for the death penalty for this one. It'll be the only way to weed it out of the language.




*No, I didn't find all these myself. These came from Private Eye, issue 1093, 14 Nov-27 Nov 2003.

Wudang
17th February 2004, 04:25 AM
"Infer" when "imply" is meant. My suspicion is that the great unwashed think this is the educated person's word for "imply" which is, in any case, usually used to justify wild leaps rather than either implication or inference.
"The fact that I am so wonderful infers that something-greater than me created me which can only be God"

BillyTK
17th February 2004, 09:16 AM
Nouning (sic) verbs makes me grind my teeth. As does -isming and -ising words; islamism and burglarising for example.

Wrath of the Swarm
17th February 2004, 09:24 AM
Aren't we confusing alter-nate, meaning "to switch back and forth", and alter-nit, "an alternative"?

I've heard plenty of secondary systems and "seconds" in a dueling sense referred to as alter-nits. I would like to see some cites suggesting that this is actually a mistake.

Marquis de Carabas
17th February 2004, 10:33 AM
I realize it's a lost battle already, but I loathe the word flammable.

(S)
17th February 2004, 10:42 AM
I have a hard time worrying about things like short-eyed short-lived. The euphony of the word outways any despair over its grammatical, linguistic, et cetera, impurity.

PS. Latin p0wnz3rz French

lofgoernost
17th February 2004, 11:03 AM
Have any of you ever heard the word schism pronounced sizm rather than skizm? Sizm is the dictionary pronunciation, but I have never heard it used by anyone but myself. In that instance my use of the word derailed the conversation and I have since, for the sake of maintaining the focus, returned to skizm.

Marquis de Carabas
17th February 2004, 11:15 AM
I usually say sizm, though I've had to explain it a few times. A quick glance through some dictionaries shows both sizm and skizm, with skizm being the preferred in only one source (http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/schism.html). Several also show the alternate alternative (:p) shizm.

sorgoth
17th February 2004, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by Marquis de Carabas
I usually say sizm, though I've had to explain it a few times. A quick glance through some dictionaries shows both sizm and skizm, with skizm being the preferred in only one source (http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/schism.html). Several also show the alternate alternative (:p) shizm.

I pronounce it shizm. :D


Flammable doesn't tick me off, inflammable does.

Marquis de Carabas
17th February 2004, 01:03 PM
So, every time someone talks about a combustible material, they piss one of us off, then? :D May I ask your problem with inflammable?

toad
18th February 2004, 03:25 AM
What about the oh-so-basic "you're" and "your". You're arguably illiterate if your knowledge doesn't allow you to understand the difference.

epepke
18th February 2004, 03:43 AM
Originally posted by bug_girl
the first two are correct, but the "potatoe's" was an example of the sort of thing that makes me nuts.
not only is it not posessive (potatoes' what??) but the apostrophe is in the wrong place. i see this a lot in groceries: "Tomatoe's $1.00"
everything seems to be posessive if it has an S.

(and i reserve the right to randomly capitalize when not at work.:p )

You're right. If it were one potato, it would be "the potato's eyes." If it were several, it would be "the potatoes' eyes," or if you follow Strunk, "the potatoes's eyes."

epepke
18th February 2004, 03:48 AM
Originally posted by epepke


You're right. If there were one potato, it would be "the potato's eyes." If there were several, it would be "the potatoes' eyes," or if you follow Strunk, "the potatoes's eyes."

Also note http://angryflower.com/aposter.html

bug_girl
18th February 2004, 05:41 AM
Originally posted by epepke
You're right. If it were one potato, it would be "the potato's eyes." If it were several, it would be "the potatoes' eyes," or if you follow Strunk, "the potatoes's eyes."

OMG! epepke and i agree on something! [falls off chair in dead faint] :D

Psi Baba
18th February 2004, 06:10 AM
Originally posted by Wrath of the Swarm
Aren't we confusing alter-nate, meaning "to switch back and forth", and alter-nit, "an alternative"?

I've heard plenty of secondary systems and "seconds" in a dueling sense referred to as alter-nits. I would like to see some cites suggesting that this is actually a mistake.
Well, there is a noun form of "alternate" as in "choose an alternate in case your first choice is unavailable," or "The jury consisted of 12 jurors and 2 alternates." I don't know if it's being misused in place of "substitute," but this usage of "alternate" (unlike "substitute") suggests that the occurance of the substitution is contingent upon a certain condition. An alternate is a potential substitute.

flammable, inflammable, nonflammable: Like George Carlin said, "Either it flams or it doesn't flam, why are there three of them?"

This is a good thread, I'd like to see it ongo. ;)

VicDaring
18th February 2004, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by sorgoth

Flammable doesn't tick me off, inflammable does.

I work in a marketing department, where we're in love with the word, "invaluable."

For a while, I kept dropping the prefix on anything that crossed my desk, but I've since given in.

JesFine
18th February 2004, 01:37 PM
I made a list with some of these language peeves, but I should of kept a better eye on it. I set it down someplace and when I turned asunder, all the sudden it was gone -- which begs the question: Why didn't I pay more attention? Next time I'll try and do a better job of protecting it.

mummymonkey
18th February 2004, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Psi Baba
Well, there is a noun form of "alternate" as in "choose an alternate in case your first choice is unavailable," or "The jury consisted of 12 jurors and 2 alternates." I don't know if it's being misused in place of "substitute," but this usage of "alternate" (unlike "substitute") suggests that the occurance of the substitution is contingent upon a certain condition. An alternate is a potential substitute.

Surely alternative is better? Alternate sounds odd to me in that context. I would use it as an adjective like this - "Martha and I work alternate days".
Using alternate as an alternative to alternative may be a US thing?

Soapy Sam
19th February 2004, 09:40 AM
What a bunch of cunning linguistic analysts we are, to be sure.

Michael Redman
20th February 2004, 05:39 AM
Yes, Sam, my wife tells me I'm a cunning linguist.

In my job a see a lot of bad writing. A lot of people seem to write phonetically, as though they were taught the letters and the sounds they make, but not how to actually spell any words. I often see:

"no" instead of "know"
"new" instead of "knew" (and sometimes "know" and "knew" instead of "no" and "new", strangely.)
"could of" instead of "could've" or "could have". Or would, should, etc. I see this frequently.

It's usually fair warning that you are about to read some really tortured language when you see the statement is hand written on ragged spiral notebook paper.

Maybe I should look for an alternate job.

Psi Baba
20th February 2004, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by mummymonkey

Surely alternative is better? Alternate sounds odd to me in that context. I would use it as an adjective like this - "Martha and I work alternate days".
Using alternate as an alternative to alternative may be a US thing?
In your example, "alternate" is correct. I would never say, "Martha and I work on alternative days," unless I meant we worked on days that people normally don't work. But to say, "The jury consists of 12 jurors and 2 alternatives," to me sounds bizarre. It sounds like what is being suggested is having something that is other than a juror--something that is not a juror, rather than a mere replacement (I guess the whole conundrum could be avoided altogether by using "replacement" instead). "Alternative" suggests something different than what is normally the case or what is usually chosen--other possibilities. I suppose the connotations of these words are much stronger than the denotations, and that perhaps, as you suggested, they are different on the two sides of the Atlantic.

Mr Manifesto
21st February 2004, 04:42 AM
Originally posted by JesFine
I made a list with some of these language peeves, but I should of kept a better eye on it. I set it down someplace and when I turned asunder, all the sudden it was gone -- which begs the question: Why didn't I pay more attention? Next time I'll try and do a better job of protecting it.

Yes, you should have, because someone might have mentioned how sick they are of people saying 'should of' when they mean 'should've'.

Now, don't get upset. Like I say, you can always trawl through my previous posts and see how many grammatical errors I make.

(S)
21st February 2004, 07:34 AM
Do you mean typing when you say saying? Or do want 'should've' to be pronounced aloud something like 'should av' or 'should iv'?

JesFine
21st February 2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto
Yes, you should have, because someone might have mentioned how sick they are of people saying 'should of' when they mean 'should've'.

Now, don't get upset. Like I say, you can always trawl through my previous posts and see how many grammatical errors I make. Interesting... I made a list with some of these language peeves, but I should of kept a better eye on it. I set it down someplace and when I turned asunder, all the sudden it was gone -- which begs the question: Why didn't I pay more attention? Next time I'll try and do a better job of protecting it.Now let's brikka-break it down I should of kept Should be "I should have kept"turned asunderShould be "turned around". It is impossible to turn asunder as far as I can imagine. You can, however, be torn asunder. I have only heard this a few times, and I think it sounds cool, but it is incorrect, nonetheless.all the suddenShould be "all of a sudden". OK, I'm not 100% sure of this, but I'm pretty sure. Grammar Nazis correct me if I'm wrong.which begs the question: Why didn't I pay more attention?Should be "which raises the question". I hate this one. I refused to vote for Gavin Newsom in the mayoral election because he used "begs the question" incorrectly on his website.I'll try and doShould be "I'll try to do". Another one that stems from a disconnect between speech and writing.

So, I wonder if I did all those on purpose or not? ;)

By the way, here's one that bugs me: "In a word". People will say something like "In a word: I have perfect grammar." Now clearly, "I have perfect grammar" is not a word. Yet this is a perfectly acceptable use of that phrase. Makes no sense.

iSani
21st February 2004, 03:52 PM
I literally feel ten times better than I did before.

First there's my pet math peeve. Is "ten times better" the same as "eleven times as good"? Besides this, what really gets on my nerves is the misused word "literally", which seems to imply that good feelings can be objectively quantified. (Then again, is it possible to feel figuratively better?)

iSani
21st February 2004, 04:00 PM
Just as I'd finished typing my post, I turn to the news and what do I see?
Police in Finland reportedly hand out record speeding fine
What on Earth is that "reportedly"? It has the feel of a weaselly legal disclaimer tacked onto a headline. Isn't there any better way to say you're quoting an outside source?

Mercutio
21st February 2004, 04:18 PM
This thread makes my brain hurt! I know that most of the errors here are intentional, but still...



Ok, just one example to add. "Literally". Please, people, if you say "literally", mean "literally"! I am literally ready to explode here! (not.)

Mr Manifesto
21st February 2004, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by JesFine
I hate this one. I refused to vote for Gavin Newsom in the mayoral election because he used "begs the question" incorrectly on his website.

I love you! Spoken like the true language wanker! A person after my own heart. Marry me. I don't care if you're male, you live in San Fran, don't you?

Oh, wait...


Another one that stems from a disconnect between speech and writing.

Where did this crappy 'a disconnect between' come from, anyway? The noun form of 'disconnect' is 'disconnection' or, for the ultimate wanker (a rank I have yet to aspire to), 'disconnexion'. This sentence should read "...stems from a disconnection between...".

Sorry, Jessie, the wedding is off.

Mr Manifesto
21st February 2004, 07:30 PM
But never mind JesFine, for the leaders in the field of language mauling, look no further than the bane of a civil society- managers.

Here's a question from a survey handed out by 'human resources' (or, for those of us who speak English, "staff") managers at the BBC:

Within BBCi, Senior Managers devote a LARGE (their capitals, looks like "Skeptic" has been helping them draft their questions) amount of personal energy, time and focused attention to build and maintain implementation of common world class core processes which align the business actions and perspectives with the key tasks it needs to perform well and which ensures that those tasks are performed effectively and in a consistent fashion ('we strive for consistency whereever possible, we actively avoid reinventing the wheel.')

(my parentheses in red, theirs in default colour)

WTF can you say about that? That's right, no-one's going to read it, let alone put either a '1' for 'agree' or a '5' for 'disagree'.

I think that this should be a challenge: summarise the above nonsense in plain English, preferably with as few words as possible (but still intelligible, no good being as bad as the managers).

Mr Manifesto
21st February 2004, 07:32 PM
Where are my manners? The above quote came from Private Eye 1093.

varwoche
22nd February 2004, 03:15 PM
When word use "hacks me off" the writer seems like a doofus. Whereas if I'm the abuser, the complainer seems like someone who doesn't understand that language changes. Ongoing.

varwoche

Mr Manifesto
22nd February 2004, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by varwoche
When word use "hacks me off" the writer seems like a doofus. Whereas if I'm the abuser, the complainer seems like someone who doesn't understand that language changes. Ongoing.

varwoche

Techinically, the language should only change if there is a need for it to change. But there will always be morons who think they sound more learned if they invent compound words to drop at every board meeting.

toad
22nd February 2004, 04:15 PM
"Liberry" sets off every homicidal tendency I have.

Mr Manifesto
22nd February 2004, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by toad
"Liberry" sets off every homicidal tendency I have.

See a psychiatrist. Don't end up like me. I went postal the tenth time I heard "oft-en".

In Australia, there is plenty of occasion for me to vent my anger. I was born in Canada, so I don't like hearing 'salt', 'milk' and 'silver' being pronounced with "w's" ('sawt', 'miwk', 'siwver'). I also not only hate the way Australians call beets 'beetroot' (why don't they call carrots 'carrotroot'?), I hate the way it takes them half an hour to say it ('beetrooooooooooooot').

There is no 'th' sound in Australia. You frow a ball, sometimes frough a hoop, and if you're far enough away when you frow it, you get free points. I met a man called Forbes once. I had to ask him, "Is that 'Forbes' or 'Thorbes'?

Cheese. Gawd, how I hate the Aussie pronunciation of 'cheese'. They put a 'y' in there somewhere. I can't tell you where, but it's in there. You Yanks don't know what pain is: "Crikey" is the least of it.

I used to hate the way they put an 'r' in @$$hole. But I must admit, there are times when '********' has it's uses (I like to use the word to describe someone who is malicious) and times when only '@$$hole' will do (I call on this word to describe someone who is foolish or unworthy).


So, sometimes culture shock can enrich language.

Thumbo
22nd February 2004, 07:46 PM
There's one supermarket I use in preference to all the others near here just because it has a "ten items or fewer" checkout. All the others have "ten items or less".

Mr Manifesto
23rd February 2004, 04:26 AM
Originally posted by Thumbo
There's one supermarket I use in preference to all the others near here just because it has a "ten items or fewer" checkout. All the others have "ten items or less".

I applaud this sort of thing. Especially because it's a positive enforcement of good language. Whereas I'm more from the school of, "Punish the evil language users". Consequently, I tend to walk around town with a sledgehammer, cheerfully smashing all the chalkboard signs that say, "apple's 60c"; "Stop now before your over the hill!"; and "its a bargain!"

Mr Manifesto
23rd February 2004, 02:03 PM
Admirable decision, lousy grammar:

2.16.04
I was at the State of the Union, and I felt a real resolve on this issue.
-- San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom crediting George W. Bush for his decision to issue marriage licenses to gay couples

I guess this is a grammatical sniffle that's doing the rounds at the moment. Hopefully it won't have any permanent effects.

Edit- highlight problem word.

toad
23rd February 2004, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto
Hopefully it won't have any permanent effects.


Oh no! Having listened to the news today and having heard "Missourah" more times than I thought I could stand, I dropped by to vent my frustration only to find this.

Who are what is full of hope in this sentence? Hmm? ;)


Oh...and it's MissourI not MissourAH, you illiterate (this word has been deleted for the comfort of all)!

fishbob
24th February 2004, 12:21 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Within BBCi, Senior Managers devote a LARGE amount of personal energy, time and focused attention to build and maintain implementation of common world class core processes which align the business actions and perspectives with the key tasks it needs to perform well and which ensures that those tasks are performed effectively and in a consistent fashion ('we strive for consistency whereever possible, we actively avoid reinventing the wheel.')
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Manifesto sez:I think that this should be a challenge: summarise the above nonsense in plain English, preferably with as few words as possible (but still intelligible, no good being as bad as the managers).

Here goes:

BBC Senior Managers strive to implement standard operating procedures.

translation: We at BBC are having a bit of trouble getting the staff to spell correctly, report accurately, or follow directions. So dammit, we will obfuscate to make it look like we are doing it on purpose.

chmara
24th February 2004, 01:12 AM
Wow!

A thread on language, yea verily this long, that has not pointed out that english as she is spoken, is the lingua franca of this here modernish world we live in.

Sometimes, however, buzzwords and jargon can fun. One holiday my son told my love that he was interested in Unix. She wondered why he was interested in castrated men.

Education in language is more than putting a set of rules on a blackboard. It, to me, includes giving the student a good reason to understand how to communicate well in things that matter, and to know his frank opinion will be heard and evaluated, and respected as sincere communication -- not just a test of rules.

TheBoyPaj
24th February 2004, 01:53 AM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto
See a psychiatrist. Don't end up like me. I went postal the tenth time I heard "oft-en".

In Australia, there is plenty of occasion for me to vent my anger. I was born in Canada, so I don't like hearing 'salt', 'milk' and 'silver' being pronounced with "w's" ('sawt', 'miwk', 'siwver'). I also not only hate the way Australians call beets 'beetroot' (why don't they call carrots 'carrotroot'?), I hate the way it takes them half an hour to say it ('beetrooooooooooooot').

Beetroot is a legitimate word. It is in the dictionary, at least in England. However, "going postal" is not.

One things that annoys me about American language which has invaded the UK is the use of "regular" to mean "normal". I mean, it is a recognised usage but what was wrong with "normal"? We always used to say "normal". Regular to me means periodical or evenly spaced. I go the dentist regularly.

If I'm in a restaurant and they ask me if I want regular fries, I think: "no, I want them all at the same time. Now."

My toothpaste has a "great, regular flavour". That really pisses me off. Mind you, I have to admit that every time I clean my teeth, the flavour is there, regular as clockwork. I've never been brushing away and the flavour has come rushing in the door at the last minute saying "sorry I'm late. Traffic was a bitch."

Ladyhawk
24th February 2004, 12:57 PM
Major Pet Peeves: Mispronounced Words

These are the mispronounciations I hear on a daily basis from folks who make $20 - $50K more a year than I do....for their benefit, I submit the following:


The word is ES cape: not EX-scape Same goes for es pecially; it is not ex specially.

If I had a buck for every moron I've heard (including leading political figures and newscasters, no less) who have said pitcher when they meant picture (translated: pick-chure), I'd be a millionaire!

Also, how many people do you know who can correctly pronounce sta-tis-tics without saying something like 'sasistics'?

Last, but not least, it is like nails on a chalkboard when I hear people (regardless of ethnicity) say "Let me axe you something". The word is ASK, like TASK, like MASK....

That's all for now, but thanks for letting me rant.....I feel better!

Edited to correct a word

Lord Muck oGentry
24th February 2004, 03:55 PM
The UK government, I am frequently assured, is "delivering on" its policies. Speed the day, I say.

toad
24th February 2004, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by toad

Who are what is full of hope in this sentence? Hmm? ;)


Oh good grief. Who OR what, of course was the intent. I suppose this serves me right for being a brat. :(

Mr Manifesto
24th February 2004, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by chmara
Wow!

A thread on language, yea verily this long, that has not pointed out that english as she is spoken, is the lingua franca of this here modernish world we live in.



"english... is the lingua franca..."?
This sounds awfully like, "Brown is the new black".
I'll be keeping an eye on you.
You'll know I'm watching you by my one-sentence paragraphs.

Mr Manifesto
24th February 2004, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by toad


Oh no! Having listened to the news today and having heard "Missourah" more times than I thought I could stand, I dropped by to vent my frustration only to find this.

Who are what is full of hope in this sentence? Hmm? ;)


Don't force me to get into a sentence adverb debate, my friend. I have a copy of Fowler's, and it's itching to tear into you. ;)

DrMatt
25th February 2004, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto
Ngggh...

Neophilia
It started out harmlessly enough, with some fashion magazine declaring oxymoronically, "white is the new black." Of course, other fashion rags were titillated with this joke, not to mention ignorant of the shortness of its shelf-life. We were treated to, "Grey is the new black," "Pink is the new black," "Brown is..." well, you get the idea.

Unfortunately, so did they. And, if I may borrow from Cardinal Woolsey, once lodged there you could never ever get it out. Now we are treated to, "Retirement is the new adolescence" (Saga magazine); "Losing is the new winning" (Football365.com); "Are pets the new kids?" (Red Magazine); "If gay is the new straight, don't worry girls. Maybe bums are the new tits" (The Australian).*

Time and again some brain-dead journo pumps out a neophilism. I think we could ask for the death penalty for this one. It'll be the only way to weed it out of the language.




*No, I didn't find all these myself. These came from Private Eye, issue 1093, 14 Nov-27 Nov 2003.


On an Oberlin College alumni mailing list that I frequent, some guy started in about how "science is the new religion." I spent a couple of posts explaining how science and religion are nothing like each other, and a bunch of people started trying to shout me down, accusing me of making ad hominem attacks on them when they'd not even been parties to the conversation, etc.--all the stuff we've seen here, only generally phrased more coherently by highly intelligent people. What I'd posted was pretty uncontroversial, and basically said that the underlying values, objectives, and methods of science and religion are necessarily distinct from each other. What a big controversy--I thought I was going to get kicked off the list. Finally, the original poster came out and said that he meant that vicarious interest in scientific discovery is replacing religious fervor in many people's lives. He explained it by reference to the phrase "pink is the new black". He'd had the list fiercely divided for three weeks on the topic of whether science is a religion before he revealed this.

While "pink is the new black" could be a really nifty line in a poem under the right circumstances, it's worse than meaningless in conversation--people imbue this sort of thing with what they feel is "great meaning" and then fight over it with...well, with religious fervor. :a2:

Skeptic
25th February 2004, 11:14 AM
My pet peeve is people who cannot tell the difference between "its" and "it's", "your" and "you're", "they're" and "their", "who's" and "whose".

Misuse of apostrophes in general pisses me off. Lynne Truss's (or "Truss'"...) book, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves", gives a few hilarious examples of unintentional results from an ommitted or unneeded apostrophe:

Pupil's entrance (a very slective school)
Adult Learner's week (lucky him)
Dicks in tray (try not to think about it)
New members welcome drink (no doubt)
Cyclist's only (only what?)

And the best, from a sign seen during a KKK rally:

******'S OUT! (Sorry about that! He'll be back soon.)

zakur
20th May 2004, 08:00 AM
I can't stand it when people use the phrase "nuke it" to mean "cook it in a microwave." Do people think microwave ovens cook food through nuclear fission?

TheBoyPaj
20th May 2004, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Thumbo
There's one supermarket I use in preference to all the others near here just because it has a "ten items or fewer" checkout. All the others have "ten items or less".

Christ on a bike! A branch of Sainsbury's I used to frequent had a professionally printed sign which read "Frozen Turkey's"

Sainsbury's is the third biggest supermarket in the UK, and you can bet that there were thousands of those signs all over the country.

wollery
20th May 2004, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto
In Australia, there is plenty of occasion for me to vent my anger. I was born in Canada, so I don't like hearing 'salt', 'milk' and 'silver' being pronounced with "w's" ('sawt', 'miwk', 'siwver'). I also not only hate the way Australians call beets 'beetroot' (why don't they call carrots 'carrotroot'?), I hate the way it takes them half an hour to say it ('beetrooooooooooooot').

There is no 'th' sound in Australia. You frow a ball, sometimes frough a hoop, and if you're far enough away when you frow it, you get free points. I met a man called Forbes once. I had to ask him, "Is that 'Forbes' or 'Thorbes'?

Cheese. Gawd, how I hate the Aussie pronunciation of 'cheese'. They put a 'y' in there somewhere. I can't tell you where, but it's in there. You Yanks don't know what pain is: "Crikey" is the least of it.Never, ever visit South East England. You'll spend the entire time in shock! Particularly avoid Essex and East London (come to think of it, that's generally good advice ;) ).

Estuary English (as it is known) is awful to listen to. Not only do they have f (and occasionally v) in place of th, and w instead of l they also have the appalingly ear grating glottal stop. A d or t in the middle or at the end of a word is replaced by a punctuation. This means that butter becomes bu'er, metal becomes me'aw and middle becomes mi'aw, and that becomes va'. There are also the dropped h at the beginings of words, the dropped g from the -ing suffix, and the use of "innee" instead if "isn't he".

That, however, is accent, which can't be helped much (although I managed to lose my Middlesex accent). What really annoys me is the use of less instead of fewer, do these people not know the difference between continous and discrete measurement scales? Random apostrophes are annoying, but can also be humourous. I hate vocal interjections such as; init, like, y'know, dunnit.

But the one that really ticks me off, that leaves me seething with apoplectic rage, are the repetitive little phrases that people use like mantras; at the end of the day, in the final analysis, like I said, basically ( :mad: ). It isn't the words or phrases themselves that I object to, It's the way they needlessly invade every other sentence!
:hit:

chmara
20th May 2004, 11:45 AM
Praise the Lord -- someone has identified ticks that tick me off.

In -- hmm I cannot call it discussion -- but maybe I can call it listening and trying to get a word in every now and again -- with fundamentalist "born agains" the use of a tick has become clear.

My opinion is that it stops deeper thought -- and contains explanation of ideas into areas that the speaker "knows" are dogmatically safe.

That goes for teenage speak too -- if the encoding of an idea into language is not clear -- the tick phrase seems to be used to try and kick in a cultural commonality that would help clarify -- rather than elucidate.

So, like, praise the Lord -- what is the difference between a neo-conservative's closed mind and a neo-liberal's closed mind????

Michael Redman
20th May 2004, 01:36 PM
An employer, explaining to my department why they fired an employee:

"Jane did not process the communicative skills that were necessary for the job."

Dragonrock
20th May 2004, 02:15 PM
Since I lack language skills even though english is my first language, the only things that really bug me are the use of "irregardless" and the punctuation of sentences with "you know?" or "you know what I mean?" or "you know what I'm sayin?"

You know what I mean?

chmara
20th May 2004, 03:31 PM
During the 1950s my dad used to pull out the dictionary and prove irregardless was not a word because it did not appear. Then it started appearing as an improper usage. Have not checked lately -- but have m odern dictionaries now upgraded the word to slang ? I even hear it on the news == from peopples whom shuld no better.

Commonwealth Cousin
20th May 2004, 03:45 PM
Terminate with extreme prejudice.

Why not just, Kill the bastard!

Terminological inexactitude

Lies, it's all lies!

Graculus
20th May 2004, 07:04 PM
Pet peeve?

SAVE THE ADVERB!!!!!!

Sandy M
26th May 2004, 10:03 AM
Deliberate(?) "journalese" misspellings: It's kidnaPPed, not kidnaPed. Aargh! Drives me NUTS!

rppa
26th May 2004, 10:31 AM
Entre nous, the "french" usage that irritates me more than anything else is "wallah", which people use where obviously what is intended is "voila".

Barefoot Bree
28th May 2004, 05:43 AM
"nu-cue-lar"

It's enough to make me go nu-cle-ar whenever I hear it......

mummymonkey
28th May 2004, 06:40 AM
Like. It's like, so everywhere these days.

Nigel
28th May 2004, 07:11 AM
Using animal puns - any news story about a dog HAS to have the words, "dog-gone", as in "Here's a dog-gone funny story about a pooch..." and any story about a cat has to be "purrrr-fect". I spect we'll see a lot of "purrfect" usage when Catwoman comes out. If it does, I'll continuously projectile vomit until the film disappears.

Leif Roar
31st May 2004, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by Thumbo
There's one supermarket I use in preference to all the others near here just because it has a "ten items or fewer" checkout. All the others have "ten items or less".

But... "ten items or fewer" is wrong, isn't it? It should either be "ten items or less" or "ten or fewer items." The "less" doesn't refer back to "items", but rather to an unvoiced load of groceries which is measured in items. But it might just as well have been measured in kilograms, and you wouldn't say "Ten kilograms or fewer."

wildflower1
31st May 2004, 11:47 AM
* "Im-PORD-ant."

* The unnecessary "-cy" as in "competency."

* "-ize" - as in "incentivize."

zakur
1st June 2004, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by Leif Roar
But... "ten items or fewer" is wrong, isn't it? It should either be "ten items or less" or "ten or fewer items." The "less" doesn't refer back to "items", but rather to an unvoiced load of groceries which is measured in items. But it might just as well have been measured in kilograms, and you wouldn't say "Ten kilograms or fewer." http://www.lsa.umich.edu/eli/micase/Kibbitzer/Kibbitzer_4.htm

http://www.grammartips.homestead.com/pairs1.html

http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/commonerrorsinenglish.html

http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/oped/moore/04/grammar.htmlSupermarkets most commonly bungle this distinction, though some are starting to get it right. "Ten items or less" should read "ten items or fewer" or, better still, "ten or fewer items."

wollery
2nd June 2004, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by Leif Roar
But... "ten items or fewer" is wrong, isn't it? It should either be "ten items or less" or "ten or fewer items." The "less" doesn't refer back to "items", but rather to an unvoiced load of groceries which is measured in items. But it might just as well have been measured in kilograms, and you wouldn't say "Ten kilograms or fewer." Items are measured in discrete integer units and fewer is therefore the correct word to use regardles of where it comes in the sentence.

Sloe_Bohemian
3rd June 2004, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by Mr Manifesto
Here's a question from a survey handed out by 'human resources' (or, for those of us who speak English, "staff") managers at the BBC:


Within BBCi, Senior Managers devote a LARGE amount of personal energy, time and focused attention to build and maintain implementation of common world class core processes which align the business actions and perspectives with the key tasks it needs to perform well and which ensures that those tasks are performed effectively and in a consistent fashion ('we strive for consistency whereever possible, we actively avoid reinventing the wheel.')


You had asked for an interpreter?

I apologise if this has been done to death (I haven't finished reading all the posts, but wanted to attempt this).


I believe what they said was:
"Our senior managers try really hard to do what the popular kids do, which lets our managers know what to think and makes all of us do our jobs well most of the time. (We encourage all of our people to do things just like their neighbors do them. We don't want to have to learn what each of your jobs are.)"

Sloe_Bohemian
3rd June 2004, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by Sloe_Bohemian

I believe what they said was:
"Our senior managers try really hard to do what the popular kids do, which lets our managers know what to think and makes all of us do our jobs well most of the time. (We encourage all of our people to do things just like their neighbors do them. We don't want to have to learn what each of your jobs are.)"


I'm so sorry, I've immediately realized I made a mistake. It should read as:

"Our senior managers try really hard to do what the popular kids do, which saves our managers from having to think and makes all of us do our jobs well most of the time. (We encourage all of our people to do things just like their neighbors do them. We don't want to have to learn what each of your jobs are.)"


By the way, I am in no way agreeing with, nor attempting to justify, the statements. I am only trying to translate the words.

chmara
4th June 2004, 12:22 AM
Trying to translate that BBC bureacratese is as bad as trying to make sense of what American politicians have been saying to justify -- in my opinion - the unjustifyable invasion of Iraq. ow do you justify "A war on Terror" that invades a country that harbored no terrorists outside its own cruel government. By ex post facto statements that your ionvasion made that nation free for Democracy -- which has not been practiced in the region for many eons.

No weapons of mass destruction -- speak of plans of the tyrantto create such -- a tremendous thought crime no doubt but we in the USA do not convict people of just thinking of what they would like to be doing with people of the opposite sex...yet.

Maybe this nation is having a "mid-life crisis" in reacting to some zealots change of language -- such as sayong the founding fathers were all Christians. Indeed they were Theists -- but by no means promulgated any Christian Sect... or prayer circle substitute for civil authority. They knew that "morals" must be exibited by men and women in practice -- not imposed from the outside.

Which brings me to a Doctrine that really confounds the use of language for me. I first heard it from the Mormons --

"All mankind was put here to choose between right and wrong."

"We believe every man may choose to worship who what when and where they may."

Then effort and hard cash is put into legislation making sure no one does wrong in Utah by Mormon Standards -- eliminating choice of what LDS thinks is evil -- like liquor by the drink -- Sunday business openings.

Of course in Doctrine #2 -- IF you do choose to worship in other than the LDS style -- you are Damned -- even though LDS does not have a belief in hell as others.

Then of course -- the ultimate use of changed language -- The Lutheran Church trying Ministers and others for Heresy! Can Heretics try Heretics???

Creation Science???? Oxymoron.

Family Protection Act??? No way I would allow a child abusiong family be protected as has happened in Alabama.

War on Drugs? The pharmaceutical patent holders are winning.

War on Terror (Bele' Lagosi where are you when we need you.)


E Pluribus Unum -- sure has suffered since the end of the depression (1929). Maybe it is all an alchoholic delusion.

Fries my brain -- and so far-- in this generation -- very few witches. But who can tell what the future holds.

If we do not respect our language as
a tool of understandable and acceptable definitions --and not spin it with conflicting incompatible ideas that sound good but mean the opposite -- we will get into the 20th Century agan -- right into '84.

Zamzara
4th June 2004, 06:00 AM
1. Use of whom instead of who, usually by writers or speakers who think a longer or more 'formal' word is always better than a shorter one.

"Mrs Smith, whom they said was driving." [They said her was driving.]

"Whom shall I say is calling?" [Say that me am calling.]

2. Newsreaders using forensic as a synonym for scientific. Every dictionary I have ever seen defines it as 'relating to a court of law'. The confusion seems to have arisen because of the term 'forensic science' getting changed into 'forensic evidence'.

3. Greek words used in weird ways, or tacked onto English words.

Paedophile is a word I really hate. It implies someone who loves children, but is used to mean anyone who rapes, hurts, or kills children by the media.

Homophobia and worse, Islamophobia, are the two current PC buzzwords that won't go away.

4. Redundant words like ATM machine, PIN number, HIV virus etc.

TwoShanks
4th June 2004, 06:20 AM
"100s" and "1000s" to mean "hundreds" and "thousands" is something that hacks me off.

100 means "one hundred", 100s would mean "one hundreds". Meaningless idiocy, that's what it is.

wildflower1
4th June 2004, 04:38 PM
From the leaders of my company today:

"utilizate"

...in a reminder that certain reports were being "utilizated" by many departments.

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
6th June 2004, 05:38 AM
Epepke said:
You're right. If it were one potato, it would be "the potato's eyes." If it were several, it would be "the potatoes' eyes," or if you follow Strunk, "the potatoes's eyes."
You sure about this? The rule I learned was that you add "apostrophe s" unless the word ends with a zee sound, in which cases you add only an apostrophe.

Redman said:
"Jane did not process the communicative skills that were necessary for the job."
Huh? Are you sure he didn't say "possess"?

What really steams my britches is when people verbify words that aren't otherwise verbiferous.

~~ Paul

Sloe_Bohemian
6th June 2004, 12:14 PM
It drives me nuts when people in Iowa begin to assume a 'southern' accent... I think they feel it makes them feel more 'down to earth'.

But the word that makes me go around the bend is "soda" in reference to a soft drink. If people ask me for a 'soda' I'm inclined to get the box of white powder (baking soda) that we've put in the refrigerator to absorb oders and serve it to them.

Soda pop is admittedly an archaic word, but in this part of the country it has always been called "pop", not soda. But even people who've lived here all their lives will argue with me... I don't like historical revisions and denials.

sorgoth
6th June 2004, 05:27 PM
I am a teenager. Thus, I chat with many other teenagers.


There is one thing I'd like to say.

IS IT REALLY THAT HARD TO ADD TWO LETTERS TO A WORD?
"u" and "r" make you sound like a dumbass! I can't take anyone seriously who can't spell a three letter word!

Sloe_Bohemian
7th June 2004, 12:34 PM
Another regional concern that I've encountered is when people from the East Coast drop their -R's; water = watah; shower = shauwah, etc.

But a friend of mine from New Hampshire told me that they are saving all their -R's to send out to the MidWest; so that we can("warsh"/woarsh) our clothes, cars and dishes. That pretty much ended that argument.

;)

Ladewig
8th June 2004, 11:58 AM
Hopefully does not mean I hope. The word is an adverb meaning in a hopeful manner, as in: the students waited hopefully for their acceptance letters.

Different from - not different than (yes there is an exception, but it is very rare).

As for ask/axe, one summer at work we all subsituted "axe" for "ask" and "pacificly for "specificly." It was lots of fun until a cow-orker was talking to a client and forgot how to say "specificly."

Myself and I are not interchangeable. incorrect: The driver and myself replied in unison.

"Forte" is a French word meaning strong. "Forté" is an Italian word meaning loud.


Grrrrrrrr.

TheBoyPaj
8th June 2004, 12:13 PM
Other verbal vamping:

"With the greatest of respect..." used at the beginning of a sentence which you know will indicate that the speaker has zero respect. I used to have a colleague who required even more time to get her thoughts into gear. She used to say "With the greatest of respect TO YOU.....(big pause)".

Skeptic
8th June 2004, 02:50 PM
You sure about this? The rule I learned was that you add "apostrophe s" unless the word ends with a zee sound, in which cases you add only an apostrophe.

I think that, as a general rule, you do not add an " 's " to a word when it ends with "s". So it's "the potatoes' bag"; "students' reunion".

The exception is proper names that end with an -s: "Williams's diary"; "Hughes's car"; "Moses's tablets". When you think about it, this makes sense: the point of the proper name is that it is one person that the diary, car, or tablets belong to, so it follows the general form of the "singular" addition of " 's ".

Then, there are exceptions to the exception. You do not add an " 's " after an -s ending proper name if:

1). It makes an "-iz" sound: "James' story"; "Jones' bicycle".

2). It is a Greek or Roman name from antiquity: "Tuchydides' book"; "Augustus' reign".

3). And an exception is always made for Jesus: "Jesus' disciples".

Skeptic
8th June 2004, 02:56 PM
Hopefully does not mean I hope. The word is an adverb meaning in a hopeful manner, as in: the students waited hopefully for their acceptance letters.

Also, "nauseous" (sp?) means CAUSING nausea, not BEING nauseated. "I feel nauseous" = "I feel that I cause other people to feel sick".

"Momentarily". That means FOR a moment, not IN a moment. "The train will be moving momentartily" = the train will start moving for a moment and then stop again. (Come to think of it, that's usually what happens.)

"Flammable". There is no such word. The word for "combustible" is "nflammable".

"Forte" is a French word meaning strong.

...and it's pronounced "fort", not "for-tay", like the Italian word.

Another one: "Flaunt" still does not mean "flout", no matter how many people flaunt their ignorance by flouting the rule.

And, to quote George Carlin about all of these examples, "and if you say popular usage had changed that, I say, f--k popular usage."

rachaella
8th June 2004, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by Graculus
Pet peeve?

SAVE THE ADVERB!!!!!!

YES!! We should start an official campaign. It may start slow, but I'm sure it will pick up fast in time.

Sloe_Bohemian
8th June 2004, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by Skeptic
(snip)
And, to quote George Carlin about all of these examples, "and if you say popular usage had changed that, I say, f--k popular usage."

I feel EXACTLY the same way about people (including Stephen Jay Gould) who used that argument to say 1999 had become the last year of the millennium and that the 21st century began in Jaunuary 2000.

Popular usage or not... I can still count... even to 1000 if I have to... and 999 is NOT the final entry in a count of 1000. That's not just revisionist, it's bad math.

Piscivore
9th June 2004, 02:46 AM
Confusing "loose" with "lose" is my pet peeve- it seems to be epidemic. (http://www.randi.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=41677)

loose
adj. loos·er, loos·est
Not fastened, restrained, or contained: loose bricks.
Not taut, fixed, or rigid: a loose anchor line; a loose chair leg.
Free from confinement or imprisonment; unfettered: criminals loose in the neighborhood; dogs that are loose on the streets.
Not tight-fitting or tightly fitted: loose shoes.
Not bound, bundled, stapled, or gathered together: loose papers.
Not compact or dense in arrangement or structure: loose gravel.
Lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility; idle: loose talk.
Not formal; relaxed: a loose atmosphere at the club.
Lacking conventional moral restraint in sexual behavior.
Not literal or exact: a loose translation.
Characterized by a free movement of fluids in the body: a loose cough; loose bowels.
lose
v. lost, (lôst, lst) los·ing, los·es
v. tr.
To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of; mislay: He's always losing his car keys.

To be deprived of (something one has had): lost her art collection in the fire; lost her job.
To be left alone or desolate because of the death of: lost his wife.
To be unable to keep alive: a doctor who has lost very few patients.
To be unable to keep control or allegiance of: lost his temper at the meeting; is losing supporters by changing his mind.
To fail to win; fail in: lost the game; lost the court case.
To fail to use or take advantage of: Don't lose a chance to improve your position.
To fail to hear, see, or understand: We lost the plane in the fog. I lost her when she started speaking about thermodynamics.

To let (oneself) become unable to find the way.
To remove (oneself), as from everyday reality into a fantasy world.
To rid oneself of: lost five pounds.
To consume aimlessly; waste: lost a week in idle occupations.
To wander from or become ignorant of: lose one's way.

To elude or outdistance: lost their pursuers.
To be outdistanced by: chased the thieves but lost them.
To become slow by (a specified amount of time). Used of a timepiece.
To cause or result in the loss of: Failure to reply to the advertisement lost her the job.
To cause to be destroyed. Usually used in the passive: Both planes were lost in the crash.
To cause to be damned.

v. intr.
To suffer loss.
To be defeated.
To operate or run slow. Used of a timepiece.

Khonshu
9th June 2004, 09:14 AM
One that always got to me was "preventative". Why don't you just say "preventive" and save yourself a syllable?

In one organization-wide meeting, we had one member of management stand up & ask when the new policies would be "implementated".

Sloe_Bohemian
9th June 2004, 09:40 AM
On a non-English - yet still language-centered - note, is this article about convoluted, bureaucratic-speak in Austria and the new initiative to clean up their linguistic act.

Austrian BeanCounters decide to be understood (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apaa_story.asp?category=1106&slug=Austria%20Legalese)

included is a mention of the British Plain English Campaign.

[QUOTE] Britain's Plain English Campaign gives out two dubious honors each year: the "Foot in Mouth" award for the most baffling statement by a public figure, and the "Golden Bull" award, which takes aim at companies that confuse consumers with hard-to-read user manuals studded with "gobbledygook."

[QUOTE]

Those happy bane of the verbose/obtuse can be found online:
ClickMeClickMeClickMeClickMeClickMe (http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/)

I want to win an award... but I'll probably never get their attention.

Sloe_Bohemian
9th June 2004, 09:52 AM
I had to share one of the gems contained in the awards section of the site provided above:

'In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, any reference to a numbered regulation is a reference to the regulation bearing that number in these regulations and any reference in a regulation to a numbered paragraph is a reference to the paragraph of that regulation bearing that number.'

VicDaring
9th June 2004, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by Skeptic
My pet peeve is people who cannot tell the difference between "its" and "it's", "your" and "you're", "they're" and "their", "who's" and "whose".


I correct several of these each week, from people who make significantly more money than I do. It's actually kind of depressing.

We have some truly appalling colloquialisms where I live.

Two of my favorites:

1. "Hamburg" as opposed to "hamburger." Small, I know, but when you hear it enough times it gets grating.

2. Pronouncing the letter "H" as though it started with an H. "Haych." Oh. My. God!

Snide
10th June 2004, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by Brown
I'm with you on this. Chiming in 4 months later here...

Thank you , both of you. I will print this and frame it. Being a former radio announcer who always (correctly) with the long I sound, this was my huge pet peeve. I have others, but this would get me, because so many people, including my program directors, told me I was wrong. I told them, "Short-lived means 'of a short life,' or 'short-lifed.' Now, change the 'f' to a 'v' like you know you must, and it's 'short-lived' (long I sound)."

Still angers me to know I worked for PDs who had half the grasp of the spoken language that I did.

Snide
10th June 2004, 01:05 PM
My absolute #1 pet peeve today is... "acrossed." My ex-wife, before we were married, was my first encounter with this mis-use, some 11 years ago or so, as we did crossword puzzles, and she'd say, "Eleven accrossed. Four letters..." Goog Ed, the word is spelled for you right there on the page, and there is no "ed." Then a fight ensued when I politely asked her why she pronounced it that way. (Should have been a red flag for the compatibility thing.)

Our local hockey announcer says, "He passes it acrossed ice to Johnson..." Drives me nuts.

My guess is people get it mixed up with "crossed," as in, "I crossed the street" vs. "I walked across the street."

Much like I think "irregardless" comes from "irrespective," which means, of course, "regardless."

coalesce
10th June 2004, 01:51 PM
Listen to any traffic report here in New York City, and invariably, at least one traffic reporter will call the George Washington Bridge the GWB, as if saying "GWB" is faster than saying "George Washington Bridge." Well, guess what? Both are five syllables long! Both take the same amount of time to say out loud! And no matter how you slice it, five syllables is five syllables is five syllables!

Michael

gnome
10th June 2004, 02:22 PM
My own pet peeves:

Newspapers saying "Unproved"... as in, "so far, this allegation remains unproved."

:a2:

You can't "Unprove" anything! If someone proved it, then unless the fundamental nature of reality changes, it damn well remains proved!

(calming down, taking deep breaths) The word.... you are looking for... is "unproven."

Second pet peeve...

Handmade signs containing announcements in quotes (presumably used incorrectly for emphasis):


"Please" do not lean on the counter



"Closed Thursdays"


Who are they quoting?? Does it matter who said it? Obviously not, since they're not telling me.

Or, maybe it's a figure of speech... we're "Closed" on "Thursdays," if you know what I mean...

crimresearch
10th June 2004, 08:42 PM
The term 'countless of times' intoned by a TV newscaster is irritating.

And I really, really, don't like the phony acronym SCOTUS.
There is no such agency as Supreme Court Of The United States.

The US Constitution does contain the title represented by POTUS, but the United States Supreme Court is USSC, sorry about that.

gnome
11th June 2004, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by crimresearch
The term 'countless of times' intoned by a TV newscaster is irritating.

And I really, really, don't like the phony acronym SCOTUS.
There is no such agency as Supreme Court Of The United States.

The US Constitution does contain the title represented by POTUS, but the United States Supreme Court is USSC, sorry about that.

Whenever I see "SCOTUS" I unconsciously add an R and substitute an M...

--And I'm a fan of the institution, I just have a twisted mind.

crimresearch
11th June 2004, 09:12 AM
"Forte" is a French word meaning strong.

...and it's pronounced "fort", not "for-tay", like the Italian word.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Which reminds me of another pet peeve...'Dramaturge'.... with an over emphasised and hard 'G' , and sometimes a guttural 'guh' sound, or in the case of 'dramaturgical', a strangled series of gargled hard consonants instead of the the soft 'g'..

Understanding that words like 'liturgical' share the same Greek root of 'ergon', I was puzzled by the insistence of some purportedly educated theater professionals on mangling 'dramaturge' while keeping the soft 'g' when saying 'liturgy'.

I finally discovered that the German language hardens both 'Gs' and that this was some sort of affectation, or else an attempt to channel the spirit of Bertolt Brecht on the part of the speaker.

Spiderboy
11th June 2004, 10:10 AM
A coworker of mine likes to stick exclamation marks after every line of his commenting, e.g.
#Open the file!
.
.
.
#Process the record!
.
.
.
#Close the file!

It doesn't really annoy me, in fact I giggle quietly as I imagine him programming in a constantly shocked state.

alfaniner
11th June 2004, 12:59 PM
Is his middle name "Rational"?

Skeptic
12th June 2004, 10:45 AM
...the "Golden Bull" award, which takes aim at companies that confuse consumers with hard-to-read user manuals studded with "gobbledygook."

...which, of course, really means "oral sex with an oriental".

(Rim shot)

sorgoth
12th June 2004, 07:43 PM
Overuse of latin terms.

Please, please just say what you're talking about instead of finding the most obscure term you know and using it.

LucyR
12th June 2004, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by sorgoth
Overuse of latin terms.

Please, please just say what you're talking about instead of finding the most obscure term you know and using it.

But people who know Latin are almost by definition better educated and more intelligent than those who don't. As such, they have a right to make the lives of the common man that much harder.

Quad Erat Non Demonstrandum

chmara
12th June 2004, 09:45 PM
Hmmm - so let's be reductionist about the language. Therefore sexual intercourse becomes ----. Sadness becomes depression.
Happiness cannot be differentiated from joy and big brother wins.

Language that really hacks me off is when the same repetitious non descriptive (or emotionaly stultifying) thoughtless words/phrases are used to cover all the variations of a situation. It puts me in a placed of knowing less than when I started.

Ergo -- can anyone use English to give the true Greek definition of Agape including its emotional depth of male bonding? I have seen some Christian groups recently to try and say it is the pure love of Christ -- and/or his church. Boy that really diffuses the deeper meaning in emotion this word really has...and I think if fundamentalists ever found out that part of agape is now considered pedophilia.....wow would they distance themselves from it.

Whatever you may think of Anthony Robbins -- new age business coach and focus guru with LOTS of infomercials -- he has done some interesting things that really apply to the real world of language (and not of the "neurolinguistics stripe either.)

Now about the statistical figures I am about to quote I got these from him several years ago -- after he had his staff do a study on the subject of language shadings and word usage.

They surveyed a "normal group" of Americans. These "normal" people had about thirty total words to describe their emotions --- limiting them in spectrum of feelings expressed. The sad/depressed usage was one of the more interesting interchanges of meaning that may have profound effect on mood and Zoloft sales.

In part two of the informal study -- the staff was turned loose on the Webster's New World unabridged dictionary. Some 3,000 words decribing emotion and its shadings were listed. Most of these expanded or narrowed the understanding of the emotion to be expressed to a specific range.

When is the last time you heard someone say they were Blue -- instead of sad. Elated instead of "like up," good, or OK. How often do people use depressed instead of sad -- completely leaving out the duration of feeling and time factors built into those words.

OK, I agree bureaucrats really do not have emotions. That's why obfuscation gets almost as deep as that used by insurance company contracts -- and civilian Pentagon people writing budgets for stuff that is not popular.

BTW -- since that Robbins study, I became very aware of people asking "How are you?"

Instead of the expected -- "Fine" --- I usually stop them with my answer"

"Strange."

GC

Nasarius
12th June 2004, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by chmara
BTW -- since that study, I became very aware of people asking "How are you."

Instead of the expected -- "Fine" --- I usually stop them with my answer"

"Strange."

GC

I'm sure we could have a whole thread on idiocies of American culture :)

The only things that really annoy me are the random apostrophes, turning 've into of, and misuse of the word whom. Oh, and "ek cetera". *shudder*
Learning another language is often the best way to better understand your own, because you're forced to think about subjects versus direct/indirect objects, etc.

By the way, it's soda, not pop, damn it.

chmara
12th June 2004, 10:16 PM
Ahh -- you've forgotten how to order a"phosphate" at the "Drug Store fountain."

GC -- one who knows the real meaning of "For two cents plain."

Sloe_Bohemian
12th June 2004, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by Nasarius


I'm sure we could have a whole thread on idiocies of American culture :)

The only things that really annoy me are the random apostrophes, turning 've into of, and misuse of the word whom. Oh, and "ek cetera". *shudder*
Learning another language is often the best way to better understand your own, because you're forced to think about subjects versus direct/indirect objects, etc.

By the way, it's soda, not pop, damn it.

OH NO You Di`int!!!!

Pop is so very much the word used in a variety of dictionaries:
Open-Dictionary says Pop is a noun for soft drink (http://open-dictionary.com/Pop)
Dictionary.com says Pop is a noun for soft drink (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=pop)

And the good people of the Swot's Corner (http://www.yaelf.com/swot.shtml) have this to say:
"Since the earliest research into the the English Language as spoken in North America was begun by Noah Webster in the early 18th century, the regional variations in dialect have always been the most challenging and difficult to explain field. Since the development of carbonated beverage in 1886, one of linguistic geography's most important and least investigated phenomena has been the sharp regional divisions in the use of the terms "pop" and "soda." Due to the domination of hard-line conservative lingusitic geographers in such leading institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford and the University of the West Indies, this dilemma has been swept under the rug . . . until now. Using the new technologies of the Internet and the World Wide Web, I and my colleagues at the California Institute of Technology and Lewis & Clark College are undertaking a bold new research into this fascinating area.

CONCLUSION: People who say 'Pop' are much, much cooler. "



But of course, the definitive answers are provided by the Pop versus Soda website (http://www.popvssoda.com/).
And they even have cool little maps... better than the example I'm attempting to attach here, I assure you.
http://thumb6.webshots.com/s/thumb1/0/91/16/152109116PqDUvx_th.jpg


So I hope I've been able to help you get over your compulsion to abuse the proper term for soft drinks...

*An aside, here is an An American English to British English dictionary… in case anyone’s looking… and it lists pop
AmerEnglish to... well... English (http://freespace.virgin.net/john.cletheroe/usa_can/lang/s.htm)

Besides, don't you New Englanders call it 'Tonic' anyway?
(New York = New England… {insert 'new' before a region of the UK to refer to someplace on the East Coast} it's all the same to me.)

varwoche
13th June 2004, 12:22 PM
When did Yoda-like sentence construction come into vogue?

Amuses moreso than hacks-off, it does.

gnome
13th June 2004, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by varwoche
When did Yoda-like sentence construction come into vogue?

Amuses moreso than hacks-off, it does.

Probably around the time "The Empire Strikes Back" came out. :D

Nasarius
13th June 2004, 01:16 PM
So I hope I've been able to help you get over your compulsion to abuse the proper term for soft drinks...

It's still soda :)
You see, the NYC area and California are the only civilized parts of the nation.

Sloe_Bohemian
13th June 2004, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by Nasarius


It's still soda :)
You see, the NYC area and California are the only civilized parts of the nation.
I crashed my van into Jesus!


OK, I know when to quit... as long as I don't catch you ordering drinks around these parts after sundown...

And I have to admit, it's a clear mistake for me to post on a thread dedicated to personally irritating linguistic faux pas when I too sometimes with the irritants often making am... (apologies to Varwoche and Gnome). But I think that for young people, this Yoda style of speech has been greatly influenced by the TV screen dialogue of Joss Whedon, who started writing for Rosanne and hit his stride with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But it's Nasarius' sig that got me to pipe up again. I saw SAVED last night and it was great! A little too understanding and gentle with the Fundie characters... but still more than irreverent enough to keep me in stitches.

smahon
14th June 2004, 03:45 AM
Most of the time I can ignore language abusage. However, this morning I have had to listen to "Plug that out for me, will you?" and "Has all the data been inputted yet?".
Breathe deeply...
Resist the urge to strangle...

gjones2
26th June 2004, 06:41 AM
Just as with English, words in Greek can have more than one meaning. Here are the meanings listed in Lidell/Scott for the verbal form (agapaô (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D %23347)) and for the noun itself (agapê (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D %23348)).

Originally posted by chmara
I have seen some Christian groups recently to try and say it is the pure love of Christ -- and/or his church.

I agree that the word doesn't have to have that meaning. If fact, even in New Testament Greek it's used in several other ways. I wouldn't go so far as to say that part of agape is now considered pedophilia, though, not if you mean that pedophilia was necessarily part of the implication of the concept itself. It appears that the word was routinely used in both classical Greek and koine with other meanings.

One of Plato's dialogues includes a discussion of love in its various forms. If I recall correctly, in that dialogue Aristophanes takes the view that homosexual love is superior. I wonder which Greek words are used for love there. Chances are the Greek text is on the Perseus site if anybody wants to check.

TragicMonkey
29th June 2004, 02:25 PM
For the soda versus pop controversy, nothing infuriates the soft drink executives like the distinctly southern US take on the matter...

"Do you want a Coke with that?"
"Yes, please."
"What kind? Pepsi, Seven-Up, ginger ale, or root beer?"

I grew up understanding that "coke" is a generic term for any carbonated beverage. If you want the specific drink, you have to ask for "Co-Cola". And it will probably come with peanuts in it.


While that southernism can be quaint and amusing, this one drives me into an incoherent frenzy of rage--the misplaced emphasis. It's in-SUR-ance, not IN-sur-ance. And it's IN-flu-ence, not in-FLU-ence.

Sloe_Bohemian
30th June 2004, 12:31 AM
Welcome TragicMonkey!

Your first post and you're in here to vent. You'll fit right in.


back to topic-
My grandmother use to ask me about my "paper ruet". (pronounced like the root of a tree)

I think I stopped delivering newspapers just so I wouldn't have to hear that phrase ever again.

gjones2
1st July 2004, 05:50 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
"Do you want a Coke with that?"

I don't recall what I said when I was very young. I might have said 'Coke', though if I had other drinks around, I believe I'd have probably just said 'drink' ("What kind of drink do you want with that?").

I definitely wouldn't have said 'soda' or 'pop'. 'Pop' I didn't use for drinks, and 'soda' was a mostly solid ice cream concoction that was served at drugstores (where you could also get one of those oldtimey milkshakes, served with part of it in a glass and the rest in the metal container used to shake it).

I've heard of people putting peanuts in Cokes, but I don't believe I've ever tried it.

Z
3rd July 2004, 10:38 AM
Feminist-speak. Like the use of 'Wommon', 'Womb-ONe', or 'Womyn'.

I leave it to you guys to figure out why that REALLY annoys me.

Rat
4th July 2004, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by Sloe_Bohemian
Welcome TragicMonkey!

Your first post and you're in here to vent. You'll fit right in.


back to topic-
My grandmother use to ask me about my "paper ruet". (pronounced like the root of a tree)

I think I stopped delivering newspapers just so I wouldn't have to hear that phrase ever again.
No, route is pronounced like root. You Americans have it all wrong. If you pronounce it 'rowt', how do you tell in speech between a router (a tool used in woodworking) and a router (that directs data)?

Probably the same way we do in print, now I think about it.

Cheers,
Rat.

richardm
5th July 2004, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by ratcomp1974
If you pronounce it 'rowt', how do you tell in speech between a router (a tool used in woodworking) and a router (that directs data)?

That may go some way to explaining why our US office has so many network problems :D

michaellee
6th July 2004, 09:44 AM
Not yet mentioned is the incorrect spelling by otherwise literate people, of a word they probably hear frequently: LOSE. As in "I just have to LOOSE some weight."

How can an adult, even if only semi-literate, not yet know of or has not yet read, one time, the word LOSE? WTF!!!! LOOSE instead of LOSE?

When listening to a person I've just met, if words similar to "I SEEN the Giants game yesterday", are spoken, two impulses suddenly take on life and death urgency. The first is to seek innoculation with any drug that causes instant deafness. Lacking that, the other is to respond "Oh yah, did they win or LOOSE?

Rat
6th July 2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by michaellee
Not yet mentioned is the incorrect spelling by otherwise literate people, of a word they probably hear frequently: LOSE. As in "I just have to LOOSE some weight."

How can an adult, even if only semi-literate, not yet know of or has not yet read, one time, the word LOSE? WTF!!!! LOOSE instead of LOSE?

When listening to a person I've just met, if words similar to "I SEEN the Giants game yesterday", are spoken, two impulses suddenly take on life and death urgency. The first is to seek innoculation with any drug that causes instant deafness. Lacking that, the other is to respond "Oh yah, did they win or LOOSE?
Oh, but posting in a thread about uses of language is always going to be just asking for it. How about 'How can an adult, even if..., not yet know of, or not yet have read...'? Or 'not yet know of, nor yet read'.

:p

Cheers,
Rat.

Tenubracon
9th July 2004, 05:42 AM
The main reason I hate this is because usually the only people who use the word 'ongoing' are tossers of the highest order. But really, why use an awkword contraction when there's a perfectly good verb all ready to use?


It's not a verb here, it's an adjective.

UserGoogol
10th July 2004, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by zakur
I can't stand it when people use the phrase "nuke it" to mean "cook it in a microwave." Do people think microwave ovens cook food through nuclear fission?

No, the analogy is that both microwave ovens and nook-yoo-lar bombs produce radiation.

I think "less" applies to all numbers. 2 is less than 3, after all.

As for the cows's problem, I blindly base it on pronunciation. If cow-zez sounds good, I go with cows's. If it doesn't, I go with cows. Cow-zez doesn't sound good.

Quotation marks aren't "just" used for quoting people. They also used for "sarcasm" or presenting a string "literal" of any kind. Like, type "dir \*.vbs /a /s" at the "command" prompt.

When did Yoda-like sentence construction come into vogue?

The unique grammatical nature of English, to see, it to us allows. Also, new grammar to appreciate, it to us lets. Overboard going, I am, I admit. But cool it is, I say.

I think Japanese puts verbs at the end of sentences, and it's a well known fact that Japan is awesome. Also, if Japanese can take our vocabulary, English should take their grammar.

Art Vandelay
16th July 2004, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by UserGoogol
No, the analogy is that both microwave ovens and nook-yoo-lar bombs produce radiation.
And AFAIK, nuclear bombs were the first source of artificial micorwave radiation.

A math peeve: people who use phrases like "three times smaller". Which is it: is it tripled, or is it smaller?

Z
17th July 2004, 05:13 AM
Wouldn't that more properly be phrased, "three times as small"? Or, "One third the size"?

Techwomyn
17th July 2004, 09:57 AM
At the risk of hacking-off zaayrdragon with my username... ;)

Breath/breathe.

"It was so hot she couldn't breath."

"Breath, little one! Breath!" (found on a childbirth site)

Oddly, I don't think I've ever seen "breathe" used in place of "breath" though.

Z
17th July 2004, 10:54 AM
Aaaagghh! Aaarrrggh!!! hackhackcoughcoughspew...

Ugh.

Welcome to JREF, womYn... I hope you BURN IN FLAMES ETERNAL!!!

Er, well, no I really don't...

:D

Seriously, welcome - Diverse opinions make for entertaining debate!

Techwomyn
17th July 2004, 01:00 PM
I'm roasting as I speak, er, type. :p

Thanks for the welcome.

ETA: And its so hot here I can't hardly breath.

Z
17th July 2004, 08:21 PM
And its so hot here I can't hardly breath.
:hb:
Uuuruuruurrrrggghghghththkekekkkkkktttthhhhppppttt tt.....
**zaayrdragon** dies of asphyxiation...

Lars Blitzer
31st July 2004, 08:19 AM
Okay, too many things hack me off to no end as far as mangling language could be listed in the time I have. However, I'll try a couple of the worst offenders. First, the word "irregardless." I've hearing this a lot, more so since a couple of my friends have found out it irritates me. I have the irresistable urge to correct it every time I hear it. Second, I hate, no, correct that, I loathe "chat speak." I don't mind the occasional contraction or acronym, but it has really gone over board in recent years. I'm talking about "LOL", "OMG", "WTF", and using "teh" instead of "the." Things like that. I am guilty of "pebcak", "rtfm", and "ID10T error," but mostly just for humourous effect. Okay, okay, so I'm a hypocritical language-nazi. At least I'm honest.

Pragmatist
1st August 2004, 02:39 PM
How about, "Advanced notice of road closure". WTF is ADVANCED about it? I presume a SIMPLE notice would have consisted of a huge block of concrete in the road!

And what about "leveraging your options" which seems to keep cropping up in recent technical sales literature. I know where I'd like to apply a lever!

Oh well, sel la vie! :D

gnome
1st August 2004, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by Pragmatist
And what about "leveraging your options" which seems to keep cropping up in recent technical sales literature. I know where I'd like to apply a lever!

Business use of the term "leverage" has spread... its original meaning referred to using a loan to finiance an investment. It can have a multiplying affect on rate-of-return, because in the end you're only investing interest payments, which are a fraction of the actual capital you are using. Hence the term "leverage".

As far as "leverage" in other aspects, I suppose it is a metaphor for applying effort where you will get the maximum results. But it winds up just sort of being "thrown in" without analyzing whether what you're applying the metaphorical lever to actually has any ability to multiply the return.

prustage
27th August 2004, 07:40 PM
Some of mine:

I hate "leverage" as a verb - why cant you just lever something?

As much as misplaced apostrophes I get very annoyed with people who cannot distinguish singular from plural as in criterion / criteria, phenomenon / phenomena

A daily bugbear in my job is the use of the word "methodology" when the word "method" would do just as well reserving "methodology" for the study of methods.

But the worst and most ubiquitous of all is...

...people using the expression "that begs the question" when they mean "that prompts the question". If you don't know what the expression really means, look here (http://skepdic.com/begging.html)

billydkid
29th August 2004, 06:58 AM
Far be it for me to complain about much of anything is as much as I am only marginally literate mah own sef. I do, however, despise the continual transforming of nouns into a verbs and verbs into nouns. Someone winning the gold in Athens has "medaled". What are our key "asks" here? Maybe we can "leverage" this situation to our advantage. What are the "takeaways" here? Of course, the list in endless.

The use of the wacko derivative of incentive - "incent" makes me want to puke. Example - We should do such and such to "incent" our staff to be more productive. Nails on a chalk board.

How about the term "infostructure" which I read somewhere recently. Oh my god in heaven. Of course, the business world and academia are both crawling with language mutilators. Frankly, I do not even bother to read the crap that gets send out from upper management any longer. I believe "business speak" represents deliberate obfuscation. It is morally equivalent to lying.

epepke
29th August 2004, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by billydkid
Someone winning the gold in Athens has "medaled".

Of course, the most medaled becomes the winningest. Or maybe the medaldedingalongadingdongest, maximumestwise.

LandR
11th May 2012, 05:29 AM
Incorrect use of himself, myself, yourself by people talking on telephones trying to sound intelligent / posh.

e.g:

"If you call back tomorrow, you will speak to myself"
"There was a meeting with Alice, Bob and myself"

This morning I heard:

"I need to give you some new contact details for himself"

Someone here in the office keeps doing it, I keep picking them up on it and telling them to stop. They keep doing it anyway.

They only ever do it on the phone too, when they are putting on their posh 'phone voice'. Which is another absurdity that bugs me, posh phone voices.

I just don't understand why they think adding -self to words make them sound intelligent.

calebprime
11th May 2012, 05:57 AM
Mr. Manifesto, I don't know if you did this on purpose, but... That word you created, "awkword", to denote a clumsy or ill-conceived use of the language, is a gem. I love it. I intend to start using it from now on. And it can be a verb, and a noun too!

Dear Morwen,

You wrote this perhaps eight years ago, but I must oppose you. I really dislike made-up words, neologisms, portmanteau words. They are usually as ugly as any chimeric* Frankenstein monster, but lack the monster's grandeur.

They are gross like pink slime, cheap like plywood.

Sure, I'm only half-literate. Sure, Shakespeare made up words. Sure, I'm a somewhat elitist parasite. What's your point?

Bikewer
11th May 2012, 07:16 AM
I admit I'm fairly forgiving of "usage" and I confess to many of the sins listed in the OP.

If you can decipher the internet-speak, mispellings, and horrid usage that shows up on many forums, you can get along with anything.
Besides, dreadful mis-usage tends to become acceptable. For instance... Irregardless. For years, just.... Wrong. Should be "regardless". However, currently "acceptable" in several dictionaries. Go figure.
I read "The Story Of English" a few years ago, and it's obviously an accretive language, constantly adding new forms and dropping unused ones.
In an office I worked at 30 years ago, they had a reprint of a dictionary that had originally been published in the late 1800s.
It was full of all sorts of wonderful terms for things that no longer existed, or perhaps only known to historians. Terms for various kinds of "tack" for instance; stuff associated with horses, carriages, harnesses, and the like. In as much use back then as are words like "IT", "hard-drive", "air-bag", and "virtual reality" now.

anglolawyer
11th May 2012, 07:24 AM
OK, how about 'lockdown'? Wtf does it mean? Its very American and must be spoken with an American accent. It usually happens when some random nutter starts wandering around a US university or mall shooting people, whereupon everything 'goes into lockdown'.

British english - 'the area has been sealed/cordoned off'
American english 'we've gone into lockdown'

And here speaks no anti-American. Oh no. What about 'seccertary' 'guvverment' and 'perleece' all British abominations. Yuk.

LandR
11th May 2012, 07:30 AM
'perleece'

What is this one supposed to be ?

Please or police ?

crimresearch
11th May 2012, 07:34 AM
OK, how about 'lockdown'? Wtf does it mean? Its very American and must be spoken with an American accent. It usually happens when some random nutter starts wandering around a US university or mall shooting people, whereupon everything 'goes into lockdown'.

British english - 'the area has been sealed/cordoned off'
American english 'we've gone into lockdown'

And here speaks no anti-American. Oh no. What about 'seccertary' 'guvverment' and 'perleece' all British abominations. Yuk.
It means a condition set in prisons where every access point is locked and no one can go from one area to another.

It has been hijacked by the media (you know... Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch's people) to mean 'any situation where dramatic music would swell, if this were only a movie instead of real life'.

anglolawyer
11th May 2012, 07:47 AM
What is this one supposed to be ?

Please or police ?
The latter. Americans are not guilty as they say po-leece nice and clearly.

anglolawyer
11th May 2012, 07:55 AM
It means a condition set in prisons where every access point is locked and no one can go from one area to another.

Well that makes some sense at least.

Morrigan
12th May 2012, 05:12 PM
Holy necromancy, Batman.


The kicker, though, is that there is an exception to this rule. When you talk about an alternative universe (like one where JFK didn't get assassinated and yada yada yada),

Yada, Yada, Yada
Look, if you can't be bothered to write a decent sentence, don't write it, okay? I hate this one used in everyday speech as well. Office workers most guilty of using it.
lol?

Personally I use it mostly sarcastically, but it just means "etc." really...


My pet peeve is when people, nearly all of them, pronounce "short-lived" with a short I. "Short-lived" is like "big-nosed" or "fat-assed." The hyphen tells you it's a compound adjective, and the second word is a noun. People who are short-lived don't have a short live; they have a short life, with a long "i." The only reason that it isn't "short-lifed" is that there's a morphophonemic transformation from "f" to "v" when some suffixes are added.Wait, so you're saying it's really pronounced short-lyved, rather than short-lived? (i as in life rather than as in "to live")

Please..."fewer" words.
LOL pwned

bigred
12th May 2012, 05:36 PM
I'll cast another vote for the hideous misuse/overuse of the word "so," especially to begin a sentence. This is INSANELY popular where I work. For ex:

"How's the project going?"
"So we had a meeting yesterday, and..."

"Are you almost done?"
"So I think I should be done by...."

:mgbanghead :mghissyfit ad nauseum, rinse and repeat. I hate most if not all trends, but this one is an absolute hair-puller. I suspect it's largely an American thing, but if not, please don't tell me; I don't want to know.

The other one that's all the rage is what I simply call "baby talk." But I hear adults talking to other adults this way. Examples:

"sammich" for sandwich
"peeps" for people
"parm" for parmesan
"ni ni" for good-night/good-bye

And of course all the "street cred" slang BS, like "shizzle mah nizzle" and similar vomit-inducing gibberish.

crimresearch
12th May 2012, 05:37 PM
Holy necromancy, Batman.




lol?

Personally I use it mostly sarcastically, but it just means "etc." really...

Wait, so you're saying it's really pronounced short-lyved, rather than short-lived? (i as in life rather than as in "to live")


LOL pwned
'Lived' with a short 'i' (as in the shoe dwelling old woman) is the past tense of the verb (to) 'live', with the same vowel sound.

Short or long 'lived' is the modifier form and is pronounced with the same long vowel sound as the plural of 'life'... 'lives', as in the 9 possessed by cats.

JeanFromBNA
12th May 2012, 05:42 PM
Incorrect use of himself, myself, yourself by people talking on telephones trying to sound intelligent / posh.

e.g:

"If you call back tomorrow, you will speak to myself"
"There was a meeting with Alice, Bob and myself"

This morning I heard:

"I need to give you some new contact details for himself"

Someone here in the office keeps doing it, I keep picking them up on it and telling them to stop. They keep doing it anyway.

They only ever do it on the phone too, when they are putting on their posh 'phone voice'. Which is another absurdity that bugs me, posh phone voices.

I just don't understand why they think adding -self to words make them sound intelligent.

It makes them sound like Michaleen Oge Flynn in The Quiet Man.

JeanFromBNA
12th May 2012, 05:47 PM
Turning nouns into verbs irritates me, too.

She gifted him with a pig. What, 'gave' is too complicated a word?

Modified
12th May 2012, 06:52 PM
"sammich" for sandwich

Which really makes no sense, because there is no "m" sound in sandwich. It should be "sannich". Then again, my dad does for some reason pronounce it "samwidge".

Mouldy Cheeses
12th May 2012, 08:16 PM
Absolutely! ...a buzzword now that p's me off absolutely!

and...to ruin you day..

A bored academic from Kew, Had nothing better to do,
But teach kittens to speak, the alphabet in Greek,
Alas, they never got further than 'mu' ...

anglolawyer
12th May 2012, 11:13 PM
Oh, I thought of one from the world of anglolaw: unbeknownst. Yes, really. 'Unbeknownst to our client, you entered the property ..'. I have several trainees buried under my terrace for using that.

Another one from the same part of the forest: bespeak. I went to the action department to bespeak (ask for) an affidavit.

At this moment/point in time.

Any way, shape or form.

DallasDad
13th May 2012, 01:00 AM
"Unbeknownst" and "bespeak" are somewhat archaic, but perfectly valid and still in use. One could rewrite the sentences to avoid them, but why?

anglolawyer
13th May 2012, 02:57 AM
"Unbeknownst" and "bespeak" are somewhat archaic, but perfectly valid and still in use. One could rewrite the sentences to avoid them, but why?
You could replace them with 'unknown' and 'request' rather than re-write whole sentences. We don't live in archaic times. In truth, they are rare birds now, especially the latter.

bigred
13th May 2012, 07:11 AM
Which really makes no sense, because there is no "m" sound in sandwich. It should be "sannich". Then again, my dad does for some reason pronounce it "samwidge".

It's baby talk; it's not supposed to make sense. Which I think is fine if you're actually talking to a baby (toddler etc).

I'm sure these have already been said, but spelling errors most of us wouldn't have made in grade school also drive me nuts. The most common I see:

- definately
- rediculous
- mixing up the words "advice" and "advise"

fuelair
13th May 2012, 07:42 AM
Because "ongoing" rolls off the tongue more smoothly than "continuing." At least I think it does. What's a tosser, anyway?

Clearly, a tosser is one who throws up chunks of words in seemingly random order creating a pool of malodorous mess at their feet. It is related to the known medical conditions of "running off of the vowels" and "diarrhea of the buccal cavity" that often occur among speech makers. :D:jaw-dropp:D

DallasDad
13th May 2012, 07:45 AM
You could replace them with 'unknown' and 'request' rather than re-write whole sentences. We don't live in archaic times. In truth, they are rare birds now, especially the latter.

Well, "bespeak" has a slightly different implication -- one finds it used most often to mean "request on someone else's behalf" (although booking agents in the U.K. use it more generally to mean "make advance arrangements," perhaps because that's what they do for their customers and fail to make the distinction when speaking).

I encounter "bespoken" more often than "bespeak," usually used in the sense of "already reserved." A friend of mine in Oxford says, "We have a bespoken table at the pub," although I can't imagine his saying, "I'd like to bespeak a table," when making the reservation.

Likewise, "unbeknownst" has a subtle distinction from "unknown." It implies the that the knowledge wasn't available at the time referred to. "Unbeknownst to him, I had already bespoken a table" specifies that the knowledge was either withheld or somehow failed to be communicated, with unintentional side-effects (a double-reservation, perhaps). One couldn't say "Unknown to him, I had..." without dangling a participle and creating a bit of potential confusion. The closest modern English allows is, "Without his knowing, I had..." which is semantically equivalent, but implies intentionality missing from the original.

Bikewer
13th May 2012, 07:58 AM
There was the flap over "ebonics" a few years ago... "Black English". Don't hear so much about it currently, but some of the terms have become inserted uncomfortably into the language like "axe" instead of "ask" and "li-berry" for that place where you keep books.

I don't suppose the prevalance of hip-hop music has made most language nazis happy, but this has been the cse with popular music for as long as it's been around. There's a Thin Man movie, Song Of The Thin Man, where Keenan Wynn, playing a jazz musician, indulges in "be-bop" speak to Nick and Nora...

anglolawyer
13th May 2012, 10:49 AM
Well, "bespeak" has a slightly different implication -- one finds it used most often to mean "request on someone else's behalf" (although booking agents in the U.K. use it more generally to mean "make advance arrangements," perhaps because that's what they do for their customers and fail to make the distinction when speaking).

I encounter "bespoken" more often than "bespeak," usually used in the sense of "already reserved." A friend of mine in Oxford says, "We have a bespoken table at the pub," although I can't imagine his saying, "I'd like to bespeak a table," when making the reservation.

Likewise, "unbeknownst" has a subtle distinction from "unknown." It implies the that the knowledge wasn't available at the time referred to. "Unbeknownst to him, I had already bespoken a table" specifies that the knowledge was either withheld or somehow failed to be communicated, with unintentional side-effects (a double-reservation, perhaps). One couldn't say "Unknown to him, I had..." without dangling a participle and creating a bit of potential confusion. The closest modern English allows is, "Without his knowing, I had..." which is semantically equivalent, but implies intentionality missing from the original.

I had better bear this in mind next time I'm considering executing a trainee. Bespeaking an affidavit meant asking one of the clerks to retrieve it from a court file, rather than reserving something.

Lucian
13th May 2012, 12:24 PM
There was the flap over "ebonics" a few years ago... "Black English". Don't hear so much about it currently, but some of the terms have become inserted uncomfortably into the language like "axe" instead of "ask" and "li-berry" for that place where you keep books.

I don't suppose the prevalance of hip-hop music has made most language nazis happy, but this has been the cse with popular music for as long as it's been around. There's a Thin Man movie, Song Of The Thin Man, where Keenan Wynn, playing a jazz musician, indulges in "be-bop" speak to Nick and Nora...

In Old English, the forms "axian" and "ascian" co-existed. "Axian" seems to be the older form. It underwent metathesis and became "ask;" in some dialects, it has metathesized again. Similarly, in English, "tax" and "task" were the same word, but the unmetathesized and metathesized versions ultimately developed different meanings.

Vortigern99
13th May 2012, 01:30 PM
I dislike the expression "to hack [one] off". It's unpleasantly close to "jack [one] off", which is not at all the meaning intended, and further summons images of slobbery coughing. Also, whence "off"? Off of what, exactly? Or off from where?

I object to "whom" being inserted where it doesn't belong. Use "who" if you don't understand the rule, and leave the "whom"-ing to those of us who know how to use it.

There's very little else in the language that bothers me overmuch. I've been reading through this thread thinking to myself, "Aww, what's the big deal?" Language evolves, slang terms come and go, and regional and epochal dialects are largely immune to criticism by dint of their popularity.

Lord Emsworth
13th May 2012, 01:43 PM
Which really makes no sense, because there is no "m" sound in sandwich.

The /m/ is the result of combining /n/ and /w/ in spoken language. I'm am perfectly sure there even is a very precise technical term in linguistics for exactly what happens.

Morrigan
13th May 2012, 01:46 PM
I cringe whenever I read "sammich" too. Hate hate hate that stupid baby talk slang.

Lucian
13th May 2012, 01:54 PM
The /m/ is the result of combining /n/ and /w/ in spoken language. I'm am perfectly sure there even is a very precise technical term in linguistics for exactly what happens.

Assimilation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assimilation_(linguistics)).

Lord Emsworth
13th May 2012, 02:13 PM
Assimilation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assimilation_(linguistics)).

Yes, thank you. But there several types of assimilation. Anticipatory assimilation of the place of articulation seems to be what happens here, i.e. /n/ --> /m/. Followed by an omission of the /w/.

crimresearch
13th May 2012, 06:35 PM
The /m/ is the result of combining /n/ and /w/ in spoken language. I'm am perfectly sure there even is a very precise technical term in linguistics for exactly what happens.
'Code switching'?

:wink:

bigred
13th May 2012, 07:04 PM
There was the flap over "ebonics" a few years ago... "Black English". Don't hear so much about it currently, but some of the terms have become inserted uncomfortably into the language
Not really. About the only time I hear stuff "axe" for ask, etc is when I'm around (for lack of a better term, sorry) "inner city blacks." Most blacks, at least around here, almost never use such terms...at least I have rarely heard them do so. In fact, the "flap" you refer to I assume was how some mental midgets (in California I believe...surprise) were trying to get "Ebonics" recognized as some official dialect or similar idiocy - thankfully, a number of prominent blacks (e.g. Bill Cosby, Arsenio Hall, etc) spoke out against it and it didn't last long. whew.

I cringe whenever I read "sammich" too. Hate hate hate that stupid baby talk slang.
I'd like to buy you a drink. :)

crimresearch
13th May 2012, 08:16 PM
There was the flap over "ebonics" a few years ago... "Black English". Don't hear so much about it currently, but some of the terms have become inserted uncomfortably into the language like "axe" instead of "ask" and "li-berry" for that place where you keep books.

I don't suppose the prevalance of hip-hop music has made most language nazis happy, but this has been the cse with popular music for as long as it's been around. There's a Thin Man movie, Song Of The Thin Man, where Keenan Wynn, playing a jazz musician, indulges in "be-bop" speak to Nick and Nora...
I heard 'li-berry' as the preferred pronunciation in 1969-70 up in Deliverance country.

IIRC there were about a dozen black people in the entire county, none in the next.

Modified
13th May 2012, 08:30 PM
Yes, thank you. But there several types of assimilation. Anticipatory assimilation of the place of articulation seems to be what happens here, i.e. /n/ --> /m/. Followed by an omission of the /w/.

For me at least, there's a 'd' in there. I pronounce it essentially the same as "sand which".

anglolawyer
13th May 2012, 08:42 PM
Longditude.

The word is longitude, with one 'd', not two.

Alareth
13th May 2012, 10:08 PM
And of course all the "street cred" slang BS, like "shizzle mah nizzle" and similar vomit-inducing gibberish.

The "iz" portions of those words are derived from carny which has a long, but obscure history. Carny, or carnival cant, can be traced back to the 19th century
.

Desmond
13th May 2012, 10:19 PM
Longditude.

The word is longitude, with one 'd', not two.


Whoa, that's a new one. :D

Though - that's more of a language error rather than-

I'm just gonna stop myself - I read the thread title a few extra times, I almost made an invalid argument!

Lord Emsworth
13th May 2012, 11:51 PM
For me at least, there's a 'd' in there. I pronounce it essentially the same as "sand which".

My pronounciation dictionary lists that as ok. There are sandwich, sanwich, and samwich listed.

anglolawyer
14th May 2012, 01:49 AM
Whoa, that's a new one. :D

Though - that's more of a language error rather than-

I'm just gonna stop myself - I read the thread title a few extra times, I almost made an invalid argument!

I hear it about half the time I would say.

Worm
14th May 2012, 03:37 AM
The only thing that irritates me on a regular basis is people who confuse affect/effect.

The meaning is perfectly clear, but it grates every time I see them used incorrectly. Mainly because I can't see why it is such a problem - the difference seems perfectly clear to me, although I imagine there must be some very specific situations where the correct usage is more ambiguous.

And as always, there is an XKCD cartoon (http://xkcd.com/326/) for this siutation.

SimonD
14th May 2012, 06:14 AM
Will somebody be taking this thread to the next level? Urgh

Multivac
14th May 2012, 06:24 AM
Using 'Alternate' Instead of 'Alternative'


Haven't really noticed this one.


'Ongoing' Instead of 'Continuing'
The main reason I hate this is because usually the only people who use the word 'ongoing' are tossers of the highest order. But really, why use an awkword contraction when there's a perfectly good verb all ready to use?

Agreed. Only used by total tossers.


Putting Something in French to Make Yourelf Sound Cool

Again, total tossers.


Yada, Yada, Yada
Look, if you can't be bothered to write a decent sentence, don't write it, okay? I hate this one used in everyday speech as well. Office workers most guilty of using it.

Unfortunately, many people do not think before speaking or typing. I usually don't find this to be a problem as long as I can understand what they are trying to say.

Memory Hole
This sets my teeth on edge. In fact, I think I just snapped a molar.

Can honestly say that I have never heard this expression.

Ramp Up
This phrase conjures up many images, all of them homosexual. That's why so many journos and newsreaders use this term, to indulge their suppressed homoerotic impulses. That's my theory, I don't care if you think I'm projecting.[/QUOTE]

It's just management-speak, which means it is mainly used by tossers.

'-gate' Suffix

I think this is probably acceptable because of the implications behind it.

One Sentence Paragraphs
Usually used by ***** thick journos who managed to suck-@$$ their way to their own opinon columns.
It's great for two reasons.
It makes every sentence heavy with depth and meaning.
And, it uses up more column inches with less words.
Lucky, because the journos who use this style usually can't sustain an idea for a whole 500 words.

Or is that the journos think their readers are too thick to read and understand a properly written paragraph?

JoeTheJuggler
14th May 2012, 07:26 AM
Longditude.

The word is longitude, with one 'd', not two.

That's right up there with "heighth"!
_______

My pet peeve is using "allude" when they mean a direct reference to something. An allusion is an indirect reference. Sports announcers use this all the time. They think saying, "what you alluded to earlier" is just a fancy way of saying, "what you said before".

TimCallahan
14th May 2012, 10:07 AM
Teen girl 1: "And I was like 'What?', and he was like 'Yeah' and I was like 'no way' and he was like 'Yeah!' and I was like" {holds hand up as if to indicate a 'halt' signal}
Teen girl 2: "No! I'd be like '**** off'"

Actual conversation heard on public transport recently.
Peter

I had a very similar experience a few months ago. I was in a cafe. A woman in the next booth, who referred once to her grandchildren and looked to be in her forties, was relating a conversation she had had with another friend. Her description went somewhat as follows:

"So I'm like, . . . and she goes . . . and I go . . . and she's like . . ." (on and on and on).

I wanted to scream the following at her:

1) Don't you know what the hell the past tense is?

2) The phrases aren't "I'm like" or "She goes," they're "I said," and "She said."

This was really depressing. It's one thing to hear teenagers use "like" and "go" in place of the words "said," "responded" or some description of an emotional reaction. I still have hopes they'll grow out of it. When someone in their forties massacres speech, I lose hope.

Fuzzy Dunlop
14th May 2012, 12:48 PM
Curse these young people and their newfangled ways of speaking!

I used to be annoyed by stuff like this before I learned about how language evolves and the history of languages in general. Now I mostly just get annoyed at people who cling to outdated words and rules.

Like "whom." Seriously, get with the times. We don't need this word. Stop worrying about it.

Same with "sammich." It's not baby talk, it's just the natural evolution of language. Inefficient words get streamlined. Every little syllable isn't necessary.

crimresearch
14th May 2012, 01:03 PM
Curse these young people and their newfangled ways of speaking!

I used to be annoyed by stuff like this before I learned about how language evolves and the history of languages in general. Now I mostly just get annoyed at people who cling to outdated words and rules.

Like "whom." Seriously, get with the times. We don't need this word. Stop worrying about it.

Same with "sammich." It's not baby talk, it's just the natural evolution of language. Inefficient words get streamlined. Every little syllable isn't necessary.
Very much the same for me.

It used to push my buttons to hear someone say 'The teacher critiqued her paper', instead of 'criticized', or 'gave a critique of'.

I got over it.

Now I find that the Toff's fallacies are much more aggravatating than the evolution of usage.

Lucian
14th May 2012, 01:46 PM
I had a very similar experience a few months ago. I was in a cafe. A woman in the next booth, who referred once to her grandchildren and looked to be in her forties, was relating a conversation she had had with another friend. Her description went somewhat as follows:

"So I'm like, . . . and she goes . . . and I go . . . and she's like . . ." (on and on and on).

I wanted to scream the following at her:

1) Don't you know what the hell the past tense is?

2) The phrases aren't "I'm like" or "She goes," they're "I said," and "She said."

This was really depressing. It's one thing to hear teenagers use "like" and "go" in place of the words "said," "responded" or some description of an emotional reaction. I still have hopes they'll grow out of it. When someone in their forties massacres speech, I lose hope.
I don't really have a problem with the use of the present tense in those situations. It lends a sense of immediacy. It's natural, and it isn't new. Old Norse sagas, for instance, frequently drift in to the present tense, usually during the exciting bits.

MaxMurx
14th May 2012, 02:47 PM
I am not a native speaker of the English language, however it is obvious to me that the English language like all other languages has some fine nuances (Attention: French. But where is the alternative?) which explain the differences above and there is no reason to complain about it. Language always is a tool and a toy in one. Because of the inaccuracies and the lack of "sharpness" the scientific international English in the meantime has developed away from native English being called "English II", native English being "English I". Those having the most severe difficulties with "English II" are the native speakers of English I.

Forgive me for interfering with your linguistic dispute above:
The "alternate" problem above was not solved because the alternative "The light flashed alternatingly red and green" was forgotten. Both "alternately" and "alternatively" would be wrong. "Alternatingly" precisely means "One red flash, one green flash, one red....". The light flashing "alternatively" red and green would emit green flashes continuously until switched into "red light flashing mode". Here also comes across the "ongoing/continuous" problem. The problem is the flashing of the lamp which is ongoing but everything but continuous, flashing by definition being discontinuous.
Concerning non flammable and inflammable the explanation is that until 1920 "inflammable" meant "flammable" derived from "to inflame something" for putting something on fire. That lead to so many confusion that in 1920 the National Fire Department Association asked to use "flammable" instead of "inflammable" and "nonflammable" for the opposite property of a substance. "Inflammable"still means "flammable" however and is still confused with nonflammable (see above).

PS:
The mother of unlogic in language is to ask someone about his body height. Nobody asks : "How high are you?" or "How long are you?" for body length. Instead you probably ask "How tall are you?" and the answer is
" I am 6''3' "with three apostrophes, or is it better to say "I am 6''3' tall?". Or can I ask "How great are you?"and "Are you higher/longer/taller/greater than your brother?"

DallasDad
14th May 2012, 02:49 PM
Like "whom." Seriously, get with the times. We don't need this word. Stop worrying about it.


Are you as sanguine about losing other instances of the objective case? Does "I gave it to she" or "Me gives it to he" bother you?

dafydd
14th May 2012, 04:15 PM
When did the progressive tense replace the past tense in Britain? I left Britain in 1976 and the past tense was used then. Nowadays, instead of saying ''He walked into the place, he asked for a beer, he sat down....'' they say ''He's walked into the place, he's asked for a beer, he's sat down...'' as if they are commenting on actions to somebody who can't see it. How did this happen? I find it very irritating.

Fuzzy Dunlop
14th May 2012, 04:22 PM
Are you as sanguine about losing other instances of the objective case? Does "I gave it to she" or "Me gives it to he" bother you?
I wouldn't say that it bothers me, it's just weird sounding because it's very unconventional usage.

It's silly to try to cling to words and language rules deemed obsolete by popular convention. You just have to go with the flow. When "me" replaces "I" in everyday language I'll be all over it. Otherwise you're just going to be a joke for future linguists, like English grammar books from back in the day that demand proper use of "hither" and "thither."

Alareth
14th May 2012, 04:33 PM
the constant confusion of moot/mute is a pet peeve of mine

anglolawyer
15th May 2012, 04:21 AM
Use of 'complex' where 'complicated' is meant.
Use of 'gender' where 'sex' would be more appropriate, as in 'gender equality'.

TimCallahan
15th May 2012, 09:46 AM
I don't really have a problem with the use of the present tense in those situations. It lends a sense of immediacy. It's natural, and it isn't new. Old Norse sagas, for instance, frequently drift in to the present tense, usually during the exciting bits.

I'm willing to give the use of the present tense a pass. However, the poverty of speech in such terms as, "So I'm like . . ." and, "So she goes . . ." is something I find really annoying. What's so hard about saying, "So I felt . . ." or, "Se she said (or "says") . . ." ?

Fuzzy Dunlop
15th May 2012, 10:06 AM
I'm willing to give the use of the present tense a pass. However, the poverty of speech in such terms as, "So I'm like . . ." and, "So she goes . . ." is something I find really annoying. What's so hard about saying, "So I felt . . ." or, "Se she said (or "says") . . ." ?
What's the difference?

Wudang
15th May 2012, 11:59 AM
When did the progressive tense replace the past tense in Britain? I left Britain in 1976 and the past tense was used then. Nowadays, instead of saying ''He walked into the place, he asked for a beer, he sat down....'' they say ''He's walked into the place, he's asked for a beer, he's sat down...'' as if they are commenting on actions to somebody who can't see it. How did this happen? I find it very irritating.

I'm only aware of this pattern in Guy Ritchie films. Certainly never heard it round these parts.

Rat
15th May 2012, 06:01 PM
the constant confusion of moot/mute is a pet peeve of mine
Irrelevant to me, since I can no longer use the word 'moot' without a possible ambiguity.

TimCallahan
16th May 2012, 01:27 AM
What's the difference?

The difference is that the middle-aged woman I heard using "like" and "goes' in place of "says" or "said" - speech we might otherwise attribute to teenagers - might actually show that she has some basic concept of how to speak proper English. I realize that in casual speech we all do such things as use adjectives in place of adverbs (as in "real good"), as well as committing other breaches of correct English. I just happen to think that phrases such as, "So I'm like. . ." and "She goes . . ." are beyond the pale. I realize this may be nothing more than my opinion. However, that is within the scope of the thread title and the OP.

Another thing that antagonizes me is overuse of the "F" word. It tends to cheapen speech and dilutes the impact of the word. When I was doing substitute teaching, I used to hear high school students using the words, "****" and "******* so often they were rendered virtually meaningless as either descriptive words or as exclamations. I suspect some of these kids wold be unable to finish a sentence if you denied them the use of some form or other of the "F" word.
Edited to properly mask profanity. Please see Rule 10 re: the auto-censor.

dafydd
16th May 2012, 04:25 AM
I'm only aware of this pattern in Guy Ritchie films. Certainly never heard it round these parts.

I hear it every day on the phone-ins on Radio 5 live. And on Traffic Cops on the BBC when an officer is telling the camera what happened. And on sports reports.

bigred
16th May 2012, 05:05 AM
Curse these young people and their newfangled ways of speaking! As several people have already noted, we aren't simply talking about teens and the current "cool" slang, but the scary number of allegedly grown adults going out of their way to let us know their depth of idiocy. I mean, I'm all like, dude. Seriouslyreallyreallyseriously.

Same with "sammich." It's not baby talk, it's just the natural evolution of language. Sorry, wrong. It is is baby talk and hardly an "evolution of language." "Devolution" if anything. U C what I mean?

Inefficient words get streamlined. Every little syllable isn't necessary.
Don't you mean "long words suck! screw syllables." That's a more efficient way to say it. ;)

dafydd
16th May 2012, 06:29 AM
I once read a book set in New York and sandwich was spelled ''sandrich''.

commandlinegamer
16th May 2012, 07:05 AM
When did the progressive tense replace the past tense in Britain? I left Britain in 1976 and the past tense was used then. Nowadays, instead of saying ''He walked into the place, he asked for a beer, he sat down....'' they say ''He's walked into the place, he's asked for a beer, he's sat down...'' as if they are commenting on actions to somebody who can't see it. How did this happen? I find it very irritating.

Tolkien uses the present tense to refer to events in the past, in The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales, IIRC (I don't have them to hand), e.g.

"Tuor is come to Gondolin", rather than "Tuor came to Gondolin".

It's a bit jarring at first, but quite effective.

Presumably there's a proper name for this, but if I was aware of it, I don't remember now.

DallasDad
16th May 2012, 07:17 AM
That's not the present tense. It refers to a state of being wherein a past action has completed but the state is continuing.

Lucian
16th May 2012, 08:28 AM
When did the progressive tense replace the past tense in Britain? I left Britain in 1976 and the past tense was used then. Nowadays, instead of saying ''He walked into the place, he asked for a beer, he sat down....'' they say ''He's walked into the place, he's asked for a beer, he's sat down...'' as if they are commenting on actions to somebody who can't see it. How did this happen? I find it very irritating.

That's not the progressive; it's the present perfect. Progressive would be, "He is [was] walking into the place."

Fuzzy Dunlop
16th May 2012, 10:42 AM
The difference is that the middle-aged woman I heard using "like" and "goes' in place of "says" or "said" - speech we might otherwise attribute to teenagers - might actually show that she has some basic concept of how to speak proper English. I realize that in casual speech we all do such things as use adjectives in place of adverbs (as in "real good"), as well as committing other breaches of correct English. I just happen to think that phrases such as, "So I'm like. . ." and "She goes . . ." are beyond the pale. I realize this may be nothing more than my opinion. However, that is within the scope of the thread title and the OP.

Another thing that antagonizes me is overuse of the "F" word. It tends to cheapen speech and dilutes the impact of the word. When I was doing substitute teaching, I used to hear high school students using the words, "****" and "******* so often they were rendered virtually meaningless as either descriptive words or as exclamations. I suspect some of these kids wold be unable to finish a sentence if you denied them the use of some form or other of the "F" word.
The source of your aggravation would appear to be in the misconception that "proper English" is a real thing. Language is for communication, any words that effectively communicate meaning to their audience are "correct." It's fine if you want to be considered alongside those who bemoaned the loss of "hither" and "thither" as a pathetic defeat for the language, I find it easier to just go with the flow. English is a living, constantly evolving language, and while it may be taught as if it were a rigid academic subject as much as Latin that's not the most realistic way to view it.

And **** is a great word. I think "overusing" it may help society get over the ridiculously childish and archaic concept of naughty words that require censorship. It's just a word, people. It can't hurt your children. The meaning will be "diluted", of course, but that's what happens - when you have a great word people are going to want to use it a lot. Same thing happened with "awesome" - it used to be reserved really amazingly special epiphany moments, nowadays it's basically a synonym for "good." But hey, words change their meanings over time, that's what they do.

Edited to properly mask profanity. Please see Rule 10 re: the auto-censor.
---

As several people have already noted, we aren't simply talking about teens and the current "cool" slang, but the scary number of allegedly grown adults going out of their way to let us know their depth of idiocy. I mean, I'm all like, dude. Seriouslyreallyreallyseriously.
Get used to it. You're seeing the language change before your eyes and there's likely no going back - convention tends to beat out complaining old people. ;)

Sorry, wrong. It is is baby talk and hardly an "evolution of language." "Devolution" if anything. U C what I mean?
...
Don't you mean "long words suck! screw syllables." That's a more efficient way to say it. ;)
Words and languages "evolve" over time by becoming simpler and easier to pronounce. Complaining about stuff like this is the same as complaining that those darn kids are all saying "goodbye" instead of "god be with you" like a proper English speaker would.

TimCallahan
16th May 2012, 11:13 AM
The source of your aggravation would appear to be in the misconception that "proper English" is a real thing. Language is for communication, any words that effectively communicate meaning to their audience are "correct." It's fine if you want to be considered alongside those who bemoaned the loss of "hither" and "thither" as a pathetic defeat for the language, I find it easier to just go with the flow. English is a living, constantly evolving language, and while it may be taught as if it were a rigid academic subject as much as Latin that's not the most realistic way to view it.

No, I' just like people to be able to use specific words, such as "says," rather than something as vague as, "So I'm like . . ." or, "So she goes . . .".

And **** is a great word. I think "overusing" it may help society get over the ridiculously childish and archaic concept of naughty words that require censorship. It's just a word, people. It can't hurt your children. The meaning will be "diluted", of course, but that's what happens - when you have a great word people are going to want to use it a lot. Same thing happened with "awesome" - it used to be reserved really amazingly special epiphany moments, nowadays it's basically a synonym for "good." But hey, words change their meanings over time, that's what they do.
. . . (snip) . . .

My point is that the "F" word, when overused, becomes meaningless. I wouldn't think of it as a "naughty" word, though there are some situations in which you wouldn't use it, more for its implied emotional intensity than anything else. Your point about "awesome" actually supports my view. The word is now nearly meaningless.

Perhaps, rather than using the term "proper" English, I should refer to it as effective English. Think of the language as a tool. For example, you can probably drive a nail, eventually, using the side of a claw hammer. However, you will use the hammer far more effectively if you drive the nail in the manner the hammer was meant to be used.

Fuzzy Dunlop
16th May 2012, 01:27 PM
No, I' just like people to be able to use specific words, such as "says," rather than something as vague as, "So I'm like . . ." or, "So she goes . . .".

...

Perhaps, rather than using the term "proper" English, I should refer to it as effective English. Think of the language as a tool. For example, you can probably drive a nail, eventually, using the side of a claw hammer. However, you will use the hammer far more effectively if you drive the nail in the manner the hammer was meant to be used.
I don't see that "says" is any more effective or precise than "goes" or "I'm like." Such phrases are perfectly understandable and effective for the audience that uses them. If you're speaking at an old folks home you might want to cut back such phrases (if you are even conscious of them), just like if you're talking to a French person you wouldn't want to be speaking English. But to an increasingly large amount of people, "so she's like..." is completely specific and effective - if it wasn't, you wouldn't hear people talking like that.

My point is that the "F" word, when overused, becomes meaningless. I wouldn't think of it as a "naughty" word, though there are some situations in which you wouldn't use it, more for its implied emotional intensity than anything else. Your point about "awesome" actually supports my view. The word is now nearly meaningless.
Yes, can lose their oomph over time, I just don't see how this is a bad thing. It's just the natural progression of language. Are some words actually better than other words? Is a word that means "really really special" better than a word that means "good"? It still has just as much meaning, it just means something different. Think of it as change, rather than degradation.

GlennB
16th May 2012, 01:47 PM
The use of Latinesque plurals. The internet has many forums. JREF has many sub-forums. Fora? Bleurghh.

Rat
16th May 2012, 02:58 PM
The use of Latinesque plurals. The internet has many forums. JREF has many sub-forums. Fora? Bleurghh.
And if we apply the terminology of Kingsley Amis, berks would say "octopi", while wankers would say "octopodes".

Multivac
17th May 2012, 06:53 AM
I hear it every day on the phone-ins on Radio 5 live. And on Traffic Cops on the BBC when an officer is telling the camera what happened. And on sports reports.

Have to agree with Wudang that I don't hear this in normal conversation. The police tend to use words in strange ways, such as "I was proceeding along the highstreet" instead of "I was walking down the highstreet".

Multivac
17th May 2012, 06:56 AM
No, I' just like people to be able to use specific words, such as "says," rather than something as vague as, "So I'm like . . ." or, "So she goes . . .".

This really annoys me too.

Almost as much as people who say "know what I mean?" I'm always tempted to shout at them "Yes, I speak English!" :D

TimCallahan
17th May 2012, 10:53 AM
This really annoys me too.

Almost as much as people who say "know what I mean?" I'm always tempted to shout at them "Yes, I speak English!" :D

Yeah, this is sort of like adding, "y' know?" (You know?) to the end of every statement, as in:

So, I was like really bummed out, y' know? So I'm like askin' this dude why he said that, y' know? 'Cuz it always bums me out when people say that kinda stuff, y' know? And he's like, "I didn't say that, " like he's all innocent or something, y' know?

CORed
17th May 2012, 10:58 AM
...
'-gate' Suffix
I hope I don't need to explain this one.
...


Should be a hanging offense.

CORed
17th May 2012, 11:01 AM
Teen girl 1: "And I was like 'What?', and he was like 'Yeah' and I was like 'no way' and he was like 'Yeah!' and I was like" {holds hand up as if to indicate a 'halt' signal}
Teen girl 2: "No! I'd be like '**** off'"

Actual conversation heard on public transport recently.
Peter

And nowhere in that conversation did either of them say "and he goes ..."?. I think you're making it up.

dafydd
19th May 2012, 04:20 AM
That's not the progressive; it's the present perfect. Progressive would be, "He is [was] walking into the place."

I find it annoying, whatever it is called.

Multivac
21st May 2012, 05:48 AM
Yeah, this is sort of like adding, "y' know?" (You know?) to the end of every statement, as in:

So, I was like really bummed out, y' know? So I'm like askin' this dude why he said that, y' know? 'Cuz it always bums me out when people say that kinda stuff, y' know? And he's like, "I didn't say that, " like he's all innocent or something, y' know?

Please don't get me started on people who say this, as it drives me insane. What is wrong with "she said"? It sound so much better than "she was like".

Dcdrac
21st May 2012, 06:02 AM
"Can I Get" is my least favourite phrase in current use when ordering food or drink, I feel like telling the servers to let the person using that phrase into the kitchen to get it themselves

bigred
22nd May 2012, 06:46 PM
Yeah, this is sort of like adding, "y' know?" (You know?) to the end of every statement, as in:

So, I was like really bummed out, y' know? So I'm like askin' this dude why he said that, y' know? 'Cuz it always bums me out when people say that kinda stuff, y' know? And he's like, "I didn't say that, " like he's all innocent or something, y' know?

Why do I suspect you're not a fan of the misuse/abuse of the word "all" either, as in:

"I'm all like, and she's all, so I'm all, and I was ALL ABOUT THAT...."

:gag:

crimresearch
22nd May 2012, 07:08 PM
"Can I Get" is my least favourite phrase in current use when ordering food or drink, I feel like telling the servers to let the person using that phrase into the kitchen to get it themselves
Let us know how well that works out for you.

bigred
23rd May 2012, 06:05 PM
If someone says "really" or "seriously" (as a substitute for "are you kidding me?" or the like) one more time, I'll scream. Isn't it time for this little trendy expression to die already?

And no, typing it here in an imagined moment of wit doesn't count; sorry. :)

TimCallahan
24th May 2012, 10:58 PM
If someone says "really" or "seriously" (as a substitute for "are you kidding me?" or the like) one more time, I'll scream. Isn't it time for this little trendy expression to die already?

And no, typing it here in an imagined moment of wit doesn't count; sorry. :)

You'll scream? Are you like kidding me, I mean seriously?

bigred
25th May 2012, 04:00 PM
Wow never saw that coming.

Lucian
25th May 2012, 05:47 PM
So TimCallahan goes, "U'll scream? Srsly?" And bigred's like, "Really? U thought that was clever? Whatevs."

Tim and bigred: if it makes you feel any better, I think the above hurt my tablet's autocorrect more than it hurt you.

bigred
26th May 2012, 06:32 AM
I doubt it but thx for trying. :)

"Text-ese" should be a felony.

TimCallahan
26th May 2012, 10:08 AM
I heard someone on a radio show some time ago saying how he was irked by the over use of, "No problem;" as in giving his order and having the waiter respond, "No problem," as opposed to, "Thank you," or "Yes, sir." Added to this in annoyance value are pseudo-Spanish versions, such as, "No problemo."

fleabeetle
28th May 2012, 05:18 AM
This might be a British-English issue, not an American one. Anyway – some posters on this thread have expressed a loathing of “baby-talk” expressions. Follows, a pet hate of mine – widespread in colloquial usage in the UK. It’s what I call the “er-er” thing. An object or a person with a defined, or habitual, role of transitively, doing a particular thing – variations are coined ad lib. Such as: an item used as a weight to stop papers blowing around in the breeze, might be called a “weigher-downer”. A person with neat-freak inclinations, and liable thus to tidy items away, might be called (in a positive, negative, or neutral vein) a “putter-awayer”.

Many people in the UK very happily employ this usage. I, personally, loathe it – makes me want to cringe, and yell out “Ugh ! Beyond-twee baby-talk !” I have an (as a getting-elderly male) slightly odd liking for some fiction in the “chick-lit” category. One of my on-the-whole favourite authors in this genre, in a novel of hers about three sisters, mentions the three’s standard reference to the protective and nurturing eldest sister, as “the great looker-afterer”. In the main, I enjoy this author’s output; but having read the aforementioned designation, I felt a need to take a vomiting-break.

This thing is, in my experience, purely colloquial, and not used in serious informational contexts. I recognise that it does no harm – it just, personally, grates on me. Wonder whether it even exists in other than British English? Any thoughts would be received with interest.

TimCallahan
28th May 2012, 01:46 PM
This might be a British-English issue, not an American one. Anyway – some posters on this thread have expressed a loathing of “baby-talk” expressions. Follows, a pet hate of mine – widespread in colloquial usage in the UK. It’s what I call the “er-er” thing. An object or a person with a defined, or habitual, role of transitively, doing a particular thing – variations are coined ad lib. Such as: an item used as a weight to stop papers blowing around in the breeze, might be called a “weigher-downer”. A person with neat-freak inclinations, and liable thus to tidy items away, might be called (in a positive, negative, or neutral vein) a “putter-awayer”.

Many people in the UK very happily employ this usage. I, personally, loathe it – makes me want to cringe, and yell out “Ugh ! Beyond-twee baby-talk !” I have an (as a getting-elderly male) slightly odd liking for some fiction in the “chick-lit” category. One of my on-the-whole favourite authors in this genre, in a novel of hers about three sisters, mentions the three’s standard reference to the protective and nurturing eldest sister, as “the great looker-afterer”. In the main, I enjoy this author’s output; but having read the aforementioned designation, I felt a need to take a vomiting-break.

This thing is, in my experience, purely colloquial, and not used in serious informational contexts. I recognise that it does no harm – it just, personally, grates on me. Wonder whether it even exists in other than British English? Any thoughts would be received with interest.

I, personally, have not heard such terms used here in California.

Multivac
29th May 2012, 08:29 AM
This might be a British-English issue, not an American one. Anyway – some posters on this thread have expressed a loathing of “baby-talk” expressions. Follows, a pet hate of mine – widespread in colloquial usage in the UK. It’s what I call the “er-er” thing. An object or a person with a defined, or habitual, role of transitively, doing a particular thing – variations are coined ad lib. Such as: an item used as a weight to stop papers blowing around in the breeze, might be called a “weigher-downer”. A person with neat-freak inclinations, and liable thus to tidy items away, might be called (in a positive, negative, or neutral vein) a “putter-awayer”.

Many people in the UK very happily employ this usage. I, personally, loathe it – makes me want to cringe, and yell out “Ugh ! Beyond-twee baby-talk !” I have an (as a getting-elderly male) slightly odd liking for some fiction in the “chick-lit” category. One of my on-the-whole favourite authors in this genre, in a novel of hers about three sisters, mentions the three’s standard reference to the protective and nurturing eldest sister, as “the great looker-afterer”. In the main, I enjoy this author’s output; but having read the aforementioned designation, I felt a need to take a vomiting-break.

This thing is, in my experience, purely colloquial, and not used in serious informational contexts. I recognise that it does no harm – it just, personally, grates on me. Wonder whether it even exists in other than British English? Any thoughts would be received with interest.

Could it be a local phenomena? Haven't heard this usage in my part of Blighty.

fleabeetle
29th May 2012, 10:10 AM
I, personally, have not heard such terms used here in California.

Could it be a local phenomena? Haven't heard this usage in my part of Blighty.
The more restrictedly-local it might prove to be, the better pleased I'd be.

rdaneel
29th May 2012, 08:03 PM
I heard someone on a radio show some time ago saying how he was irked by the over use of, "No problem;" as in giving his order and having the waiter respond, "No problem," as opposed to, "Thank you," or "Yes, sir." Added to this in annoyance value are pseudo-Spanish versions, such as, "No problemo."
At my previous job, they had put up notices that we were not to reply to guests with "No problem".
For the first month or so, this actually seemed to have a "do not think about elephants" effect, as we seemed to be catching ourselves saying it more often after the notices went up. Even my boss said she slipped a few times and I know she normally almost never used it.

xtifr
29th May 2012, 09:53 PM
So...this is the thread for the linguistic equivalent of creationists, then? :rolleyes:

Language-peeving seems to be peculiarly common to the English-speaking world for some reason. Of course, 90% of it is utter BS, spouting rules that don't apply to any dialect of English, and most of the rest is simple subjective matters of taste. The latter is fine, of course, but it's amazing how many people seem to believe there's God-Given rules to English, as opposed to evolving, mutating, changing rules.

(BTW, anyone who's still using Strunk and White as a guide really needs to see this thread (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=234963) and/or read "50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice (http://chronicle.com/article/50-Years-of-Stupid-Grammar/25497[/url)" in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Of course, TEoS isn't the worst--writing BS grammar guides is nearly as good a way to get money out of suckers as pretending to be a psychic, and requires less skill or knowledge.)

Anyway, I'm willing to peeve about spelling and punctuation, because, unlike spoken language, those actually have well-established, published conventions that are naturally resistant to change. For example: I hate run-on sentences. On the other hand, I know that those who complain about starting a sentence with a conjunction are full of it.

One thing I really hate is people who complain about the passive voice without being able to identify it most of the time. (Strunk and White scored one out of four in identifying passive voice.) Did you know that the word "born" can only be used in the passive voice? Yet some idiots want us to stop using the PV altogether. It's often the most effective way to emphasize agency. You can give something more emphasis by putting it at the end of the sentence, like, "the patient was killed by his own doctor!".

DallasDad
29th May 2012, 10:55 PM
Jim, although Chicago-born, always believed he was Californian.

I don't think "born" qualifies as passive there. The expanded meaning, "born in Chicago," clearly connotes the passive (Chicago was the place where his mother bore him), but as shown above, it functions as an adjective. Can you make the case that it's adjectival passive?

xtifr
30th May 2012, 01:43 PM
Jim, although Chicago-born, always believed he was Californian.

I don't think "born" qualifies as passive there. The expanded meaning, "born in Chicago," clearly connotes the passive (Chicago was the place where his mother bore him), but as shown above, it functions as an adjective. Can you make the case that it's adjectival passive?

I can make a very strong case: the agent of bearing is still unspecified, and can still be added with a "by" clause. "Jim, although Chicago-born by a French-Canadian mother, always believed..." If the agent appears or can appear in a "by" clause, then you've got a passive.

The fact that's it's missing the copula is irrelevant--lots of people (including otherwise well-educated people) mistake the presence of a copula as a sign of the passive, when it neither necessarily indicates a passive, nor is required for one.

Good writers typically use the passive in about 15% of their sentences. E. B. White and George Orwell were closer to 20%. Ineffectual writers strive to avoid the passive, and thus weaken their writing.

DallasDad
30th May 2012, 02:14 PM
What's the voice called when "to do" is used as a helping verb to indicate an ongoing (imperfect) situation? For example, "He does forget to take his vitamins from time to time" vs "He forgets to take his vitamins from time to time"?

Krikkiter
30th May 2012, 02:26 PM
"I could care less"

That one annoys me.

xtifr
30th May 2012, 03:46 PM
What's the voice called when "to do" is used as a helping verb to indicate an ongoing (imperfect) situation? For example, "He does forget to take his vitamins from time to time" vs "He forgets to take his vitamins from time to time"?

I don't think that's a voice, but we have an actual linguist around here somewhere, so maybe I'll wait and see if he can provide a more definitive answer.

Back on topic for a sec: one thing that definitely hacks me off is when people with a non-rhotic accent throw in "silent" R's into words, and then expect the rest of us to get the joke. (Like Led Zepplin's "D'yer Mak'er" and A. A. Milne's Eeyore.)