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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Mrrzy 06 Oct 20 - 08:49 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Sep 20 - 05:59 PM
Mrrzy 05 Sep 20 - 05:46 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 05 Sep 20 - 09:41 AM
BobL 05 Sep 20 - 02:39 AM
Mrrzy 04 Sep 20 - 03:55 PM
Nigel Parsons 04 Sep 20 - 02:07 PM
Charmion 04 Sep 20 - 11:47 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Sep 20 - 10:25 AM
G-Force 04 Sep 20 - 10:14 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Sep 20 - 08:12 AM
Nigel Parsons 04 Sep 20 - 06:11 AM
Nigel Parsons 04 Sep 20 - 05:01 AM
Joe_F 03 Sep 20 - 06:21 PM
JennieG 03 Sep 20 - 05:59 PM
Mrrzy 03 Sep 20 - 02:10 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Sep 20 - 12:26 PM
Mrrzy 03 Sep 20 - 11:20 AM
leeneia 03 Sep 20 - 11:16 AM
JennieG 02 Sep 20 - 10:19 PM
leeneia 02 Sep 20 - 07:37 PM
JennieG 29 Aug 20 - 06:04 PM
G-Force 29 Aug 20 - 09:23 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Aug 20 - 05:18 AM
JennieG 29 Aug 20 - 01:12 AM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 10:45 PM
Bill D 28 Aug 20 - 03:38 PM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 03:08 PM
Charmion 28 Aug 20 - 11:31 AM
Lighter 28 Aug 20 - 10:47 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 28 Aug 20 - 10:18 AM
Charmion 28 Aug 20 - 10:08 AM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 09:21 AM
Steve Shaw 27 Aug 20 - 06:34 PM
Thompson 27 Aug 20 - 05:59 PM
meself 27 Aug 20 - 02:38 PM
Mrrzy 27 Aug 20 - 01:15 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 20 - 12:14 PM
leeneia 27 Aug 20 - 11:42 AM
Thompson 27 Aug 20 - 10:09 AM
Mrrzy 26 Aug 20 - 10:05 PM
Lighter 26 Aug 20 - 08:10 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Aug 20 - 07:06 PM
leeneia 26 Aug 20 - 07:00 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Aug 20 - 11:39 AM
Lighter 25 Aug 20 - 10:01 AM
Mrrzy 25 Aug 20 - 09:45 AM
Nigel Parsons 25 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM
Lighter 25 Aug 20 - 09:31 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Aug 20 - 06:01 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Oct 20 - 08:49 AM

NRO reveals plans for previously-undisclosed SpaceX launch this month

Well, who reveals previously-disclosed news?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Sep 20 - 05:59 PM

My son and I have this joke, after watching the Thin Blue Line many moons ago, in which the feckless DC Grimm once said "eight o'clock in the morning hundred hours." Ever since, it's been the way we always refer to the time of day...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Sep 20 - 05:46 PM

Noon and midnight, yeah.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 05 Sep 20 - 09:41 AM

One can always use "noon" and thereby avoid confusion. The first moment of the day is 0000 hours and the last moment, 2400 hours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 05 Sep 20 - 02:39 AM

Charmion, were I to address you as "young lady", from my 76-year-old perspective it would be merely a slight exaggeration rather than than a slight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Sep 20 - 03:55 PM

Hippo birdie, deer Charmion!

I never use am or pm with 12. I use 12:01 to avoid it. Or 11:59. But not 12:00.

I also normally use the European 24hr clock anyway, which Americans, to my dismay, refer to as "military" time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Sep 20 - 02:07 PM

Then you see the occasional "12 AM" or "12 PM." And our local telly weatherman is almost guaranteed to say "dawn tomorrow morning" in every bulletin. Tell 'im, somebody!
The greatest problem with 12:00 hours is that it is frequently used to mean the exact opposite of what is intended.

For the morning you get 9.00 (am) 10.00 (am) 11.00 (am) followed by 12:00 (pm).
Although this is in common use, I disagree with it. 12pm should be one hour later than 11pm. If you must re-start counting at midnight (or noon for those on 12 hour clocks) then to name the hour after 11.00 the next hour needs to be 0:00. If you name it as 12:00 then it needs to be one hour later than 11:00, not 13 hours later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Sep 20 - 11:47 AM

Today is my birthday, and if anyone congratulates me on being "66 years young!" I might forget myself and say something rude. Somebody has already called me "young lady" on Facebook today. He was being "funny", but I'm not amused.

As a recipient of the Old Age Pension, I am an official, government-certified Olde Pharte. What's more, I refuse to deny it; I earned every wrinkle, varicose vein and arthritic joint the hard way.

As for human resources, I remember when they were "staff", "the workforce" or "manpower". "Personnel" was a military term until about the mid-'70s; those who put it in context with "matériel" are correct.

English-speaking civilians puzzle me with their attachment to the 12-hour clock; what's so hard about 1200 hr and 2400 hr? If the French and the Germans can figure it out, and generations of barely literate soldiers, so can you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Sep 20 - 10:25 AM

Then you see the occasional "12 AM" or "12 PM." And our local telly weatherman is almost guaranteed to say "dawn tomorrow morning" in every bulletin. Tell 'im, somebody!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: G-Force
Date: 04 Sep 20 - 10:14 AM

'Midnight on Saturday'. I've always had a problem with that. Is it midnight at the end of Friday or midnight at the end of Saturday? In any case, if it's midnight it's not any day, but a point in time between the two.

I must be in a bad way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Sep 20 - 08:12 AM

"SALE - up to 70% off!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Sep 20 - 06:11 AM

Pet peeve number: . . .
Something is "three times smaller/lighter/cheaper".
When making comparisons the comparison is made in terms of the original. The original may be three times the size of the newer object, but that means the newer object can be described as "one third the size" of the original.

If something has a price, making it 'one times cheaper' reduces the price by 100%, making it free. To be "three times cheaper" they need to pay me double the original price in order to take it away!

I've just seen it in an online add for building bricks "eight times smaller than Lego". No, no, no! (one eighth the size)
Also they're referring to the volume. The bricks appear to be a 1:2 scale model of Lego bricks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Sep 20 - 05:01 AM

I suppose "fire personnel resources" was use to avoid complaints from those who object to the traditional "Firemen".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Joe_F
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 06:21 PM

IRRC, "human resources" was invented by Paul Goodman, who thought "personnel" was dehumanizing. You can't win.

"Personnel" comes from French, and contrasts with "materiel" (I don't know how to do the acute accent in this medium) = material resources. Thus, "human resources" is a pretty exact translation of it.

The original application of the pair seems to have been military.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: JennieG
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 05:59 PM

Yes!! "Years young" presses my buttons every time - I have become one of those Olde Phartes who yells at the TV every time someone says it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 02:10 PM

Oops!

Also, "years young" - barf. Just don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 12:26 PM

Is that people in a Chinese province?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 11:20 AM

I remember when Personnel became Hunan Resources, as if people were now inanimate objects. I objected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 03 Sep 20 - 11:16 AM

Good one, Jennie.

As an Australian, you probably are not aware of an American tax situation behind terms like "personnel resources." The tax code says that employees are entitled to have certain payments made on their behalf - social security, medicare, unemployment. Therefore, in a feeble dodge, employers call their employees something else.

Their housecleaner in an independent contractor. So is the babysitter.   For some years I worked for a national retail chain, and we were associates, then we were team members. This last was particularly pathetic, because no way was a billion-dollar outfit going to get away from its legal obligations just because it had thought of a cute new term for "employee."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: JennieG
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 10:19 PM

Leeneia - one of the best misuses (is there such a word? there should be) was several years ago at a citizenship ceremony, when we lived in the Big Smoke. Hizzoner the mayor was there, and assorted local dignitaries; it was Australia Day, so becoming an Ozzie citizen was a big deal that day.

Up steps Mr Mayor, resplendent in his red robe with chain of office around his neck (chain was later melted in a fire, a new one had to be made), and speaks of the vows our new Ozzies will be asked to make. He tells them they will be "required to swear allegiance to the queen and her excesses".

Himself and I couldn't stop sniggering......

These days our new citizens swear allegiance to the country of Australia, not to the queen. I'm sure her successors aren't bothered one way or the other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Sep 20 - 07:37 PM

I have a relative rather near a big fire in California, so I'm keeping tabs on it. Fortunately, it seems to be waning, and evacuation orders have been lifted.

Today Calfire reported that "Fire personnel resources are beginning to return to their respected Units or reassigned to other incidents."

I don't like it that living, breathing firefighters are referred to as "fire personnel resources." These are people.

I say let's forgive them for mixing up "respected" and "respective." Calfire people are probably exhausted by now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: JennieG
Date: 29 Aug 20 - 06:04 PM

A few roos (kangaroos) loose in the top paddock.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: G-Force
Date: 29 Aug 20 - 09:23 AM

A few bars short of a middle eight (well, it is a music forum).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Aug 20 - 05:18 AM

"A few fries short of a Happy Meal"

A few sandwiches short of a picnic
A few condoms short of an orgy
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
I looked into his eyes. The lights are on but there's nobody driving


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: JennieG
Date: 29 Aug 20 - 01:12 AM

Andrew - in Oz it's "as cunning as a shithouse rat". Our rats aren't crazy, but they are very cunning inded.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 10:45 PM

Snicker.. Ok, these are language pets, rather than pet peeves, excellent veer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 03:38 PM

In the film "The Green Mile", Percy, the bad jailer, is 'infected' by John 'Coffee' and one onlooker says.. "I think that feller's cheese done slid off his cracker."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 03:08 PM

And I love all the [some part] short of a [whole] for Not All There:

A few fries short of a Happy Meal, e.g.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 11:31 AM

How could I have forgotten the shithouse rat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 10:47 AM

I recall ""dumb as a rock" from NYC in the '50s. Also "dead as a doornail [or "doorknob"] and "deaf as a fencepost."

Others were more mundane: "sweat like a bull," "work like a dog," etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 10:18 AM

I have always heard and used, "dumb as a bag of hammers." One is "as crazy as a shithouse rat."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 10:08 AM

In Canada, one is as crazy (or mad) as a bag of hammers.

"Away with the fairies" is heard without inverted commas only in the Atlantic provinces and among those of recent Irish descent. It usually means intoxicated or suffering from senile dementia, and applies only to those deemed harmless.

Canadians not only go mad (i.e., insane) like the Brits, we can also be mad (angry) like the Americans. Another aspect of our mixed-up culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 09:21 AM

Yes, as in jump.

And I thought after 4 hours one sought medical attention...

From an advice column:
My husband has been having trouble sustaining an erection for over a year now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 06:34 PM

"Nuts.
Loony.
Bats, in the belfry or not
Cuckoo
Mad, as a hatter or not
That last is more Brit than murrican"

Nutty as a fruitcake
Daft as a brush
Away with the fairies
Mad as a box of frogs
Barking
Doolally-tap
Crazy as Joe Cunt's cat

(Sorry about that last one but it ain't half good...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 05:59 PM

Sauté in the sense of leaping?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 02:38 PM

I hear 'surreal' being used every day by people who I am quite sure have no intellectual pretensions whatsoever, and who quite possibly have never heard of Van Gogh. It has entered the general parlance, and there ain't nothin' no one can do about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 01:15 PM

Thompson, I totally agree. Adds insult to injury.

The origin of that phrase is interesting, the "sult" part relates to sauté and somersault, and has to do with not literally jumping on someone while they are down.

Note I didn't say After they are down!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 12:14 PM

When my brother was about 3-4, he briefly adopted, as a way of showing displeasure with someone, the phrase "You oughta be in an insane-aylum!"

We never quite figured out where he got the original, but he dropped it after people laughed a few times.

I've always thought it could be a useful construction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 11:42 AM

I agree, Steve. "Insane, unreal and surreal" merely seem to mean "unusual." I particularly dislike "surreal." It's used by people who think they are intellectual because they wear Van Gogh's Starry Night knee socks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 10:09 AM

I get particularly annoyed by people who are injured after an accident, or are killed after a car crash. They should arrest the serial killer attacking poor accident victims.
Killed *in* a car crash, for goodness sake!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 10:05 PM

Insanity, fyi, is a legal rather than medical term.

Nuts.
Loony.
Bats, in the belfry or not
Cuckoo
Mad, as a hatter or not
That last is more Brit than murrican


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 08:10 PM

Like, crazy, man!

In my youth I recall using "wild."

Must start again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 07:06 PM

Quite possibly related to that I suppose is the use of the word "unreal."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 07:00 PM

I've just identified another peeve: insane. "Insane" seems to be the go-to adjective for lazy minds. In the last few days I've seen it used to describe the following:

- a photograph of Saturn and its rings
- the remarkable sight of 250,000 snow geese taking off for the south
- an airline insisting a passenger wear a mask

I think that insane is too valuable a word to be thrown around carelessly like this. We need a word which means "out of his mind but not medically mentally ill."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 11:39 AM

"Whom" is used far less in speech than in (certainly more formal styles of) writing. I'd far rather rejig the sentence than write "whom." I may be technically incorrect in saying this, but the only time I feel uneasy about using "who" instead is when a quantity word precedes it, for example "many of whom." It will fade away, unfortunately not before I do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 10:01 AM

> no reason to do away with it

How *do* we do away with words and usages we personally dislike?

Last time I looked, "ain't" and "Between you and I" and "Me and him played ball" were still going strong.

In the words of Kafka, "In the fight between you and the world, bet on the world."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 09:45 AM

Yeah, I like whom too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM

"Whom" is a useful part of the language.
The fact that many people are confused by it, or unable to use it correctly is no reason to do away with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 09:31 AM

> "Ex", not "equis"?

It's unwittingly language-inclusive too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 06:01 AM

That's a brilliant song. But I'm still on a campaign to finally excise the silly word "whom" from the language. Fighting the good fight means being technically wrong a lot of the time but I couldn't care less. As for "whomever," help me somebody!


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