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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Thompson 13 Jun 20 - 07:24 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Jun 20 - 04:34 AM
Backwoodsman 13 Jun 20 - 03:22 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Jun 20 - 04:55 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jun 20 - 03:21 PM
Backwoodsman 12 Jun 20 - 03:19 PM
Bill D 12 Jun 20 - 02:50 PM
Thompson 12 Jun 20 - 02:32 PM
Vincent Jones 12 Jun 20 - 01:59 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Jun 20 - 01:18 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jun 20 - 12:28 PM
leeneia 12 Jun 20 - 12:15 PM
leeneia 12 Jun 20 - 12:07 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jun 20 - 09:27 AM
Mrrzy 11 Jun 20 - 10:00 AM
weerover 11 Jun 20 - 09:23 AM
Donuel 11 Jun 20 - 08:45 AM
Nigel Parsons 11 Jun 20 - 08:12 AM
meself 11 Jun 20 - 01:00 AM
Bill D 10 Jun 20 - 10:26 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jun 20 - 10:11 PM
meself 10 Jun 20 - 02:25 PM
leeneia 10 Jun 20 - 01:53 PM
leeneia 10 Jun 20 - 12:46 AM
Charmion 09 Jun 20 - 10:06 PM
Donuel 08 Jun 20 - 09:12 AM
Doug Chadwick 08 Jun 20 - 09:12 AM
Mrrzy 08 Jun 20 - 09:00 AM
Bonzo3legs 07 Jun 20 - 04:34 PM
Thompson 07 Jun 20 - 03:29 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jun 20 - 07:29 PM
meself 06 Jun 20 - 06:48 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jun 20 - 03:58 PM
Thompson 06 Jun 20 - 02:52 PM
Mrrzy 06 Jun 20 - 02:30 PM
Nigel Parsons 06 Jun 20 - 02:23 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jun 20 - 01:38 PM
leeneia 06 Jun 20 - 12:46 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jun 20 - 12:31 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jun 20 - 12:13 PM
Nigel Parsons 06 Jun 20 - 11:09 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Jun 20 - 09:06 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Jun 20 - 09:03 AM
Mrrzy 06 Jun 20 - 08:42 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Jun 20 - 08:17 AM
Tattie Bogle 06 Jun 20 - 07:18 AM
Mrrzy 05 Jun 20 - 01:24 PM
leeneia 05 Jun 20 - 12:02 PM
Charmion 05 Jun 20 - 11:24 AM
Mrrzy 03 Jun 20 - 05:35 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Jun 20 - 07:24 AM

A particularly weird Joycean weirdness for the week that's in it: people refer to the Greek hero Ulysses as YouLISSaise, but the novel Ulysses as YOUlissaise. No idea why, unless it was some un-Greek-learned scholar who started it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jun 20 - 04:34 AM

"Normalcy." Aaaaaaargh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Jun 20 - 03:22 AM

“Thusly”. Aaaaaaaaaarrrggghhh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 04:55 PM

Hey Vincent, I agree with most of what you say, but "hopefully" is beyond reproach. The other thing is that (minority of one stuff coming up...) I think that it won't be long before we lose "whom" almost entirely. The yanks love their awful "whomever," etc., I know. I reckon "whom" could be consigned to old literature before too long...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 03:21 PM

That is rock as in cradle. Transitive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 03:19 PM

”Well... yesterday I tuned into the memorial service for George Floyd just in time to hear a speaker ask for God's help getting us through this time of "heart rendering" sadness.“

At least he didn’t say it was ‘heart-wrenching’.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 02:50 PM

?"Rock-a my soul in the bosom of Abraham."?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 02:32 PM

I like rockin' used as an admiring term, havta say. As for whom, I have a strong suspicion it was imposed by those tight-assed 17th-century grammarians who tried to turn English into a branch of Latin.
No, I like a living language, but I like it precise. Or when it's not precise, at least colourful.
I particularly like new slang formations.
There's a great book called The Hacker's Dictionary (or maybe Hackers') about the new language used by hackers - that term used in its original sense of excellent coders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Vincent Jones
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 01:59 PM

I try not to let language peeves annoy me, as life's too short, although I can't stop myself from grunting "whom" when people use "who" as the object, or "fewer" when "less" is used incorrectly. And anyway, my English isn't so hot, despite a grammer skool educashun. I've also become used to the ubiquitous "hopefully", used instead of the more correct "I hope". Or, if you prefer it, "one hopes".

But I'll never get used to "proactive", which, as far as I am concerned, is a word invented for people who do not know the meaning of the word "active". Possibly this is a pet peeve because it was popular with people whom (who) I worked with in marketing (an industry from which I escaped), who also loved terms like "blue sky thinking", "ideas shower" and "brainstorming". At the end of one ideas shower I remarked that each and every idea in the shower was golden, but not one person picked up on it. Too subtle, me, by half.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 01:18 PM

"Ariana Grande rocks torn jeans at Coachella festival."

Well I might not want to hear that, but I wouldn't mind seeing it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 12:28 PM

The headline I posted, I just realized, manages to be both oxymoronic and redundant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 12:15 PM

I'm not sure what happened exactly, but my post about 'rock' is cut in half. Since the quarantine started, my hair has grown to twice as long as usual, and I've been looking at videos about hairstyles and personal appearance. In the course of that, I've grown really tired of the word rock. As in:

    She is really rockin' that ponytail!
    Ariana Grande rocks torn jeans at Coachella festival.
    etc etc

If the speaker is too lazy to say why he likes the ponytail, he puts the wearer in charge by saying she's rocking it. Duh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 12:07 PM

This thread is supposed to be about pet peeves, so it's all right to be trivial. One of my pet peeves is rock as a transitive verb. It is so over done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jun 20 - 09:27 AM

Pléionasme du jour:

Scientists Have Discovered Vast Unidentified Structures Deep Inside the Earth


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Jun 20 - 10:00 AM

Whether one possibility or another. If one possibility. No problem. Shorter to say if one than whether one or the other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: weerover
Date: 11 Jun 20 - 09:23 AM

Nigel, I shared your opinion on "if" but rather than correct anyone in such a situation I always check that hasn't become accepted. The very authoritative Chambers Dictionary gives one definition of "if" as "whether".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jun 20 - 08:45 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Jun 20 - 08:12 AM

Pet peeves?
The use of 'if' in place of 'whether'.
"Can you tell me if it's going to rain today?"
If 'if' is being used correctly, and the intended meaning is "If it's going to rain today, please tell me" then no reply is required if it will not rain.
"Can you tell me whether it's going to rain today?" requires an yes/no answer ("yes, it will", or "no it won't", or even "I don't know")

Ok. For pedants a yes/no answer could be answering the question "Can you tell me?" so may not actually answer the intended question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 11 Jun 20 - 01:00 AM

Make no allowance for those speaking at funerals - a funeral is no time to forget your proper use of the English language! Stress, emotion, trauma - no excuse!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 10:26 PM

Well... yesterday I tuned into the memorial service for George Floyd just in time to hear a speaker ask for God's help getting us through this time of "heart rendering" sadness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 10:11 PM

Right. A minority of one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 02:25 PM

Anyone bugged by how "elite" and "minority" can be used to indicate individuals now: "She's an elite"; "He's a minority"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 01:53 PM

In today's newspaper I read that IBM is getting out of the facial recognition business, and the CEO wrote to lawmakers that IBM

"has sunset its...facial recognition software products."

Sunset? What exactly does it mean to sunset software? What is the relationship between a sunset (a pretty pattern of light and clouds at evening) and a set of procedures at a technology corporation?
==========
"Set" is one of those verbs whose past tense is the same at its present tense. Verbs like that can cause problems. For example, if an executive says "We sunset that," does he mean that "We did sunset that", last month, say? Or is it present tense and he means "We sunset that whenever the decision comes up?"

"Read" is another word like that. If I find a report and someone has written "read" on it, does that mean that they should read it, or does it mean they have already read it? Is "read" past tense or present?

They may seem trivial, but language problems like these can lead to expensive legal bills.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Jun 20 - 12:46 AM

That's a good question, Charmion. You've made me realize that I've never come across that phenomenon in any of my German classes.

Now I have another reason to sympathize with refugees trying to master English.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 09 Jun 20 - 10:06 PM

Yes, Thompson, as I said above, the different pronunciation indicates a different part of speech.

I don’t know, but I’d love to — is English the only Indo-European language with this phenomenon?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 09:12 AM

There is no cure for an annoying irritating case of peeves but treatments may include aspirin, naproxin and zoloft.
I however have never heard of people turning peeves into pets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 09:12 AM

"Haitch" is something like "feff" and "lell".

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 09:00 AM

Is that something like the Groke?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 04:34 PM

And then there is the dreaded "haitch"!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 03:29 PM

Would that anything made sense to me this summer!

As for COMpact and comPACT, aren't they different forms? I powder my nose using my gold COMpact, but the powder has become comPACTed from lack of use. I ride a COMpact little bicycle; I have made a COMpact never to drive again…


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 07:29 PM

Just read it, and if it makes sense to you it's fine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 06:48 PM

No: if you start in the past perfect, you would typically, and correctly, NOT stay in the past perfect. The reason you would start in the past perfect is because you are going to go on to talk about something in the more recent past, for which you use the simple past to clarify that it IS the more recent past. "Martha had gone to the supermarket for a few items, then she went to the pharmacy for aspirin .... " is correct, if that is the order in which the events occurred.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 03:58 PM

I must say, I have to agree with Nigel here. I read it a couple of times and couldn't see much to quibble about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 02:52 PM

I had been to the doctor in the morning, when he found that a Stetson hat was growing in my abdomen, which he would remove, he promised, the next day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 02:30 PM

Those are all separate sentences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 02:23 PM

Doggone it, if you're going to start in the past perfect, stay in the past perfect.
Not necessary. The sentence seems to be progressing through tenses. It isn't a problem to say: "I had been to the doctors in the morning. I had faggots and mash for lunch. In the afternoon I went for a walk, and now I'm sitting down to enjoy a glass of beer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 01:38 PM

Sounds like she should have gone back to the pharmacy to get something for that gas...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 12:46 PM

Here's a pet peeve of mine: literate authors who forget what tense they started in. Like this:

"Martha had gone to the supermarket for a few items, then she went to the pharmacy for aspirin, then she got gas."

Doggone it, if you're going to start in the past perfect, stay in the past perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 12:31 PM

Meant to mention that it didn't escape my attention that your item is two years old.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 12:13 PM

Yes I know that, Nigel, but did you actually hear that 2 PM news bulletin? The context of the item was the pandemic and the lifting of the lockdown. Had there been additional reasons for opening and closing beaches, that would have been stated. I'm not aware that beaches in Portugal are routinely closed and opened on a whim. And you know how much I like whimsy...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 11:09 AM

Beaches in Portugal may be closed for reasons other than Coronavirus. If so, it is possible for them to re-open. If they are then closed for Coronavirus then it is possible for them to be re-opened again.
38 beaches closed to the public


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 09:06 AM

The BBC Radio 4 newsreader has just said that the beaches in Portugal are once again reopening. No they're not. They are either once again opening or they're reopening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 09:03 AM

It's not a matter of what's right or wrong. When it comes to English I've always held that it's wot people say wot's the clincher, even when it grates. Or peeves us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 08:42 AM

Cervices, indices, etc. are right. Cervixes, indexes are common, but so is using literally to mean figuratively. Doesn't make it right, just common.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 08:17 AM

Cor, that's a tad touchy considering what I actually said in my post. Lots of foreign words now in common use as adopted English words can take either an anglicised plural (hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, forums) OR it's original-language plural. We should be guided by convention, as in those three, or by practicality. "Cervices" isn't incorrect, but, as it sounds like a word it could be confused with, it's far better to say cervixes. English with all its irregularities and anomalies is complicated enough without adding unnecessary layers of confusion. That's all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 07:18 AM

Clot I am not, thanks for nothing for being your usual arrogant and insulting self, Steve.
Cervices is correct Latin plural as in indices.
I'm outa here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 01:24 PM

They are opening pools for lap swimming.

Lap dancing next!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 12:02 PM

Breaking news! I just came across a YouTube video with 4 items of new slang:

Entitled millennial snowflake gets owned by hotel owner

The only new insult the poster left out is "a Karen," but that's understandable. One can't be a millennial and a Karen at the same time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 05 Jun 20 - 11:24 AM

Linguisticians are intrigued by "backshift", which is what they call a change of emphasis in a multi-syllable or compound word. It often indicates that a two-word phrase is becoming a one-word noun modifier (e.g., ICEcream cone, BACKseat driver). Hence Mrs Steve's pernicious habit.

But sometimes it indicates that the word you thought was a adjective or a noun is actually a verb in this context (e.g., COMpact, n. an agreement or cabal; COMpact, adj., small; comPACT, v., pack together). English has quite a few of these, and I'm pretty sure they all come from Latin/Old French roots. Think of COMbat and comBAT, where the Anglo-Saxon word "battle" always has the stress on the first syllable although it can be either a noun or a verb.

As for REsearch and FEYEnance, they are but more examples of American v. British usage. Put them on the list with LABratory (labORAtory) and CONtroversy (conTROversy).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Jun 20 - 05:35 PM

Spelling mistake? Mmmoi?

Today I read that a cop was punched in the scuffle. Bet that hurt...!


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