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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Mrrzy 04 Jun 19 - 10:47 AM
Mrrzy 07 Jun 19 - 10:09 AM
meself 07 Jun 19 - 11:18 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jun 19 - 07:19 PM
SamStone 07 Jun 19 - 10:48 PM
lefthanded guitar 08 Jun 19 - 02:11 AM
Nigel Parsons 08 Jun 19 - 06:04 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Jun 19 - 06:23 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Jun 19 - 06:24 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Jun 19 - 06:30 AM
Jos 08 Jun 19 - 06:45 AM
Mrrzy 08 Jun 19 - 03:03 PM
Tattie Bogle 08 Jun 19 - 07:58 PM
JennieG 10 Jun 19 - 02:28 AM
Mr Red 10 Jun 19 - 08:51 AM
DMcG 10 Jun 19 - 09:06 AM
weerover 10 Jun 19 - 10:17 AM
leeneia 10 Jun 19 - 06:01 PM
Mr Red 11 Jun 19 - 03:52 AM
leeneia 11 Jun 19 - 10:58 AM
Jos 11 Jun 19 - 12:25 PM
Tattie Bogle 13 Jun 19 - 03:53 AM
Mrrzy 13 Jun 19 - 12:51 PM
Tattie Bogle 13 Jun 19 - 05:30 PM
Mrrzy 14 Jun 19 - 11:01 AM
leeneia 15 Jun 19 - 10:17 PM
Gurney 16 Jun 19 - 12:49 AM
JennieG 16 Jun 19 - 02:04 AM
Mrrzy 16 Jun 19 - 09:02 AM
leeneia 17 Jun 19 - 12:58 AM
Jos 17 Jun 19 - 03:36 AM
Mrrzy 17 Jun 19 - 09:33 AM
leeneia 17 Jun 19 - 11:26 AM
Bill D 17 Jun 19 - 11:36 AM
Mr Red 18 Jun 19 - 03:41 AM
Doug Chadwick 18 Jun 19 - 04:54 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Jun 19 - 05:35 AM
Mr Red 18 Jun 19 - 09:14 AM
Charmion 18 Jun 19 - 09:35 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Jun 19 - 09:43 AM
meself 18 Jun 19 - 10:14 AM
meself 18 Jun 19 - 10:25 AM
Jos 18 Jun 19 - 11:48 AM
robomatic 19 Jun 19 - 12:54 AM
Mr Red 19 Jun 19 - 02:58 AM
BobL 19 Jun 19 - 03:07 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Jun 19 - 09:08 AM
Mrrzy 19 Jun 19 - 10:12 AM
Mrrzy 19 Jun 19 - 01:17 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Jun 19 - 01:44 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Jun 19 - 10:47 AM

Yeah, I remember my dad saying get-go, and I'm old. Ish.

This reminds me of my sisters quizzing mom on modern (in the 60's) slang, and after each phrase, mom said That's over my head. Then they said something (I forget what) and mom says wait, I don't understand that one. "Went over her head" went over her head! We died laughing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Jun 19 - 10:09 AM

Also why does ouster mean ousting?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 07 Jun 19 - 11:18 AM

"From the get-go" does not appear in print until the 1960s, apparently. Some think it morphed from the expression, "From the word 'go'"; personally, I think the similarity is coincidental (due to the opposing rhythmical stresses in the two expressions; 'the GET-go' would not naturally emerge from 'the word GO').

Another theory is that it is an abbreviated version of "Get ready, get set - GO!"

Yet another theory has it as coming from the clunky formation "getting going" - I think "get going" more likely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jun 19 - 07:19 PM

Thing is, with us old fogies we'd tend to think that the old is better than the new. Therefore "from the word go" is better than "from the get-go." But I'm not so sure. Looked at utterly objectively, which is a very bad thing to do, both expressions are equally bad, or equally good. So I'm going with the flow. And you know me...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: SamStone
Date: 07 Jun 19 - 10:48 PM

luv it when the eastenders say "neiver" for neither


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 08 Jun 19 - 02:11 AM

Prefacing a sentence with the inane phrase "Not for nothing, but......" Whatever the f*** does that mean?! I've even asked people who say it, and they don't know.


This is seconded in irritating language by the phrase " Not to talk about it... but...." And then, of course, they talk about it.

Shaddup. ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 Jun 19 - 06:04 AM

Similarly Whatever the f*** does that mean? is just a longer way to ask "What does that mean?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jun 19 - 06:23 AM

No it doesn't. At least in the written word, one is a neutral request for an explanation. The other is highly-nuanced, and, depending on context, might imply surprise, derision, shock or outrage. In the spoken word, much would depend on how you express either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jun 19 - 06:24 AM

I meant "No it isn't." Grr.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jun 19 - 06:30 AM

And if you want to know one of my pet peeves it's the use of asterisks in swear words. Even The Guardian doesn't permit them. I sometimes use them sarcastically, for example in the expression "Trump is a complete and utter b*ast*ard." That method also comes in handy on those websites that automatically replace your swear word with a different word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 08 Jun 19 - 06:45 AM

I do wish people would say 'inspiring' instead of 'inspirational'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Jun 19 - 03:03 PM

There was a thing for awhile where one said So (something that can't be so), such (something that can't be such), wow. Took me forever to get it right. So effort, such wrong, wow. But now nobody uses it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 08 Jun 19 - 07:58 PM

Well where have I been hiding? I have NEVER EVER in ma puff heard ANYONE say "from the get-go"! And yet you say it's commonplace?
Yes, I have heard, and would use myself "from the word go" or "from the off" but no, nay, never "from the get-go". Could be a song in that?.......

And it's no, nay, never, - - -
No, nay from the get-go
Will I play the go-getter
In your game of get-go


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: JennieG
Date: 10 Jun 19 - 02:28 AM

A turn of phrase which is cropping up more and more - here in Oz, at least - is "forced to do such and such". A news item yesterday about a boat sinking was "survivors forced to cling to wreckage". This morning's local rag has a front page story "police forced to taser man involved in brawl". That's just two instances of what are becoming more and more usages of "forced to".

The stories would be more succinctly told "survivors cling to wreckage" and "police taser man" but perhaps they would then lack a little drama, and some folk like to milk all the drama they can from their stories.

I know language is a living thing, constantly changing and evolving.....and while I do enjoy some current terms and words, I don't have to always like where it is going or some of the stops along the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 Jun 19 - 08:51 AM

And what about starting an answer with "So..........."

I find it distracting, in a way that "Ah" or "Well",** and "yes" isn't off-putting. Yet they serve the same purpose, a delay while the answerer (sic) can collect their thoughts - usually on a subject they know well.

So........... it is a modern affectation, and as Folkies, Traditionalists,** and old Fogies we find strange on our ears.

Language morphs all the time. Consider words for being "in fashion/good", hip, hot, cool,** and wicked - all words with contra contexts.

** Pedants'*** corner - note use of the Oxford comma.

*** note use of the Oxford Grocer's**** apostrophe.

****yes, yes. There are more than one Oxford Grocer, but only one who misspells "'" AFAIK.





So.......... I'll get my côte


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: DMcG
Date: 10 Jun 19 - 09:06 AM

I don't worry at all about my spelling and grammar on Mudcat - I am not producing a work of literature, after all. But I do expect professional documents to be to higher standard. I got a bit of sales promotion that said this:

"Cruises here bring to your holiday a balance of both nature and elegant grounds."

There is *some* semblance to English...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: weerover
Date: 10 Jun 19 - 10:17 AM

I agree with DMcG on mistakes in general, we all make them, but I frequently find basic errors in textbooks intended for the teaching of English in schools, which I consider unforgiveable.

I am somewhat surprised that Tattie Bogle has never encountered "the get-go". I believe we are fairly close geographically, and I have heard it many times, though usually on TV.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Jun 19 - 06:01 PM

This is more than a peeve. i am dismayed at parents of young children who are so absorbed in their electronics or their own conversations that they completely ignore their young child.

The process by which a little one (age one to five) acquires language is one of the most amazing things in all of nature. In addition it's interesting, gratifying or adorable to participate in.

Two days ago I pre-boarding an airplane, and two parents with a little girl were getting aboard just ahead of me. Her parents allowed her to step on the jetway, with its slope and its sudden steep ramps while staring at a small electronic screen. Soon she stopped looking at held up a hot pink teddy bear. Three times she asked, "Is this a stuffed toy?" Nobody answered the first two times. Finally her mother said yes.

If a parent had simply said "Don't interrupt" that would have been better than pretending she doesn't exist. And really, what is so important that you can't stop yacking long enough to see your child safely down a jetway and into the plane?

Then she asked three times, "What animal is it?" Her mother said "You figure it out." That's not going to teach her anything.

As we approached the door into the plane, they allowed her to pull on a metal bar covered with a bright yellow coating. Didn't observe what she was doing, didn't tell her to stop. Didn't explain that parts of an aircraft are not toys and are not to be touched. In short, no parenting was going on.
===============
Ya know, a lot of people are irritated by teen-agers' "up-talk." I think up-talk reflects the insecurity of young people who do not feel confident that an adult is listening to them. They put a question in every utterance because they are unconsciously asking "Are you paying any attention? Do you hear me? Are you there?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Jun 19 - 03:52 AM

I see it all the time on buses. Pushchair facing the front and the mother behind, fixed on the phone.
Less than half of them put the chair facing back, which is the correct way in case of a sudden stop. And it affords eye contact parent & child.

As a non parent, I once read that engaging in what the child is interested in allows them to learn faster. Ignoring or deflecting them with other things, doesn't. When in the company of a toddler I tend to follow their interest, now.

Some understand, some don't. As Winston Churchill said "The two most important jobs in life are given to amateurs, parenthood & citizenship"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Jun 19 - 10:58 AM

Excellent points, Mr. Red.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 11 Jun 19 - 12:25 PM

Many years ago when I used to push a child along in a pram, the pram was designed so that the child would sit facing me, but did he want to sit and look at me? No, whenever possible (that is, when it wasn't raining) he liked to have the hood down so that he could turn round and see where we were going.

(There were no portable phones or electronic devices in those days, but even now I do not use one while walking along.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Jun 19 - 03:53 AM

"Get-go": I don't watch much TV which is maybe why I haven't heard it.
I prefer " My get-up-and-go has got up and went"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Jun 19 - 12:51 PM

Tattie, this is now a music thread!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Jun 19 - 05:30 PM

I have no pet peeve with that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Jun 19 - 11:01 AM

Fox News, reporting on an awful incident where a pregnant woman was murdered and the fetus[before]/baby[after] was kidnapped, used the term "womb-raider" in headlines when the baby died.

I was horrified and kinda impressed at the same time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 15 Jun 19 - 10:17 PM

I dislike that, Mrrzy. "Womb-raider" sounds too much like a term from science fiction. What a horrible crime, made slightly worse for the family when Fox News tries to be trendy about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Gurney
Date: 16 Jun 19 - 12:49 AM

BBCWrestler (if I may call him that)up there picked one of mine. I watch American Pickers on the TV, and Mike Wolfe often says "Very Unique."
It is or it isn't unique. There aren't degrees of uniqueness.

Another term that I thought was peculiar to Americans was the use of the term 'Careen' when they mean 'Career." One means to clean a ship, the other (among other meanings) to move erratically. I just checked on Wordweb, the (possibly American) computer dictionary, and even that useful application doesn't know the difference, although it claims both words to the 'move erratically' meaning. Also, it has jammed up on me for asking!

Many English speakers often use 'an' before a word that begins with 'H,' such as 'An horrific accident, An herb garden.'

Books generally have dispensed with speech marks " in favour of quotation marks '.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: JennieG
Date: 16 Jun 19 - 02:04 AM

Not only Americans, Gurney......Ozzies use 'career' meaning to move erratically, as in 'the car went careering down the hill'. 'Careen', not so much.

Considering that much of our speech patterns came from various parts of Great Britain rather than the U.S., it could point to an origin on the British side of the pond.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Jun 19 - 09:02 AM

We call those single quotes and double quotes. They are used for different things. I have not seen singles used instead of doubles. I would object.

Leeneia, yes indeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Jun 19 - 12:58 AM

This sentence describes how I've always known the word 'careen.'

" Whether it's an unsteady ship, a speeding bus, or a person who is woozy, use the verb careen to describe something that's teetering from side to side."

I particularly think of a running person careening down a hill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 17 Jun 19 - 03:36 AM

Is that rule about single and double quotes being for either speech or quotations an American rule? It might work in a novel or story, but otherwise what happens if you are quoting what someone said?

All the publishers I have come across require either consistent use of double quotes, but with single for a quotation within a quotation, or consistent use of single quotes, but with double for a quotation within a quotation - this is more common with UK publishers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Jun 19 - 09:33 AM

Never heard of speech v. quote.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Jun 19 - 11:26 AM

My rule is that my little fingers are quite small, and the double quote, which requires use of the shift key, is to be avoided. This is a new rule, and I'm not consistent.

Therefore, I should type:

The word "reticent" is often misused for "reluctant." [I do this to make the words qua words really stand out.]

However, quotations are usually self-evident, so I type

He exclaimed, 'You're not just beautiful, you're amazing.!'

I can make up rules just as well as the next guy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jun 19 - 11:36 AM

When typing in a forum such as this, my personal rule is to use standard quotation marks "...." for known exact quotes, but when there is a phrase I am not sure of, or that *I* claim as my own creation, I like to use single quote apostrophes '....'.

It's just my attempt to indicate in print what I would try to show in speech. Mudcat is great in allowing various HTML code to allow rising and falling inflection etc....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Jun 19 - 03:41 AM

There aren't degrees of uniqueness.

I would agree lexicographically, but real life ain't binary. A standard Ford car might come in yellow, or red (please) or any colour as long as it's black. But if you paint it in psychodelia then it is unique, but you can still get the same tyres or windscreen wiper blades for it, which means it isn't (ha - hide yer eyes) that unique!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 18 Jun 19 - 04:54 AM

A standard car with unique features.

It takes very little effort to get it right.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 19 - 05:35 AM

There's more than a whiff of grammar policing going on here. A few decades ago, gay meant one thing. Now it means two things. That's language evolution for you. I'm quite happy to see people saying quite unique or fairly unique, etc, and would never insist on their rebuilding their sentence. What you're missing is the gentle morphing of the word into two forms. The one won't damage the other, so stop fretting!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Jun 19 - 09:14 AM

A standard car with unique features.

Don't think I am being overly pedantic but.......

A standard car with unique decoration/colouring/appearance/presentation

A feature is functional and I can only think of one function for psychodelic appearance, and that is ego, or corporate identity if you are Mr Red.

Getting it right ain't so easy for pedant in the real non-binary world. Trust me, (:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Jun 19 - 09:35 AM

Editor here. I do this for a living, and have for (literally) decades.

I have considerable patience with new meanings for old words (e.g., gay), but very little for self-inflicted grammar injuries (e.g., if I would of known). The former is evolution in the language; the latter is the bastard child of ignorance of verb forms and refusing to revise after writing by ear.

The great glory of English is its bewildering variety of vocabulary, so I shake my head in pity over a text that confuses "decimate" and "annihilate", "substitute" and "replace", "flaunt" and "flout". Today, I read in the Globe & Mail about a new law in the Province of Quebec that "bans public servants from" wearing outward and visible signs of religious belief -- irritating to me because one bans things (automatic weapons, for example) and activities (such as pissing in the gutter), not people. People are "forbidden to" do something, or "prevented from" doing it.

For the advanced class, we also have the gradual disappearance of the preposition "of" (representing the genitive or possessive case), now being overtaken by "for" (traditionally used to translate the dative case, and to indicate purpose or advantage). We used to have "centres *of* excellence", but we are now seeing "centres *for* excellence". In my youth, the oldies radio station in Ottawa would have been called "Ottawa's home *of* rock music", but lately it has become the "home for rock music". Why does that matter? Well, to me, the form using "of" indicates the actual presence of rock music, but the form using "for" indicates only the intention of providing rock music, but not necessarily the actuality. That distinction (admittedly subtle) has apparently disappeared while I was not looking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 19 - 09:43 AM

The modern usage of decimate is perfectly fine. Only pedants are insisting on its one-in-ten meaning. You've lost that one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 18 Jun 19 - 10:14 AM

I think that switch from 'of' to 'for' is deliberate. 'Excellence' isn't just sitting there, static; it's to be created (re: "to indicate purpose or advantage") - 'Centre for Excellence' is an abbreviated way of saying 'Centre for the Creation or Discovery of Excellence'. Similarly, 'the home for rock music' suggests more dynamism than does 'the home of rock music'; it conflates the sense of rock music coming to the station to find a home - rather than already being there sitting by the fire - and listeners coming to the station to find rock music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 18 Jun 19 - 10:25 AM

"one bans ... activities" - To say that banning people from wearing something is 'banning people' rather than banning an activity ('wearing') may be correct in a strictly grammatical sense, I don't know - but, boy, it sure is subtle. Good luck with that one.

I do agree that 'forbidding' would be better, and it has a more menacing connotation, which suits the fascistic law it refers to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 18 Jun 19 - 11:48 AM

Although people who use 'decimate' do not usually mean 'to destroy one in ten', they do not usually mean 'annihilate', meaning 'to reduce to nothing' (Latin 'nihil'). They may, however, mean 'to destroy a large proportion' such as nine out of ten.

I am annoyed by people saying 'just because [...] doesn't mean ...', when what they should be saying is 'just because [...] it doesn't mean ...' or 'just because [...] that doesn't mean ...'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: robomatic
Date: 19 Jun 19 - 12:54 AM

using an apostrophe before the s in order to make a plural.

using any modifier to the word 'unique'. (Although apparently my position is hopeless "'very unique' is here to stay".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Jun 19 - 02:58 AM

using an apostrophe before the s in order to make a plural.

yea, it is gross, can't think of anything grocer ..................



I'll get my thesaurus.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 19 Jun 19 - 03:07 AM

Unique is like dead or pregnant - either you are or you aren't. Same qualifiers, more or less, can be applied to each.

However, one thing that really bugs me is people saying "quantum leap" (by definition, the smallest possible change) when they mean something more like a paradigm shift.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jun 19 - 09:08 AM

Or a sea change...

Now on the matter of unique, get a grip, chaps. I should think that a majority of people (only guessing) who use unique in everyday parlance add a modifier. What they are doing is using the word in a different sense to the one you wish to cling to. They are not saying the only one of a kind. They are saying special, different, outstanding, all words that can take a modifier. The word is undergoing a dichotomy of meaning. That's how language evolves and we should cheer it on. So far it's only a nice distinction (see what I did there...?), but you won't stop it growing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Jun 19 - 10:12 AM

Assonance means getting the rhyme wrong?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Jun 19 - 01:17 PM

Today there was a headline about a woman being killed to death.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jun 19 - 01:44 PM

Was she razed to the ground? Or, worse (and I assure you I've seen it), raised to the ground?


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