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BS: Language Pet Peeves

02 Oct 10 - 11:31 AM (#2998124)
Subject: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Alvin-Songster

"Emma Thompson attacks poor language" inspired me to begin this thread. Jump in with your own PP's.

  • "Awesome" use to mean "inspiring awe," but currently it's beginning to mean "better than average." "Hey, look! The Grand Canyon. Isn't that better than your average hole in the ground?" Sometimes it's even used just to say something nice. "You know how to spell cat? That's awesome!" Huh?

  • Where did, "Here's the deal" come from, and what will make it go away?

  • The word is "information," NOT "info." Is four syllables really that much more difficult to say than two? Okay if you want to use it informally, or to show you're with it. But using it on radio or television, as in, "For more info..." makes me wonder who's in charge.

  • 02 Oct 10 - 11:48 AM (#2998133)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,999

    People who use the word `fuck` on threads. Hear that Spaw?


    02 Oct 10 - 12:09 PM (#2998143)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    "One pence"

    ~Michael~


    02 Oct 10 - 12:12 PM (#2998145)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: michaelr

    "...one of the only..." Someone/thing is either the only, or one of the few. Drives me nuts!


    02 Oct 10 - 12:50 PM (#2998156)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: catspaw49

    Awesome post 999 and here's the deal on that.......I'll tell myself to fuck off and that should handle it. If you need more info on my decision just lemmee know.

    Spaw


    02 Oct 10 - 01:06 PM (#2998171)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: akenaton

    "We shal re-double our efforts"


    02 Oct 10 - 01:25 PM (#2998180)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: catspaw49

    You got it Ake,,,,one of the only things we can all do! Let's all give 200% 100% of the time!!!

    Spaw


    02 Oct 10 - 03:38 PM (#2998252)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: YorkshireYankee

    Then instead of than
    "PIN number" (the N already stands for number)
    X "a.m. in the morning" (similar issue)
    "baited breath" (unless you've been eating worms)
    "very unique" (see "one of the only", in a previous post)
    X "peaked my interest" (unless your interest began to decline after that)
    "forward" instead of "foreword"
    apostrophes -- some missing, others unnecessary

    These things don't bother me so much from everyday punters (we all have our strengths and weaknesses; just because spelling & grammar always seemed to come pretty easily to me (perhaps because I read a lot as a kid) doesn't mean everyone else finds them easy), but when I see them in books/magazines/newspapers or hear them on radio or TV, I really feel that someone should have caught it before it was published/aired -- aren't proofreaders/editors/subeditors supposed to notice such things?

    Although... it seems that businesses rarely think it worth the time to proofread things these days -- after all, "time is money"!
    I'm a graphic designer, and in more than one job I've had, it has not been appreciated when I've caught mistakes; I've been told it's not my job to worry about such things. One printer even said that mistakes were no bad thing (as long as the mistake was the client's rather than ours), since they generate more business when the job needs to be reprinted... [sigh] Let's not worry about the sheer waste of binning all that paper and ink from the first run...


    02 Oct 10 - 04:35 PM (#2998271)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Wesley S

    The word "veggies". I guess "vegetables" takes to long to say.

    "Newbie" for newcomer. Same thing.


    02 Oct 10 - 04:44 PM (#2998279)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    12 am and 12 pm ~~ if you work it out, both can only mean mean midnight, which is both 12 hours before noon [=ante meridiem] & 12 hours after noon [=post meridiem]. 'Noon' & 'midnight' are the correct terms.

    ~Michael~


    02 Oct 10 - 05:13 PM (#2998304)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: maple_leaf_boy

    I don't get "my bad" and "a$$hat".


    02 Oct 10 - 05:51 PM (#2998326)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Richard Bridge

    I think "my bad" is a useful coinage.

    What is "a$$hat"?

    I think I am most annoyed by the following (partly because of their frequency, partly because of their egregious nature): -

    "For free" in stead of "free" or "for nothing"
    Split infinitives
    "Checkout" in stead of "till"
    "Janitor" (or, worse, "in-store janitor") for "cleaner"
    "Regular" for "ordinary". "Regular" means "recurring with a fixed periodicity".
    "Expiration" (which means "exhalation") in place of "expiry"
    "In the event that" in stead of "if".
    "Less" in place of "fewer" (the former applies to amorphous quantities, the latter to numbers of individuals or individual things).

    I am confident that more will occur to me as the evening wears on and the bottle empties.


    02 Oct 10 - 05:52 PM (#2998327)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Richard Bridge

    Oh - how could I have overlooked "Off of"?


    02 Oct 10 - 06:15 PM (#2998341)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Uncle_DaveO

    I would have sworn that I posted the following earlier in this thread:

    "Epicenter" as in a usage like "Hollywood is the epicenter of the film industry in the U.S."

    Oh, so the film industry in the U.S. is way down underground, and Hollywood is located on the surface above it?   Awww, c'mon!

    Dave Oesterreich


    02 Oct 10 - 07:28 PM (#2998388)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jim Dixon

    I'd say the repetition of the word "is" in sentences like, "The trouble is, is that nobody listens."

    Once you notice it, you keep hearing it everywhere (in the US).

    I have only heard it in speech, probably by people who don't even realize they're saying it. I have never seen it in print.


    02 Oct 10 - 09:01 PM (#2998420)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Uncle_DaveO

    Right here, in our very own, Mudcat, a lot of posters, use way too many, commas, without any, justification or sense. Makes it, hard to, understand. Leaving ALL commas, out, would make it, more readable!

    Dave Oesterreich


    02 Oct 10 - 09:33 PM (#2998430)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Phil Cooper

    Misuse of quotation marks and apostrophes. Also confusing compose and comprise.


    02 Oct 10 - 10:12 PM (#2998442)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: michaelr

    People who don't know the difference between palette, palate, and pallet.


    02 Oct 10 - 11:01 PM (#2998457)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jim Dixon

    Oops! How could I forget "copywrite" (for "copyright") "copywright" and even "copywritten"?


    02 Oct 10 - 11:42 PM (#2998469)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: katlaughing

    I've been having a little to-do with a newperson at the station where my Rog is chief engineer. They posted a story with the headline approximately as follows:

    "Humane Society Looking to Get New Diggs"

    Found out said reporter teaches at the local college and readily admitted to mistakes, which were corrected. We exchanged a couple of more comments in which she agreed using such slang as "diggs" should be guarded against, as she tells her students, but that sometimes it is "just fun."

    The new headline reads as follows:

    "Lots of tail wagging over proposed Roice-Hurst move"

    A definite improvement, though I suppose it would be better if "tail" were plural.


    03 Oct 10 - 01:49 AM (#2998492)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Bert

    Second of all

    Surely it should be 'second of all but one' seeing as 'first of all' has already dealt with the first one?


    03 Oct 10 - 01:55 AM (#2998495)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: The Fooles Troupe

    People who use 'gibberish-logic' ...


    03 Oct 10 - 02:50 AM (#2998499)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    Uncle DaveO: for some reason you posted your 'epicenter' comment on the Emma Thompson thread ~~ I wondered at the time if you had meant it for this one, or were making some recondite point about luvviedom!

    ~Michael~


    03 Oct 10 - 03:30 AM (#2998508)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Dave Hanson

    Go figure, which is usually written as ' go figger, ' it really means " If you don't know that, I think you are stupid "

    Dave H


    03 Oct 10 - 04:01 AM (#2998520)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Liz the Squeak

    People who say 'two things, a) blah de blah and secondly....' It's A and B or First and Second!!!

    Less instead of Fewer gets me every time and I shout at the TV when an advert that uses it is shown.

    'Compares to' instead of' compares with'.

    I can accept that we are ruled by Microsoft's version of spelling (even when the thing is set to English rather than American English) but am driven completely spare by books and publications that have both UK and US spellings used with gay abandon, often ON THE SAME PAGE! I dearly wish to go through certain books with a red pen, correcting every mistake and send it back to the author with the exhortation to employ a proofreader or at least a bloody spell checker! The worst offender was a 'vanity printing' tome that professed to be 'one of the best guides' to its subject matter... Opened at random, I gave up counting after the spelling mistakes, grammatical and typesetting errors got to 2 dozen on one double page. Obviously the subject matter was not 'how to write correct English'.

    Another pet peeve is the continued publication of historical "facts" that have been proven to be otherwise. The accusations of murder levied against Richard III is a prime example. The account of these murders were written on the orders of the man who had just usurped Richard and wanted to dispose of any potential threats. Tudor 'historians' state that Richard III had his 2 nephews murdered in the Tower of London when in fact, there is no contemporary evidence that this happened. When the Tudor dynasty was exhausted, a retraction was broadcast and Richard exhonorated. However, if you open any school history book published in the last 200 years, you'll see that Richard murdered the Princes in the Tower and that is it.

    LTS


    03 Oct 10 - 04:01 AM (#2998522)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,FloraG

    The last line is repeated ( singers)

    - if so - its not the last line.

    A right and left hand star - callers call. Try putting both hands in!

    This door is alarmed ( poor door )

    Turn into a bowl ( cooks ). How?
    FloraG


    03 Oct 10 - 04:53 AM (#2998541)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Abdul The Bul Bul

    "tiny little" and pronouncing 'aitch' with an h.
    Al


    03 Oct 10 - 05:19 AM (#2998552)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Wyrd Sister

    "Should of" as the expansion of "should've", a contraction of "should have". Same for could/would


    03 Oct 10 - 05:37 AM (#2998560)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Paul Burke

    It's been going on a long time, and I doubt if it will stop in our species' lifetime. A hundred years ago, Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells might have written to "The Times"(*):

    The word "terrific" used to mean "inspiring terror," but currently it usually means "very good."

    Where did the phrase "Hello" come from, and what will make it go away?

    The word is "omnibus," NOT "bus." Are three syllables really so much more difficult to utter than one? It is permissible if you want to use it informally, or to show you are "up to date". But to use it in the newspapers, as in "to catch the bus..." makes me wonder who is in charge.


    Note that I've partially corrected a few solecisms ("use to", a certain laxness of punctuation), and excised contractions like "isn't" that would not have been printed in the better newspapers, but wouldn't be blinked at today.

    (*) That's how he would have put it then. No one with any education wrote to the Times.


    03 Oct 10 - 05:51 AM (#2998565)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    "Didn't used to" ~ horribly widespread ~ should of course be "Didn't use to": think about it. But this one a losing battle, I fear.

    ~Michael~


    03 Oct 10 - 06:47 AM (#2998584)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    The American usage [following on from a post above] 'The London Times'. There is no such newspaper. It is called simply 'The Times'. A friend from US once tried to defend this, as necessary to distinguish from 'The New York Times', &c; but climbed down and admitted I was right when I pointed out that the masthead of 'The New York Times' reads 'The New York Times'; while the masthead of 'The Times' simply reads 'The Times'.

    ~Michael~


    03 Oct 10 - 09:27 AM (#2998654)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Paul Burke

    And haitch with an haitch his has hold has the 'ills.


    03 Oct 10 - 10:00 AM (#2998672)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jim Dixon

    I once bought a guidebook to the northwest United States (principally Washington and Oregon) that consistently and repeatedly referred to the "Williamette River." The correct spelling is Willamette.


    03 Oct 10 - 10:08 AM (#2998677)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)

    "The American usage [following on from a post above] 'The London Times'. There is no such newspaper. It is called simply 'The Times'."

    That's true MtheGM, and I understand that both are proper names so the insertion of a place name (as in London) isn't grammatical, but for US readers the default cultural assumption would (probably?) naturally be that if someone refers to 'The Times' they will be using shorthand for "The NY Times"?

    Personally I'm inclined to think "The London Times" is sloppy journalism because you'd never get that kind of fudge used as a reference in academic literature. But is there a preferable way to disambiguate, that is both uncomplicated and concise for more general use?


    03 Oct 10 - 10:11 AM (#2998679)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,999

    Expressions such as `Are you joking me?`


    03 Oct 10 - 12:02 PM (#2998749)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    >But is there a preferable way to disambiguate, that is both uncomplicated and concise for more general use? <

    CS ~ I think 'The [London] Times', or '"The Times" of London' would both be acceptable.

    ~Michael~


    03 Oct 10 - 12:48 PM (#2998780)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Uncle_DaveO

    I think it was GUEST,Bert who asked us:

    Second of all

    Surely it should be 'second of all but one' seeing as 'first of all' has already dealt with the first one?


    "Of them all, the first is" blah-blah = "First of all"

    "Of them all, the second is" whatever = "Second of all"

    So "second of all" is perfectly logical, Bert.   I wouldn't use it myself, because the unadorned "second" is quite sufficient in that context and "second of all" is kind of cumbersome, but it's not logically or grammatically wrong.

    Dave Oesterreich


    03 Oct 10 - 01:13 PM (#2998795)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Ed T

    in order to,....why not just to?


    03 Oct 10 - 01:15 PM (#2998796)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    There seems to be a belief among tv football commentators and commenters that "Goal" is an indelicate word in some way, and the euphemism "It's in the back of the net" is somehow more seemly. I don't think I have ever heard the word "Goal" on Alan Hanson's lips, for example.

    Now, why do I find this so profoundly irritating?

    ~Michael~


    03 Oct 10 - 01:39 PM (#2998813)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: YorkshireYankee

    "Here, here!" instead of "Hear, hear!"
    "It's a mute point" instead of "moot point"

    I think the reason "Here, here!", "mute point", "peaked", "baited breath" and "forward" bug me so much is that by using homonyms, people are losing the original sense(s) of the word(s), along with a certain richness of expression (and even understanding) which accompany the "proper" spelling(s), and I regret that loss -- even while knowing it's inevitable.


    03 Oct 10 - 03:35 PM (#2998891)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Penny S.

    "Fascia" instead of "facia". Lost cause already. It's a bundle of things, such as ligaments in the foot, not a facing board.

    And there's something else, but fortunately I have forgotten it.

    Penny


    03 Oct 10 - 03:40 PM (#2998894)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Penny S.

    "Comprises of".

    Penny


    03 Oct 10 - 03:57 PM (#2998903)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: katlaughing

    "Go figure" in my neck of the woods usually means "Who would have thought it?"

    We've always referred to it as the NYTimes and the Times of London as just the Times.

    I can still hear Mrs. Worcester, my old English/Latin teacher, scolding any of us who used "like" when we meant "such as." It's a lost cause, it's even been deemed "acceptable," but it still bugs me, greatly! The best example of incorrect usage she used with us was the old "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should!" My, how times have changed.


    03 Oct 10 - 06:27 PM (#2998982)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: The Fooles Troupe

    "There seems to be a belief among tv football commentators and commenters that "Goal" is an indelicate word in some wa"

    ... because they associate it with the 'goal' spelling of 'jail'.... and don't want to upset the supporters?


    03 Oct 10 - 06:41 PM (#2998990)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: maple_leaf_boy

    "a$$hat" or "asshat" is a term I've heard used. An "ass" is a donkey,
    so a donkey hat doesn't make sense to me.


    03 Oct 10 - 09:37 PM (#2999068)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Richard Bridge

    How could I have forgotten?

    "try and".

    In the vast preponderance of circumstances "try to" is correct.


    03 Oct 10 - 09:39 PM (#2999071)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,leeneia

    I agree my peeve doesn't make much sense, but I'm peeved by people who introduce themselves by simply walking up to another person and saying their own name. As in:

    "Leeneia? Jonathan Bimblethwaite."

    Apparently I am so unimportant that it's too much effort to say, "Hello, I'm Jonathan Bimblethwaite and..."

    When someone does that, I stare at them and say "What about him?"

    When I worked at the fabric store, pushy women would sometimes barge into somebody else's transaction with "Scissors?" or "Velcro?"

    I didn't let them get away with it. The person I was helping deserved my full concentration.
    =============
    This isn't a peeve, but it gave us a good laugh. A novel involving concert violinists said that when premier violinist So-and-so performed, "there wasn't a dry seat in the house."

    Obviously got 'wasn't a dry eye' mixed up with 'wasn't an empty seat.'


    03 Oct 10 - 11:44 PM (#2999108)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Slag

    "The END of the DAY"! How about "after all is said and done" or "The bottom line is" or "To sum up" or " the net effect is" or "with the results being" or and the conclusion is" or "in the final analysis" or just about anything except "at the end of the day" Please!


    04 Oct 10 - 03:52 AM (#2999156)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Darowyn

    "Attendees"!
    Someone who attends an event is an attender.
    Someone who is 'attended to' is an attendee.
    So at a gig the audience are the attenders, and the artists are the attendees.
    The "..er" suffix is active. The "...ee" suffix is passive.
    A referee is someone who is referred to. A referrer is someone who refers.
    I saw a notice on a bus recently. It said "Seating capacity 56. Standees 12"
    Standees must be people who have been stood up. How sad for them!
    Cheers
    Dave


    04 Oct 10 - 04:09 AM (#2999159)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Wolfhound person

    nucular

    Suggestions for use of this term welcome - it looks like a good word in its own right, but what does it mean?

    Nuclear I understand already, thank you (when pronounced correctly)

    Paws


    04 Oct 10 - 05:23 AM (#2999179)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Patsy

    Whether it is X Factor, or an obesity fitness programme or anything people are lumped together to train and go through their paces 'boot camp' I hate that.


    04 Oct 10 - 05:59 AM (#2999197)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: s&r

    Dissect and cervical with long 'i'sounds. Questionnaire and quarter with no 'w' sound (eg courter). Don't like the affectation of an otel, but like even less an hotel with the'h' aspirated.

    Stu


    04 Oct 10 - 06:08 AM (#2999199)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: s&r

    And 'he gave it to John and I'

    Stu


    04 Oct 10 - 06:24 AM (#2999207)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Wyrd Sister

    'ahead of' meaning 'before'!!!!!


    04 Oct 10 - 08:02 AM (#2999245)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Nigel

    "You know" and "know what I mean" make me cringe. If I know, why tell me, and if I don't know what you mean then I'll tell you.


    04 Oct 10 - 08:32 AM (#2999263)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Hrothgar

    Surplus prepositions (if anybody needs to know what a preposition is, PM me and I'll explain without telling anybody) as in "signed off on". What's wrong with "signed"?

    Nigel, I am of the opinion that anybody who is being interviewed should be cut off after ten "y'know" (or "y'knows?") in the interview, or possibly after five in the one sentence.

    I have counted up to ten in one long, rambling sentence, Usually they seem to be preceded by "um". It appears to be a disease amongst those of the football persuasions, especially soccer and rugby league.

    Yes, I'm a snob.


    04 Oct 10 - 08:59 AM (#2999282)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Patsy

    Can I be frank? (meaning they can justify how rude they are going to be).


    04 Oct 10 - 09:30 AM (#2999294)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jeanie

    I find this very irritating in TV and Radio interviews with members of the public:

    "I'm married to Mary" - or "This is Bert Johnson, and you're married to Mary, is that right, Bert ?"

    as if there is only ONE person called Mary in the whole world ! It should be: "My wife's name is Mary" or "...and your wife's name is Mary...."

    Another pet peeve of mine is a pronunciation issue: the use of an open "ay" sound for the rounded "o" sound. I actually stopped listening to my local radio station because the travel reporter annoyed me so much with his pronunciation: "All clear on the M25 say far" (instead of "so far"). The presenter of a recent archaeology programme on TV did the same, and kept talking about "stanes" and "banes". This would be fine if the rest of the pronunciation was "heightened RP" (i.e. Noel Coward-type English), but these random rogue vowel sounds amongst otherwise standard RP really irritate.

    Another annoying pronunication issue amongst broadcasters in particular: the use of "-in" as the ending of a word, instead of "-ing" when this is not part of their native dialect - i.e. the rest of their pronunciation is standard RP. Do they think it makes them sound relaxed and cool ?

    - jeanie


    04 Oct 10 - 10:19 AM (#2999326)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Uncle_DaveO

    I think it was S&R who declared:

    Don't like the affectation of an otel, but like even less an hotel with the'h' aspirated.

    So is "a hostelry" or maybe "an 'ostelry" better than those?

    Dave Oesterreich


    04 Oct 10 - 10:36 AM (#2999344)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Penny S.

    Putting "Without Prejudice" at the head of an offensive document intended to damage someone else. Only known one usage of it, and I don't know the correct meaning of the phrase.

    Using the term "goodwill payment" of a payment from a debtor designed to cover a portion of expenditure by the group he was in debt to.

    Same misuser of language in each case, and one who wouldn't, indeed didn't, recognise real goodwill when it was offered.

    Penny


    04 Oct 10 - 10:45 AM (#2999351)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: s&r

    A Hostelry every time. The omission of the 'h' sound is a bizarre hangover from court pronunciation when French was the language of the court. Kestionnaire and onvelope are similar.

    Stu


    04 Oct 10 - 10:51 AM (#2999357)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,CrazyEddie

    Patsy's "Can I be frank?" brings to mind a Goons' sequence

    Gridpype Thynne: "I'll I be Frank?"

    Moriarty: "Yes, I'll be Gladys"

    (Sound of Thynne slapping Moriaty across the face)


    04 Oct 10 - 11:11 AM (#2999372)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,leeneia

    Here are four expressions which deserve pet-peevehood. They are from a recent thread, but bear repeating.
    ========
    picking his brains (what an ugly image)

    diddley or diddley squat (Just act yourself what it really means.)

    verbal diarrhea (I'm eating!)

    anal, or anal retentive (meaning merely "More particular than I")


    04 Oct 10 - 11:13 AM (#2999373)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I have to say that, at this particular moment in time, I can't think of any particular peeve's.


    04 Oct 10 - 11:18 AM (#2999375)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I lied. Do not say "albeit" within my earshot. And, yanks, there is no need whatever to say "London, England."


    04 Oct 10 - 11:26 AM (#2999380)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    One of the commonest modern horrors is saying "prior to" when you simply mean "before."


    04 Oct 10 - 11:28 AM (#2999382)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    liase


    04 Oct 10 - 11:29 AM (#2999385)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Richard Bridge

    I'm sure there's a London in Canada. And "albeit" is a perfectly proper word.

    But people who say "Can I" when they mean "May I" are bad for my blood pressure.

    And so are people who say "literally" when they mean the opposite.


    04 Oct 10 - 11:29 AM (#2999386)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    pre-order


    04 Oct 10 - 11:35 AM (#2999393)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "I'm sure there's a London in Canada."

    Without wishing to sound imperialist, "London" on its own, to all sane people (except perhaps for those living in the vicinity of London, Canada), means London on the banks of the Thames. A qualifier would be needed for the Canadian one for most people who don't live in Canada, and even for some who do. Let common sense prevail.

    "And "albeit" is a perfectly proper word."

    In every circumstance it can be replaced by although, though or but. It is just pretentious. Literate people avoid it like the plague, as with clichés.


    04 Oct 10 - 11:39 AM (#2999395)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Manitas_at_home

    Unfortunately, Steve Wikipedia has:

    London is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada along the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor with a metropolitan area population of 457,720; the city proper had a population of 352,395 in the 2006 Canadian census. The estimated metro population in 2009 was 489,274.[2] It was named after the city of London in England.[3] London is the seat of Middlesex County, at the forks of the non-navigable Thames River, approximately halfway between Toronto, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. The City of London is a separated municipality, politically separate from Middlesex County, though it remains the official county seat.


    Confused? You will be!


    04 Oct 10 - 11:41 AM (#2999397)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    "Avoid like the plague"? perhaps...

    ~M~


    04 Oct 10 - 11:42 AM (#2999398)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I was only going from what Richard said. Do they burn hospitals in London, Canada?


    04 Oct 10 - 11:46 AM (#2999403)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Burn?" I meant "blow up."


    04 Oct 10 - 11:52 AM (#2999413)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "One pence"

    ~Michael~

    "One pee."


    04 Oct 10 - 01:28 PM (#2999463)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: McGrath of Harlow

    "...'goal' spelling of 'jail' " (Foolestroupe - 03 Oct 10 - 06:27).

    - the word is gaol. Pronounced the way it is spelled.


    04 Oct 10 - 01:34 PM (#2999465)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Penny S.

    "With respect", "With all due respect," "With the greatest respect," etc. You know that what follows is totally without it.

    Penny


    04 Oct 10 - 01:38 PM (#2999470)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: s&r

    Pronounced as jail in my dictionary Kevin

    Stu


    04 Oct 10 - 01:43 PM (#2999474)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Howard Jones

    I am prepared to defend the use of "pee" for pence. It evolved quite spontaneously on decimalisation, when it became necessary to distinguish between "New Pence" (as they were then known) and the old penny, not just on paper but in speech. "One penny" was ambiguous, "one New Penny" a bit of a mouthful, so it became "one pee".

    If "pence" was said in full, it was emphasised to make it clear it meant New Pence, whereas pre-decimal the emphasis was on the amount. So we lost the old contractions: "tuppence" (emphasis on the first syllable) signified 2d whereas "two pence" (with either equal emphasis or slightly more on "pence") meant 2p. Same with "thruppence". The "ha'penny" (1/2d) became "half-p"

    Of course, in time people became used to the new coinage and there was less chance of confusion, but by then these usages had become established.


    04 Oct 10 - 01:44 PM (#2999475)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: McGrath of Harlow

    Pronounced the same way whichever spelling you prefer.


    04 Oct 10 - 01:57 PM (#2999486)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Half a pee


    04 Oct 10 - 04:43 PM (#2999592)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    'cop-speak'..."At this point in time the inebriated individual exited the vehicle"
    I wonder if that is taught in police training?

    (And I HEARD an announcer say on the radio, "This program was pre-recorded earlier.")


    04 Oct 10 - 05:18 PM (#2999604)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    A few years ago I heard a Beeb weathher forecaster on the telly say that at least the overnight rain had washed the humidity out of the air.


    04 Oct 10 - 05:40 PM (#2999624)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    All the following, not in themselves, but in their currently fashionable senses, which perhaps need not be specified: abuse, agenda, contradiction, define, denial, disorder, dysfunctional, excellence, existential, featured, feel, foundation, genocide, icon, identity, impact, incredible, international, issue, legacy, legendary, multicultural, narcissism, personality, potential, price tag, quality, reinvent, relatively, resolve, showcase, signature, total, who.


    04 Oct 10 - 05:58 PM (#2999628)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Liz the Squeak

    Hiccups rather than hiccoughs.

    People who say 'I don't want to be rude/offend you/single you out but... because it always means they are about to be very rude, or offensive or pick on you for something. If you don't want to do it, don't do it!

    LTS


    04 Oct 10 - 06:10 PM (#2999638)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: artbrooks

    'Decimate'. It means "reduce by ten percent". It is not a synonym for devastate. An army that has 10 soldiers in every hundred killed has been decimated. A city destroyed by an earthquake is devastated.


    04 Oct 10 - 06:49 PM (#2999668)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Bert

    'Decimalization' when they really mean centigesamalization (or however you spell it).

    There IS no unit between the pound and the new penny. The term florin is obsolete.


    04 Oct 10 - 07:18 PM (#2999688)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yeah Joe. "Existential": is it the most pretentious word of all? Or should we vote instead for "paradigm shift?"

    "A city destroyed by an earthquake is devastated."

    Indeed. But it is certainly not "razed to the ground" (or, even worse, "raised to the ground").


    04 Oct 10 - 07:59 PM (#2999706)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Uncle_DaveO

    "Half a pee"???

    Man, you gotta see a doctor about that prostate!

    Dave Oesterreich


    04 Oct 10 - 11:26 PM (#2999782)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Sandy Mc Lean

    As my frequent posts will show spelling is not a strong point of mine. That being said in the USA they intentionally spell words such as labour, harbour, honour, etc. incorrectly by dropping the silent "U". That is their right, I suppose, and I have no objection to that. What does piss me off though is when computer spell-checkers keep underlining these words when I spell them correctly! That's my rant on this! :-}


    05 Oct 10 - 12:30 AM (#2999791)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Ed T

    asHphalt, pronounced that way.
    Presently, when currently is meant.
    I should have went,when gone is meant.


    05 Oct 10 - 12:56 AM (#2999800)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Songbob

    To illustrate a few of my pet peeves in spelling, may I say:

    I would of told you that some folks are just loosers,
    And the Internets filled with poor English users,
    But noone ever said its easy
    To express yourself as non-cheesy,
    Without you become a language abuser.

    Yeah, I know it's not much, but it's off the top of my head, so I couldn't be exhaustive in the listing.

    Bob


    05 Oct 10 - 04:04 AM (#2999851)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    "....in the USA they intentionally spell words such as labour, harbour, honour, etc. incorrectly by dropping the silent "U". That is their right, I suppose, and I have no objection to that. What does piss me off though is when computer spell-checkers keep underlining these words when I spell them correctly!...."

    Agreed, Sandy ~ tho your 'incorrectly' might be queried as a bit if a relativist term here?. And WHY does it do so when one has opted for the UK setting in the computer toolbar-menu? I mean, what is the use of having this option if it doesn't recognise this distinction?

    This refers to the  system; is it the same with other computers? And, for info, the word 'recognise' in the last line of previous para has acquired a red line because I didn't type 'recognize' ~~ which I categorically decline to do, Mr Macintosh!}

    ~Michael~


    05 Oct 10 - 06:42 AM (#2999934)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I tend not to defend many things American, but I have to speak up for American spelling. English may well have started here in England but many more non-English than English people speak English these days and a big majority use American-English spellings. It's typically quirky (and very honourable) of the Brits to hang on for dear life to their own way of spelling, but it's a bit Canute-like to berate the Yanks for their system, which (I hate to say) is often more logical than ours. But who wants logic to enter into it!


    05 Oct 10 - 07:50 AM (#2999981)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    Steve ~~ If that was addressed to me or Sandy McLean, one of whose points I was developing, I would point out that neither of us was in any way 'berating' the American system; merely querying the logic of spellchecks which mark our own spelling [which I am sure you will agree at least remains a viable option] as incorrectly spelt when we have opted for the UnionJack rather than the OldGlory logo in the computer toolbar. That seems to be a piece of poor programing at  HQ to me! And an implied beratement on THEIR part of OUR perfectly acceptable system.

    ~Michael~


    05 Oct 10 - 08:00 AM (#2999991)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It wasn't directed at anyone. Just something I've occasionally mused over for some time.


    05 Oct 10 - 08:10 AM (#3000000)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Patsy

    Any automated telephone message especially the 'your call is important to us' aaaah!


    05 Oct 10 - 09:19 AM (#3000064)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Dáithí

    My current pet hate...

    refute when they mean deny... and from journalists, usually1
    D


    05 Oct 10 - 04:34 PM (#3000407)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Songbob

    If I'm not mistaken, some software packages allow the user to choose 'British English' vs. 'American English' for their documents. But what I haven't seen so far is an Operating System with the same choices. Perhaps those choices are there when you install the damned thing, I don't know. In any case, you could type 'colour' in Word and have it right, but in a chat room (or on the Mudcat, for that matter) it gets flagged as incorrect.

    Someone needs to invent a universal "universe setting," that applies language rules to all the content, no matter the source. Now that would be handy!

    Bob


    05 Oct 10 - 04:53 PM (#3000418)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: John MacKenzie

    I hate the phrase
    ONE HUNDRED!"!!!


    05 Oct 10 - 05:04 PM (#3000427)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    Both my 'on-the-fly' spell checker and the one in my Opera browser allow ME to add words to their list, so I don't get 'beeped' at when I decide to type thru instead of through.

    As to UK spelling vs. American...we in the colonies are fairly thrifty, and so many of our spellings are shorter....(leaving out that 'u' must save...oh...tons (not tonnes)..of printing ink and megabytes of HD space every year...


    05 Oct 10 - 05:04 PM (#3000428)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Anne Lister

    I'm another wincer every time someone confuses few and less ... but the other irritant, which has me reaching for something to throw at the radio (which tends to be where I hear it most) is the phrase "mitigate against". Must be confusion with "militate against" but it makes no sense at all.
    Oh, and the almost universal misuse of the phrase "beg the question".


    05 Oct 10 - 05:19 PM (#3000436)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    and.... it's **wreak havoc, not 'wreck' havoc.......arrrggghhhhh

    (you want fun? Ask folks to provide the present tense of 'wrought'.
    The are 2, depending on whether it's about God or material ...(wrought iron)


    05 Oct 10 - 06:26 PM (#3000483)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Gosh yes, beg the question. Awful. Unfortunately, the sense in which it is now commonly used, to raise the question (why can't people just say that!), is so prevalent that it is now recognised as acceptable by certain authorities. Degradation rules OK...


    05 Oct 10 - 06:48 PM (#3000512)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Wesley S

    Any establishment that offers "homemade" food. Unless the person who made the apple pie lives there it's not "homemade".


    05 Oct 10 - 06:53 PM (#3000517)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    affect & effect....if you do not know the difference, please look it up. Like insure & ensure,it is NOT irrelevant.


    05 Oct 10 - 08:07 PM (#3000588)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Ed T

    Stores that advertise fresh products....only to find they were "previously frozen", or "freshened", whatever that means. Fresh does not mean anything anymore?


    06 Oct 10 - 02:50 AM (#3000724)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    The use of "anyone?" ~~ as in, "Let's have a thread about language. Pet-peeves, anyone?"

    ~Michael~


    06 Oct 10 - 04:18 AM (#3000750)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: John MacKenzie

    The café across the way from me, has paninis on the menu !!!!

    Man went to see his doctor. He said, "Doctor, I've got a 'orrible 'eadache"
    The doctor said, "I suggest you take a couple of aspirates"


    06 Oct 10 - 04:19 AM (#3000752)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Anne Lister

    Now you've got me started ... "Sea change"/ "Step change".
    Sea change must have started with Ariel's song in The Tempest but what it has to do with change generally I don't know, but now we also have "step change". Surely it's all just changes? Permanent changes, transient changes, small changes ...


    06 Oct 10 - 05:16 AM (#3000789)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: MGM·Lion

    Indeed, Ariel's 'sea change' in The Tempest has been greatly misunderstood and over-interpreted to mean 'a profound change'.

    No such thing. In its context in the play, it simply means 'a change into something connected with the sea': as Ferdinand's father lies "full fathom five", Ariel sings, his bones are turned to coral, his eyes to pearls, and everything else about him suffers a similar 'sea change'. But the phrase sounds sorta romantic, don't it eh?; so has been over-defined to death.

    ~Michael~


    06 Oct 10 - 06:35 AM (#3000816)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Dave MacKenzie

    I get annoyed by "fresh" milk, that's been pasteurised and homogenised. If had fresh milk and it's had nothing done to it, and probably still warm.


    06 Oct 10 - 07:32 AM (#3000839)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

    People who say "decayed"(sic) when they mean "decade".

    It's a noun so the stress is on the first syllable (very few exceptions in English). Other words that get mangled in the same way include "project" which often gets incorrectly pronounced the same way as the verb "to project" with the stress on the second syllable.

    Rule of thumb: noun - stress first syllable, verb stress second syllable.


    06 Oct 10 - 08:43 AM (#3000901)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    Two of my favourites: "a quantum leap" - you mean we have made the smallest possible leap?

    And an apostrophe one, such as I saw at the weekend "Coffee's and Teas"
    If you can't decide whether there should be an apostrophe or not, at least have the courage to go one way or the other.


    06 Oct 10 - 08:44 AM (#3000902)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Sarah the flute

    My pet hates are....

    Use of the word "There" by broadcasters. Why do they have to say at the end of the reporters piece ..."Fred Bloggs there" why not "Thankyou Fred Bloggs in Afghanistan" or wherever.

    Use of the phrase "Give it up for....." Give what up ? Why not just say a round of applause for.

    Weather forecasters using the phrase "as the day goes along" where is it going and along which route!!!

    Sarah


    06 Oct 10 - 10:44 AM (#3001001)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,leeneia

    Something else about 'decade.' It's fuzzy and pretentious.

    Why are journalists so in love with the word? They are supposed to get the facts.

    So why do they write "Almost three decades have passed since Joe Blow was tried for the murder of Jim Dokes?" Why not say "Joe Blow was tried 28 years ago?" Even better, "in 1982."

    That way, we know the reporter has checked the facts.


    07 Oct 10 - 09:36 AM (#3001648)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,Patsy

    Adverts for special collections of CD'S in particular for a certain Rock compilation set and I wouldn't be surprised if the classic ones were similar. They insist that you can ONLY BUY IT HERE! surely that must be untrue when I know that I've had nearly every track on so many other compliations that I have either bought or have ever had bought for me. I think I must have about 5 or 6 albums with Boston's More than a Feeling and Free's Alright Now.


    07 Oct 10 - 09:45 AM (#3001661)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,greymaus

    MY pet peeve? Everyone's apparent confusion when dealing with their/they're/there or whose/who's or your/you're.


    07 Oct 10 - 10:01 AM (#3001673)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "People who say "decayed"(sic) when they mean "decade"."

    Misuse of Latin words or phrases, particularly where their use is superfluous. Omission of italics and square brackets where required.


    Heheh. That's the beauty of threads like this. You gotta be so careful...


    07 Oct 10 - 04:26 PM (#3001995)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST,leeneia

    "apparent confusion when dealing with their/they're/there or whose/who's or your/you're..."

    I think most people understand these forms. Mistakes happen because people are typing fast.

    John MacKenzie: I just got your joke about the aspirates.


    07 Oct 10 - 05:30 PM (#3002036)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Adverts for special collections of CD'S"

    Tee hee. Watch those damned apostrophe's now!


    07 Oct 10 - 06:04 PM (#3002067)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Crowhugger

    Yes, Songbob, and there's even Canadian English option sometimes. It accepts labour and neighbour as correct, but also realize, digitize etc. And it won't object to the nouns pretence, defence and practice.


    22 May 19 - 12:06 PM (#3993414)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok:

    There is no such thing as a stray bullet. It's not as if you left the door open and it got out.

    NPR has started saying "in about 10 mn from now" -- pick one, people.

    Merde alord I had several more in mind when I refreshed this thread.


    22 May 19 - 12:06 PM (#3993415)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    (alors)


    22 May 19 - 12:42 PM (#3993423)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    One that always irks me is the way the news media, at least in North America, use the noun 'suspect'. It originally meant, 'a person suspected of having committed a certain crime'; now it would seem to mean, 'a person who has definitely committed a certain crime but who has not yet been convicted in a court of law' - so you get reports such as, 'The suspect broke into the house and killed two people. Police arrested the suspect, John Smith, yesterday." Kinda defeats the purpose of using the term 'suspect', doesn't it?


    22 May 19 - 01:14 PM (#3993432)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    For a dyslexic there are no pet peeves with language. It is more like a painful aneurism. We have to give 400% effort 25% of the time just to be average.


    22 May 19 - 02:22 PM (#3993445)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe Offer

    What word would you suggest instead of "suspect," meself? Seems to me, that until a person is proved guilty, he/she is still a suspect and should not be assumed to be the perpetrator. That's why we have courts.
    -Joe-


    22 May 19 - 02:52 PM (#3993453)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Is there a rule that all American films (and it's beginning to infest others) must have the line "Listen up"?


    22 May 19 - 03:01 PM (#3993457)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    So the report should say "The perpetrator broke into the house and killed two people. Police arrested the suspect ..."


    22 May 19 - 03:05 PM (#3993459)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    ... and as a contribution:

    I am getting increasingly fed up with the use, in plays, soaps, and such like, of "Well good luck with that ...".


    22 May 19 - 03:08 PM (#3993460)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Exactly, Jos. (Did you read what I wrote, Joe?). The 'unknown' (or at least, unconvicted) perpetrator is the - wait for it - 'perpetrator' (or 'offender' or 'criminal'). The 'suspect' is the person suspected of having been the perp. As I say, if you are saying that the suspect committed the crime, you are saying that the suspect committed the crime - so it defeats the purpose of calling them the 'suspect', which would be presumably to allow for the presumption of innocence.


    22 May 19 - 03:28 PM (#3993463)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Law and Order does not punish the offenders, as they claim, boom boom, but the suspects.


    22 May 19 - 03:50 PM (#3993467)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Exactly, Jos. (Did you read what I wrote, Joe?). The 'unknown' (or at least, unconvicted) perpetrator is the - wait for it - 'perpetrator' (or 'offender' or 'criminal'). The 'suspect' is the person suspected of having been the perp. As I say, if you are saying that the suspect committed the crime, you are saying that the suspect committed the crime - so it defeats the purpose of calling them the 'suspect', which would be presumably to allow for the presumption of innocence.

    If the 'suspect' is unconvicted, then it isn't reasonable to describe them as the 'perpetrator', as that has yet to be confirmed.


    22 May 19 - 04:00 PM (#3993468)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Going back even further:
    "apparent confusion when dealing with their/they're/there or whose/who's or your/you're..."
    I think most people understand these forms. Mistakes happen because people are typing fast.

    NO! people don't type 'fast', they type quickly.
    'Fast' is an adjective (he was a fast runner) not an adverb (he ran fast).
    It may only be used as an adverb when given the meaning "firm" or "solid", as in to "stand fast" or to "hold fast". Biblically "He hath made the round world so fast that it cannot be moved"

    Yes, I know the language moves on, but changing the meaning of words dilutes the ability to make clear, unambiguous comments.


    22 May 19 - 05:17 PM (#3993487)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    "If the 'suspect' is unconvicted, then it isn't reasonable to describe them as the 'perpetrator', as that has yet to be confirmed."


    You're missing the point - which I realize I muddied with my parenthetical "(or at least, unconvicted)", but we don't have an 'edit' feature. The point is, if you say that a suspect broke in and killed somebody, and that John Smith is the suspect in question, you are saying that John Smith broke in and killed somebody. So much for 'presumption of innocence". It completely defeats the purpose of using the term 'suspect'. At the same time, you're saying, nonsensically, that whoever may have committed the murder is merely a 'suspect'. If, however, you say that a perpetrator/offender/assailant/criminal broke in and killed someone, and John Smith is the suspect, there is no confusion.


    22 May 19 - 08:02 PM (#3993505)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Is there a rule that all American films (and it's beginning to infest others) must have the line "Listen up"?"

    Dunno, but there does seem to be a rule that any rudely interrupted steamy sex scene in an American film betrays the fact that the woman is still wearing bra and knickers and the man is still wearing underpants...

    Back to the topic...


    22 May 19 - 09:26 PM (#3993511)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    There is a lot of overuse of "alleged" too. If you're caught doing it you are no longer the alleged doer.


    22 May 19 - 09:36 PM (#3993514)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Re: "Listen up!". These are among the first words spoken in The Revanant - set in the later 1700s. In fact, the expression has not been traced back to any earlier than 1930s, as far as I know.

    Of course, the same movie gave us a fiddler playing Ragtime Annie - which has been traced all the way back to 1923, according to The Fiddler's Companion.


    23 May 19 - 02:34 AM (#3993521)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oh, let's not start with movie anachronisms. In Amadeus, Mozart had an American accent that wouldn't develop for a century. (I didn't say let's not *continue* with the anachronisms...)


    23 May 19 - 02:51 AM (#3993523)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    There seems to be a growing practice, among BBC presenters, to pronounce a leading ‘s’ as though it was followed by ‘h’ - so, ‘shtrong’, ‘shtudent’, ‘shchool’, etc.

    Drives me nuts. Anyone else noticing it?


    23 May 19 - 05:07 AM (#3993545)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    A growing one for me is statement as an adjective, as in a recent John Lewis advertisement for 'a statement sofa'. My sofa can keep its statements to itself, thank you. The only statement I am happy for it to make is that I like to sit down occasionally.


    23 May 19 - 06:10 AM (#3993550)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Mrzzy is not a suspect. He is a person of interest, in a good way.
    bearded bruce is a 'person of interest' in a bad way.


    23 May 19 - 06:33 AM (#3993557)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    One that gets me here in the UK is the pronunciation of the 'oo' vowel sound. When I was growing up (in the South East anyway) it was like 'oooh', whereas now it is commonly like the French 'y' or the German 'u-umlaut' sound. So for example 'food' sounds more like 'feud'.
    This seemed to start about 20 years ago with young females - perhaps they thought they were sounding sexy, I don't know. But now it has spread - you hear it all the time on TV.


    23 May 19 - 11:23 AM (#3993586)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Misuse of "after" as in They died after being hit by a train. No, they were killed by a train. If you survive for a while you can die after. If you die right then, it isn't after.


    23 May 19 - 11:45 AM (#3993590)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    What about the tendency for young people to fail to open their mouths properly when enunciating a word such as "book," thereby rendering it "berk"...and altering the short "i" sound at the end of words to "ee" as in "monee" and "societee" and industree"... And politicians who say "...going forward" deserve to be twatted right on the nose!


    23 May 19 - 12:11 PM (#3993596)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Using definitive when definite is meant.
    Unravel when untangle is meant.
    "The next level" What is that supposed to be?


    23 May 19 - 01:23 PM (#3993605)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    ...and altering the short "i" sound at the end of words to "ee" as in "monee" and "societee" and industree

    But it IS "monee", "societee" and "industree", at least where I come from. I can't recall anyone saying "moni".

    DC


    23 May 19 - 01:42 PM (#3993608)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    'Misuse of "after" as in They died after being hit by a train'

    The version of this (often heard in regional television news bulletins) thst worries me is: "They were killed after being hit by a car" - as if they were lying in the road in pain and somebody came along and finished them off.


    23 May 19 - 01:45 PM (#3993610)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I'm a northerner, Doug. We talk proper up yon.


    23 May 19 - 02:24 PM (#3993618)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I'm a northerner, Doug.

    So am I.

    DC


    23 May 19 - 03:24 PM (#3993622)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: saulgoldie

    Well, for better or for worse (or worser) language is dynamic. Sometimes the new usages can be interesting and enriching. Others, they just represent devolution. We all have our favorites on either side.

    A couple of my own "faves" are--
    Raising one's pitch toward the end of a statement as if it is were question.
    Inserting a letter "h" where it does not belong (mentioned earlier).
    Dropping a "d" or a "t" Where it DOES belong.
    These two seem to be some sort of affectation more prevalent among young women.
    Extraneous or missing apostrophes, check.
    Extraneous or missing commas, check.

    Now, this is my YUGE big cahuna of all word misuses. It is YUGE not because it sounds stupid/lazy/whatever. But because Its misuse f-u-n-d-a-m-e-n-t-a-l-l-y changes the meaning. That is the use of "can't." Look, if you "can't" do something, it is something that you are INCAPABLE of doing. You do not have the physical strength or coordination to do whatever it is. It does NOT mean that you do not have PERMISSION.

    If you are physically CAPABLE of doing something but there are consequences that you do not like, then you must acknowledge that you CHOOSE to not do it, rather than that you "can't" do it. People say "can't" so they can avoid taking responsibility for the CHOICE that they make to avoid the consequences.

    This misuse is an example of devolution. This misuse does not clarify anything, and does not provide some new and novel way of illuminating a point.

    Saul


    23 May 19 - 04:04 PM (#3993632)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    You could be Yorkshire, though, Doug. It's not proper north tha knows...


    23 May 19 - 05:08 PM (#3993637)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    No, never Yorkshire but I have moved across the country from the Mersey to the Humber, via Manchester.

    On reflection, my grandson, who was brought up in South Yorkshire, calls my wife "Granneh" and would probably say "moneh". I've never stopped to think about it - it's just the way he talks.

    There was one TV advert, for gas central heating I think, that used the Carol King song "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" which opened with the line "Tonight you're mine completeleh" ARRRRG!

    DC


    23 May 19 - 06:28 PM (#3993647)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Jos... Exactly.

    People are hanged. Pictures are hung.

    In that vein (sorry) the widow, not the wife, files for death benefits or whatever.


    23 May 19 - 07:57 PM (#3993651)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    "vocal fry"

    I was aware of it before I ever heard it explained. People make excuses for it and justify it in various ways, but it really wears on me.

    As to usage: Certain military usages..like using 'contingency' when they mean 'contingent'... "To put down the uprising, we sent in a contingency of peace keepers." arrrgghh...

    And media people who will NOT learn how celebrities pronounce their names.. It's Michael COHEN.. not 'Cone' or 'Cohn'. They are studying how to say 'Buttigieg', but can't say Cohen?

    Also, media people who refuse to pronounce, as closely as possible, the names of foreign cities & countries. Some are very difficult, but Nicaragua has 4 syllables, not 5. The 'u' and 'a' are not separate syllables. Simply stating "that's how we've always said it." is not much of a defense. Yes, I'm aware my opinion is not likely to alter anyone's habits.


    23 May 19 - 09:52 PM (#3993656)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Well, when I am speaking English I pronounce things, like foreign things, in English. When I speak French it's PaREE, in English PAriss.
    People's names are another thing.


    23 May 19 - 09:57 PM (#3993658)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also pronouncing cache like cachet, as in, there was a cachet of arms. No, there wasn't.


    23 May 19 - 10:25 PM (#3993661)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    No.. a cachet of arms would mean something like "my bomb is bigger than your bomb"...not something we want to test..


    23 May 19 - 10:42 PM (#3993662)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe Offer

    Meself, I'll stick with "suspect." After all, the crime itself has not been proved until the trial. So, it is a "suspected" or "alleged" crime until the court has proved it.
    But I'll still respect you in the morning....

    -Joe-

    And yes, I did read what you wrote. I just disagreed.


    24 May 19 - 01:09 AM (#3993668)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Do you really not see a significant difference between:

    1) The suspect killed Bill Jones. The suspect is John Smith.

    and

    2) The assailant killed Bill Jones. The suspect is John Smith.

    ?


    24 May 19 - 01:57 AM (#3993671)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe Offer

    Hi, Meself - I will agree that assailant is a better term, but I think that "suspect" works reasonably well.
    I'm a member of the "whatever works as long as it doesn't sound stupid" school. "Suspect" is common usage, and it doesn't sound particularly stupid. I'm not bound to pedantry, but I have to admit that your choice of the word "assailant" is damn good.
    -Joe-


    24 May 19 - 02:36 AM (#3993677)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    media people who will NOT learn how celebrities pronounce their names

    Not always as easy as it seems. My daughter was at school with Gemma Arterton, who pronounced her name A - er - t'n at the time.


    24 May 19 - 03:14 AM (#3993680)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "She married her husband in 2017." Considering how expensive weddings are, what a waste of money doing it twice...


    24 May 19 - 03:41 AM (#3993685)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    "She married her husband in 2017."

    Unless she was a vicar, registrar or other such appointed official, she got married to someone in 2017.

    DC


    24 May 19 - 07:40 AM (#3993698)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Doug, doesn't that make a nonsense of the well known question:

    "Will you marry me?"

    Somehow, "Will you get married to me?" doesn't have that special something ...


    24 May 19 - 07:59 AM (#3993702)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Romeo, Romeo, where art thou Romeo?"

    "Money is the root of all evil."

    "Theirs but to do or die!"

    "Beam me up, Scotty!"

    "Elementary, my dear Watson."


    24 May 19 - 08:10 AM (#3993704)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    Quoting Shakespeare can be tricky:

    "Uncle me no uncle" -- Richard II, Act 2 Scene 3.

    I an not quite sure what part of speech that first 'uncle' is...


    24 May 19 - 08:55 AM (#3993710)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Crisis? What crisis?"

    "Let them eat cake."

    "Not tonight, Josephine."

    "It's life, Jim, but not as we know it."


    24 May 19 - 09:22 AM (#3993720)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Not as we know it, not as we know it. Great video, that.

    I saw a headline (clickbait) that said Groom cries as bride reveals love for his spouse. What? Bigamy?


    24 May 19 - 09:31 AM (#3993722)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    "Romeo, Romeo, where art thou Romeo?"

    I'm not picking on you, Steve. It's just by chance that you are the one I keep disagreeing with - nothing personal - but the quote is:-
    "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"

    Wherefore, in this case, means "why". Why did you have to be a Montague?

    DC


    24 May 19 - 09:46 AM (#3993727)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Er, I did know that, Doug. Are you sure you're getting me drift?


    24 May 19 - 09:49 AM (#3993729)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Doug, doesn't that make a nonsense of the well known question:

    "Will you marry me?"

    Somehow, "Will you get married to me?" doesn't have that special something ...


    Of course, in every day usage, only a pedant would make the difference between the passive form of being married and the active form of officiating at the ceremony. However, we are in a thread called "Language Pet Peeves" where the distinction is being made between the status of the groom before and after the nuptials.

    DC


    24 May 19 - 09:51 AM (#3993730)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    OK Steve! I'm easily confused.

    DC


    24 May 19 - 10:04 AM (#3993733)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Tautologies.

    Today's irritant: "fellow classmates".

    Aaaaargh!


    24 May 19 - 10:35 AM (#3993735)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh yeah!


    24 May 19 - 06:27 PM (#3993791)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Me too, Doug. I'm thinking of getting meself analysed some time in the next thirty or forty years... :-)


    24 May 19 - 07:32 PM (#3993793)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Raedwulf

    "Step foot". With apologies to the American contingent here, stupid Americanism!! Because it has been creeping into British English these last several years, I believe, from American English.

    Step doesn't work like that. You can step up, step out, step back, step on; you step in a direction. You can take a step, and a foot is also a measure of length. But you don't "step inch / metre / whatever". You can set foot; you are putting your foot somewhere (in it, possibly...). But you don't "step foot". Stupid, meaningless, idiotic misuse of the English language, whether it's the American or British version!!


    24 May 19 - 07:56 PM (#3993795)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    Interesting... I've been an adult American for 60 years, and I have never heard "step foot". I suppose it occurs when someone just doesn't hear 'set foot', but it's a new one to me. Next time, ask them where they got it.


    24 May 19 - 08:03 PM (#3993796)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Don't worry, Bill. Raedwulf will quite likely elucidate once he's had a good night's kip...


    24 May 19 - 08:17 PM (#3993797)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    There are mornings I step foot
    first in fresh cat puke stink
    My tell tale foot steps lead to the sink
    But I've never heard of step foot.


    25 May 19 - 02:34 AM (#3993821)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Reminds me of Teresa May at (I think) the last general election, who had been 'knocking on doorsteps'.


    25 May 19 - 02:45 AM (#3993823)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I have been increasingly annoyed by politicians going on about Brexit and what they think is the need to "get it over the line". Are they playing rugby, or American football, or shove ha'penny - who knows?
    You would think the future of the country is too important to be reduced to a game.


    25 May 19 - 06:04 AM (#3993842)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Delivering brexit" is almost as bad.


    25 May 19 - 06:37 AM (#3993852)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    Heard on Radio 4 this morning that some sportsperson's hand is "slightly fractured". A small fracture I understand...


    27 May 19 - 07:17 AM (#3994139)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Georgiansilver

    In the last 60 years.... What used to be 'Would have.....could have.... and.... should have which when shortened became would've, could've and should've...........have become would of... could of and should of in the UK..... How on earth did we get there??? Poor teaching in schools to put it bluntly.


    27 May 19 - 08:44 AM (#3994148)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Georgiansilver, you have a good one there. This form of words is also dealing the last blow to the subjunctive of "have": "If she would of gone home on time ..."

    While we're here, let's all yell Boo and Sucks to people who insist on using phrases from foreign languages without knowing how to pronounce them. Every time I hear "coo de grah" where "coup de grace" is meant, I wince rather too visibly and hiss rather too loudly.


    27 May 19 - 09:08 AM (#3994157)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yes, the correct usage of foreign phrases is, for me, a sine qua non.


    27 May 19 - 10:09 AM (#3994172)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Three annoying/confusing ways in which people begin the answer to a question:

    So ...

    Yes no ...

    The point is is ... (heard on Radio 4 only this morning)


    27 May 19 - 10:18 AM (#3994175)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    People who say "If I would have ..." when they mean "If I had ...".


    And in describing amounts:

    "the most number of" instead of "most of"

    and, for example:

    "half of all the people in the country ..." instead of "half the people in the country ..."


    27 May 19 - 11:19 AM (#3994183)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Coo de gras, ew. Also bon appetiT.


    27 May 19 - 12:01 PM (#3994191)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    'bonn zhaw'

    'merci bokew'


    27 May 19 - 01:48 PM (#3994214)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "Gunman." Just because some brute shoots somebody doesn't make him a gunman.

    If I use a pair of scissors, do I become a scissorwoman? No, I'm still just a woman.


    27 May 19 - 03:22 PM (#3994234)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Not really a peeve, but interesting regarding guns, was an occasion some years ago when I heard a news report of the same incident on three BBC radio stations. On Radio 3 (mainly classical music), listeners were told that a man had been 'shot and killed'. On Radio 4 (news, documentaries, plays), the man had been 'shot dead'. On Radio 1 (pop music aimed at younger listeners), he had been 'gunned down'.


    27 May 19 - 08:47 PM (#3994264)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    I lived in St. Louis for 6 months. There were several streets I was familiar with that had interesting names I'd never have encountered in Kansas: It took awhile for me to connect the spelling on maps & signs with how the locals referred to them.

    Cabanne Place where I lived was 'Cabbany'

    DeBaliviere was 'De Boliver'

    Gravois was 'Gra-voys' (as near as I could tell)

    There were others, all sounding as if they were being pronounced by someone from The Bronx. I...umm.. adapted


    28 May 19 - 08:46 AM (#3994294)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well near me there's a village called Wolfardisworthy. It's pronounced "Wolsery." The ancient capital of Cornwall, Launceston, is "Lanson" unless you're an emmet. Half a mile from my house there's Widemouth Bay. Say "Wide Mouth" if you want to provoke a splutter. It's "Widmuth."


    28 May 19 - 08:53 AM (#3994296)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    The comedian Dave Gorman in one of his shows says there is a sign on his station for "Loughborough University." He claims he is often asked how is is pronounced and says "Low-brow University" which he finds pleasing because "it is true and false are the same time.'


    28 May 19 - 10:30 AM (#3994305)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    New UVa grad students in psych had a whole orientation on pronunciation and language... Rio Rd is Rye-oh, not Ree-oh. Monticello is chello, not sello. Grounds, not campus; first second etc -years, not freshmen sophomores. The Corner is a neighborhood. I got used to the pronunciation, but still thought of my students as juniors. There was more...


    28 May 19 - 01:51 PM (#3994332)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    That's a good observation about the shooting, Jos.
    ===========
    There's a pompous habit that gets on my nerves. Example:

    phone rings

    Leeneia: Hello
    Pompous twit: Leeneia? Arthur Fotheringay.

    Not "This is Arthur Fotheringay." or "My name is Arthur Fotheringay, and I'm calling about..."

    Apparently I am supposed to be so focused on the incredible Arthur Fotheringay that all he has to do is utter the two words, and I'm completely absorbed in his personality. Also, I am so unimportant that he cannot waste a few polite syllables on me.


    28 May 19 - 04:19 PM (#3994355)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Tommy Cooper:

    The phone rang so I picked it up and said "Who's speaking, please?"

    A voice said "You are."


    28 May 19 - 04:36 PM (#3994357)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Here's another language peeve of mine: people who put others down using the lingo of psychiatry or psychology when the situation doesn't merit it and they lack the qualifications to assess others.

    In a thread about chords, somebody started a post with "The fixation on chord names..." Now a fixation is a serious problem in a damaged mind. Telling the world that So-And-So has a fixation is arrogant and uncalled for. Naturally the post was not well-received.

    We hear other examples often. Calling somebody paranoid because they're more fearful than most. Calling somebody a nympho when she's sexier than most. It's dishonest, and I dislike it.


    28 May 19 - 05:55 PM (#3994375)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah, as a psychologist I find the misuse of my jargon annoying.


    28 May 19 - 06:07 PM (#3994377)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Psychiatrist to neurotic patient "You have acute paranoia"

    Neurotic Patient "I came here to be treated, not admired"


    29 May 19 - 09:38 AM (#3994406)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Tommy Cooper:
    The phone rang so I picked it up and said "Who's speaking, please?"
    A voice said "You are."


    So, in effect they were both wrong.
    At the time Tommy asked "Who's speaking", he was speaking.
    At the time the caller said "you are" the caller was also incorrect.


    29 May 19 - 05:08 PM (#3994416)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

    "Would of" and "Could of" and of course "Off of" were the common usage in Somerset schools in the 1960s despite constant corrections from the teachers.

    Robin


    29 May 19 - 06:09 PM (#3994425)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    You really do have a problem, don't you, Nigel? :-) :-) :-)


    29 May 19 - 08:00 PM (#3994432)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Strangled means dead, also.


    29 May 19 - 10:00 PM (#3994442)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    And if your spouse is dead you're the widow(er), not the wife/husband.


    30 May 19 - 11:13 AM (#3994475)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Hello, Mrrzy. I'm glad to hear that someone else gives thought to the bullying power of psych terms used carelessly.


    30 May 19 - 12:22 PM (#3994486)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bee-dubya-ell

    Language is about communicating ideas. If someone pays too much attention to how "correctly" a communication is worded, then he/she is probably paying too little attention to the thought being communicated. It's analogous to valuing the packaging more than what's in the box.

    Having said that, it still grates when my step-son tells a waiter he's going to "do" whatever dish he's ordering. I'm not sure if he's going to eat it, shoot it dead, or fuck it.


    30 May 19 - 01:22 PM (#3994496)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Don't blame the younger generation - AFAIK, that use of "do" emerged from hippy culture in the '60s, when people started to "do" rather than "take" drugs. That's when I first encountered that word-use; I remember the time and place ....


    30 May 19 - 08:21 PM (#3994576)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    Mis-placed/unnecessary apostrophes are top of my list, or not using them when they should be there.
    Dey-ja voo (already you) instead of dey-ja vyu (already seen) for the other language ones. (phonetic spelling there!)
    Complimentary and complementary: so often confused/used incorrectly.
    Your and you're.
    There, they're and their.
    And, of course, could of, would of, should of.

    There are a few Scots peculiarities too, such as people saying, and spelling the following word as definATEly. And it's quite commonplace to hear "he has went" instead of "he has gone".


    30 May 19 - 09:53 PM (#3994583)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Voo, not vyu, is how I have always heard it...


    30 May 19 - 10:37 PM (#3994586)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Tattie, you must have learned your French in a different ecole from moi ... !


    30 May 19 - 11:24 PM (#3994590)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: michaelr

    One that always gets to me is "one of the only..." No, it's either one of the few, or it is The Only.

    Another is the misplacement of the word just, as in "You just can't come barging in here" when what's meant is "You can't just come barging in here".


    31 May 19 - 08:09 AM (#3994643)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    One that always gets to me is "one of the only..." No, it's either one of the few, or it is The Only.

    It depends on the missing part of the sentence. e.g. "This is one of the only seven known to exist." would appear to be a correct use of the words.


    31 May 19 - 09:04 AM (#3994652)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    One of the 7, I would think. I just am lovin' this thread.


    31 May 19 - 10:00 AM (#3994661)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    It's not a peeve, but I'm amused by the word "ones." Example: He's one of the ones who trampled Mrs. Hardwick's petunias.

    How can there be more than one one?


    31 May 19 - 10:02 AM (#3994663)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: beachcomber

    Politicians, in particular, but many other people use "grow" incorrectly, eg Some say "We will grow our economy...!"

    I would like to ask the opinions of Mudcatters on the use of an "R" sound between a word that ends in a vowel and one that commences with a vowel, such as "Aston Villa (r) are the new Champions. Is this a correct figure of speech ?? I've even heard "I saw (r) him do it" ???


    31 May 19 - 10:25 AM (#3994669)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    Just read on a tour guide leaflet :
    "Here they stage traditional dance shows, local handicraft workshops and mythical ceremonies"

    I might be interested in seeing a mythological ceremony. I think I would feel conned to pay to see a mythical one.


    31 May 19 - 12:15 PM (#3994683)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: John P

    I'm tired of being asked for detes.

    Light isn't spelled "Lite". I even had a gas stove with "Lite" on the dial.


    31 May 19 - 02:30 PM (#3994700)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I am reminded of a friend who had a sign over his sink that said THINK! There was also a sign above the stairs that said THTAIRS!...


    31 May 19 - 04:42 PM (#3994714)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well I'm a stickler for the use of good English, but I must say that many of the complaints here remind me of King Canute. Language is wot people speak, not wot professors of language profess. Whether we like it or not, what we often regard as linguistic outrages generally end up as standard English. "Begging the question," for example, which started out as one thing has become entirely another, and, as such, will be regarded even by naysayers as standard English in its new meaning. If we don't accept the changes we become as the dinosaurs did....


    31 May 19 - 07:27 PM (#3994729)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    What, birds? Ahahahaha sorry.


    31 May 19 - 08:00 PM (#3994732)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    @mrzzy and meself: it is déjà vu, not déjà vous. Malheureusement, too many people pronounce the "vu" wrongly. The French pronunciation is definitely not "voo" as in "vous". There is not an exact English equivalent, but it is closer to "view" than "voo".
    I learned my French at school, yes, but also by staying with a French family for several months; they would not have said "déjà vous"!!


    31 May 19 - 09:33 PM (#3994737)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: michaelr

    Nigel Parsons -- in that case it should be "one of only seven" - "the" is superfluous.


    31 May 19 - 10:58 PM (#3994745)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Neil D

    Mrrzy said: "People are hanged. Pictures are hung."
    Reminds me of the scene from "Blazing Saddles" when Bart, who had recently been spared hanging and appointed sheriff, runs into an old acquaintance who says : "Bart, they told me you was hung". Bart responds "and they was right".

    My pet peeve is intentionally misspelled word in products or company names. When I used to make meat deliveries in Cleveland, the two big grocery chains on the East Side were Bi-Rite and Sav-Mor. It drove me to distraction.


    01 Jun 19 - 03:04 AM (#3994755)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

    And what about "very unique". How can you have degrees of uniqueness?

    Robin


    01 Jun 19 - 03:21 AM (#3994756)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    Steve is right about how language evolves and changes, but it can be confusing. A moment ago I read Pixar has dropped a trailer for a new film. In 'old-think' that means the trailer has been cancelled, removed, has gone. In 'new-think' it means it is now available.


    01 Jun 19 - 05:43 AM (#3994766)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    "People are hanged. Pictures are hung."

    It is particularly grating in My Fair Lady, a film specifically about the correct use of English, when Rex Harrison sings (or, rather, says)

    By law she should be taken out and hung,
    For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.


    DC


    01 Jun 19 - 09:13 AM (#3994780)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    English-speakers can't pronounce the French "u" of vu, but nobody I've heard say it [Yogi Bera] pronounces it with a y (vyu). They [English speakers] do not differentiate vous (voo) and vu (voo).

    As a native French speaker I have no problem with that. See Paris, above.

    Maybe Higgins was singing tongue in cheek?


    01 Jun 19 - 09:24 AM (#3994781)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jon Freeman

    As far as I can see from Chambers and the Oxford Dictionary Online, people may be “hung” or “hanged” but the latter is rather more common.

    The Oxford one goes on to explain:   
    The reason for this distinction is a complex historical one: hanged, the earlier form, was superseded by hung sometime after the 16th century; it is likely that the retention of hanged for the execution sense may have to do with the tendency of archaic forms to remain in the legal language of the courts


    01 Jun 19 - 10:55 AM (#3994795)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    'The suspect broke into the house and killed two people. Police arrested the suspect, John Smith, yesterday." Kinda defeats the purpose of using the term 'suspect', doesn't it?

    Yes and No. Languge is fluid and meanings morph.

    Gay has meant, over a period of several hundred years, variously sexually active as in "brisk young widow" to happy about life with no sexual connotations, to the modern appropriation.

    As Nigel Rees was won't to say in his books: "bad meanings drive out good"

    Hung is ambiguous without context (sexual connotations rear up (sic) again), whereas hanged is more specific. And I am hanged if I know why!
    I know which I prefer to be!


    01 Jun 19 - 01:39 PM (#3994813)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I don't usually take any notice of sports results, but I have noticed lately that instead of winning cups and trophies teams 'lift' them. It sounds as if they stole them.


    01 Jun 19 - 04:58 PM (#3994835)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    How can there be more than one one?
    In binary notation numbers are represented by a series of ones and zeros


    01 Jun 19 - 05:45 PM (#3994839)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    You're all worrying far too much. What you should be worrying about is the fact that Nigel failed to insert a full stop in his last post.. Cheers! :-)


    01 Jun 19 - 09:12 PM (#3994846)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    I despise the trend of *verbing* nouns... :"Our staff has surfaced some new data."


    02 Jun 19 - 02:12 AM (#3994858)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Like when an Olympic athlete fails to medal...


    02 Jun 19 - 02:20 AM (#3994859)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    Sort of, Bill. I would say it is one of the glories of the English language that we can use pretty much any word as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb ... and bring out a 'tone' that would otherwise go unnoticed. In the hands of a skilled poet or writer this can be wonderful.

    Most of us, though, are not skilled poets or writers...


    02 Jun 19 - 03:10 AM (#3994866)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Maybe Higgins was singing tongue in cheek?

    I think you are being too generous, Mrrzy. In any other film, poetic licence would allow the rhyming of hung with tongue - but not this one. The lyricist simply got it wrong and the director didn't pick it up.

    DC


    02 Jun 19 - 08:15 AM (#3994900)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Well, for off rhymes, Tom Lehrer wins. Uncut, and unsubt [riff] tle.


    02 Jun 19 - 10:47 AM (#3994929)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    Mispronunciation and enjambed rhymes for comic effect are all the funnier. Mind you Cole Porter did it all the time to make the yric more fluid and flowing.


    02 Jun 19 - 06:41 PM (#3994984)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    OK, Mrzzy, I did qualify my last post by saying that the French 'Vu" is not the same as "view". How we were taught to say it requires considerable oral contortions: put your lips forward as if you were going to say a "oo" sound, but then say "ee" instead, and you'll get that odd cross between the 2 sounds, for which there is no English comparison!
    Parfait, ou non?


    02 Jun 19 - 07:37 PM (#3994994)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Nice! Turlututu chapeau pointu! (That was the exercise for the English speakers)


    03 Jun 19 - 07:31 AM (#3995062)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    Many newsreaders here add an extra syllable to words beginning with 'thr', perhaps for emphasis.....for example, "three" becomes "the-ree" and "threat" is now "the-reat", etc.

    It is annoying. I have become one of those Olde Phartes who yells at the TV because of things such as this.

    Also - when did a sporting match become a "clash"? Something else to yell about......


    03 Jun 19 - 07:41 AM (#3995065)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Another that has been really getting on my nerves is "from the get-go"

    (often pronounced "from the gecko").


    03 Jun 19 - 08:58 AM (#3995085)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    That extra syllable is highly folksong-y (the t-uh-rain pulled away on that g-uh-lorious night)... I have not yet had to yell at my radio over it. Yet.


    03 Jun 19 - 01:39 PM (#3995122)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    @Jos: and if they don't win their match they "crash out"! (No, they just lost a game!!)


    03 Jun 19 - 04:56 PM (#3995157)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    When the news is sung they can add as many extra syllables as they like.


    03 Jun 19 - 07:23 PM (#3995176)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    "Pet Peeves"?
    You can't, he's a poltergeist, so incorporeal. (at least according to J K Rowling)


    04 Jun 19 - 01:45 AM (#3995188)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    You may as well give up on things such as get-go. It's standard English now. As a matter of fact, though I'd never write it, I quite like it and I use it all the time.


    04 Jun 19 - 10:47 AM (#3995226)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    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.


    07 Jun 19 - 10:09 AM (#3995525)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also why does ouster mean ousting?


    07 Jun 19 - 11:18 AM (#3995532)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    "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.


    07 Jun 19 - 07:19 PM (#3995586)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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...


    07 Jun 19 - 10:48 PM (#3995593)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: SamStone

    luv it when the eastenders say "neiver" for neither


    08 Jun 19 - 02:11 AM (#3995599)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: lefthanded guitar

    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. ;)


    08 Jun 19 - 06:04 AM (#3995618)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

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


    08 Jun 19 - 06:23 AM (#3995621)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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.


    08 Jun 19 - 06:24 AM (#3995622)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

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


    08 Jun 19 - 06:30 AM (#3995623)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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.


    08 Jun 19 - 06:45 AM (#3995625)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

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


    08 Jun 19 - 03:03 PM (#3995685)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    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.


    08 Jun 19 - 07:58 PM (#3995700)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    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


    10 Jun 19 - 02:28 AM (#3995790)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    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.


    10 Jun 19 - 08:51 AM (#3995810)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    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


    10 Jun 19 - 09:06 AM (#3995812)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    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...


    10 Jun 19 - 10:17 AM (#3995819)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: weerover

    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.


    10 Jun 19 - 06:01 PM (#3995877)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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?"


    11 Jun 19 - 03:52 AM (#3995918)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    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"


    11 Jun 19 - 10:58 AM (#3995969)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Excellent points, Mr. Red.


    11 Jun 19 - 12:25 PM (#3995985)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    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.)


    13 Jun 19 - 03:53 AM (#3996180)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    "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"!


    13 Jun 19 - 12:51 PM (#3996281)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Tattie, this is now a music thread!


    13 Jun 19 - 05:30 PM (#3996340)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    I have no pet peeve with that!


    14 Jun 19 - 11:01 AM (#3996426)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    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.


    15 Jun 19 - 10:17 PM (#3996592)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    16 Jun 19 - 12:49 AM (#3996596)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Gurney

    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 '.


    16 Jun 19 - 02:04 AM (#3996598)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    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.


    16 Jun 19 - 09:02 AM (#3996651)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    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.


    17 Jun 19 - 12:58 AM (#3996745)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    17 Jun 19 - 03:36 AM (#3996756)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    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.


    17 Jun 19 - 09:33 AM (#3996780)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Never heard of speech v. quote.


    17 Jun 19 - 11:26 AM (#3996791)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    17 Jun 19 - 11:36 AM (#3996794)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    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....


    18 Jun 19 - 03:41 AM (#3996872)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    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!


    18 Jun 19 - 04:54 AM (#3996878)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    A standard car with unique features.

    It takes very little effort to get it right.

    DC


    18 Jun 19 - 05:35 AM (#3996884)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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!


    18 Jun 19 - 09:14 AM (#3996900)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    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, (:-)


    18 Jun 19 - 09:35 AM (#3996906)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    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.


    18 Jun 19 - 09:43 AM (#3996908)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

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


    18 Jun 19 - 10:14 AM (#3996910)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    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.


    18 Jun 19 - 10:25 AM (#3996913)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    "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.


    18 Jun 19 - 11:48 AM (#3996929)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    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 ...'.


    19 Jun 19 - 12:54 AM (#3997004)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: robomatic

    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".


    19 Jun 19 - 02:58 AM (#3997012)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    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.....


    19 Jun 19 - 03:07 AM (#3997013)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    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.


    19 Jun 19 - 09:08 AM (#3997020)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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.


    19 Jun 19 - 10:12 AM (#3997027)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Assonance means getting the rhyme wrong?


    19 Jun 19 - 01:17 PM (#3997050)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

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


    19 Jun 19 - 01:44 PM (#3997055)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

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


    19 Jun 19 - 01:58 PM (#3997057)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    A beauty spotted in the Guardian just now:

    "Backers of Dominic Raab...flocked almost en masse to Johnson."


    "almost"?? :-)


    19 Jun 19 - 02:26 PM (#3997061)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    ...en masse lite??


    19 Jun 19 - 03:20 PM (#3997067)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    There was a cartoon with a barbarian wedding, and the caption read It's about time they settled down and razed a village, and I laughed out loud in the doctor's office.


    19 Jun 19 - 03:53 PM (#3997070)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Did the doc have his hand under your t*est*ic*les at the time? Weren't you supposed to cough?


    20 Jun 19 - 10:09 AM (#3997123)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Calling a soldier a troop, as in "Insurgents attacked a truck and one troop died." A troop is a group, not a person.


    20 Jun 19 - 10:16 AM (#3997125)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh I was just about to post that one!


    20 Jun 19 - 12:59 PM (#3997142)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Similarly, an "elite" now can mean a single person who presumably belongs to an elite group, just as a "minority" can mean a single person who belongs to a larger minority. Those battles are lost, I'm afraid.

    Although, I always did find the usage of "troop(s)" awkward - never used it to refer to one soldier, though.


    20 Jun 19 - 01:15 PM (#3997145)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    call me an old fashioned pedant but

    a troup is the group and troops is (sic) the soldiers therein. I make a distinction. A troup of soldiers (could be circus performers though) we treat as an entity. Troops is, in my parlance, any agglomeration of (pretty much exclusively) soldiers.

    Dare I throw designer in to the ring, and watch the ripples?


    21 Jun 19 - 11:37 PM (#3997328)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Groom cries as bride confesses love for his spouse. Bigamy?


    22 Jun 19 - 02:28 AM (#3997337)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    I am no expert but isn't bride or groom only applicable before the vicar pronounces "husband & wife"?


    22 Jun 19 - 02:58 AM (#3997340)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    The happy pair continue to be bride & groom throughout the wedding, presumably right until they leave the reception. They cease, however, to be affianced.


    22 Jun 19 - 03:59 AM (#3997346)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Groom cries as bride confesses love for his spouse.

    He was married to a narcissist?

    DC


    22 Jun 19 - 12:08 PM (#3997386)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I am still trying to figure out how a groom (not of horses) can have a spouse at all...


    22 Jun 19 - 12:23 PM (#3997388)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Perhaps the groom lives in a Muslim-majority country where polygamy is legal and he is taking wife number 2, 3 or 4.

    DC


    22 Jun 19 - 01:34 PM (#3997396)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    And his new bride is gay? Yeah, that would work.


    22 Jun 19 - 01:35 PM (#3997397)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: WalkaboutsVerse

    My poem on American spelling, "For Better Or Worse"
    .


    22 Jun 19 - 05:23 PM (#3997429)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I doubt it too!


    23 Jun 19 - 10:27 PM (#3997600)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    This is not a peeve.

    It has rained and rained here. The streams are rushing, farmers are worried that they will lose their crops, the tomato plants are half-drowned. People who used to end conversations with "Take care" or "Stay safe" are now saying "Keep dry."


    24 Jun 19 - 12:10 PM (#3997649)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Free reign, or reign in. Internet sight. There are more...


    24 Jun 19 - 12:19 PM (#3997651)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    I call that "writing by ear", Mrrzy. Spell-check doesn't care about homonyms.


    24 Jun 19 - 03:13 PM (#3997675)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    And why do Americans call football soccer?


    24 Jun 19 - 06:12 PM (#3997694)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    “Soccer” derives from the “association” part of Association Football.

    We have too many kinds of footie over here to let the kind you play without a helmet be called just “football”.


    24 Jun 19 - 06:36 PM (#3997699)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    It's not only Americans who refer to association football as soccer. The term may also be used for football in the UK if there is need to distinguish it from rugby.

    DC


    25 Jun 19 - 05:24 AM (#3997761)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    continue to be bride & groom throughout the wedding - so bride/groom/intended coexist with husband/wife/spouse for as long as they await a formal reception?

    I can live with that. But I couldn't live with my ex-wifey. Though I did not divorce, I was divorced against.

    Free reign, or reign in - Well free reign would make sense referring to someone "lording" it around, the case for reign in is far more tenuous.

    in the UK if there is need to distinguish it from rugby - in NZ there is only one type of football - and it is "All Blacks". Soccer is played by the "All Whites".

    And what about the Yorkshire** use of while in the context of until? Can easily cause confusion.

    ** other colours of rose are available.


    25 Jun 19 - 09:03 AM (#3997790)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    It didn't phase him.


    25 Jun 19 - 09:12 AM (#3997791)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    The principle sat in their cubical.


    25 Jun 19 - 05:02 PM (#3997863)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mr Red

    Well you can stand on your principles.


    25 Jun 19 - 06:52 PM (#3997879)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    From Facebook today: someone talking about whiskey, when they mean whisky, then going on to talk about whisky's (plural, so drop the e and add an apostrophe??)


    26 Jun 19 - 04:00 PM (#3997941)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also worthy/sufficient *enough* - just a redundancy but in news or science writing...


    01 Jul 19 - 06:13 AM (#3998653)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: FreddyHeadey

    'like' But maybe it's to avoid saying 'er' or stammering.

    This like bus came round the like corner and like stopped.


    01 Jul 19 - 08:33 AM (#3998683)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I actually saw childs instead of children in a headline yesterday. Sigh.


    02 Jul 19 - 07:12 AM (#3998828)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: clueless don

    I'm rather late to this party, but ...

    It has actually been a number of years since I first encountered it, but a usage I despise is to use the verb "to plate" to mean "to put food on a plate", as in "Your meal will be quickly plated and served to you." Are they going to coat the food with gold?

    Now I'll open myself to the collective abuse of the forum: I have long thought that if there were only two of something in the world (e.g. two surviving individuals if a species of animal), each one of those two could be correctly described as "almost unique". Yes, yes, I know that this idea could be expressed in some other way in order to avoid this usage of "unique", but that doesn't make this usage wrong. Let the flaming begin!

    Don


    02 Jul 19 - 07:21 AM (#3998831)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: David Carter (UK)

    I do get annoyed by people using a noun as a verb, of which this is a good example. Also airline pilots using route as a verb. Route is a now, root can be used as a verb. But mostly in Australia.


    02 Jul 19 - 09:20 AM (#3998840)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Clueless Don, if I were writing about the world's last two anything, that fact about them would surely be worth a comment more precise than "almost unique". For example: "The last two white rhinoceroses in the world met yesterday in Kruger National Park. Unfortunately, both of them are male."

    The French loan word "route" generates other problems in Canada, where we live with inexorable cultural pressure from our southern neighbours. We still use the French pronunciation, a homonym of the verb "root", as noted by David Carter(UK). Americans pronounce it as a homonym of "rout", which I understand as a verb that means "scour", "extract" or "put to flight" and is most often applied to defeated armies.

    A piece of computer equipment called a "router", so called because it directs wireless signals to the correct receiving device, is American in origin (like most computer equipment), and is therefore pronounced like what happens to defeated armies. Unfortunately, this confuses people (like me) who (a) know what the thing does; and, (b) know about power tools, including the machine carpenters use to make fancy edges on boards and molding.

    I wish that were my only problem with the United States of America.


    02 Jul 19 - 11:29 AM (#3998864)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Charmion, me too.

    Speaking of there being only two of things, it bugs me if people use Both or (N)Either for larger groups. As in, both rhinos, deer and goats have horns. Argh.


    03 Jul 19 - 12:39 AM (#3998971)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Many people are inconsistent in their pronunciation of "route." On YouTube videos about pronunciation, they say that a highway is called a "root", but that in the stock phrase "If you want to go that route..." they make it rhyme with "out".

    Such people are from both sides of the pond. I do it too.

    Long ago there was a TV show called "Root 66." I bet its theme song had a lot to do with the preference for the oo sound today.


    03 Jul 19 - 09:29 AM (#3998993)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I remember someone asking me out loud How do you pronounce root? I said root. Turned out she meant route, which I pronounce rout.


    04 Jul 19 - 04:05 PM (#3999237)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Using the terms former and latter, so I have to re-read to see which is which. Like Rabbit, who got frustrated trying to count how many pockets he would need to carry his young in, I haven't the time.


    04 Jul 19 - 04:07 PM (#3999239)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    'respectively'

    Jack fell down and broke his crown,
    and Jill came tumbling after, respectively.


    04 Jul 19 - 05:13 PM (#3999265)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Leenia, I am so with you on former/latter. Violates the Don't Make Your Reader Work rule.

    And I don't mind language changing, I just wish somebody had told me when edgy went from meaning nervous to pushing the envelope (an expression I hate but what is better?)!


    04 Jul 19 - 06:06 PM (#3999275)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    Heard on Radio Scotland tonight, said by a senior health (infection control)official: "It is absolutely incredulous that we would open this hospital....."
    It is incredIBLE
    I am incredULOUS


    05 Jul 19 - 06:27 AM (#3999347)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Some time in the 1960s, my school's prize night, Bolton town hall, pompous mayor of Bolton in closing speech (imagine broad Bolton accent): "I've found this evenin' to 'ave bin most educative..."


    05 Jul 19 - 01:42 PM (#3999411)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    He was brung up proper then!


    07 Jul 19 - 03:42 PM (#3999734)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oh, and the terms vulva and vagina are neither synonymous nor interchangeable.


    07 Jul 19 - 04:55 PM (#3999740)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Why are you fannying around with stuff like that, Mrrzy? :-)


    07 Jul 19 - 08:47 PM (#3999757)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Hah!


    08 Jul 19 - 09:25 AM (#3999786)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: mayomick

    My neighbour and his friends were out camping in the Dublin mountains last week .They all got eaten alive by midgets .


    08 Jul 19 - 11:10 AM (#3999808)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    I was listening to a podcast about philosophy the other day, but turned it off the third time the reader said "tenants" when the script (I hope) meant "tenets".


    08 Jul 19 - 06:32 PM (#3999901)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    Anatomical misnomers: as described by Mrzzy above, and also the common misuse of the other part of female anatomy, so often these days erroneously applied to anyone of either gender that one does not like/agree with one's own views: i.e. that one which rhymes with a certain PM candidate. Cannae bring masel' tae type it oot, but ye'll ken whit ah mean!


    08 Jul 19 - 08:50 PM (#3999913)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Are you talking about the man who's his own Cockney rhyming slang? As with James Blunt??


    10 Jul 19 - 05:38 PM (#4000231)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    Probably, but then there is a possible un-scanning rhyme with Boris!


    11 Jul 19 - 11:01 AM (#4000321)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Staunch is not stanch, either.


    12 Jul 19 - 08:59 AM (#4000450)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    The phrase "the cold vacuum of space" in any article on science.


    12 Jul 19 - 12:31 PM (#4000490)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Video shows Coast Guard leaping onto submarine carrying 17,000 pounds of cocaine

    Wow.


    15 Jul 19 - 09:04 AM (#4000806)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Today incent was a verb.


    16 Jul 19 - 02:42 AM (#4000911)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    I didn't even know it was a word.


    16 Jul 19 - 10:56 AM (#4000927)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Newsies make things up to peeve me. Watch me verb that noun.


    16 Jul 19 - 11:23 AM (#4000939)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    "Newsies"?


    16 Jul 19 - 02:38 PM (#4000959)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Newspapers, radio news. Not those of us who read/listen to them!


    16 Jul 19 - 11:18 PM (#4000978)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    It just seemed a little ironic in the context.


    19 Jul 19 - 01:29 PM (#4001207)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    I first heard to "incent" in 2006.

    It's all too real.


    19 Jul 19 - 09:32 PM (#4001237)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    Revolver words


    19 Jul 19 - 10:21 PM (#4001241)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh JoeF, excellent. Also all other psychological jargon being misused.


    20 Jul 19 - 03:37 AM (#4001255)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I'm getting tired of massive

    massive landslide
    massive attack
    massive explosion.

    'Massive' seems to have replaced 'awesome' as the adjective meaning 'rather noticeable'.


    20 Jul 19 - 03:48 AM (#4001256)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    And the sappy language of the pet-rescue world.

    mom, dad = owner
    sister = fellow female dog
    forever home

    Ten years ago the house next door had a bad fire. A neighbor pounded on our door in the middle of the night and woke us up. Our houses are only eight feet apart, and the smoke and flames were terrifying. I called the cat, but she had hidden herself somewhere. I had to leave her.

    I never would have left a child, but the cat was not my child, and I wasn't her mom.

    After half an hour, the firefighters told me I could go back in my house, and I found the cat, put her in a crate, and sat in the car with her on my lap till it was almost over.

    When people refer to me as my cat's mom, I wonder if they have any idea of the dedication which parenthood demands.


    20 Jul 19 - 05:24 AM (#4001267)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Speaking of massive, a much-misused word is "enormity." And what about "epoch-making"? And don't get me started on alternative/alternate. I blame the Monkees.


    21 Jul 19 - 02:31 AM (#4001334)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    And the way parts of speech are leaking, so people who mean respectful say respectable, and similar leaks across other words.


    21 Jul 19 - 04:03 PM (#4001465)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Leeneia, ever hear "fur child," "fur kid," or "fur baby"?

    I suppose they could be applied to hamsters and the like as well as to cats and dogs.


    22 Jul 19 - 12:21 AM (#4001503)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Yes, I believe I have. I suppressed the memory.
    ==================
    I have decided to ignore the experts who distinguish meteors, meteorites and meteoroids.

    From now on, for me a rock that you see in the sky or a rock that has fallen from the sky is a meteor.


    22 Jul 19 - 06:24 AM (#4001529)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    But that isn't right. The distinctions are useful. A meteoroid is a small lump of rock in the solar system. How small? "Anything smaller than an asteroid" is as close as you'll get. A meteorite is one of those lumps of rock that has made it as far as the ground. A meteor is the same thing as a shooting star, the momentary streak of light from a small lump of rock, more likely a grain or speck of dust, that we see burning up as it rushes into the atmosphere. There is no such thing as a meteor on the ground or in a museum. They're meteorites every time.


    22 Jul 19 - 08:38 AM (#4001543)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok check this: puppie. Really. As in the singular of puppies.


    24 Jul 19 - 11:22 AM (#4001890)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Someone scrawled an explicative on the statue of Lee in Charlottesville...


    24 Jul 19 - 06:30 PM (#4001936)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Leeneia, I wish you hadn't mentioned Massive. It is *everywhere,* I now see.


    25 Jul 19 - 02:40 PM (#4002045)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I don't buy it, Steve. Wherever it is, it's the same thing, a lump of rock. Using all those different names for meteors is like using different names for a horse that's in the stall, a horse that's galloping, and a horse in a photograph.
    ==========
    I have another peeve. Words like (gawd I can hardly type it) labradoodle. i.e., hybrid names for crosses between dog breeds which never should have been crossed. Peekapoo, for heaven's sake!

    My brother once owned a dog which was a cross between two kinds of spaniel. One was bred to point game birds, the other to jump into water and retrieve game birds. The result was that when the dog saw a bird, it suffered something like a mild seizure, unable to figure out what to do - to point or to jump.
    =============
    Mrzzy, thanks for the confirmation.


    25 Jul 19 - 05:52 PM (#4002069)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Welcome, but sorry sweetie, a meteor is in the air and a meteorite is on the ground, Steve is right about that. Jargon rather than English...


    26 Jul 19 - 12:23 PM (#4002167)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Don't you grasp the concept of rebellion? I am rebelling against the pointless distinctions. I have the right - I have a meteor in my rock collection.


    27 Jul 19 - 03:26 AM (#4002238)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Like many technical terms, the fine differences are perhaps unimportant outside the discipline concerned. Short, long and metric tons. Dray, cart and race horses. And you'd be surprised how many different versions of the mile there are.

    But did the Gloster Meteor jet aircraft become a Meteorite if it crashed?


    27 Jul 19 - 05:24 AM (#4002251)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Pointless distinctions are only pointless if they're pointless, not if they're useful.


    27 Jul 19 - 10:06 AM (#4002290)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    You go, leeneia!


    27 Jul 19 - 12:47 PM (#4002303)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Thanks!

    I just learned about the Great Meteor Hotspot. How exciting to learn that a hotspot, which I usually associate with faraway places and tropical climes, has left volcanic remnants and low mountains across eastern Canada and New England, then gone across the northern Atlantic.

    The name is flashy, but it turns out to come from the name of the German research vessel which discovered the last seamount in the chain. The vessel was named the Meteor.


    31 Jul 19 - 12:26 PM (#4002793)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh and how about people writing dialect phonetically... She died of a fever and noone could save her rhymes because fever as pronounced... Not written... Fayver.


    31 Jul 19 - 12:34 PM (#4002795)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Had she been overweight at her funeral they could have made it rhyme: "She died of the fever and no-one could heave her..."


    31 Jul 19 - 02:33 PM (#4002823)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    She died of a fever and noone could save her rhymes because fever as pronounced... Not written... Fayver.

    When I sing it, I sing it as written and make no attempt to force a rhyme by pretending I am "oirish".    -ver and her are enough of a rhyme for me.

    DC


    31 Jul 19 - 03:09 PM (#4002833)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I can't help but sing in the accent I heard...


    01 Aug 19 - 12:43 AM (#4002887)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I have a song book published in Ireland which says

    She died of a fever
    and none could relieve her...

    I like it that way.


    01 Aug 19 - 02:59 AM (#4002899)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    And in the Sans Day Carol we find cross/grass and coal/all, which only rhyme in the West Country.


    01 Aug 19 - 09:50 AM (#4002958)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Fever rhymes with relieve her in an Orosh accent too... Nice.


    03 Aug 19 - 01:26 AM (#4003100)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "Journey" when no one is going anywhere. Started with "your credit journey" from my bank. I just noticed a video on "My ear-stretching journey." I didn't watch; I didn't want to know.

    I think I've seen "journey" in other places, too.


    03 Aug 19 - 10:02 AM (#4003121)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Orosh. People who don't proofread, argh!


    03 Aug 19 - 11:28 AM (#4003140)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    People who say "Is it wine o'clock yet?" when what they really mean is "Is the sun below the yardarm yet?""


    03 Aug 19 - 10:07 PM (#4003211)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Um, above the yardarm?


    04 Aug 19 - 02:56 AM (#4003228)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Monique

    The sun is over the yardarm.


    04 Aug 19 - 03:47 AM (#4003232)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    The sun over the yardarm indicates that it's time for the first morning drink. Here in Bude were a moderate lot who don't drink until evening, therefore the saying is modified in order to give us permission for the first evening drink.


    04 Aug 19 - 11:08 AM (#4003300)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ah. Posh lot.


    04 Aug 19 - 01:00 PM (#4003328)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Ah, 6 PM I see. It's gin o'clock...


    05 Aug 19 - 11:43 AM (#4003481)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Back to pet peeves:

    The lack of understanding that:
    "ALL the idiots aren't in the U.S." is not the same as "not all the idiots are in the US".


    06 Aug 19 - 02:42 PM (#4003576)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Thank you, Nigel - I thought I was the only one in the world who was seriously bugged by that one. (It seems to have become widespread only in the last few years, hasn't it?)


    06 Aug 19 - 03:12 PM (#4003577)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I am wondering about that difference. Latest misuse of After is The plane crashed after landing.


    06 Aug 19 - 03:54 PM (#4003578)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jeri

    Not to nitpick, but...aw hell, to nitpick:
    A plane can certainly crash after landing. Plane lands, careens off the runway, and BOOM! Plane lands, flips over, and BOOM! Plane lands, fails in the attempt to perform the Chatanooga double-shuffle, and BOOM!

    On the other hand, crashing before landing would be a bit more complicated.


    06 Aug 19 - 04:17 PM (#4003580)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Plane crashing after landing could be with a tree, or a building.
    Similarly plane crashing before landing could be with a flock of birds, a drone, or another plane.

    But these are exceptions, and rarely what is meant by someone trying to avoid saying either "the plane crashed" or "the plane crash-landed".


    06 Aug 19 - 11:13 PM (#4003616)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Jeri, those all seem to be *during* the landing, but yeah, taxi to gate then crash into terminal, ok. But I would day Crashed taxiing, not crashed after landing...


    07 Aug 19 - 07:51 AM (#4003660)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jeri

    I was thinking of "landing" as touching down. Coming to land (the ground). Cambridge English Dictionary: "1. the fact of an aircraft arriving on the ground or a boat reaching land".


    07 Aug 19 - 10:32 AM (#4003669)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    It is interesting, as an aside, that in French one only lands (aterrir) on land. You sea on water (amerrir) and moon (alunir) on the moon...
    Hey double entendre!


    07 Aug 19 - 04:47 PM (#4003704)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Mrzzy:
    If you 'moon' on the moon your suit will quickly run out of breathable air. :)


    07 Aug 19 - 06:04 PM (#4003716)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Never said it was smart...


    08 Aug 19 - 06:56 AM (#4003766)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Talking of 'mooning': Never said it was smart...

    I know, "no-one likes a smart arse", although I did agree with Kylie Minogue winning "Rear of the year".


    10 Aug 19 - 08:50 PM (#4004077)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Here's a peeve of mine: baby-talk conjunctions in professional writing.

    "The cause might be heavy rainfall or impervious surfaces or poorly-designed revetments."

    instead of

    "The cause might be heavy rainfall, impervious surfaces or poorly-designed revetments."

    To me, the first way is how children talk. They start a sentence, then they add elements with "or" or "and" as they think of them. A professional should think ahead.


    11 Aug 19 - 10:09 AM (#4004129)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well I sometimes use that construction for emphasis. Nowt wrong with it in m'humble.


    11 Aug 19 - 10:29 AM (#4004135)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oxford comma arguments, anyone?

    I agree about the baby talk. Ever heard a small child run out of breath midsentence?


    12 Aug 19 - 04:36 PM (#4004315)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: kendall

    People who don't know the difference AMONG to, two and too.


    12 Aug 19 - 06:43 PM (#4004343)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Apparently, kendall, it's ok to use "between" there. I don't like that and I'm with you, but we can't stop the tide...


    12 Aug 19 - 09:40 PM (#4004357)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    Cop talk... "At that point in time, the intoxicated individual exited the vehicle."

    Why not "Then the drunk got out of the car"?


    13 Aug 19 - 01:43 AM (#4004374)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    people who mix up:

    reticent and reluctant
    vice and vise
    definite and definitive
    untangle and unravel

    There's another one going around, but I can't think of it right now.


    13 Aug 19 - 03:51 AM (#4004390)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Insure and ensure?


    13 Aug 19 - 04:32 AM (#4004399)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Expresso. Heheh...


    13 Aug 19 - 10:49 AM (#4004435)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Their, they're. Feel better?


    13 Aug 19 - 11:25 AM (#4004445)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Sorry, Mrrzy. It's not they're and their. That is a perfectly natural mistake caused by fingers going too fast. I do it myself, though I try to fix it each time.


    13 Aug 19 - 12:02 PM (#4004452)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    That was the joke. They are both There's.


    13 Aug 19 - 02:13 PM (#4004468)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    How about, the worse the crime, the more respectfully the suspect/convict is spoken of: "the gentleman bit the dog repeatedly", "Mr Epstein trafficked minors", "President Trump had the children taken from their mothers and put in cages"?


    14 Aug 19 - 01:22 PM (#4004531)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok, in today's search for mussels recipes, one said to add a bay leave. Sigh.

    Did I mention I am craving mussels?


    15 Aug 19 - 11:34 AM (#4004643)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Today; grounding when they meant grinding. Yes, if you grind it, it's ground, but you didn't ground it. Sigh.


    15 Aug 19 - 01:07 PM (#4004650)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    An interesting article of relevance. I particularly liked the comments on being disinterested.

    Perhaps it is important to keep peevishness in perspective!


    15 Aug 19 - 03:39 PM (#4004661)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    My peevishness is in perfect, 3D perspective. Ha! Now to read the article.


    15 Aug 19 - 04:00 PM (#4004664)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    DMcG, I've earmarked that for a good read tonight once Mrs Steve's hit the sack. I'm a bit ambivalent about the way language seems to change so fast, but I'm also fairly relaxed about it. My command of speling, grammer and punkchewasian is pretty good but I'm a bit of a lingo-liberal at heart. But I love it when resident mudcat twits try to pick me up on the niceties of English. That's when I'm at my best and worst.

    And "ambivalent"...anyone else hear that superb Radio 4 programme?


    16 Aug 19 - 09:35 AM (#4004714)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Good article. I peeve about what I read in newspapers, not what those kids say. So grammar, such written, wow.


    16 Aug 19 - 11:56 AM (#4004733)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    No matter how many people (read men) tell me that my opinions about English have no foundation, I don't pay attention to them.

    Language is important. It can be dishonest, manipulative, or insulting if we let it. It can also waste our time. And so we have every right to pay attention to it and talk about it.

    Here's an example of a major language problem that bothers me. I love geology, and recently I borrowed a book on the geologic history of the Alps. Ordinarily, this would be right up my alley - an exciting tale of collisions and destruction.

    Unfortunately, the book had been published by the Cambridge University Press (or similar), and its prose was absolutely stultified. You know, the kind of writing you get when a down-to-earth (no pun intended) man thinks, "O god, I've got to write so as to sound intellectual."

    The result was that I could not keep awake while reading the book. The struggle to find the message amidst a tangle of over-decorated clauses was too much for me.

    If I (who can sleep all I want) can't keep awake while reading it, how can an over-worked student be expected to? What about the person for whom English is not the native language? Why should such a reader have to beat the way through 18th-Century sentence structures?

    Writing like that defeats the purpose of the book. That's why I said language can waste our time.


    16 Aug 19 - 11:59 AM (#4004735)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    "We dispatched a contingency of Marines to quell the uprising."

    I have heard that usage several times by military personnel.


    16 Aug 19 - 12:53 PM (#4004742)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Comprised of." Grrr...

    And I can't say it often enough: never say "prior to" or "albeit" within my earshot...


    16 Aug 19 - 01:05 PM (#4004743)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I remember the cachets of arms in Iraq. It was funny, then.


    16 Aug 19 - 03:12 PM (#4004762)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Here's a new one: stealing dog puppies. Not cat puppies or elephant puppies...


    16 Aug 19 - 04:33 PM (#4004771)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Here's a new one: stealing dog puppies. Not cat puppies or elephant puppies...

    Dog (male) as against bitch (female) puppies.


    DC


    16 Aug 19 - 09:34 PM (#4004797)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Steve, I'm with you on comprised. This word has become so misused that I don't use it at all. And if you don't like "prior to", you probably share my distaste for "subsequently" when "after" would do.

    Today I remembered another mixed-up word pair:

    Gourmet (having to do with fine cooking) vs gourmand (a glutton)


    16 Aug 19 - 11:36 PM (#4004802)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    My current pet peeve is the growing practice, especially by BBC presenters, of referring to “The x-year anniversary”. Why introduce the redundant ‘year’? What’s wrong with “The xth anniversary”?

    And I was gobsmacked recently to hear a radio presenter refer to ‘the three-month anniversary’. WTAF?


    17 Aug 19 - 02:48 AM (#4004806)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Obviously never heard of a luniversary...


    17 Aug 19 - 04:49 AM (#4004818)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    And the first decade of this century referred to as the noughties. Grrr again...


    17 Aug 19 - 06:13 AM (#4004825)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "On a daily basis." Argh.


    17 Aug 19 - 08:09 AM (#4004834)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I kinda liked the Aughties...

    Black boots held at gunpoint turned out to be black boys, but that's just bad proofreading.


    17 Aug 19 - 12:19 PM (#4004859)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Black boy is the name the Aussies give to a big tufted wild plant, at least in WA. Not nice, I told 'em...


    17 Aug 19 - 08:02 PM (#4004904)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    "This program was previously recorded earlier.".. and variations on the theme.


    17 Aug 19 - 11:50 PM (#4004913)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    A live audience. What, other shows are filmed before corpses?


    18 Aug 19 - 05:50 AM (#4004930)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Pre-order. Pre-book. Pre-select. Pre-choose. Presuppose. Pre-grrr.


    18 Aug 19 - 08:50 AM (#4004956)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Ha ha. I've just posted a joke in the recession thread that contains the word "pre-declined"...


    18 Aug 19 - 10:19 AM (#4004963)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Thinking about "prior to" and "subsequently", I really can't see what there is to object to. They are, in turn, perfectly understandable and unambiguous alternatives to "before" and "after". Life would be pretty boring if communication was restricted to an approved list of basic words. Variety is the spice of life.

    DC


    18 Aug 19 - 11:36 AM (#4004969)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I have never seen a case of "prior to" in which it couldn't have been perfectly well replaced with "before." Likewise, I've never seen "albeit" used where "though" wouldn't have been just as good. "Subsequently" can carry nuance that makes it useful, but generally I share Leeneia's objection to it. The objection isn't that they're not standard English, rather that they are used in order to make the user sound clever. In fact, they make the user sound pompous.


    18 Aug 19 - 12:16 PM (#4004973)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Subsequently, to me, means After and because of, whereas after means After.

    Saw "due" for Do today. Subsequently, I was annoyed.


    18 Aug 19 - 03:11 PM (#4005000)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    In fact, they make the user sound pompous.

    Not to me, they don't. You might as well object to someone saying "pail" when they mean "bucket" but that, of course, would be nonsense.


    DC


    18 Aug 19 - 08:12 PM (#4005028)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Not exactly a comparable case, Doug.


    18 Aug 19 - 08:21 PM (#4005030)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: michaelr

    I was recently informed that one should not begin a statement with "Actually" because it makes one sound like a know-it-all. I was referred to an article that said "Actually is the word that you use when you're actually saying, 'You are wrong, and I am right, and you are at least a little bit of an idiot.'"

    I'm inclined to call BS on that. What do you think?


    18 Aug 19 - 08:31 PM (#4005031)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    When you start a sentence with 'actually', you usually are indicating that your interlocutor is wrong, or at least lacking in information. It may well mean "'You are wrong, and I am right, and you are at least a little bit of an idiot.'" So - what's wrong with that? Are you supposed to refrain from correcting others - or are you supposed to come right out and call them 'idiots' while you're doing it?


    18 Aug 19 - 08:42 PM (#4005032)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well I must admit that I use "actually" quite a lot. I'll try harder...


    18 Aug 19 - 08:46 PM (#4005033)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "Actually" is often used in an apologetic way, as in "Actually, I never did put gas in the car." But I do hear people use it to soften a factual statement.

    "The capital of New York state is Albany, actually."

    ==============
    fortunate (lucky) vs. "fortuitous" (coincidental)


    18 Aug 19 - 08:54 PM (#4005034)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Actually and Just (actually, he's just being ignorant) do kinda sound smarmy, now that you point it out.


    19 Aug 19 - 08:03 AM (#4005085)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    I put ‘actually’ and ‘basically’ in the same category - they are ‘starter-words’ intended to put the other party(ies) in a conversation on the back foot.


    19 Aug 19 - 09:54 AM (#4005106)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also, Technically.


    20 Aug 19 - 08:13 AM (#4005211)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    And, I just read, "with all due respect" usually means the opposite. I have never liked that phrase.


    20 Aug 19 - 02:35 PM (#4005272)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Basically" is awful. I've just thought of something else: pretentious gits who begin their opinion-expressing with "I have to say..."


    20 Aug 19 - 04:21 PM (#4005284)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    This is turning into Monty Python. But do carry on .....


    20 Aug 19 - 05:50 PM (#4005290)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "At the end of the day..." - heheh!


    20 Aug 19 - 05:51 PM (#4005291)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "If I'm honest"...


    20 Aug 19 - 09:56 PM (#4005304)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Right, "to be honest" = "I will now lie."


    21 Aug 19 - 02:48 AM (#4005313)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Going forward..." Grrr...


    21 Aug 19 - 03:46 AM (#4005320)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    IMHO


    21 Aug 19 - 05:00 AM (#4005336)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    IMNSHO. At least that's a bit more honest. I rather like "in m'humble...". Very Stephen Fry-like!


    22 Aug 19 - 10:46 PM (#4005573)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh love Stephen Fry.

    Today someone said Toleration, and several of us asked, Tolerance? Apparently, not necessarily. Phooey. I am intolerational of toleration.


    23 Aug 19 - 11:12 AM (#4005633)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "and I use the term advisedly..."

    I never have understood that phrase.

    another one is "as it were"

    What does that mean?


    23 Aug 19 - 05:57 PM (#4005681)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Now come on, yanks: "If you will..." :-)


    24 Aug 19 - 02:08 AM (#4005701)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also for you Epstein-story watchers, there is no such thing as a "doctoral-level psychologist" - either you are a doctoral- level *grad student* in psychology, or you have a doctorate and are a psychologist. If it was a grad student, just say so. If it was a psychologist, don't hedge. My guess is it was a grad student and they are hedging because it should have been a psychologist.


    25 Aug 19 - 11:58 AM (#4005820)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok, let's talk about Injury vs. Wound. They are not synonymous to me. There are two dimensions: on purpose, and openness. So if I fall and break my arm, I am injured, not wounded. If I am shot, I am wounded (and also injured). This came up when the headline was about lighning "wounding" rather than "injuring" people. What do y'all think?


    25 Aug 19 - 12:38 PM (#4005827)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I agree, Mrrzy. For me, a wound involves a break in the skin and bleeding.


    25 Aug 19 - 01:04 PM (#4005830)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Stanron

    There is an interesting interplay between using language precisely and using it as creative tool. Language changes. Our language is a cobbled together mish mash of Celtic. Latin, Early German (?) Norse and not a little French thrown in as well. If we could time travel 500 years we would struggle to understand and be understood. Apparently there are Asian versions of English that we would struggle to understand today.

    On a slightly different tack on one Mudcat thread there was an anecdote where Peggy Seeger was amused by some one singing an American song with a Cockney accent. It probably wasn't Railroad Bill, but for the sake of argument let's pretend it was. What amuses me is the fact that back in the 19th Century Railroad Bill himself might have been born a Cockney and might have spoken with a Cockney accent. OK he might equally have been from Ireland or Scotland or France or Germany, but my point is that what now passes as as American accent may not have even existed back then. Language changes and accents change. Viva the whateveryoucallit.


    25 Aug 19 - 02:55 PM (#4005848)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    This came up when the headline was about lighning "wounding" rather than "injuring" people

    Being struck by lightning is quite likely to cause severe burns. Even if the skin remains intact, if the burn is sufficient to cause blistering, I would count that as a wound.

    DC


    25 Aug 19 - 03:17 PM (#4005849)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah, see, I wouldn't. An injury can be severe (compound fractures come to mind) without being a wound, which to me involves intent. People wound; objects injure. Did I make that distinction up out of whole cloth? Not that I'd be surprised if I did...


    25 Aug 19 - 05:07 PM (#4005853)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    For me, a wound involves a break in the skin and bleeding.

    According to my first aid manual, wounds can be open or closed.

    Open wounds include:- puncture wounds; incisions; thermal, chemical and electrical burns; bites and stings; gunshot wounds; abrasions; lacerations; skin tears.

    Closed wounds include:- contusions (eg bruising); blisters; seroma; haematoma (blood blisters); crush injuries.

    DC


    25 Aug 19 - 06:26 PM (#4005860)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    DC, what about injuries?


    26 Aug 19 - 04:15 AM (#4005880)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    My manual isn't specific about injuries. An on-line US site MedilinePlus gives:

    An injury is damage to your body.

    Wounds are injuries that break the skin or other tissues.


    "Other tissues" would allow for bruises, blood blisters and the like. Whether bone counts as tissue is up for discussion.

    DC


    26 Aug 19 - 05:12 AM (#4005884)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Bone is definitely tissue.


    26 Aug 19 - 08:37 AM (#4005900)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    If nothimg is broken, not skin nor other tissue, what is injured?


    26 Aug 19 - 11:14 AM (#4005914)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Strains and sprains may involve the the tearing of muscle or ligaments but could involve only stretching, without tearing. This would still be an injury, and very painful at that.

    DC


    26 Aug 19 - 03:21 PM (#4005932)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: DMcG

    Just noticed in an advert that some supplement or other had been 'Scientifically researched'.

    That's nice.

    Scientifically proven? ... "we don't claim that."
    Scientifically demonstrated to be safe? ... "We only researched it. Maybe, maybe not."
    Or,at least as good as a placebo? "Not telling you"


    27 Aug 19 - 10:36 AM (#4006021)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Good point, DMcG.


    27 Aug 19 - 10:41 AM (#4006025)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Man-bag or man-bun. It's a bag or a bun, no matter what the shape of the skin between your legs. If you carry a purse it's a purse, regardless of gender. Of the carrier thereof.


    27 Aug 19 - 10:45 AM (#4006027)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I sometimes dislike the common names which the American Ornithological Union assigns to birds.

    Northern cardinal. Why? There is no southern cardinal. There's pyrroluxia, (sp) which could quality as a southern cardinal, but as far as I know, they haven't even given poor pyrroluxia a name.

    House finch. A delightful little bird, brave and chipper. The male has a lovely wash of rosy pink on his breast. Why such a prosaic name? I have a friend who calls them raspberry sparrows.

    Yellow-rumped warbler. We still call them myrtle warblers. I have a deal with the birds that I won't talk about their rumps if they won't talk about mine. In Florida, where they are rather common, I have heard them called butterbutts.
    =========
    Gotta go.


    27 Aug 19 - 04:50 PM (#4006087)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well, speaking as a botanist and wildflower man, I appreciate the urge to impose vernacular names on wild animals and plants. We try to make the distinction between old country names and invented ones, but it's a distinction that can get blurred. Quite often, invented names are very attractive, and, let's face it, the alternative can be rather arcane Latin nomenclature, which few people appreciate and which, though scientifically invaluable, can sound pretentious and jargonistic. So I'm defending friendly-sounding made-up names for birds, beasts and wildflowers. And I do have a degree in botany...


    28 Aug 19 - 11:52 AM (#4006212)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    The Union meets every five years and standardizes the vernacular names of birds. This is nothing to do with scientific name versus vernacular name.

    It peeves me that some of the names they assign are ugly or illogical.


    28 Aug 19 - 12:39 PM (#4006219)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I suppose we don't have to use them. I know the Latin names of most of our wild flowers but even professional botanists, generally averse to jargon, often resort to to folk names or invented names. There are exceptions in the bird world. The wren will always be Troglodytes troglodytes to me, and the blackbird, even better, is Turdus vulgaris... :-)


    28 Aug 19 - 12:42 PM (#4006221)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Logic is a little bird tweeting in the wilderness. Logic is a bunch of flowers, which smell *bad* [I paraphrase]...

    Sorry, I could not help it.


    29 Aug 19 - 11:51 AM (#4006392)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh and the way the media are still treating Puerto Rico as if it were not just as American as whatever states are about to have hurricanes.
    When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?


    04 May 20 - 10:16 PM (#4050542)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    IMDB description includes: okay western with a theme that's been done before in other films, namely "Duel at Diablo" several years later.

    Time travel?


    05 May 20 - 11:44 AM (#4050645)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: The Sandman

    but sometimes both names are wonderful, eg birds foot trefoil and eggs and bacon.
    the use of the words fucking and cunt unless you are derek and clive
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYGy-j_oH5Q


    05 May 20 - 12:37 PM (#4050661)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    This isn't a peeve, just a confusion.

    My church is having services via computer, and I just bought a micrunophone for that purpose. Meanwhile, we've all got used to the use of "un" as the all-round prefix to mean the opposite of an action.

    So the screen had an icon of a microphone to show the mic is on. Good, so far. Under the mic is says Mute, meaning turn it off. Later it says Unmute meaning to turn off having the microphone turned off.

    Then they drew a slanting red line through all that, apparently meaning Do Not Touch the thing that turns off the turning-off. in which case, why buy a mic?

    I had to wait for a non-sacred moment to barge in and ask if people heard me.


    05 May 20 - 02:16 PM (#4050676)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Barb'ry

    Probably already been mentioned but 'at this moment in time' drives me mad. We aren't (usually) talking about a moment in a circle. Then there is 'could of, would of' instead of 'have' and people saying, 'she gave it to myself'.
    I could go on...


    05 May 20 - 02:40 PM (#4050680)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well, Barb'ry, I've said it many times before, but if you're ever in my presence do NOT utter "prior to", "on a daily basis" or the shocking "albeit"... And as for "going forward"...


    05 May 20 - 02:54 PM (#4050681)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Reinhard

    Uh, Steve I was just going forward to confess that prior to your rant I was using proper grammar on a daily basis, albeit marred by not being a native English speaker. So there.


    05 May 20 - 04:05 PM (#4050699)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Some NPR people have stopped saying In 10 mn from now, which somehow makes those that still do more infuriating.


    05 May 20 - 04:16 PM (#4050705)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    You're a genius, Reinhard! :-)

    Now don't get me started on "paradigm shift", "touching base" and "low-hanging fruit"...


    05 May 20 - 09:21 PM (#4050741)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    Just to be sure all those who share concerns about usage stay busy...

    https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=89383


    06 May 20 - 01:41 AM (#4050750)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Reinhard

    Sorry Steve, can't and won't do that. I already picked all the low-hanging fruits in my last post. Now I would have to be touching base with my severely lacking creativity to achieve a paradigm shift to intelligently worded sentences. So I'd better stop here before I get in over my head.


    06 May 20 - 02:43 AM (#4050757)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: The Sandman

    has anyone heard the phrase.. going backwards


    06 May 20 - 02:48 AM (#4050758)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Get in over your head, Reinhard? D'ye mean that this is above your pay grade?


    06 May 20 - 04:54 AM (#4050773)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Any mangling of the correct way of stating numbers and amounts.
    This is not thread half-a-thousand.

    It is FIVE HUNDRED


    06 May 20 - 07:01 AM (#4050791)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It's a bit complicated is that one. It's less than four hundred miles from Bude to Manchester: good. Mrs Steve walked four miles yesterday but I walked only three, so I walked less miles than she did. Not so good...?


    06 May 20 - 08:53 AM (#4050805)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    ....so I walked less miles than she did

    ...so I walked fewer miles than she did, I would have thought.

    DC


    06 May 20 - 08:58 AM (#4050809)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: The Sandman

    yes, or, I walked less than she did. How about this Potato's


    06 May 20 - 09:10 AM (#4050816)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I agree with you, Doug, more or fewer... :-)


    06 May 20 - 09:20 AM (#4050818)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    This is not thread half-a-thousand.

    It is FIVE HUNDRED


    And yet,
           "He bought a house for half a million pounds"
    and
           "He bought a house for five hundred thousand pounds"
    are equally acceptable.

    DC


    06 May 20 - 09:40 AM (#4050824)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Never thought about that but you're right, half a thousand is not a number but half a million is. Half a hundred is poetic (never saw a door shut so tight...)


    06 May 20 - 09:40 AM (#4050825)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Reinhard

    No Nigel, this is thread 132499, see the url. Your posting in this thread may have been number five-hundred.


    06 May 20 - 09:41 AM (#4050826)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    I'm an editor, so my peeves are cast in bronze and carved in stone. Never cast in stone.

    I guess my current biggest language peeve is the ubiquitous "passed away" and its even mincier little brother "passed". "In the midst of life we are in death," wrote dear old Tom Cramner, but not any more if you're a "nice" person.


    06 May 20 - 09:56 AM (#4050831)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    ... half a thousand is not a number but half a million is

    The eggs that I buy in the supermarket come in boxes of 6 or 10. If I wanted someone to get me a small box, I would ask them to get me half a dozen. If I wanted a large box, I would ask for a box of ten, never half a score.

    DC


    06 May 20 - 01:08 PM (#4050871)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    1) decade. I see sentences like this in the media all the time:

    "Slightly less than two decades ago, she was the happy mother of four..."

    The writer is a journalist and presumably has the facts. If it was 19 years, say so. Better yet, say "In 2001, she was the happy mother..."

    2) Most where almost should be used. "Most everybody enjoys ice cream." arrgh!   

    3) Alright instead of all right. I guess alright was born of its visual similarity to already, but already isn't the same as all ready.


    06 May 20 - 02:47 PM (#4050885)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick


    "Slightly less than two decades ago, she was the happy mother of four..."

    The writer is a journalist and presumably has the facts. If it was 19 years, say so. Better yet, say "In 2001, she was the happy mother..."


    It might not have been 19 years ago. 18 yrs and 9 months would still qualify as "slightly less than 2 decades". It might not have been 2001. Anything after June 2000 would be less than 2 decades.

    Our language is full of synonyms. Just because you prefer one doesn't make the others wrong. As I said somewhere up-thread, life would be pretty boring if communication was restricted to an approved list of basic words. Variety is the spice of life.

    DC


    06 May 20 - 05:11 PM (#4050905)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: weerover

    "cast in stone" works for me. The mould could be carved from stone and molten metal poured into it.


    06 May 20 - 09:43 PM (#4050921)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    leeneia: "Alright" has been made into a mark of illiteracy, but this IMO is one case where the illiterates have the better of the argument. Just as "already" is not the same as "all ready", so "they were alright" (they were acceptable) is not the same as "they were all right" (all of them were right). Note the difference in pronunciation.


    06 May 20 - 11:23 PM (#4050931)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Good point about half a dozen v score!

    There's a limerick there but that would be thread drift.

    Anyway, also visualize is not see, it is imagine you see, or use technology to see. But seeing is seeing, not visualizing.


    07 May 20 - 01:05 AM (#4050944)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: robomatic

    I'm not sure what is wrong with half-a-thousand.

    On the other hand, if you say thousand and a half, do you mean:
    1,500.
    Or
    1,000.5

    ???


    07 May 20 - 01:31 AM (#4050947)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    I wouldn’t say “A thousand and a half”, I’d say “One-and-a-half-thousand”.


    07 May 20 - 05:10 AM (#4050982)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I find the confusion between singulars and plurals to be a very disturbing phenomena.


    07 May 20 - 05:21 AM (#4050984)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick


    07 May 20 - 05:47 AM (#4050990)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Was it I who rendered you speechless, Doug?

    Don't get me started on the gross misuse of "alternate" when what is meant is "alternative." It's become so common that dictionaries are even including it as valid. I blame The Monkees. Them and their "Alternate Title"...


    07 May 20 - 05:48 AM (#4050992)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Or is that a mute point?


    Grrr...


    07 May 20 - 09:44 AM (#4051019)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Since the dictionary decided to define literal as figurative rather than list that as a common misuse, I don't trust dictionary definitions.


    07 May 20 - 10:57 AM (#4051030)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It's not the role of dictionaries to decide what is correct usage or misuse. They are there to reflect how people use language. They may refer to slang or colloquialism or informal use of words, but no decent dictionary ever passes judgement on what is "correct usage."


    07 May 20 - 11:13 AM (#4051034)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    It *is* the job of a dictionary to define words correctly. They can say "often used to mean Literally" but not define it as such.


    07 May 20 - 11:22 AM (#4051038)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    This one really is a "pet" peeve, as I suspect that it is me that is out of step, rather than everyone else, but it still irritates me when I hear it:-

    If the Bank of England announces an interest rate rise from, say, 2.25% to 2.5%, I would say that there has been a rise of a quarter of a per cent. The BBC would announce that there has been a rise of a quarter of one per cent. All the other TV channels do the same, which makes me think that I am wrong but I don't care - I am going to carry on saying it the way I want to.

    DC


    07 May 20 - 11:23 AM (#4051040)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: robomatic

    There was a series of highly popular and historically well loved detective books following the career of highly sequestered master solver Nero Wolfe. They were written during his lifetime by Rex Stout, and in one of them, Wolfe is tearing apart a newly released dictionary for confusing 'infer' with 'imply'. He is then feeding it to his wastebasket in which he has a small fire. I'm pretty sure it was a real dictionary, a real conflation, and Rex Stout was putting his opinion into his work, probably justifiably (other than the indoor fire aspect).


    07 May 20 - 12:07 PM (#4051051)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    This may already have been mentioned - I haven't read through the whole thread. But it always makes me smile when people use the word 'literally' in the wrong context.
    For example, "She was literally on fire with anger."
    Or, "He must literally have been turning in his grave..."
    Makes me literally foam at the mouth!!


    07 May 20 - 12:37 PM (#4051058)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yes but Doug, there is no such thing as "a per cent." "A quarter of a per cent" simply doesn't make grammatical sense. I know it's used, and we're accustomed to it. Saying "a quarter of one per cent" may sound like a lugubrious way of putting it, but at least it's grammatically correct. And I'm certain of that one hundred and ten percent...


    07 May 20 - 02:10 PM (#4051071)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Robomatic:
    You're probably right: "They were written during his lifetime by Rex Stout," I don't believe he wrote anything posthumously.


    08 May 20 - 03:23 AM (#4051142)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Referring back to earlier posts, "half a thousand" may well mean five hundred, but to an engineer, "half a thou" doesn't!


    08 May 20 - 05:53 AM (#4051164)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    What about people who say 'fine toothcomb', with the stress on 'tooth', as if it were a device for combing teeth! What they mean is 'fine-toothed comb', with the stress on 'comb'.


    08 May 20 - 06:19 AM (#4051176)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: weerover

    G-Force, this used to be one that really grated on me, but when I looked up Chambers Dictionary to prove my point I found it does have the word "toothcomb", defined as "a fine-tooth(ed) comb".


    08 May 20 - 08:48 AM (#4051204)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    They keep reporting on coronavirus being in men's semen. I guess women's semen is still safe, and children's?


    08 May 20 - 10:37 AM (#4051225)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Me, I'm sick of the phrase "tough love." It's been around since 1968, and I suspect it's used to disguise mean and immature behavior.


    11 May 20 - 08:54 AM (#4051799)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    That it is. Right along with This hurts me more than it does you.

    Also correcting use of regular English to mean only what a jargon term means. For instance anyone in armed forces is, in plain English, a soldier, but in military jargon that term excludes the navy, air force, marines and coast guard.


    11 May 20 - 09:42 AM (#4051812)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Tough love is usually torture


    11 May 20 - 10:35 AM (#4051821)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I thought tough love was when you couldn't win any points in tennis for ages.


    12 May 20 - 03:46 AM (#4051926)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    ... anyone in armed forces is, in plain English, a soldier ...

    In plain English, a soldier is not a sailor and a sailor is not a soldier.

    DC


    12 May 20 - 07:13 AM (#4051976)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    I’m with Doug on the soldier/sailor thing. Some sailors are civilians, otherwise known as merchant mariners or yachtsmen.

    Ain’t no such thing as a civilian soldier.


    12 May 20 - 07:19 AM (#4051978)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    In the US, right wing armed militias are citizen soldiers of sorts.
    but point taken


    12 May 20 - 07:47 AM (#4051985)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    If I refer to someone in the military as a soldier, I am not *wrong* even if they are in some other branch of the military than specifically in the army.

    I may be imprecise, but not incorrect.


    12 May 20 - 08:18 AM (#4051997)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    If I refer to someone in the military as a soldier, I am not *wrong* even if they are in some other branch of the military than specifically in the army.

    I may be imprecise, but not incorrect.


    That is a matter of opinion. As far as I am concerned, you are wrong. For me, "soldier" only means someone in the army, not any other branch of the armed forces. The imprecise nature of the information leads to confusion and, thus, fails the basic requirements of communication.

    DC


    12 May 20 - 08:38 AM (#4052002)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I've been accused of coming the old soldier when I've suffered from man flu. I've never been in the armed forces.


    12 May 20 - 09:27 AM (#4052015)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    I'm sorry, Mrrzy, but it is indeed wrong to apply the word "soldier" to any member of the armed forces without distinction.

    Every European language, without exception, has specific words to distinguish soldiers from sailors, even those serving in warships, and I'll bet money that Asian and Semitic languages do, too. The line between soldiers and airmen is a bit fuzzy, but only a bit; it is, after all, only a century since the first air forces were split off from their parent ground forces. But seamen have never been soldiers, even in antiquity.

    We Canadians are rather more aware of the nomenclature issue that most people. Between 1964 and 1968, our armed services were first integrated and then unified to form the Canadian Armed Forces as they exist today, and the old rank and trade structure and terminology were swept away with the stroke of Parliament's pen. The Royal Canadian Navy was severely discombobulated; suddenly, no one knew what to call the person in command of the ship because, suddenly, a captain was a junior officer. I have a lovely photograph from 1965, showing a bearded man in a sailor suit with the crossed anchors of a Petty Officer 2nd Class on the sleeve as he hoists the new flag (the Maple Jack, as my Dad always called it) at HMCS Gloucester, a shore station. The caption, written in the politically correct form of the time, identifies the bunting tosser as Sgt(S) -- that is, Sergeant (Sea) -- John Doe.

    Of course, it did not last. Most of the naval ranks never went away in real life -- by 1972, when I joined up, Petty Officers were Petty Officers again -- but ships never got their captains back; they had morphed into Commanding Officers, and their First Lieutenants had become Executive Officers, as in the U.S. Navy.

    By the way, the fact that matelots of the Royal Navy (British, that is) were occasionally organized to fight more or less as infantry or artillery only proves the rule. There's a famous print from the Illustrated London News (I think) showing sailors in square rig attacking the walls of Lucknow ... with naval guns that they had hauled all the way from Calcutta.


    12 May 20 - 09:52 AM (#4052027)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Okay, Donuel, now it's your turn.

    The armed yahoos you referred to as "citizen soldiers" are neither militia nor soldiers; they're wannabe Rambos who lack the discipline and good will to get through boot camp in the flipping National Guard.

    The expression "citizen soldier" was coined in Britain early in the 20th century to get people used to the idea of the Territorial Army. Here's an example: "Working and Shirking" by Bernard Partidge

    It means a Reservist, a person with a civilian job, or perhaps a student, who is also a signed-up, sworn-in member of the Army and subject to its discipline. A true citizen soldier would find himself in a heap of trouble if he pulled an idiot stunt like that demonstration in Michigan.


    12 May 20 - 01:58 PM (#4052072)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion's brother Andrew

    Members of Canada's Regular Force are barred from participation in party politics: "We're here to protect democracy, not practice it!" Members of the Reserve Force may take part, but they should try hard not to be noticeable. Our brother, a reservist on full-time duty, was a paid-up member of the Liberal Party and had a membership card, but did not sign it. (That did not stop Charmion and me from teasing him about it.) Participation in "an idiot stunt like that demonstration in Michigan" would get you shown the door if not tried for "conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline."


    12 May 20 - 04:30 PM (#4052097)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I grew up using, and hearing other people use, the word soldier for any military person, sorry all. Vernacular, not jargon. Only people *in* the military differentiated soldiers by branch of military (jargon, not vernacular). The first time I was corrected was in the aughties, so for 40 years, and probably decades if not centuries before that, soldier was the accepted generic used by civilians.

    As a non-military person I wonder, do y'all in the military have a generic word for person in armed forces? If not, then soldier it still is.


    12 May 20 - 05:44 PM (#4052109)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I am a non-military person but I would use "servicemen" as the generic term. If I wanted to be fully inclusive, I might say service men and women or, alternatively, service personnel.

    DC


    12 May 20 - 07:31 PM (#4052125)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    So no single word. I'll stick with soldier, then.

    Also an individual is not a troop. I hear on the news Three troops died when they mean three nembers of the armed forces (see, I did not say soldier!).

    How many are in a brazillion again?


    12 May 20 - 09:21 PM (#4052134)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Mrrzy, you won’t be told, will you? You remind me of my Uncle who used the pronoun “she” for all cats, including the tabby tomcat who slept on his bed every night, and English people of my grandparents’ generation who insisted Irish people are British.


    12 May 20 - 11:43 PM (#4052143)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Gurney

    The members of a troop of service-men are troopers, not troops. They were still called that when I was one. -Good grief, 60 years ago.

    A TV programme which I watch now and then is named 'Mysteries at the Museum (or its variant ...at the Monument')and I hope all we contributors to this thread will watch it. and hurl abuse at the presenters for their misuse of language. Some of them think a skeleton is an artifact. None of them seem to use the term 'exhibit.'


    13 May 20 - 01:45 AM (#4052147)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I just googled "maps of the British Isles", and google brought up 20 maps. Ireland was in every one.


    13 May 20 - 02:11 AM (#4052148)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    Geographically, The British Isles include Ireland. You seem to be confusing The British Isles with The United Kingdom. If you google ‘maps of the United Kingdom‘, the island of Ireland will be included, but the ROI will be indicated as separate from the UK- often by the absence of detail.

    From britannica.com


    13 May 20 - 07:57 AM (#4052208)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    Sorry, Leeneia, I should have said, “Are you sure you aren’t conflating The British Isles with The United Kingdom?”.


    13 May 20 - 09:35 AM (#4052229)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah, no, I'm way better at being explained to than being told!

    The English language needs a one-word word for something as common as "member of the armed forces" - if we can't use Soldier any more, what is being proposed? Warrior doesn't work as it includes fighters who aren't in the armed forces. Patsy is an opinion, not a descriptor. So...?


    13 May 20 - 10:27 AM (#4052240)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Mrzy, just wondering where you grew up, hearing "soldier" as such a generic term? I've never encountered it that way, so I'm assuming it is, to some degree, a regional usage ... ?


    13 May 20 - 10:35 AM (#4052241)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    Mrrzy, I think our common language is dividing us again, and you’re assuming that US-ian practices and standards apply elsewhere outside the US.

    Sorry, but it just ain’t so! I can assure you that, in the UK, a soldier is a member of the army - the army only. Nobody here would call a member of the RN or the RAF a ‘soldier’ - it would be thought of as ridiculous. We would most likely use the term ‘Servicemen/women’ as a global descriptor for members of the armed forces.


    13 May 20 - 11:11 AM (#4052245)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Mrrzy, look at it this way.

    Cats and dogs and budgerigars and hamsters are all pets. No one says hamsters are cats because it's easier.

    Jenovah's Witnesses and Amish and Mennonites and Doukhobors have an important thing in common: they believe that war is always wrong and refuse military service. No one uses the word "Quaker" to refer to them all collectively; we say "conscientious objector" or "pacifist".

    So soldiers, sailors, aviators and marines are all ... what? Members of the armed forces. Military personnel (although sailors who studied Latin in school will wince at that). Service personnel. In French, des militaires.

    If you know someone well enough to comment on her occupation, you know if she's a soldier or a sailor or a wrench-bender in the Air Force. If you don't, but still wish to comment, you say "She's in the forces, but I'm not sure what she does."

    If it's the 11th of November and you're in Ottawa, and it's not raining too hard, you go to the Cenotaph for the ... military parade. The sailors are at the front, because the Navy takes the right of the line in a mixed contingent (NB: in British and Commonwealth forces).

    But on the first Sunday in May, the people holding up traffic on Confederation Square are all in dark blue uniforms because it's Battle of the Atlantic Sunday. So it's a ... naval parade.

    Journalists who don't know any better occasionally refer to a "military ship". Their editors, who do know better, promptly change that to "naval vessel" or "warship", depending on whether it's a destroyer or a diving tender.


    13 May 20 - 11:37 AM (#4052252)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I grew up overseas, mostly in African ex-French colonies, 60's and 70's. The English speakers did not distinguish among the various armed forces. We had Marines guarding the embassy (and partying, shooting pool, going to beaches), but they did not argue terminology when lumped in with other members of other armed forces if we used the term Soldier as a generic. Like I said, the first time I was corrected was in the aughties, in NC.

    The French speakers also used "soldat" for any military person. Newspapers did not use "troop" to mean individual member of armed forces. That is newspeak, like the horribly oxymoronic, or just moronic, term Peacekeepers. Requiring a civilian (whether Quaker or other conscientious objector, or just ignorant -or uncaring- of details of uniforms) to know which branch some rando is in before referring to them is just plain silly.

    Like I said, English (US, UK or whatever) needs a one-word, simple, generic term for "member of the armed forces" -so does French, and so do all languages whose speakers want to talk about those waging war. So if y'all don't want people to use the word Soldier, please propose something.

    Next I'll be hearing that continuing to use Literally to mean Not Figuratively is incorrect. Sorry, but it's not, even though enough people use it to mean Figuratively that it's gotten into the dictionary. It may be common usage, but it is still wrong.

    Now my use of Soldier may be common but still wrong, sure. What I ask is, what is right?


    13 May 20 - 11:49 AM (#4052255)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    This from an old dictionary, online: look at def 1, first two clauses: A man engaged in military service, one whose occupation is military. Then yes in army, then back to just being anyone in the military.

    SOLDIER, noun soljur. [from Latin solidus, a piece of money, the pay of a soldier ]

    1. A man engaged in military service; one whose occupation is military; a man enlisted for service in an army; a private, or noe in the ranks. There ought to be some time for sober reflection between the life of a soldier and his death.

    2. A man enrolled for service, when on duty or embodied for military discipline; a private; as a militia soldier

    3. Emphatically, a brave warrior; a man of military experience and skill, or a man of distinguished valor. In this sense, an officer of any grade may be denominated a soldier


    So, um, yeah. It really did not used to be limited to *army* military people. I am not making it up! It could, in usage, apparently exclude officers, but not, say, Marines.

    If it is to become limited to army, what is the new generic? If nobody volunteered we could use Draftee, but that doesn't work right now.

    I am *old* eh.


    13 May 20 - 11:55 AM (#4052257)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    In English, there is no collective generic noun *at present* to match the French "militaire". The American singular usage of "troop" is a good example of how some English speakers are still struggling to find one, and I imagine that a word will emerge to do the job sometime before I die.

    Or maybe not. English is weird in many ways, and this is one.

    (BTW, "soldat" is not generic in most of the Francosphere; it is the ground-pounding counterpart of "matelot". The accepted generic in French Canada is "militaire".)

    In Canada, where the armed services have been a singular since 1968, the adjective "military" is approaching the status of collective noun for the services themselves, as in "the military is the biggest source of government spending", or, "he's in the military so he's never home". But we have no accepted generic noun for individual persons. "Serviceman" was the word in 1950, but that doesn't work any more with so many women in the ranks.

    I don't like "in the military", but I'm an Olde Pharte and an editor at that. At least it's better than using "soldier" for everybody who wears the National Tweed.


    13 May 20 - 12:08 PM (#4052259)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    Serviceman/Servicewoman?


    13 May 20 - 12:14 PM (#4052264)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Since we're doing etymology, take a look at "military". It derives from miles, militis, a soldier.

    Nautical or navy arise from nauta, nautae, a sailor.

    Why did the word for a coin give us the word for "soldier"? Because back in the day, a soldier was a warrior who accepted his recompense (salary, from the soldier's ration of salt) from the state through his commander; all the other warriors got theirs in the form of loot.

    In the British tradition, the personnel of the Navy remained ad hoc far longer than that of the Army -- well up into the 19th century, in fact -- hence the whole thing of the press gang. Soldiers did go to sea, but their status was so different that the language quickly acquired a special word for them: Marines. And they are not sailors, and never have been. (Just ask one.)


    13 May 20 - 12:19 PM (#4052266)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Miriam-Webster dictionary gives Serviceperson as a member of the armed forces.

    DC


    13 May 20 - 12:40 PM (#4052271)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Most people in Canada, I believe, simply use "in the forces" (or "farces", depending on the mood); e.g., "he's in the forces, so they move around a lot". It would be rare to hear, "he's a soldier ...."


    13 May 20 - 12:56 PM (#4052274)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Serviceman/woman requires looking under, not just at, the uniform.

    Matelot is sailor whether in the military or not, I thought...


    13 May 20 - 01:12 PM (#4052280)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    Serviceperson doesn’t, though.


    13 May 20 - 01:25 PM (#4052284)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Matelot is a sailor whether in the NAVY or not.

    Like I said, way up thread, a sailor can be a civilian, as in a merchant mariner or a yachtsman.

    Meself is correct. Canadians tend to recast the sentence, saying "he's in the forces". Or "farces", depending on their experience of life in The Mob.


    13 May 20 - 05:46 PM (#4052321)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah, I don't like -person as a gender-neutral (and this from a non-binary human!) - I say Chair, not Chairperson, for instance. Chairperson just sounds made-up and lip-service-y. Serviceperson is ok as invented terms go, but we already *have* soldier as an organic, gender- and service-neutral term...
    I gather it's not neutral to people *in* the services but I'm not, so I'm ok with that.

    I'm a pain. I want to be referred to in the 3rd person as They, which isn't going over well either...


    13 May 20 - 08:54 PM (#4052341)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Mrrzy, you’re paddling upstream on that one. English doesn’t go there yet.

    If that’s the hill you’ve chosen to die on, you may have to move to a place where German or Spanish is spoken.


    13 May 20 - 09:06 PM (#4052342)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    We have lady policemen in Cornwall.


    13 May 20 - 09:16 PM (#4052343)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Gurney

    Isn't this good!   The English language, in terms of number of accepted words, is by far the largest in the world. There are more words therein than there are in the next TWO largest languages, French and German.

    And here we are, lumbered with a population hell-bent on adding to it!

    Such a shame that these lumberers aren't lexicographers reviving currently semi-forgotten words. In my opinion.


    14 May 20 - 01:21 PM (#4052466)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    German has neuter but then doesn't use it for neuter things. Table is masculine. Sun is feminine. Maiden is neuter. Sigh.

    Spanish and French have masculine and feminine but no neuter. I use both in written French, e.g. je suis content(e). Spoken is more difficult... I tend to pause after Content, then pronounce the T.

    In Spanish the noun Mar (sea) is masculine unless you are a sailor, when it becomes feminine.
    In French, the noun Amour (love) is masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural. Now *that* tells you something!

    The funniest was someone appropriately using They (referring to me) at which point I almost said No, that was me. Learning curves all around.

    I wonder what people thought while You, originally plural (thee was the singular), was shifting to mean the singular as well...


    14 May 20 - 01:57 PM (#4052475)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    GB Shaw, said (as you are all aware): "In German, a turnip has sex but a woman does not."


    14 May 20 - 06:37 PM (#4052521)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    Mrrzy: In Bible English, the singular forms were thou, thee, thy, thine, and the plural forms were ye, you, your, yours. However (as in many European languages), it was considered polite to use the plural form in addressing a superior. That worked its way down to addressing equals, and by Shakespeare's time it was getting to be an insult to "thou" someone (other than God).

    In other languages the process has not gone so far; it is a sign of intimacy to use the "thou" forms. In German, there is actually a ceremony for that: you drink a toast while linking elbows, and thereafter you are buddies or sweethearts and call each other du instead of sie. When I studied Russian we learned an amusing list of persons whom one still called "ty" instead of "vy": family, close friends, children, animals, God, and the Tsar.


    15 May 20 - 01:10 AM (#4052543)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: The Sandman

    Fascinating , i must remember that ,next time i talk to the Tsar


    15 May 20 - 05:00 AM (#4052563)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    The English singular form can still be heard in the Yorkshire dialect.

    DC


    15 May 20 - 05:45 AM (#4052567)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    Indeed. I can still remember my university digs landlord in Sheffield saying " A tha goin' to't match?" (Definitely the Blades, not the Owls).


    15 May 20 - 07:35 AM (#4052581)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Quakers like my grandpa said Thee to family and other Quakers.
    I still wonder what people thought as You took over from Thee. Whippersnappers being cold and distant, probably.
    Hungarian has 4 grammatical levels of politeness: regular conjugation 2nd person singular (like Tu) for peers, children, animals, gods; a self-type of conjugation (like And how is himself today?) for showing respect to social inferiors like street sweepers; regular 3nd person conjugation for kids-to-adults or work colleagues etc, and a "pleases" 3rd person like Does it please to come this way) for old folks. I have gotten into trouble with these.


    15 May 20 - 10:34 AM (#4052610)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe MacGillivray

    In regards to some of these recent posts: Soldier; in Gaelic, Soldier is saighdear which would come from archer.

    Thu is singular and sibh is plural for you and youse respectfully. It also applies to age, how well you know the person or an authority figure. To keep it basic, I made it on singular and plural. The concept in Nova Scotia remains with some using youse as the plural.


    15 May 20 - 11:08 AM (#4052616)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I like the Southetn (US) y'all, for general plural, and All y'all for more inclusive plural.


    15 May 20 - 04:43 PM (#4052661)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: The Sandman

    my wife and me went for a walk, and i didnt say nothing


    15 May 20 - 06:29 PM (#4052674)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "my wife and me went for a walk, and i didnt say nothing"

    Get a grip, Dick. You mean:

    my wife and me, like, went for a walk, and i didnt say nothing, innit"


    16 May 20 - 06:42 PM (#4052880)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    A wise man once said nothing.


    17 May 20 - 05:10 AM (#4052968)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Let me make it absolutely clear. The Government's policy is that both my wife and I should be able to take exercise whenever and wherever we choose and that our chosen form of exercise is walking. Current scientific evidence suggests that face masks could provide a barrier to communication but wearing one, together with social distancing, gives me increased confidence that my wife has received all the useful information I have to give at this time.

    DC


    17 May 20 - 06:52 AM (#4052991)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Let me say this about that...


    17 May 20 - 08:42 AM (#4053023)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I have to say...


    (Not if you don't want, you don't have to!)


    17 May 20 - 09:12 AM (#4053029)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: weerover

    Watching a documentary about emergency services this morning, The commentator said one crash victim had damaged vertebrae "in her back" (actually it sounded like he said "vertebra" as the plural, but can't be sure).

    I have a number of everyday ones that bug me inordinately, such as "I thought to myself": don't know who else you could think to.


    17 May 20 - 09:16 AM (#4053032)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I thought to myself

    .. as against thinking out loud.

    DC


    17 May 20 - 09:27 AM (#4053036)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Thinking IS to oneself, yeah! That's why you have to say Out Loud when talking and not just thinking.
    Thinking out loud is oxymoronic. Thinking to oneself is redundant.
    I love this thread. I hadn't noticed either of those before.


    17 May 20 - 10:41 AM (#4053068)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Pleonasms can be quite entertaining. Our local BBC weatherman speaks of "dawn tomorrow morning" just about every day. Not quite as funny as DCI Grimm in the Thin Blue Line with his "8 AM in the morning hundred hours." "Tuna fish" is another belter. "ATM machine." HIV virus." A good Cloughie one: "In actual fact...". My much reviled "On a daily basis." Though I suppose Shakespeare might have done it on purpose in Julius Caesar when he had Mark Antony, standing over Caesar's bloodied body, saying that it was "the most unkindest cut of all."


    17 May 20 - 10:43 AM (#4053069)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "PIN number."


    17 May 20 - 12:01 PM (#4053095)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Rushing to catch the train, my umbrella fell out of my pocket.

    Throwing the bread into the pond, the ducks ate it all up.

    After spending decades in the attic, I uncovered my childhood school exercise books.

    I chased the cat in my pyjamas out of the garden.


    17 May 20 - 01:39 PM (#4053119)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Love dangling participles.

    I fell in love with a weather forecaster when they read the teleprompter which said Ground Fog, stopped, turned to the camera and said Well of course it's *ground*! If it weren't on the ground it'd be up in the air and be *clouds*!


    17 May 20 - 07:02 PM (#4053181)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Which is it, You and *what* army or Tou and *whose* army? They are differently disdainful to me. I would think England v. US but I've heard both from both.
    Shrek comes to mind, American movie but nonAmerican English-speaking ogre.


    17 May 20 - 07:42 PM (#4053183)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    If anyone has translator notes for that last post, please forward....


    18 May 20 - 11:25 AM (#4053324)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    In my part of the world, Mrrzy, it's "you and whose army?"

    Shrek is voiced by an English-born Canadian actor, Mike Myers, whose family emigrated from Liverpool to Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, when he was a child.

    George MacDonald Fraser quotes "you and whose army" in one of his short stories about life in a post-war Scottish infantry regiment, collected in one volume as The Complete MacAuslan. If I recall correctly, Shrek has a Scottish accent, and Myers (or the scriptwriter) may have added the insult because it is a typical bit of Glaswegian repartee.


    18 May 20 - 12:39 PM (#4053338)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion's brother Andrew

    Mike Myers was born in Scarberia, not Liverpool. ("Scarberia" is the nickname given to the dreary suburb of Toronto that is known for too much asphalt and too few trees.) His reputation for being "difficult to work with" comes in part from the making of "Shrek." He recorded the voice in his Canadian accent, was not happy with the result and asked to re-record it. The second go at it he did with his "Scots" accent.


    18 May 20 - 12:53 PM (#4053342)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Shrek said "...and what army?" but Dick Francis wrote "...and whose army?" so given the clarification (of my definitely unclear post, speaking of peeves) I think What may be North American and Whose from (geographically if not politically) Europe.

    Imma switch to Whose. It means to me that even *with* an army *you* couldn't do it. I love the added layer of sneer.


    18 May 20 - 12:53 PM (#4053343)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    ..... because it is a typical bit of Glaswegian repartee.

    I agree that it is "You and whose army" but it is not limited to Glasgow. It was a common bit bravado when I was growing up in Liverpool. If the actor's family came from Liverpool, maybe that's where he picked it up.

    DC


    18 May 20 - 01:12 PM (#4053349)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok different peeve: when someone is killed BY something, say so, newspaper folk. Headlines saying Woman killed after being run over makes it sound like she survived being run over only to be shot or something afterwards.


    18 May 20 - 03:56 PM (#4053381)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "The widow of the late Mr Smith...". :-)


    18 May 20 - 04:46 PM (#4053392)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    At least they said Widow. I watch a lot of murder mysteries where they say Wife or Husband of (murder victim). Yes, that peeves me.


    18 May 20 - 08:50 PM (#4053433)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    On the subject of untimely death, I am always irked when I read that someone has been shot “by a gun”.

    Latin has this neat thing where you put the noun in a special form (or “case”) to indicate whether it is the direct object (accusative), indirect object (dative), or something else but still related to the verb (ablative). One of the several things the ablative does is indicate that a thing is the agent through which an action happens, and you translate it using the preposition “with”.

    I really wish English had an ablative case so journalists would write “by a bad guy with a gun”.


    18 May 20 - 09:03 PM (#4053437)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Or just say shot.


    18 May 20 - 09:55 PM (#4053445)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    Mrrzy: When I was a kid in southern California (1940s), my mother made it "You and what troop of Marines?". I don't know where she got it from. She came from the Middle West.


    18 May 20 - 10:14 PM (#4053449)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    When I was growing up in south-western Ontario, "you and whose army?" was a question I was often asked, so I don't associate it with Liverpool or Glasgow or anywhere else. As for Mike Meyers, he came along a little later, so it might have a different association for him; I don't know.


    18 May 20 - 11:00 PM (#4053456)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Fascinating geographical study there.


    19 May 20 - 05:37 AM (#4053539)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    On the subject of untimely death, I am always irked when I read that someone has been shot “by a gun”.

    -------- : --------

    Or just say shot.



    OK, it should be shot "with a gun" rather than shot "by a gun" and, normally, "shot" would do without further qualification; but - just to be picky - it could have been "shot with a crossbow" or "shot with an arrow". In fact, though it might be technically incorrect, I think I would accept "shot by an arrow" without flinching.

    DC


    19 May 20 - 05:45 AM (#4053545)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I saw this beauty somewhere once, possibly an obituary in the local rag (made-up names inserted): "Albert married the late Margaret in 1949..."


    19 May 20 - 05:50 AM (#4053546)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Helen Willetts, a BBC weather presenter, once informed us that " the overnight rain had washed the humidity out of the air." :-)


    19 May 20 - 08:51 AM (#4053592)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    In the US at least, shot defaults to gun. You would specify if a bow were used.

    Note I would say shot with a bow, not with an arrow, as I would say gun, not bullet.

    Here's one that bugs me: stray bullet. No, it didn't get out the side door while the shooter wasn't paying attention. The vic was just not the *intended* target.


    19 May 20 - 09:59 AM (#4053611)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    "Stray bullet" is one of those phrases that contains a whole 'nother story. Like "collateral damage".


    19 May 20 - 10:40 AM (#4053623)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    He got shot so he got his shots, became blood shot and now he is totally shot after drinking 17 shots.

    I shot a 'bow' in the air where it landed I know not where?


    19 May 20 - 11:33 AM (#4053647)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Heheh. Nice one, Donuel. :-)

    I'm feeling a little shot at this afternoon.


    19 May 20 - 11:53 AM (#4053654)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    But did you get shot of your ex?


    19 May 20 - 11:57 AM (#4053658)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Up north we'd often say get shut of something rather than get shot.


    19 May 20 - 01:09 PM (#4053689)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    I took a shot of Ms. Lohan but it was overexposed.


    19 May 20 - 01:31 PM (#4053695)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    The word viri did not go viral but how about virosphere


    19 May 20 - 02:49 PM (#4053724)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It didn't go viral because it isn't the plural of virus. There are also no hippopotami, octopi or fora.


    19 May 20 - 05:55 PM (#4053768)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Waitri. Mattri. Stewardi.

    But ... Octopodes.

    Please don't say "face to face" when you mean on video.


    20 May 20 - 12:19 AM (#4053802)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I hate the word 'gunman.' I even wrote to the customer liason at my paper about it. For one thing, when a word comes in only one sex (because we never speak of gunwomen), there is probably something wrong with the word. The only exceptions are obviously sex-linked things such as breastfeeding or donating sperm.

    I hate the thought that the press is leading fools and thugs who shot defenseless people to strut around thinking, "Yeah, I'm a gunman." The term gives them dignity they don't deserve.

    And it's not logical. If I use my electric mixer, do I become a mixerwoman? No, I am not changed. Neither does a man who fires a gun become a gunman.
    ====================
    Mrrzy, I agree with you 100% about 'stray bullet'. As my husband says, "Every person who pulls a trigger knows a bullet is going somewhere."


    20 May 20 - 02:47 AM (#4053819)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Except, Leeneia, the word "man" has at least two different meanings: (1) the animal species homo sapiens or a member thereof, man as opposed to beast, and (2) an adult male human, man as opposed to woman or child. OED lists about a dozen more I believe. Confusion arises because one definition includes the other. Some of us primary school kids found the idea of (say) a lady chairman a bit bewildering, but we got used to the idea.

    So "gunman" is 1st meaning - inclusive - because we don't have gunwomen. But we do have gun dogs and, once upon a time, had gun mules.


    20 May 20 - 03:29 AM (#4053822)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    A pronunciation which has been creeping for some time now, used by female TV news presenters, is adding an extra syllable to words such as 'three' and 'thread' - so they become 'the-ree' and 'the-read'. Perhaps it's done for emphasis, or perhaps it's because they never learned the correct pronunciation in the first place. (I am inclined to believe the latter)

    Interestingly, the blokes don't do it. It seems to be girl thing.

    Either way, it gives me a strong does of the irrits.


    20 May 20 - 05:09 AM (#4053835)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Peter the Squeezer

    The one that really makes me cringe, is when paying by credit / debit card, being asked to enter my "PIN number".

    Does this refer to my "Personal Identification Number Number"?


    20 May 20 - 11:53 AM (#4053941)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Today a headline said Trump has a real shot of winning.

    No, he may have good odds of winning, but he has a shot AT winning.

    And barf, but that's not a language peeve.


    20 May 20 - 12:09 PM (#4053949)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Might as well give up on prepositions now, and be right with the times. I advise you to start deliberately using the wrong prepositions, just to get used to it. Anyway: I'm getting bored of this discussion.


    20 May 20 - 06:55 PM (#4054053)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "Rolling gun battle". Like gunman, this is a journalist expression which gives false dignity to abhorrent behavior.


    21 May 20 - 09:36 AM (#4054157)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    In today's Bude and Stratton Post: "The funeral for the late Lucy Williams was held on February 6th..."

    Nice to know she was definitely dead...


    21 May 20 - 10:53 AM (#4054169)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    If she liked motorboats she could also have a wake.

    Um, read today in an advice column: ...it is normal to feel lost, depressed and hatred after...

    The "lost, depressed and hatred" bugs me. Is there actually anything wrong with it?


    21 May 20 - 11:29 AM (#4054174)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Not sure it's "wrong", but it's exceedingly awkward. The weakness is that "lost" and "depressed" are adjectives, while "hatred" is a noun, so the construction is inconsistent; however, all three words work with the verb "feel", so I would not be confident calling it "wrong".


    21 May 20 - 11:33 AM (#4054176)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Actually, I'm sure it is "wrong", but I lack the grammatical sophistication to explain why beyond what I said in my previous post.


    21 May 20 - 11:36 AM (#4054177)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Yes, Mrrzy, there is something actually wrong with it.

    I will now dispense a crumb of editorial information. I normally charge for this service, but I like you.

    Most highly literate readers are bothered by lists in which one of the things is not like the others. The person who wrote "It is normal to feel lost, depressed and hatred" chose those three words because s/he thought, "These are all things people feel". But "lost" and "depressed" are adjectives, and "hatred" is a noun, and that is the source of your bug.

    To avoid irking the readership, that sentence should run, "It is normal to feel loss, depression and hatred after ...", or "It is normal to hate, and to feel lost and depressed, after ..."

    This bug can be a feature in the hands of a master:

    "She lowered her standards by raising her glass,
    Her courage, her eyes, and his hopes."


    21 May 20 - 11:42 AM (#4054179)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I like you too!

    Yeah, it was the asymmetry (if you will) of adjective adjective noun, even though all could be "felt" ...

    But I wasn't sure if there were an actual grammatical *rule* about it.

    So, thanks!


    21 May 20 - 11:46 AM (#4054182)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Further to my last, it is "wrong" because the reader is jolted out of the flow of the message to think about something else. That is an error because the writer's first priority is to keep the reader engaged with the message; as soon as readers are wondering what is hinky here, the writer may never get them back to the message.


    21 May 20 - 12:04 PM (#4054185)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It is wrong. Try removing one of the two adjectives: "It is normal to feel lost and hatred"; It is normal to feel depressed and hatred..." See what I mean?


    21 May 20 - 12:11 PM (#4054189)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion's brother Andrew

    I am always up for some Flanders, Swann and Madeira, M'Dear.


    21 May 20 - 12:31 PM (#4054195)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Leeneia, I am in the middle of editing a bit, fat book (not my first by a long shot) that is full of gun battles, but I have never seen or heard one described as "rolling".

    If the combatants are moving while fighting -- for example, a convoy of vehicles is ambushed on the road, and the drivers try to escape the attack but the ambush force chases them -- the fight could be described as a "running" gun battle. Another form of running battle is one in which one group follows another, attacking whenever the target group moves into an area that gives the attackers some advantage and laying off when the target group finds cover.

    "Rolling" gun battle sounds like a journalist messing with "running" battle, probably out of ignorance.

    Your post raises a bigger issue, however. In your last line, you imply disapproval of any description of abhorrent behaviour that does not state that it is abhorrent. As an editor who specializes in military subjects, I must disagree.

    When discussing abhorrent behaviour, the good writer does not write, "This was awful". It is far more effective to describe the event and let the readers figure out for themselves just how abhorrent it was. (Journalists say, "Show, don't tell.") The book I'm working on right now is about the war in Afghanistan, and it is full of bombs that killed civilians, including children. If the author wrote, in every mention of an IED strike (there are hundreds) that it is a heinous act of indiscriminate cruelty, readers would quickly get the idea that the author's first priority is to demonizing the IED-layers. Frankly, that is not interesting. Also, it's not the point.

    I don't read much about the Holocaust any more -- I think I know enough about it after more than 50 years of studying war and its effects -- but, even when I was young and revelations of the Nazi program still had some novelty, the accounts that dwelt on the heinousness of the whole thing were the weakest. The most effective works focussed on why it happened and how, and discussed the cost to the perpetrators and those who supported them as well as the victims.

    Of course, even the most abhorrent events must still be reported and studied, although it is difficult to read about them. Otherwise, they would slip into the rear-view mirror of our culture and we might forget all about them.

    Writing about violence is very difficult. It is easy to slip into gore-porn, or to indulge in propaganda and fantasies of revenge -- that's the big challenge of both war journalism and military history. An account written while the memory is fresh will be full of passion, and the purple prose that comes from it, but opinions change as time passes, the emotions may seem inappropriate, and the purple prose can become distasteful.


    21 May 20 - 01:57 PM (#4054209)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: weerover

    "I feel lost, depressed and hatred" is a rhetorical device called syllepsis.


    21 May 20 - 02:39 PM (#4054217)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh it has a name, cool.

    Ran across this reading an old English novel: usen’t to have.

    I would say Didn't use to have.

    But I kinda like Usen't to. I think I'll try to adopt it.

    Now off to research that new word you taught me.


    21 May 20 - 03:14 PM (#4054223)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    I would say that 'syllepsis' is a 'rhetorical device' only when it is being used as a rhetorical device; i.e., for effect. In Mrzy's quotation, this does not appear to be the case. No doubt it could still be called 'syllepsis', but it is not syllepsis as a rhetorical device or figure of speech, but rather as careless writing, if not outright error.


    21 May 20 - 03:16 PM (#4054224)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Mrzy: I do hope you would say, "Didn't useD to have"!


    21 May 20 - 03:16 PM (#4054225)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I word that detest is "gobsmacked". It is an ugly word which gets my hackles up whenever I hear it.

    Before posting, I checked back through this thread to see if anyone else had raised it as a pet peeve but what I found was quite the opposite. Someone had used it to complain about his own pet peeve.
    Grr!

    DC


    21 May 20 - 03:40 PM (#4054231)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I should explain that "rolling gun battle" is an American journalist's cliche for when criminals shoot at each other from moving cars. Obviously the potential for hitting the innocent is enormous.

    Such a thing occurred in front of my grocery store yesterday. One passerby was injured, we don't know how seriously. Both cars crashed, something which comes as no surprise in a neighborhood of old, narrow and curving streets. The police rounded up the participants.

    ===========
    About "feeling lost, hatred, and depression": this list suffers from a lack of parallelism. There might not be a rule about parallelism, but it contributes to grace and smoothness. (I learned about parallelism in high school English class.) As someone pointed out, changing "lost" to "loss" would create three nouns, a nice case of parallelism.

    As it stands, the sentence is so awkward that I'm sure the t on lost was a typo, not a conscious choice.


    21 May 20 - 04:22 PM (#4054243)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    " ... loss, depressed and hatred" is no better.


    21 May 20 - 04:52 PM (#4054249)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Dunno, Doug. I don't use gobsmacked much meself, but I think it's quite a useful word. It replaces longer phrases quite nicely, thinking of "well you could have knocked me over with a feather" or "well bugger me sideways with a fishfork" sort of thing. And "gobshite" is an exceptionally useful word, I find... :-)


    21 May 20 - 05:56 PM (#4054260)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I object to "gobsmacked" in the same way as you object to "prior to" and "albeit", Steve. You think they make the user sound pompous. I find it jarring when otherwise articulate people resort to street slang. For you, "prior to" should not replace "before". For me, "gobsmacked" should not replace "amazed".

    DC


    21 May 20 - 06:13 PM (#4054261)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I don't think we do object in the same way, Doug. "Gobsmacked" is succinct yet admittedly vulgar. I haven't done its etymology, but I imagine it's something to do with suddenly clasping a hand to the mouth following confrontation with shock or something at least seriously unexpected. It's vulgar but there's some colour there. "Albeit", "prior to" and "on a daily basis" are just pretentious. In each case there's a clearer and simpler normal alternative that the user has eschewed in their quest to impress. Those of us who prefer clarity and simplicity are not impressed, except that we're impressed as to what a twit the employer of these terms truly is.


    21 May 20 - 06:27 PM (#4054263)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    meself, I dithered over used v. use in that phrase!


    23 May 20 - 12:44 AM (#4054482)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    You've reminded me that "subsequent to" irritates me every time. What's wrong with "after."

    And I think I want to smack the next featherbrain who says "O my God!"


    23 May 20 - 01:23 AM (#4054484)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    Always seems to me that the kind of people who habitually use, “Oh My God” as an expression of surprise are the least likely to have faith in any kind of Deity.


    23 May 20 - 03:41 AM (#4054500)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Worse than "oh my God" is "oh my gosh".

    DC


    23 May 20 - 05:58 AM (#4054535)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Well f***ing stroll on..." - one of my favourites!


    23 May 20 - 02:50 PM (#4054647)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Backwoodsman, I agree.


    23 May 20 - 03:05 PM (#4054650)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Always seems to me that the kind of people who habitually use, “Oh My God” as an expression of surprise are the least likely to have faith in any kind of Deity.

    That's because they the most confident that they won't get struck by lightning for doing it.

    DC


    23 May 20 - 06:16 PM (#4054684)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Does anyone else get grief for writing moslem instead of muslim?


    26 May 20 - 11:52 AM (#4055304)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    From a news story about a black man killed by a white cop:

    Squads were called to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South shortly after 8 p.m. on reports of a forgery in progress.


    What?


    26 May 20 - 01:50 PM (#4055330)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Yes, Mrrzy, it seems unlikely.


    26 May 20 - 03:39 PM (#4055361)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    I always say 'Muslim', but what is very annoying is the tendency for rather racist anti-Muslim people to call them 'Mozzies'. I use that word only for 'mosquitoes'.
    I've heard younger people say " O-M-G!!" "ASAP!" and "LOL!" as if they're texting not speaking!


    27 May 20 - 08:46 AM (#4055464)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Aha forgery in progress meant guy trying to use fake id or counterfeit money or something.

    Still sounds wrong but ok.


    27 May 20 - 10:11 AM (#4055472)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    In Canada, a "forgery in progress" would mean the perp has been caught in the act of making the fake ID. Using the fake ID is "uttering a false document", "impersonation" or "misrepresentation", depending on the circumstances.

    Senoufou, you have opened the door to the MOST IRRITATING SPEECH HABIT EVER, by which I mean the tic of using acronyms and initialisms instead of REAL WORDS (shouting intended). Having spent my entire sentient existence in or near the armed forces, I have a thick callus around that particular peeve, but it twinges worse with every passing year.

    Now I am an Olde Pharte, I feel entitled to look busy young folks in the eye and say, "And what's that in real English?" or words to that effect. The bank is the Bank of Montreal, not Bee Mow. The noisy machine that makes the house tolerable in summer is the air-conditioner, not an Eh Cee. The car is a Volkswagen, not a Vee Double You.

    I know where it comes from. When your working life is full of things like the mine-detection vehicles collectively known as an Expedient Route-Opening Capability (!), the only sane reaction is to call it Eee-Rock and consider yourself lucky that you don't have to talk like that at home. But alas, many people think it's cool to turn their conversation into a big, fat guessing game.

    That's my spleen vented for today. Or for now, at least.


    27 May 20 - 10:57 AM (#4055475)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion's brother Andrew

    And that, Ladies and Germs, is a sister well and truly language-peeved.


    27 May 20 - 11:39 AM (#4055481)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    Haha Charmion, I'm an Olde Pharte too, and my lovely neighbours' two 'children' (now twenty one and seventeen) are barely intelligible in full spate. I merely blink and smile benignly and look a bit senile/simple.
    I've always said on here that language evolves and changes. After all (sadly) we no longer speak like characters in a Shakespeare play. But I find many of the changes intensely irritating. I must be a Grumpy Olde Pharte.


    27 May 20 - 11:53 AM (#4055482)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Whether you like it or not, it's VW here. You'd hear far more VW Golfs than Volkswagen Golfs this end. And that's the point really. Once an expression largely supersedes its older or "more acceptable" version, you might as well give up the fight. "VW Golf" is standard English, because it's what standard English speakers say. You might as well still be telling us to not split infinitives.


    27 May 20 - 01:09 PM (#4055486)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    It is not CCR. Nor BTO. Creedence. Bachman Turner Overdrive. Crosby Stills Nash & Young, not CSNY.

    But it *is* REM.


    27 May 20 - 01:30 PM (#4055487)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    I always say "Volkswagen" in my best German accent. But we both say 'Beamer' for BMW. I do find some of the youngsters' short texty-type speech amusing. My niece (not all that young, but very trendy) always types 'soz' for 'sorry', which makes me smile.


    27 May 20 - 01:31 PM (#4055488)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    An early example of redundancy for me is "Forty Days AND Forty Nights". We have gone through 40 days and 40 nights of self isolation and piled another 40 days and 40 nights on top of it today.
    Some of us will be doubling the 80 days and nights of more self isolation. Some of us won't.


    27 May 20 - 01:49 PM (#4055492)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jeri

    Don, ir makes snse to me. You can do 40 days and 39 nights, or 39 days and 40 nights.

    Mistake seen somewhere else on Mudcat: "gain the system"
    It's "GAME the system".


    27 May 20 - 02:32 PM (#4055497)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Jeri you remind me of Data, the Star Trek character.


    27 May 20 - 02:32 PM (#4055498)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    I like 'Chester drawers' (chest of drawers hee hee). But the expression 'bored of...' enrages me. It's universal now. I'm used to saying 'bored with...'. Ah well.


    27 May 20 - 02:40 PM (#4055500)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jeri

    Not complicated enough for Data. It's the sort of thing most people would've thought of.

    The isolation thing: it's just norma around here. The only difference is that there's no place to escape to. Which has nothing to do with language.

    I kept thinking it would make a good TV car insurance commercial, if the spokesperson said "And there you have it, straight from the gecko ("get-go"). If they go for it, I want a percentage.


    27 May 20 - 02:40 PM (#4055501)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Tired of. Bored with. Yeah.


    27 May 20 - 02:47 PM (#4055502)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jeri

    Every time someone says "bored of", I realize some folks are just not that educated. (I say this, meaning ANY education. I don't have a pile of degrees.)


    27 May 20 - 04:26 PM (#4055525)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Tired of, bored with. How hard can this be?

    "Chester drawers" is a new one to me -- possibly because the only Ontarians who say "chest of drawers" were carefully trained by their socially aspiring mothers to enunciate with exquisite care. I speak from personal experience here.

    Everybody else says "dresser". Sixty years ago, you would hear "bureau" in the Ottawa Valley and around Montreal, but that now seems as antique -- and probably regional -- as "chesterfield".


    27 May 20 - 05:39 PM (#4055537)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Bored of" is fine. That's what lots of people say, so object if you like but it's a fight you'll lose. If you can be tired of you can be bored of. Come on, let's see you arguing that one. What I don't like is the degradation of language by the ditching of really useful distinctions. I can't accept "alternate" instead of "alternative" because these words have distinct meanings that are worth preserving. I feel the same about "uninterested" and "disinterested" and will continue to use them my way, but I know I've lost that fight. Shame really, but language is wot people speak, not wot academics decide we should speak.


    28 May 20 - 09:17 AM (#4055618)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion's brother Andrew

    Donuel, "Forty Days and Forty Nights" is the first line of a Palm Sunday hymn in /The Book of Common Praise/. Anyone who has dealt with the "hospitality industry" knows that it was 39 nights and it wasn't on the European plan.


    28 May 20 - 05:14 PM (#4055713)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also I am getting used to the more-British-than-American "different TO" where murricans say Different FROM.

    I am *not* getting used to "on accident" instead of By accident, however.

    Also some regions of the States equate the terms Anymore and Nowadays, while I use them differently:

    I (verb noun) nowadays. Means I usen't* to but I do now.
    I don't (verb noun) anymore. Means I used to but now no longer do.

    I (verb noun) anymore just clashes.

    *See, I remembered!


    28 May 20 - 06:02 PM (#4055721)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    I really like regional vocabulary and dialect differences around the world (and around the UK) They're not the same thing as grammatical errors and rather ignorant misuses.
    Having been born in West London, lived in Edinburgh and Glasgow and now Norfolk, I've thoroughly enjoyed the variations in speech, accent and dialect.
    I can't explain why some utterances irritate me nowadays.
    I should try harder to accept them I suppose.


    28 May 20 - 06:18 PM (#4055725)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    You can say different to or different from. Only nitpicking grammar police will pick you up for that. I do sort of object to "anymore" as, to me, it's two words, not one, but I won't lose sleep over it. What we should always remember is that, in everyday speech and when we're typing on Mudcat, we're allowed to be casual in order to avoid erecting barriers. In more formal writing you should ideally know the rules and try to stick to them. If you don't know the rules, you might get away with it if you know a good copy editor and/or proofreader. And even they should remember that we're in the 21st century and that a touch of indulgence could be in order.


    28 May 20 - 09:51 PM (#4055744)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    I posted some 'concerns' way back in the thread... but when doing a search for an official answer on some, I stumbled on this:

    ....dumb-things-people-should-stop-saying-and-writing.

    Have fun!


    29 May 20 - 12:32 AM (#4055749)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    These are written rather than spoken, but they still irritate:

    Using 'draw' instead of drawer. Do not do it. The word is 'drawer'.

    'Walla' instead of 'voila'.

    This one has been seen on many a quilting page - sewing a 'boarder' instead of a 'border' around your quilt.


    29 May 20 - 12:47 AM (#4055750)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oh, that *was* fun!


    29 May 20 - 01:26 AM (#4055753)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "Anymore" is an interesting word. Sometimes it needs to be two words:

        I don't want any more deviled eggs.

    Or it can be an adverb meaning "at this time and into the future":

        I don't play the bagpipe anymore.

    When I moved to Missouri, I learned a new sense, namely "nowadays."

        It seems like anymore nobody knows how to make head cheese.
    ====
    I'd find it hard to explain to anyone how we got the second two meanings from the two words any and more.


    29 May 20 - 02:35 AM (#4055759)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    Didn't Edgar Allan Poe write a poem in which one line says:-
    Quoth the raven "Nevermore!" (all one word)
    And I had to look up 'head cheese'leeneia!! It sounded like a rather nasty form of dandruff, but I see it's a sort of brawn!


    29 May 20 - 04:00 AM (#4055781)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    From what I have tasted, head cheese isn't a sort of brawn. It is brawn.

    I'm not much fussed if people say "different to" or "different from" but, personally, I always try to use "different from".

    As an aside to people saying drawer when they mean draw: I always say draw but, when I was an apprentice, it was pointed out that there was no "r" in the middle of the word "drawing". Since then, I have made a conscious effort not to say "drawring" but, even after these many years, it doesn't come naturally.

    DC


    29 May 20 - 04:25 AM (#4055782)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    No need to get peeved. Just be amused. I love it when supposedly well-educated folks, newsreaders or reporters for example, say things such as "seckertry", "priminister", "Febry"and "deteriate". But let's reign ourselves in from being too critical. Alright? ;-)


    29 May 20 - 04:44 AM (#4055786)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    An interesting list from Bill D's link but many of the explanations should have been prefixed with "In my opinion ..." . I had to check to check back to see who the author was. I thought that it might have been Steve. ;-)

    DC


    29 May 20 - 07:51 AM (#4055809)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    And 'criteria' used as a singular. Criterion, please! And 'may' used when 'might' would be clearer.


    29 May 20 - 09:37 AM (#4055827)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah, bacterium, too. And datum.


    29 May 20 - 11:06 AM (#4055836)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Tentative conclusion based on posts to this point: if an 'incorrect' usage annoys you, those who perpetrate it are contemptible; if an 'incorrect' usage does not annoy you, or if you even perpetrate it yourself, then anyone who is annoyed by it is contemptible. Agreed?


    29 May 20 - 12:03 PM (#4055841)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Absolutely, meself! That goes without saying.

    DC


    29 May 20 - 12:28 PM (#4055845)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Not so. We should be relaxed about the ways in which we use English casually in everyday life. We should reserve our ire or scorn or derision for those who would be pompous or self-regarding, and, of course, for those who get it wrong in supposedly serious, formal written English. When it comes to Mudcat, nothing fills me with glee more than someone who criticises MY English. Their own efforts are invariably peppered with errors, and I love to point them out as scornfully as I can manage.


    29 May 20 - 12:32 PM (#4055846)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    ”As an aside to people saying drawer when they mean draw: I always say draw but, when I was an apprentice, it was pointed out that there was no "r" in the middle of the word "drawing". Since then, I have made a conscious effort not to say "drawring" but, even after these many years, it doesn't come naturally.“

    And my hackles rise when people write ‘draw’ instead of ‘drawer’ - Aaaaaaarrrgghh!


    29 May 20 - 12:50 PM (#4055847)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I've just been wasting time on YouTube, and it has reminded me of something that always irritates me: when adults adopting a foreign child refer to it as Gotcha Day.

    To me, there's something predatory about it. I picture a harrier's bloodthirsty swoop onto a hapless chipmunk. Will the child have any individuality left after this family engulfs it?


    29 May 20 - 01:01 PM (#4055849)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also, remember the vulva. People frequently say vagina when they mean vulva. That bugs me. Many people don't even know the word vulva.

    Vulva vulva vulva it is such a great word, too.

    What's worse is vagina means "sheath" - androcentric, eh.


    29 May 20 - 01:06 PM (#4055851)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Here's one I'm trying not to let become a pet peeve: for the past six months or so, I see the - not sure what to call it - utterance? interjection? vocable? - "ugh" in posts all over the internet. I'm never sure what it's supposed to mean, at least, until I've read into the posts; even then, I'm not always certain. I realize that "ugh" is not new, but its widespread use is. Anyone know how this recent phenomenon got started? Who was the "influencer"?

    Here's one I just read on thesession (yes, I do have too much time on my hands, as a matter of fact): "Ugh! The bent thumb!" (relating to holding the violin bow).


    29 May 20 - 02:35 PM (#4055859)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    I recall it took me 2 years to correct my collapsed thumb to the proper bent thumb. Old habits die hard.


    29 May 20 - 03:56 PM (#4055875)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    I was reading the article/list that Bill D. linked to, and I got as far as: "Why are you guys so big on pronouncing aunt as ahnt, which sounds incongruously like aristocratic putting on airs to me." We're supposed to take linguistic advice from that illiterate buffoon? This, btw, is taken from a rant aimed at the way "blacks" pronounce certain words, apparently, and is followed by a gratuitous reference to Aunt Jemima. I invite John T. Reed to go away and have carnal relations with himself.


    29 May 20 - 07:39 PM (#4055905)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    My whole family (sibs parents parents' sibs their kids) says ant. My kids both say awnt. Weirdoes.


    30 May 20 - 02:33 AM (#4055935)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    In my part of the world "aunt" and "aren't" are homophones. Not everywhere. Problem?


    30 May 20 - 04:02 AM (#4055947)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Manitas_at_home

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/people-have-been-saying-ax-instead-ask-1200-years-180949663/


    30 May 20 - 05:23 AM (#4055954)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I suppose that "ugh" is an attempt to render a common interjection in writing, a bit like "arrgh." I'd say that's unobjectionable. As for "aunt," just do what we northerners do and say "auntie" every time. Viola!


    30 May 20 - 05:35 AM (#4055956)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    George Formby used to sing about "Auntie Maggie's Homemade Remedy", pronounced 'anti'.
    I've heard 'antie' but never 'ant' opp north. People would think one was referring to an insect!


    30 May 20 - 06:40 AM (#4055969)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    Sen, here in the North Lincolnshire Backwoods, ‘Aunt’ is pronounced ‘Ant’, and ‘Auntie’ is ‘Anti’. Also ‘Bath’ and ‘Path’ have no ‘r’, we use the flat ‘a’.

    We also pronounce ‘up’ as ‘up’, we don’t say either the Satherner’s ‘app’, or the non-existent (except in the minds of Satherners) ‘oop’! ;-) :-)


    30 May 20 - 10:34 AM (#4056018)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Manitas: the "ask/ax" business was just another annoyance from that John T. Reed person - the fool clearly knows nothing about the language he is bloviating on, and is displaying his ignorance in the furtherance of some kind of racist agenda.


    30 May 20 - 03:48 PM (#4056087)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    My sister-in-law said "ax," and she was a white person from Tennessee. It's strange how self-appointed language experts haven't traveled enough, and haven't listened enough notice that Southern speech and black speech might sometimes be the same, sometimes be different.

    And they don't touch the issue that many people are partly white, partly black.


    30 May 20 - 10:34 PM (#4056133)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Upon which he is bloviating? Bwahaha!


    31 May 20 - 12:13 AM (#4056140)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Yes, you could put it that way, I suppose ... !


    31 May 20 - 12:01 PM (#4056274)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Also, remember the vulva. People frequently say vagina when they mean vulva. That bugs me. Many people don't even know the word vulva.
    Vulva vulva vulva it is such a great word, too.
    What's worse is vagina means "sheath" - androcentric, eh.


    Yes, 'Vulva' is a good word. I like the term 'pudenda'.
    And if you think 'vagina' is androcentric, there's always 'cervix'. I've never worked out why 'cervical cancer' seems to be pronounced 'cervical' ('vic' as in 'victor') when related to the entrance to the womb, but 'cerv-eye-cal' when referring to the vertebrae at the top of the spine.


    31 May 20 - 12:04 PM (#4056275)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    I suppose that "ugh" is an attempt to render a common interjection in writing, a bit like "arrgh." I'd say that's unobjectionable. As for "aunt," just do what we northerners do and say "auntie" every time. Viola!

    Ah, trying to bring music back in ;)


    01 Jun 20 - 10:08 AM (#4056470)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I was not taught to pronounce the word cervical differently for the two ends. Have never heard it with the Eye pronunciation, and I have seen a *lot* of spinal professiinals over the years. Could that be British?

    Also, cervix means Neck. Hardly androcentric.

    On the other hand you have the mammilary bodies in the brain. They looked like tits to the guy who named'm. Nothing to do with mammilary function.


    02 Jun 20 - 08:24 AM (#4056670)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    No, 'cervix' is not androcentric. I was pointing it out as a suitable, 'non-androcentric' replacement for 'vagina'.

    Seeing Mrrzy was unaware of the different pronunciations , I thought I'd dig a little deeper. Pronunciation here . Admittedly, that page does not seem to show that either pronunciation is associated with a particular variant meaning.


    02 Jun 20 - 09:57 AM (#4056683)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Wow! Thanks! Great link!


    02 Jun 20 - 11:17 AM (#4056699)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    The only trouble with all this is that the vulva is not the vagina is not the cervix. They just happen to be next to each other. Ish.


    02 Jun 20 - 01:53 PM (#4056738)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    I've never worked out why 'cervical cancer' seems to be pronounced 'cervical' ('vic' as in 'victor') when related to the entrance to the womb, but 'cerv-eye-cal' when referring to the vertebrae at the top of the spine.
    I think you'll find that most medics in the UK pronounce both the same way: cerv-eye-cal. it's just TV news journalists who don't!


    02 Jun 20 - 03:02 PM (#4056748)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Nope. See my comment above. I have seen chiropractors, physical therapists, orthopedists, neurosurgeons, general practitioners, and others for my vertebral issues, as well as gotten a doctorate in physiological psych, and nobody, no medical or professorial professional, has ever in my hearing pronounced cervical (referring to neck vertebrae) with an Eye in the middle. I think that is likely British... All my English-language studies and medical confabs have been in the US.


    02 Jun 20 - 05:37 PM (#4056771)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Ah yes, creeping pronunciations. To "proTEST" has become to "PROtest", the verb pronounced the same as the noun, and in various other words I can't now place but which make my flesh creep when I hear them, the emphasis has sneaked back to the first syllable.
    Then there's all the pronunciations where people have seen the word written but have never heard it used - albeit "Al Bate"; segue rhyming with vague, etc.
    And place names: when they're pronounced wrong once, that's it, the pronunciation changes forever. Hubert Butler has a wonderful article where he's raging about Dublin placenames like those correctly pronounced DorSETT Street and WESTmoreland Street being pronounced DORset and WestMOREland nowadays. And of course Louth in Ireland - always correctly pronounced with a hard 'th' like 'the' - is more and more horribly often pronounced like the English town of Louth, which has a soft 'th' like 'commonwealth'.


    02 Jun 20 - 06:17 PM (#4056783)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    Thompson: comPACT (adj) vs COMpact (n) is anther pair that has been leveled by the vulgar. By now, "a comPACT car" (or "disc") would sound hopelessly la-di-da.


    02 Jun 20 - 07:00 PM (#4056797)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    "a hard 'th' like 'the' - is more and more horribly often pronounced like the English town of Louth, which has a soft 'th' like 'commonwealth'."

    When you get into pronunciation, bear in mind that this is an international forum. As a Canadian, I have no idea how the 'th' in 'the' could be any different from that in 'commonwealth' ... !


    02 Jun 20 - 07:01 PM (#4056798)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Grr. You said albeit, Thomson. Grr. Another changed stress that's creeping in is REsearch. It was always reSEARCH when I was at university. And for donkey's yonks I've railed at Mrs Steve saying ICE cream. It's bloody ice CREAM! It will never be a divorce issue, however, as we both happen to love the frozen article in question...


    02 Jun 20 - 08:07 PM (#4056808)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    Mrrzy, the first part of my last post (re pronunciation of cervical) was quoting what Nigel said, only I forgot to put in quote marks.
    The second part, "I think you'll find....." was me, and I DID specifically say "in the UK". I respect your multiple qualifications and painful experiences, but I spent a lot of my working life looking at cervices as well as dealing with pains in the neck and have a long string of hard-earned letters after my name, including FFFPRCOG (I know we all love acronyms here!) To me and my UK medical colleagues it is Cerv-eye-cal, whether "down below" or "up above" the waistline.


    02 Jun 20 - 08:11 PM (#4056810)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I have never said "Cerv-eye-cal." I don't say "Eye-ran" or "Eye-talians" either.


    03 Jun 20 - 12:10 AM (#4056829)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    New word: antiquainted. Outmoded, but still cute.

    Today's oxymoron: a fixed glance. I had to put the book down and untangle my mind (ooh it's a music thread now).


    03 Jun 20 - 04:29 AM (#4056849)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    New word: antiquainted.

    It has been round a long time for a new word. Anyway, what makes "outmoded" a better alternative. I would choose "dated" or "outdated" over "outmoded".

    My mother and her friends, born in Liverpool before World War One, would describe unfashionable clothes using the made-up word "antwacky". This managed convey a real distaste for anything antiquated.

    DC


    03 Jun 20 - 05:26 AM (#4056852)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    Eye-dyllic. Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!


    03 Jun 20 - 05:34 AM (#4056855)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Mrrzy, I have just seen this on another thread.

    Antiquated is the old word. No second "i" in it.
    The new one I am stealing is antiQUAINTed.



    Not having read the most recent posts to the other thread, I just assumed you had made a spelling mistake here and let that pass.

    DC


    03 Jun 20 - 09:24 AM (#4056894)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Yes, yes, reSEARCH, and for that matter, fih (not fie) NANCE. Not sure if it's actually correct, the latter, but it's how it was said.
    I like antiquainted. Old friends are always the best, they say, new friends you can find every day…


    03 Jun 20 - 12:24 PM (#4056953)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Now that you point it out, Thompson, both of those words may be pronounced either way, even by the same person (me).

    He's a REsearch specialist at Marquette University.
    He's the head of virus reSEARCH at Marquette University.

    She's the FInance officer at Security Bank.
    She's the chief officer for fiNANCE at International Widget Corporation.

    ============
    I never noticed that before.


    03 Jun 20 - 12:28 PM (#4056957)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    And words in other languages that acquire weird versions in English: what the Japanese call meezoona, in the west becomes mizzOOna; encente for pregnant becomes oncynte in English…


    03 Jun 20 - 12:46 PM (#4056964)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    Maybe you haven't Steve, but, then as far as I know, you're not a doctor. (Cerv-eye-cal)
    Just telling you how it is among doctors in the UK: not saying either is right or wrong, just happens to be what we say.
    Oh, and there's another one...is it eether or eye-ther, neether or neye-there?


    03 Jun 20 - 03:14 PM (#4056997)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I think I always say eye-ther or neye-ther but I'm not that bothered. I may not be a medic but I am a biologist, which qualifies me to pontificate about pronunciation of body parts to the extent of zilch...

    As for the plural of cervix, now I know that there are two alternatives. But if you insist on saying cervices, which sounds the same as services and which will sow nothing but confusion as a result, it marks you out as a bit of a clot. Only my opinion, of course. Thank goodness that that particular plural will be called for only rarely. Unlike kidneys, ovaries and testicles, for example. Cervixes does it for me every time, which isn't many times.


    03 Jun 20 - 05:35 PM (#4057025)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Spelling mistake? Mmmoi?

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


    05 Jun 20 - 11:24 AM (#4057484)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    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).


    05 Jun 20 - 12:02 PM (#4057489)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    05 Jun 20 - 01:24 PM (#4057510)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    They are opening pools for lap swimming.

    Lap dancing next!


    06 Jun 20 - 07:18 AM (#4057632)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Tattie Bogle

    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.


    06 Jun 20 - 08:17 AM (#4057641)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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.


    06 Jun 20 - 08:42 AM (#4057645)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

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


    06 Jun 20 - 09:03 AM (#4057649)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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.


    06 Jun 20 - 09:06 AM (#4057650)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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.


    06 Jun 20 - 11:09 AM (#4057668)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    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


    06 Jun 20 - 12:13 PM (#4057679)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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...


    06 Jun 20 - 12:31 PM (#4057680)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

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


    06 Jun 20 - 12:46 PM (#4057686)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    06 Jun 20 - 01:38 PM (#4057706)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

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


    06 Jun 20 - 02:23 PM (#4057717)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    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.


    06 Jun 20 - 02:30 PM (#4057720)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Those are all separate sentences.


    06 Jun 20 - 02:52 PM (#4057726)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    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.


    06 Jun 20 - 03:58 PM (#4057743)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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.


    06 Jun 20 - 06:48 PM (#4057766)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    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.


    06 Jun 20 - 07:29 PM (#4057771)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

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


    07 Jun 20 - 03:29 PM (#4057948)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    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…


    07 Jun 20 - 04:34 PM (#4057972)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bonzo3legs

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


    08 Jun 20 - 09:00 AM (#4058120)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Is that something like the Groke?


    08 Jun 20 - 09:12 AM (#4058122)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

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

    DC


    08 Jun 20 - 09:12 AM (#4058123)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    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.


    09 Jun 20 - 10:06 PM (#4058495)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    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?


    10 Jun 20 - 12:46 AM (#4058507)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    10 Jun 20 - 01:53 PM (#4058646)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    10 Jun 20 - 02:25 PM (#4058655)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

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


    10 Jun 20 - 10:11 PM (#4058700)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Right. A minority of one.


    10 Jun 20 - 10:26 PM (#4058703)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    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.


    11 Jun 20 - 01:00 AM (#4058717)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    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!


    11 Jun 20 - 08:12 AM (#4058760)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    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.


    11 Jun 20 - 08:45 AM (#4058763)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel


    11 Jun 20 - 09:23 AM (#4058769)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: weerover

    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".


    11 Jun 20 - 10:00 AM (#4058773)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

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


    12 Jun 20 - 09:27 AM (#4058930)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Pléionasme du jour:

    Scientists Have Discovered Vast Unidentified Structures Deep Inside the Earth


    12 Jun 20 - 12:07 PM (#4058957)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    12 Jun 20 - 12:15 PM (#4058960)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    12 Jun 20 - 12:28 PM (#4058964)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

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


    12 Jun 20 - 01:18 PM (#4058972)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Ariana Grande rocks torn jeans at Coachella festival."

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


    12 Jun 20 - 01:59 PM (#4058977)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Vincent Jones

    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.


    12 Jun 20 - 02:32 PM (#4058980)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    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.


    12 Jun 20 - 02:50 PM (#4058986)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

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


    12 Jun 20 - 03:19 PM (#4058991)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    ”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’.


    12 Jun 20 - 03:21 PM (#4058993)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    That is rock as in cradle. Transitive.


    12 Jun 20 - 04:55 PM (#4059006)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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...


    13 Jun 20 - 03:22 AM (#4059054)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    “Thusly”. Aaaaaaaaaarrrggghhh!


    13 Jun 20 - 04:34 AM (#4059062)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Normalcy." Aaaaaaargh!


    13 Jun 20 - 07:24 AM (#4059081)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    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.


    13 Jun 20 - 08:19 AM (#4059084)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    NPR this morning: he once had two horses shot out from under him. No, he twice had one horse shot our from under him, I would bet.


    13 Jun 20 - 09:28 AM (#4059090)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    .... unless it was some un-Greek-learned scholar who started it.

    If is was some Greek-learned scholar, surely it would have been Odysseus rather than Ulysses.

    Personally, I pronounce it as YOUliseese for both the hero and the book.

    DC


    13 Jun 20 - 09:45 AM (#4059091)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: gillymor

    I don't see language as something that needs to be placed under glass in a museum. I like it when it's free-flowing, improvisational and ever-evolving but one thing that grates on me is the way some news and sports commentators are not pronouncing t any more as in the word forgotten. It sometimes sounds like Valley Girl Speak is taking over.


    13 Jun 20 - 09:57 AM (#4059095)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    My favourite sports commentator quote of all time was made by a diving commentator explaining why Tom Daley had scored below another diver even though Tom had done a good dive. We were informed that the other chap, in selecting a more technical dive, "had out-degree-of-difficultied" Tom. :-)


    13 Jun 20 - 10:02 AM (#4059096)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    And years ago we had a weather presenter, Helen Willetts (who's still on telly) informing us that a passing cold front with its rain belt "had washed the humidity out of the air." :-)


    13 Jun 20 - 10:13 AM (#4059098)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: gillymor

    Nobody tortures language like this nitwit.


    13 Jun 20 - 10:36 AM (#4059105)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Then there's the stating of the bleedin' obvious: way back in the annals, just as Jack Nicklaus was lining up a fairly short putt, the commentator declared in hushed tones: "Jack wants to hole this one..."


    13 Jun 20 - 02:45 PM (#4059132)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    YouLISSaise, may be the pronunciation which goes down in history. As used by Allan Sherman:
    All the counsellors hate the waiters
    And the lake has alligators
    And the head coach wants no sissies
    So he reads to us from something called Ulysses

    I can mentally 'hear' him singing it, with the emphasis on the second syllable.


    13 Jun 20 - 05:10 PM (#4059143)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Vincent Jones

    Steve, gotta disagree about "hopefully", e.g. "They'll get beaten tomorrow, hopefully." The word references the folk getting beaten, not the speaker. But what the hell... as mentioned above, language is not something under glass in a museum, innit?

    Regarding "whom" disappearing. You may well be right in your prediction of the word disappearing in Britain, but in a country like, say, India, where the standard of English in all their English language newspapers is superior to that in any British news medium of any kind, "whom" will hang around a lot longer in such places.

    Something that amused rather than peeved: The Daily Mail, when reporting things happening as a result of the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010, had a headline "British schoolgirls evacuated in their pyjamas as Iceland volcano erupts during school trip", to which I thought, the filthy beasts.


    13 Jun 20 - 06:43 PM (#4059155)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    If you believe that standard English is wot people have been using for hundreds of years, you have to accept the use of "hopefully" in the sense we're arguing about. It's been used that way for at least three hundred years, though its use in that sense burgeoned in popularity in the 20th century. Here's an extract from Merriam-Webster's piece on the word:

    Hopefully when used to mean "it is hoped" is a member of a class of adverbs known as disjuncts. Disjuncts serve as a means by which the author or speaker can comment directly to the reader or hearer usually on the content of the sentence to which they are attached. Many other adverbs (such as interestingly, frankly, clearly, luckily, unfortunately) are similarly used; most are so ordinary as to excite no comment or interest whatsoever. The "it is hoped" sense of hopefully is entirely standard.

    I don't like it any more than you do, Vincent, but, hopefully, we can at least agree that the fight is lost...


    14 Jun 20 - 05:43 AM (#4059195)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Vincent Jones

    Ah, interesting, Steve (at least, I think so). And didactic. Ta. Your mention of Merriam-Webster made me reach for my Fowler, as I suspect what Fowler calls MWCDEU (Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage, 1995) is a little US-centric, possibly a prejudice of mine: Fowler treats it as an important resource. As you pointed out - MWCDEU's disjuncts (Fowler calls them sentence adverbs) are commonplace: actually, basically, usually, although thankfully and hopefully are contentious, perhaps because they differ in their formation, and in aspects of how they resolve grammatically.

    Fowler's viewpoint (2013) differs from MWCDEU: in speech, "proceed with gay abandon" (I love Fowler!), but when writing or presenting then consider the audience, as rearguard actions exist against its use, not least by language faddists and by those who are simply irritated by it.

    An even more authoritative resource, my missus, who teaches in one of the London University colleges, objects because it sounds ugly and can, on rare occasions, be ambiguous, and then she referred to the urban myth of it being a slapdash translation of the German "hoffentlich". Now, the good professor would not mark students down for using the word in that way, but she suspects that other academics may do so (presumably with a "see me" in red next to a mark out of ten at the bottom of the homework).

    So I wouldn't agree (add sentence adverb of your choice here) that the battle is lost, but I wouldn't put money on a victory for the people who don't want it as a disjunct.


    14 Jun 20 - 06:49 AM (#4059202)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Ulysses S Grant? YOU or LISS?


    14 Jun 20 - 10:21 AM (#4059233)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    Regarding 'hopefully', many years ago I invented the word 'hopedly' (to be pronounced with three syllables). But I don't think it's going to catch on.


    14 Jun 20 - 10:23 AM (#4059234)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    My Fowler is from the early 1980s and I can't find any reference to hopefully or sentence adverbs... :-(

    I have a few guides to English usage (my favourite is Mind The Gaffe by the late Larry Trask). Each one of them has the infuriating habit of not containing at least some contentious point or other that I want to look up, and each one has its own hobby horses and various idiosyncrasies. My starting point is whether the expression in question is in common use and for how long it has been so, then the decision has to be made as to whether a degradation has taken place. The distinction between disinterested and uninterested is a valuable one and I'll fight to my last breath to keep it. I can't abide the (mainly American) habit of confusing alternate and alternative, and it will never be alright on the night... But English is not determined by professors or grammar police, and never has been.


    14 Jun 20 - 10:35 AM (#4059239)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: gillymor

    Grant's childhood tormentors pronounced it "Useless".


    14 Jun 20 - 11:39 AM (#4059262)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Gag me with a spoon, gillymor!


    15 Jun 20 - 02:18 PM (#4059354)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: PHJim

    "I could care less" instead of "I couldn't care less."


    15 Jun 20 - 02:24 PM (#4059358)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: gillymor

    Wha ever, Mrrzy.


    15 Jun 20 - 05:21 PM (#4059383)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "I could care less" instead of "I couldn't care less."

    Well, most Brits would rail against the former. The trouble is that both expressions are in use and have been for many a decade, the latter for longer, admittedly, and they mean the same thing. It's a another battle that you'll lose if you can be arsed to join it. Whether we like it or not, both expressions are standard English. Let's just enjoy life.


    15 Jun 20 - 06:39 PM (#4059399)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Reinhard

    I absolutely hate it when someone wants to appear cute and learned by using the long s letter '?' in historic quotes but then actually substitues it with the letter 'f' ('eff'). For God's ?ake, it's a fake!

    For example in the current thread 'Maritime work song in general', it's not

    They which take fhippe, & inftead of paying their fare, do the duties of Mariners

    but

    They which take ?hippe, & in?tead of paying their fare, do the duties of Mariners.


    15 Jun 20 - 06:43 PM (#4059401)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Reinhard

    well, in the preview of my post the long s was shown correctly. But in my post it's been replaced with question marks. Does anybody know if there's a HTML entity code for the long s?


    15 Jun 20 - 07:05 PM (#4059407)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Reinhard

    Next try with that quote:

    They which take ſhippe, & inſtead of paying their fare, do the duties of Mariners.


    15 Jun 20 - 08:17 PM (#4059423)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    But could and couldn't do *not* mean the same thing. What politician tried to argue that they did?


    15 Jun 20 - 08:41 PM (#4059429)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    This is the trouble with grammar police who desperately try to cling to some past meaning that probably never existed anyway. Could care less and couldn't care less have nothing much to do with the individual words. You simply have to take the constructions as a whole. I won't dwell. The other thing is that both expressions are wot millions of people say. When millions of people say something, and have been doing so for a long time, then that something is standard English. Either live with it or make yourself miserable. Your choice.


    16 Jun 20 - 02:43 AM (#4059445)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Reinhard - same with Y and Þ (thorn), although that substitution can at least claim to be well established, dating back to Caxton's time.
    Unforgivable though is printed cod Olde Englishe (Engli?he?) with a capital F - as in YE OLDE CURIOFITY FHOPPE...

    You know you're getting into historic lettering when you read Psalm 8 with its reference to "sucking babes" and don't notice anything.


    16 Jun 20 - 05:48 AM (#4059470)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    When millions of people say something, and have been doing so for a long time, then that something is standard English. Either live with it or make yourself miserable. Your choice.

    So Steve, by that reasoning, will you accept 'prior to' and 'albeit' or are they still making you miserable?

    Unlike physics, which is governed by laws, grammar is governed by rules. Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of fools. All that is required for good communication is that it is clear and unambiguous.

    "I could care less" is the exact opposite of what is intended and is intrinsically wrong;

    "British schoolgirls evacuated in their pyjamas ....", given above, is a good example of ambiguity. It seems to be a feature of headline writing;

    Using 'who' instead of 'whom' is grammatically incorrect but the meaning would, in most cases, be perfectly clear

    'Hopefully', for me, is a perfectly good alternative to 'it is hoped'.

    Good communication should also be concise. Waffle and buzzwords suggests that the user doesn't understand the subject; deliberate obfuscation is the tool of the politician. Allowance should be made, however, for the poetry of the language. There is more than one way to skin a donkey and there are more ways to express ideas than being limited to a restricted set of approved words. Variety is the spice of life.

    Having said all that, the thread title is "Language Pet Peeves" - it's all about the words and expressions that you can't live with, the one's that make you miserable.

    DC


    16 Jun 20 - 06:03 AM (#4059471)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I agree with most of that, but the point about "albeit" (when you think about it, and look at the word closely, the stupidest word in the language) and "prior to" is that they are pretentious. Not only that, they both have perfectly plain and clear alternatives that may be used in every case, namely "though" (or "although" if you like) and "before" respectively. Whenever I see either of these horrors in print I go straight into prize cock red alert.


    16 Jun 20 - 06:15 AM (#4059476)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    As for "I could care less," if you preface that with "it isn't possible that...." it makes perfect sense. I see the expression as an economical way of saying just that, though, arguably, it would be linguistically more efficient, and less likely to have the recipient doing some puzzled mental processing, just to say "I couldn't care less." But here's the rub: both variants are informal and both are widely used, so we just have to suck it up. In formal writing you wouldn't use either unless you were quoting dialogue. We sometimes have to let the lingo take wings and fly, though I'll always argue against pretentious words when there are perfectly good plain alternatives.


    16 Jun 20 - 06:19 AM (#4059478)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Doug:
    Having said all that, the thread title is "Language Pet Peeves" - it's all about the words and expressions that you can't live with, the one's that make you miserable.

    One of my pet peeves, which I share with many, is the misuse of apostrophes ;)


    16 Jun 20 - 06:24 AM (#4059479)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    The thing on iPads that decides that it knows better than you do what you want to type often either inserts or omits apostrophes inappropriately, Nigel. Whether I spot such absurdities in my posts before sending them depends on whether or not I'm wearing my reading specs, which I oft misplace.


    16 Jun 20 - 06:29 AM (#4059481)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Merriam-Webster on 'alright' Here
    All right, everyone: listen up.
    If you were listening when your English teacher said that, you probably learned that all right is the only way to write the word that is also sometimes spelled alright. Pete Townshend preferred the tighter version when he wrote the lyrics to The Who's famous song, The Kids are Alright, and James Joyce thought alright was better (in one instance out of 38) for Ulysses too.


    Interesting that when they are trying to be correct they describe 'all right' as a word, rather than a phrase. Probably another example of variant American usage.


    16 Jun 20 - 06:31 AM (#4059482)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I don't see 'although' and 'albeit' as being direct equivalents. Depending on context, I feel that there are subtle differences. 'Although' acknowledges that there is an alternative or condition; 'albeit' is more of a reluctant acceptance of the same.

    Even if the two words are directly equivalent, why is one better than the other. I do not accept that 'albeit' is pompous. Reverse snobbery is no justification.

    DC


    16 Jun 20 - 06:41 AM (#4059485)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I don't see snobbery of any kind in preferring plainer alternatives. Albeit stretches out to "athough be it," which we then have to rejig as "although it be," which isn't English at all. Whilst I acknowledge its antiquity (and regret that it didn't die out in Victorian times, as it threatened to), I can't excuse it on those grounds from being plain daft. They used to hang little boys for stealing sheep in those days too.


    16 Jun 20 - 06:53 AM (#4059491)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    "They gone done in Caesar, albeit he was getting to big for his boots".

    Nah, doesn't have the same ring to it.


    16 Jun 20 - 12:23 PM (#4059550)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    They used to hang sheep, too.

    I like (unpeeve, if you will), that people are hanged while pictures are hung.

    And I don't mean During the time that.


    18 Jun 20 - 10:41 AM (#4059885)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: PHJim

    Steve,
    If we preface anything with "it isn't possible that...." it could also care less.will change the meaning to the opposite, but we can't just assume that everything we say is understood to be prefaced by "it isn't possible that..." or what we say would have no meaning.

    You know that literally, "could care less" tells us nothing about how much you care except that you do care. A person who cares deeply about something could care a bit or a lot less, but a person who cares just a little bit could also care less.
    Someone who doesn't care at all, couldn't care less.

    Many folks say, "I haven't got no bananas" when they mean, "I haven't got any bananas." It's in common usage and I know what they mean, but it still makes me cringe.
    Many also say, "Give your report to John or I when it's finished," when they mean, "Give your report to John or me when it's finished."
    I know what they mean, but it still doesn't sound right.

    I guess what I'm saying is that although I know I'll never be able to change the way people misuse the language, it can still be a "BS:Language Pet Peeve"


    18 Jun 20 - 12:17 PM (#4059904)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Just take the expression as a single entity and don't over-analyse by breaking it into its individual words. We know that "well I'll go to the foot of our stair" hasn't got anything to do with stairs, or going anywhere at all. Just think of it as one big word that expresses utter gobsmackedness. I could care less, when you hear someone saying it, doesn't convey that they care quite a lot but that their caring might conceivably drop off, not to me anyway. I don't like it but there it is. Honestly, you really can't fight this stuff. If lots of people say it over a long period of time, then it's standard English. It's fine to say that you don't like it but there's not much point. I mention my hatred of albeit, prior to and on a daily basis only in these threads. They're all standard English and I use them excessively in knowing company with as much sarcasm as a I can muster.


    18 Jun 20 - 12:59 PM (#4059914)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Caring less is less caring than carelessly ignoring the whole damn thing.


    18 Jun 20 - 01:18 PM (#4059918)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Anyway, people will continue to use very dodgy words irregardless of what we literate types might think... ;-)


    19 Jun 20 - 12:53 AM (#4060026)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    It's easy to make fun of the language of people without much education. Yes, there are high-school dropouts who haven't thought through "I could care less." or "between you and I." Criticism of them is boring.


    19 Jun 20 - 07:56 AM (#4060073)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: FreddyHeadey

    ”dont overanalyze" you say,
    "you really can't fight this stuff."

    Yes, but

    it really slows down my reading. I don't know how to skate over it.
    On Facebook I'm getting so used to having to decide between there\their\they're ; your\you're ; to\too\two that when I read a perfectly well written piece I even find myself stopping to check - did they really mean 'their' or is there a different meaning to the sentence if they meant 'there' ?

    I never(not for the last fifty years) used to think about it but now I even find myself writing a 'their', then stopping to check that I really did mean 'their'.


    19 Jun 20 - 08:19 AM (#4060082)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well, you could always stop reading Facebook... ;-)

    I guess some people post quickly and don't review enough before posting. That never really bothers me. Unless the poster has set out to deliberately obfuscate, by trying to be too clever and tortuous with his words, (we have one egregious culprit here), the meaning is nearly always easy enough to glean. What peeves me is when mean-spirited people try to make hay over others' deficiencies (such as typos, spelling mistakes or punctuation errors). Invariably, the attacker makes plenty of errors themselves, and that's when I feel that it's legit to go to town on him.


    19 Jun 20 - 08:21 AM (#4060083)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    And I made two errors in that post. :-)


    19 Jun 20 - 08:23 AM (#4060084)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: PHJim

    My sister bought me a lovely coffee mug with "Grammar Police - Don't make me use my red pencil!"
    She says, "Jim, You'll have to decide between correcting grammar and having friends."


    19 Jun 20 - 09:07 AM (#4060100)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Eschew obfuscation!


    19 Jun 20 - 12:03 PM (#4060147)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I wasn't referring to you, but you might wish to consider whether there's anything wrong with saying things in clear, simple English.


    19 Jun 20 - 01:09 PM (#4060163)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Yesterday I listened to a YouTube on 10 Things Narcissicists Do. One thing was correct others' grammar and usage. (This would be in personal settings such as conversation or social media.)

    However, I think that when a person writes a book, he ought to maintain a higher standard. For example, know the difference between "definite" and "definitive." Also, give enough thought so that he isn't parroting weasel words.
    ==================
    I find that I, too, have to be care about their, there, and they're. For some reason, 'their' is the one that wants to come out first, and that's odd, because 'there' must be more common.

    And why do we so often use 'it's'
    where 'its' should be
    when 'it's', with its apostrophe,
    is harder to type?


    19 Jun 20 - 02:52 PM (#4060185)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    .... you might wish to consider whether there's anything wrong with saying things in clear, simple English.

    I am not trying to be funny, Steve, but I had to look up "egregious" in a dictionary.

    DC


    19 Jun 20 - 03:49 PM (#4060189)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > in clear, simple English.

    Somewhere online (should be "on line," obviously), a filmgoer lamented that she couldn't fully enjoy the recent remake of "Emma" because it was too hard to "understand the old English dialogue."


    19 Jun 20 - 03:53 PM (#4060190)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I tend to use it in the sense of outstandingly bad, Doug. I hope your dictionary agrees!


    19 Jun 20 - 04:18 PM (#4060196)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Yes, that's it. You learn something every day!

    DC


    19 Jun 20 - 05:40 PM (#4060219)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I think I've used it a number of times before on Mudcat, Doug. I've known that word for many years. I hope that I'm generally seen as trying to express myself clearly. I don't mind being pulled up if my verbiage looks a bit too fancy...


    21 Jun 20 - 12:35 PM (#4060581)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Using definitions instead of the word so defined.

    Using initials as in The w-word when avoiding saying Walk in front of your dog is fine, but doing that with any human over the age of spelling is infantilizing, condescending, and patronizing/ paternalistic. Either use the word or don't.


    21 Jun 20 - 01:12 PM (#4060591)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also bad rap when what is meant is bad rep[utation].


    22 Jun 20 - 02:58 AM (#4060680)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    "Must of" for "must have". Spoken as "must've" I can accept, but written?


    22 Jun 20 - 09:59 AM (#4060742)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I must've typed that lots of times here. Are you now telling me that I shouldn't've done it? You haven't picked me up on it so I assume you can't've noticed... :-)


    22 Jun 20 - 10:18 AM (#4060746)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Egregious -- ex gregis, or out of the flock. Latin. Now a secret code for Catholics, linguists and over-educated Olde Phartes.

    Mrrzy, "bad rap" is not necessarily a corruption because it is also a colloquial phrase from the mid-60s, when the word "rap" acquired a whole host of odd extra meanings. (Remember :rap session"?) Among other things, it meant an accusation, so a criminal record became a "rap sheet". Thus, one might say that the "Access Hollywood" tape was a bad rap against Donald Trump, but unfortunately not bad enough.

    But that usage of "rap" seems to exist now only in the phrase "rap sheet", so you're probably right that most people using it nowadays are confusing it with "bad rep".


    22 Jun 20 - 10:29 PM (#4060867)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Fascinating. Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothing new to say... [And now it's a music thread.]


    23 Jun 20 - 02:32 AM (#4060873)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Are you now telling me that I shouldn't've done it? No Steve, just being imprecise as usual.


    23 Jun 20 - 04:34 AM (#4060889)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I seem to remember a conversation on the Quora website about these multiple contractions. Someone posting an innocent question about them received a bollocking for putting an apostrophe in the wrong place.... :-)


    23 Jun 20 - 09:07 AM (#4060943)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I shouldn'ta oughta posted that?

    I might could say something about living in Dixie?


    24 Jun 20 - 12:59 PM (#4061198)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I just watched a YouTube video about language things narcissicists do. Now, I'm not sure 'narcissists' is the word they want, but whatever term you wish to employ for a verbo-jerk, the list is helpful:

    Corrects others' grammar (includes apostrophes, I'm sure.)

    Borrows technical jargon, often incorrectly

    Directs conversation to a topic known to himself and no one else present

    Makes it seem that others lose all credibility because of small mistakes.

    Pretends to understand everything.

    Claims to be logical without actually using logic.

    Commits to ideas and will not change despite evidence.
    ==========
    There were other points, but they didn't strike home with me the way some of those above have.

    Unless in a parental or classroom situation, a normal person does not correct another's usage or apostrophes.


    24 Jun 20 - 01:02 PM (#4061199)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I wonder what the critics would make of these apostrophes from lyrics by Peter Berryman:

    'cause the girl you been cheatin' with's ridin' in the guy I been cheatin' with's truck.

    I love this line, myself.


    24 Jun 20 - 04:12 PM (#4061209)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Great line! Love English sometimes.

    I like being corrected. How else can I learn?


    24 Jun 20 - 04:21 PM (#4061212)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Let's get serious, people.    (Note necessary comma.)

    From a current, evidently expensive, American TV commercial. And yes, I   listened carefully several times:

    "Including a full-size leave-in elixir which nine out of ten women said their hair appeared thicker and fuller in just one week!"

    "Elixir" (hair goo) isn't the only problem here.


    24 Jun 20 - 04:28 PM (#4061217)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    I shouldn'ta oughta've told'ya'll but iffin I've said it once...


    24 Jun 20 - 06:01 PM (#4061232)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Lighter, I agree that advertisement is ignorant.
    ===========
    I just saw a video that reminded me of two peeves:

    crime spree: a spree is fun. Calling a series of crimes a spree minimizes the suffering of the victims, for whom it was not fun at all.

    triggerman: Yuck. Instead of saying "Jones was the triggerman," say "Jones murdered Smith." Make the killer face what he did.


    26 Jun 20 - 12:47 PM (#4061536)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Charlottesville now has a free bike rental program.


    26 Jun 20 - 04:40 PM (#4061577)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Charlottesville now has a free bike rental program.
    Well, you wouldn't want to keep it in a cage. ;)


    26 Jun 20 - 06:51 PM (#4061588)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Hah!

    This should be sad but it's tragic: 16-year-old TikTok star dead at 16.


    27 Jun 20 - 02:39 PM (#4061743)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Mrrzy, I think it's past your bedtime.


    27 Jun 20 - 06:26 PM (#4061776)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oh, sooo true!


    29 Jun 20 - 09:29 AM (#4062008)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: PHJim

    From: Mrrzy- PM
    Date: 21 Jun 20 - 12:35 PM

    Using definitions instead of the word so defined.

    Using initials as in The w-word when avoiding saying Walk in front of your dog is fine, but doing that with any human over the age of spelling is infantilizing, condescending, and patronizing/ paternalistic. Either use the word or don't.
    ***************************************************************

    Mrrzy - There are words that I don't feel comfortable saying, like "the N word". In that case, I will use the initial.

    While that's the only one that comes to mind right now, I know that my dear departed grandmother would say "the F word" rather than "fuck" when she was quoting someone and I'm glad she did.


    29 Jun 20 - 10:29 AM (#4062012)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    If you're quoting someone who said "nigger" or "fuck," your choice should be either to not quote them at all or to say/type exactly what they said/typed. Putting in asterisks or saying things like "the n-word" is both pusillanimous and not quoting accurately. You can have fun with asterisks, on the other hand, as in "...and then I told the b*ast*ard to f*uck off..."


    29 Jun 20 - 06:35 PM (#4062083)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I note that Jay Rayner, my very favourite restaurant critic, is trying to be kind to restaurants during their troubled times in the pandemic, because, as he says, only an ars*ehole would give a bad review at the moment.

    "ars*ehole." Ideal!


    30 Jun 20 - 02:15 AM (#4062119)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    "Using initials as in The w-word when avoiding saying Walk in front of your dog is fine, but doing that with any human over the age of spelling is infantilizing, condescending, and patronizing/ paternalistic. Either use the word or don't."

    In Canada, we just had a popular, respected TV journalist have to abase herself before the nation, apologize, and present a Red-China-style self-criticism for having, within a planning meeting with her fellow journalists, uttered the title of an important book in Quebec politics that has the notorious, um, "n-word", in its title. So ....


    30 Jun 20 - 11:59 AM (#4062182)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I'm with Steve Shaw, or he's with me, on this one.

    I had to watch a CNN clip just to find out what the "m-word" was.

    Spoiler alert:






    It was Mask.


    30 Jun 20 - 01:27 PM (#4062194)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Interesting piece in the Guardian from ten years ago, making some apposite points, and including an extract from their style guide:

    "We are more liberal than any other newspapers, using language that our competitors would not. But even some readers who agree with Lenny Bruce that "take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government" might feel that we sometimes use such words unnecessarily.

    The editor's guidelines are as follows:

    First, remember the reader, and respect demands that we should not casually use words that are likely to offend.

    Second, use such words only when absolutely necessary to the facts of a piece, or to portray a character in an article; there is almost never a case in which we need to use a swearword outside direct quotes.

    Third, the stronger the swearword, the harder we ought to think about using it.

    Finally, never use asterisks, which are just a cop-out.


    As Charlotte Brontë put it: "The practice of hinting by single letters those expletives with which profane and violent people are wont to garnish their discourse, strikes me as a proceeding which, however well meant, is weak and futile. I cannot tell what good it does – what feeling it spares – what horror it conceals."

    If the author of Jane Eyre had been a tabloid reader, she might also have observed that asterisks actually draw attention to swearwords, as well as offering readers the challenge of working out the difference between, say, ****s and ******s."


    01 Jul 20 - 01:10 PM (#4062314)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Most of the time when a person uses a foul word s/he's just being lazy.


    01 Jul 20 - 02:22 PM (#4062320)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    For once I seem to be in agreement with The Guardian (albeit from 10 years ago).
    First, remember the reader, and respect demands that we should not casually use words that are likely to offend.
    Second, use such words only when absolutely necessary to the facts of a piece, or to portray a character in an article; there is almost never a case in which we need to use a swearword outside direct quotes.


    01 Jul 20 - 02:27 PM (#4062321)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Chitten the chat shootin the breeze
    ticklin the ribs inventin degrees
    piled higher and deeper BS is cheaper
    Than Harvard, Wheaton or Yale

    Learning to cook by hook or by crook
    is like stealing from out of print books
    The art of cuisine is almost obscene
    in textures tastes and smells

    Who puts the shish on your kabob
    or relish on your hot dog
    Who puts a pinch of salt on your egg
    or sauce on your gonzofazoul

    The Randy man can
    he has a secret rhthym
    that you can't understand
    but the randy man knows

    Who shaves so close his cheeks glow
    it almost feels like peachy fuzz
    What the randy man does with a can of
    whipped cream very few have known

    Who uses all the ice cream
    to turn to steam when its on you
    if he spills chocolate syrup
    you can be sure he'll clean it all up

    The randy man knows
    all the perfect ways
    to cure your weary woes
    with hot buttered rolls


    01 Jul 20 - 02:32 PM (#4062322)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    You can do better than dirty words


    01 Jul 20 - 06:00 PM (#4062345)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Albeit, Nigel? You did that on purpose, didn't you! :-)


    01 Jul 20 - 06:04 PM (#4062347)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Where is the African man from the Tavern? Bet he'd like the hot buttered tootsie rolls!


    01 Jul 20 - 06:21 PM (#4062349)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well now. One says dirty words, one says foul words. I don't use fuck, cunt or several other such words on this website (though I certainly do when I'm in my car stuck behind some bellend or other who needs to learn to drive, for example). But they are not dirty words, nor are they foul words. That's just your judgement, and it isn't mine. In fact, they go back many hundreds of years, they are incredibly descriptive in a very direct way and fashion dictates that they are, at this time, slightly less acceptable than arsehole, dick, fanny, shit, piss, wank and the rest. You call them foul or dirty. Unfortunately for you, masses of people use these words every day, often incredibly effectively and with colour. Thinking people of a sensitive nature will consider the context in which one may be tempted to use them. I use these words every day, but there has been many an occasion on which I've winced at their use by someone who has shown no regard as to the setting they find themselves in. Not in front of the children, formal situations, etc. You may hate the fact, but, like any other words in common currency, they are standard English, and you simply have to get over that indigestible fact.


    01 Jul 20 - 08:14 PM (#4062382)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    The best words


    02 Jul 20 - 02:31 PM (#4062493)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Albeit, Nigel? You did that on purpose, didn't you! :-)
    I did it on purpose as that was the sentence which came to me. I did not do it deliberately to annoy you.
    You have made your dislike of the word known.
    I said: For once I seem to be in agreement with The Guardian (albeit from 10 years ago).
    I could have said For once I seem to be in agreement with The Guardian (although it is from 10 years ago).
    But why use three words when one will do?


    02 Jul 20 - 05:29 PM (#4062511)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Steve, I don't grok your comment:

    But they are not dirty words[...]. In fact, they go back many hundreds of years [...]

    How does the age of a word relate to its foulness? Fuck used to be the *polite* word; when the Norman term became polite, the previously-polite Saxon word became rude, and the rude Saxon term was lost to English. It seemed you were arguing that if a word is old its usage can't be rude...?


    02 Jul 20 - 07:15 PM (#4062525)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    That was in no way an argument that I was making. Reread my comments about fashion.


    03 Jul 20 - 01:07 AM (#4062547)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Another peeve I just noticed: I don't want to hear the phrase 'perfect storm' ever again.


    03 Jul 20 - 10:06 AM (#4062601)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Then what did you mean by Actually they go back?


    03 Jul 20 - 06:21 PM (#4062658)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    They have been in common usage for hundreds of years is what I meant. That isn't to say that they have to be regarded as words that are in good taste, but they are standard English whether you like it or not. The whole point about what you regard as contentious words is that context is everything. Grand in the pub with your session mates, not grand in front of Grandma, your five-year-old or your maiden aunts. I don't use fuck and cunt here because I don't want to cause the kind of shock or offence among people I don't know that I see others here indulging in. But that's just me, and I care not a jot about other posters using those words. I'm kind of vaguely aware that there are some people who might take offence, and I only want to cause offence to people I intensely dislike. I have better ways of doing that than by resort to fuck and cunt.


    03 Jul 20 - 06:22 PM (#4062659)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    And I didn't say "Actually they go back". Actually...


    04 Jul 20 - 10:11 AM (#4062738)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    You said In Fact where I quoted you, right, sorry.

    Ok, question: in the phrase "long-lived" does the "live" syllable rhyme with give or hive?


    04 Jul 20 - 10:33 AM (#4062745)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also this

    https://humanparts.medium.com/the-most-mispronounced-word-in-the-world-20dcad2a6735


    04 Jul 20 - 11:31 AM (#4062758)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    In that article, the author nominates 'karaoke' as the most mispronounced word in the world. This, surely, is a case of misplaced priorities. I would of thought that how it is pronounced is the least of the problems associated with karaoke.

    DC


    04 Jul 20 - 12:04 PM (#4062769)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I know someone who is fairly fluent in Spanish who still manages to pronounce chorizo "churitso."


    04 Jul 20 - 03:43 PM (#4062814)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    So, the "i" in long-lived, pronounced like the "i" in give, or hive?


    04 Jul 20 - 05:36 PM (#4062833)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    Mrrzy: The "hive" vowel is better. "-Lived" there comes from the noun "life", not the verb "live". In America, we can still use the proper pronunciation, tho I think we are in a minority. In Britain, I gather, it has died out entirely.


    04 Jul 20 - 06:03 PM (#4062841)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    I'd say long-livved, because we're talking about the person's action, though I suppose you could say long-lie-ved in the sense that they'd had a long life. It'd make me shudder, though.


    04 Jul 20 - 06:18 PM (#4062845)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I prefer the long i. If you have legs, you can be long-legged, and if you have a life, you are long-lived.


    05 Jul 20 - 02:45 AM (#4062885)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Shouldn't that be long-lifed?


    05 Jul 20 - 08:17 AM (#4062922)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    My take exactly, Bobl.

    But I was curious.


    05 Jul 20 - 06:27 PM (#4062987)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    BobL: Compare the plural noun "lives".


    05 Jul 20 - 07:43 PM (#4062993)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Perhaps it should have been, but it is not, and if you use long-lifed, people will assume you can't spell.


    06 Jul 20 - 05:21 AM (#4063043)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Centre around. No. You can't centre something around. You can centre something on something else.


    07 Jul 20 - 03:53 PM (#4063265)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    And when did every single use of the word "black" become racist? We are diurnal animals. Night is scary. Nothing to do with skin color.


    07 Jul 20 - 08:21 PM (#4063292)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    PBS, talking of the Vikings, called something "unprecedented for its time" and I instantly forgot what the something was.


    08 Jul 20 - 10:04 AM (#4063348)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Would America work better if it was unpresidented?


    08 Jul 20 - 10:38 AM (#4063355)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Groan, Nigel Parsons.


    08 Jul 20 - 12:06 PM (#4063376)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Mrzzy, I agree with you about black.

    I just noticed another pet peeve I have: using reference as a verb. Take these three sentences:

    He referenced the book of Ecclestiastes.
    He referred to the book of Ecclestiastes.
    He cited the book of Ecclestiastes.

    I prefer the second or the third, depending on meaning.


    08 Jul 20 - 12:45 PM (#4063382)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Just heard a Brit use the adjective Swish, which apparently does not mean what Americans use that word for...

    Separated by a common language, again.

    I had a British boss for a while, we once had a long talk about that. It was the qualifier Quite that got her into trouble.


    08 Jul 20 - 01:02 PM (#4063386)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    "Reference" is a noun.

    "Refer" is a verb. So is "cite".

    Nuff said.


    08 Jul 20 - 02:17 PM (#4063399)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    "He referenced the book of Ecclestiastes."
    Unless of course it is used to mean that he catalogued the book, and created an index. Then it wouldn't seem too wrong.


    08 Jul 20 - 03:38 PM (#4063403)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Some mixed metaphors are better than others but I have heard some that are incomprehensable. "You can't unring the bell of the crazy uncle locked in the cellar"
    "The White House is an infected Cruise Ship without a propeller"


    08 Jul 20 - 06:29 PM (#4063424)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    You may not like "reference" as a verb, but you're fighting a lost cause. You are fighting what is now standard English. It's up there with "Will she medal at the Olympics?" "I will access the information by googling it" "She authored the article on global warming." And will you book a holiday next year?

    I like these things. They represent evolution in our language and there is no degradation going on. What a contrast with horrid things such as "alternate" instead of "alternative" and "disinterested" used ignorantly instead of "uninterested." Now they really do represent degradation.


    08 Jul 20 - 09:44 PM (#4063432)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ah, yes, verbing nouns. Love that. But not when there's already a perfectly good word.

    What bugs me is inventing words like Authenticness. No, authenticity.

    Or Worthiness. It's just worth.


    09 Jul 20 - 04:39 AM (#4063461)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Or two words that seem to be more popular across the water, "normalcy" and "societal."    And I must confess that I've never properly got my head round "existential" so I never use it.


    09 Jul 20 - 06:08 AM (#4063465)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    And there are perfectly good words available which enable the more enlightened among us to avoid such horrors as "albeit," "prior to" and "on a daily basis."


    09 Jul 20 - 06:26 AM (#4063467)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    You may not like "reference" as a verb, but you're fighting a lost cause. You are fighting what is now standard English.
    Can you accept the same argument about 'albeit'?


    900


    09 Jul 20 - 07:07 AM (#4063471)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Nah. I'm a fighter to the death against two things, Nigel: degradation of da lingo and pretentiousness in the use of words. I won't rest until albeit bites the dust. It's an abomination...


    09 Jul 20 - 08:03 AM (#4063480)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    How about Nevertheless? Unless you are Kate Hepburn in The African Queen, I mean.


    09 Jul 20 - 01:45 PM (#4063527)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Steve, I did say that using 'reference' as a verb was a pet peeve of mine. A pet peeve is not a clarion call for all mankind to conform to my preferences.

    'Reference' used as a verb is an intelligible word, albeit an ungraceful one.


    15 Jul 20 - 09:49 AM (#4064266)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Headline:
    The rare fashion brand that’s beloved by the women of Trump world and not afraid to show it

    What?


    15 Jul 20 - 01:04 PM (#4064302)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I agree, Mrrzy. That's baffling.


    15 Jul 20 - 03:47 PM (#4064317)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Reinhard

    Just desserts, as in the thread "Jolly Rogues of Lynn": " Whereas millers and weavers get their just desserts in the song, the tailor is too much of a rogue, so he ends up enjoying it."

    No, they don't get sweets, they get their just deserts, i.e. what they deserve.


    15 Jul 20 - 04:16 PM (#4064323)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bonzo3legs

    And then there is the dreaded "woke" - which is what I did at 3am this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    16 Jul 20 - 04:02 PM (#4064468)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Reinhard, I agree.

    Bonzo, you are right. I've never been confidant about woke, wake, and awaken.

    Here's another peeve of mine: advisedly.

    "This is a millenial dilemma, and I use the term advisedly." What is that supposed to mean? The speaker never mentions an advisor who okayed the term.


    16 Jul 20 - 05:14 PM (#4064477)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    It is not pronounced just deserts [DEZ-erts], it is pronounced just desserts [duh-ZERTS], but yeah, phrase origin is deserve.


    16 Jul 20 - 10:06 PM (#4064510)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    albeit... discussed in USENET https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.usage.english/jwJrs1rNN0g

    My favorite philosophy prof. in college A.C "Tony" Genova, wrote a paper titled "What is existentialism>"

    I still have a copy somewhere..which does not mean *I* can still explain it, but at one time I was clear on it.


    19 Jul 20 - 06:00 PM (#4064986)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah, for about 10 pages in Einstein's biography, I understood relativity.

    Peeve: starting a story with This is the untold story of. Hitherto-untold, ok, but if you're telling it, not untold now, eh?


    20 Jul 20 - 05:08 AM (#4065047)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    This is the untold story of. Hitherto-untold, ok, but if you're telling it, not untold now, eh I'd prefer 'previously' to 'hitherto'. Other than that, if the story is being told for the first time them I'm fine with "This is the untold story".


    21 Jul 20 - 09:49 AM (#4065270)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    WashPo, who should know better, spelled a word for bellybutton Naval. It bugs me more when coming from such a source.


    23 Jul 20 - 11:29 AM (#4065576)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Same source: Portland mayor hit by tear gas deployed by federal troops, said the headline, and my immediate thought was, wait, the feds deployed the mayor?


    25 Jul 20 - 06:35 AM (#4065778)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Next pet peeve: Using 'fast' as an adverb related to speed.
    adjective: "He is a fast runner". Yes
    adverb: "He runs fast". No, "He runs quickly."


    25 Jul 20 - 07:12 AM (#4065780)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Oxford English Dictionary considers "fast," as an adverb meaning "quickly," to be perfectly acceptable, with numerous quotations back to the 13th century.


    25 Jul 20 - 12:24 PM (#4065796)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I agree with Nigel Parsons on this one.

    Dictionaries define Literal as Figurative and have lost all claim to correctness.


    25 Jul 20 - 01:14 PM (#4065804)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    One more time, chaps. Dictionaries are not there to decide what is or isn't "acceptable." Their role is to reflect usage. And I can't see much wrong with "fast" as an adverb. In fact, it can be used to rather good effect I feel.


    25 Jul 20 - 11:29 PM (#4065859)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok watching a cooking show and the cook pronounced Millet millÉ, as if she were Hyacinth keeping up appearances.

    Reminded me of Dick Cheney and his "cachets" of arms.


    26 Jul 20 - 04:43 AM (#4065881)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    If you object to run fast, surely you should also object to hold tight. Any takers?


    26 Jul 20 - 07:44 AM (#4065910)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    I would prefer "hold tightly", but accept that "hold tight" is in general use, particularly on passenger transport.

    Flanders and Swann: "Hold very tight please, ding ding!"


    26 Jul 20 - 08:08 AM (#4065917)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Brits as old as me may recall the Milky Bar Kid ads on telly, which had the ditty ending in "...Nestle's Milky Bar!" - pronounced " Nessels." The other day I happened to remark that a certain breakfast cereal was made by "Nessel". I received a severe bollocking from Mrs Steve because I hadn't said "Nest-lay." Sheesh!


    26 Jul 20 - 08:18 AM (#4065923)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jon Freeman

    I don’t like “he ran fast” and would use “quickly” but I guess we can tie ourselves up in knots with all this.

    Steve is right that dictionaries aim to reflect current usage and language moves on whether we like it or not. A pet hat of mine used to be my perceived Americanism of the (UK) language but I’m not even going to come up with examples now.

    Perhaps the one thing I once had some linguistic ability with was writing in plain simple English. I was once asked to do that in a job (when I was “employable”) when we were going for the then BS5750 and tried to do some shop floor procedure manuals for our department. Simple, easy to follow, unambiguous language was the order of the day and I think that I could manage that then.

    Of course the language here is, and should be, mostly conversational and that changes things until you get pedants complaining about correctness. At which point, and if I cared, I’d start worrying about how I express what I write…

    Which on this one, sorry Steve, but I’m comfortable with albeit...


    26 Jul 20 - 09:06 AM (#4065928)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It has brilliant and unpretentious alternatives. If you say albeit instead of although, or though, and prior to instead of before (which is the perfect substitute every single time), you are trying to make yourself sound cleverer than you really are. If you're already clever enough you shouldn't need to do these daft things.


    26 Jul 20 - 10:27 AM (#4065939)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I like that Jon Freeman had a pet hat...


    26 Jul 20 - 11:18 AM (#4065947)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    "fast"... when people compliment me by saying, about something I have done, "Gee.. you are fast!".... I usually reply something like, "Oh well, I am usually called 'half-fast'."


    26 Jul 20 - 07:36 PM (#4066012)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Here's another journalist's phrase I dislike. "Left the road" Yesterday two people, one driving a Lexus and one on a motorcycle, lost their lives because their vehicles mutinied, apparently. The Lexus left the road, went through a guard rail, down a slope, and rolled over. The motorcycle left the road and slammed into a building, all on its own.

    Terrifying, ain't it?


    27 Jul 20 - 02:31 AM (#4066027)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Likewise "the vehicle went out of control" rather than "the driver lost control". But in this case, the reporter is simply describing what happened, not the cause.


    27 Jul 20 - 04:20 AM (#4066040)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Here's another journalist's phrase I dislike. "Left the road"

    There could be many reasons why the vehicle left the road: the driver might have been drunk; not paying attention; avoiding a stray animal; too fast round the bend; forced off the road by anther vehicle; a blow-out; a medical emergency.

    The reasons ought to come to light during the subsequent investigation. The journalists are simply reporting the known facts and not dealing in speculation. They should be commended for their restraint.

    DC


    27 Jul 20 - 05:52 AM (#4066061)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Ah yes, the autonomous vehicle. More signs of absent drivers: "A pedestrian/cyclist was in collision with a car/van/truck/train". In the old days people were knocked down by drivers.


    28 Jul 20 - 12:47 PM (#4066301)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    In the old days people were knocked down by drivers.
    That seems to pre-suppose that the 'driver' was at fault, and caused the accident with the pedestrian/cyclist. That is not always the case. If a cyclist smashes into the side of a car they can rarely be describes as "knocked down by the driver".


    28 Jul 20 - 03:27 PM (#4066316)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    And a lot of people are apparently murdered despite surviving these accidents, as in headlines like Pedestrian killed after being run over by steamroller.


    28 Jul 20 - 05:54 PM (#4066331)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Doug, I doubt if in hundreds of accidents there were no witnesses, no skid marks, no weather report, and nobody knows anything about what happened.


    29 Jul 20 - 01:59 AM (#4066369)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    True. But if a court case ensues, a reporter who anticipates its findings by saying a particular person was at fault could be in trouble.


    31 Jul 20 - 08:35 PM (#4066787)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Writing that says that something is not what it's not. A recent example:

    "At this time, we don’t have any evidence indicating this is something other than a 'brushing scam' where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales,"

    That's from the US Department of Agriculture, about people receiving unsolicited packages of seeds. Why don't they just say "This seems to be a 'brushing scam'.


    01 Aug 20 - 07:06 AM (#4066827)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh I saw this there and thought it should be here!


    02 Aug 20 - 02:24 AM (#4066942)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    In writing, I usually find that it's clearer to talk about things that are than things that are not. Now remember I said "usually."

    Tax instructions used to be bad that way. "If line 48 is not less than $30,000, go to Section 4, unless AGI is no greater than $50,000."

    I remember my confusion as a kid the first time I read, "He said, not unkindly."   What?


    02 Aug 20 - 10:45 AM (#4066996)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > Why don't they just say "This seems to be a 'brushing scam'.

    Because it's more definitive to say we have *no* evidence than possibly to imply, by omission, that we *might* have some, but if we do, we're ignoring it.

    Compare:

    1. "We have no evidence that alien spacecraft are real."

    2. "Alien spacecraft seem not to be real."

    The statements are not precisely equivalent - particularly if you're an official spokesperson (or a trial witness), whose statements may be scrutinized for weasel words.


    02 Aug 20 - 05:21 PM (#4067050)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    The word "seems" covers a lot of things easily, in a manner that most people can understand. After all, the most frightened and suspicious people are the most likely to have poor reading skills and comprehension.
    ===================
    Here's another peeve of mine. People who refer to the owner of a dog or cat as its mom or dad. No, a pet is an animal, and when push comes to shove, it is not as intelligent or valuable as a child.

    Several years ago, the house next door to ours had a bad fire, and we had to get out of ours fast, because the houses are close together. I called to my cat, but she ran and hid somewhere. With flames shooting toward the sky and powerful fire engines rumbling in front of the house, I threw on a sweatshirt and fled, leaving her behind. I never would have done that with a child.

    Fortunately, we all came out of it all right. We sustained some damage to our roof, and some plastic siding melted, but that was all.


    02 Aug 20 - 07:28 PM (#4067058)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well we had cats for over forty years. We didn't replace our last one after he'd died as we had then both retired and wanted to be off on our travels, and we live miles from anyone who could see to our cats when we were away. But we always admonished our cats when they'd been "naughty" by threatening to tell "mummy" or "daddy" what they'd been up to. We'd pat our leg to invite the cat to "sit daddy's knee," etc. Bloody hell, we are both perfectly rational people! More like a nod and wink twixt me and the missus, it was. And we always had amazing relationships with every one of our cats down the years. Of course the daft talk was never serious and never intended to parallel human relationships. We are all different, leeneia, and I must say that you come across as rather stiff and judgemental about stuff at times...

    By the way, when we were little up north in Lancashire, the older blokes and blokesses in the street, maybe your friends' parents or the people your mum worked with, we always called our aunties or uncles, even though we weren't related. I had an Auntie Hilda, Auntie Brenda, Uncle Charlie and Uncle Bill, among many others. None of them were remotely related! That tradition is maintained to this day, and long may it carry on.


    03 Aug 20 - 07:20 AM (#4067096)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    In writing, I usually find that it's clearer to talk about things that are than things that are not. Now remember I said "usually."
    Tax instructions used to be bad that way. "If line 48 is not less than $30,000, go to Section 4, unless AGI is no greater than $50,000."


    The wording, though, is precise. To re-word it (keeping the same meaning) you would need:
    "If line 48 is more than $29,999.99, go to Section 4, unless AGI is less than $50,000.01."
    As a retired civil servant (UK) I prefer the original formulation.


    03 Aug 20 - 07:44 AM (#4067099)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Cats seems to bring out our humaness.


    03 Aug 20 - 08:56 AM (#4067108)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    The current U.S. President seems to have no pets.

    BTW, the latest usage prefers "spacecrafts" to plural-in-sense-but-singular-in-form "spacecraft."

    The same goes for "aircrafts," "water crafts," etc.

    Probably influenced by "arts and crafts."

    So at this point in my life, I could care less, plural-wise.


    03 Aug 20 - 01:39 PM (#4067141)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I've never heard anybody say aircrafts or spacecrafts. You know, sometimes a word occurs in the language in only one form. For example, "jiffy." We always say "in a jiffy." (I'm ignoring the brand Jiffy Mix for now.) We don't say "He came in five jiffies." Or "It took a long jiffy."

    I think the --craft words are like that. We only use them one way. We can say we flew in a Boeing aircraft, or we can say there were about 30 aircraft on the field when the tornado hit.

    For a couple years, the DH and I would do the crossword together, and we added interest by spotting words which only occur in one form or in one phrase. I wish I could think of more of them.


    03 Aug 20 - 01:45 PM (#4067143)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "you come across as rather stiff and judgemental about stuff at times..."

    That's pretty rich, coming from the guy who thinks dried basil is going to destroy civilization.


    03 Aug 20 - 02:29 PM (#4067152)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    That happens to be true. And you caught me just as I was going outside to pick some home-grown fresh basil. Fancy that!


    03 Aug 20 - 10:33 PM (#4067208)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Scissors, never a knife, for basil chiffonade, my mom said and did.


    04 Aug 20 - 03:59 AM (#4067229)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Unless you're making pesto, all basil needs is fingers.


    04 Aug 20 - 10:52 AM (#4067265)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    From today's zoom meeting:

    Unsuccessful aging -isn't that living? I mean, isn't unsuccessful aging called death?


    04 Aug 20 - 01:01 PM (#4067277)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Good question, Mrrzy. I suppose dementia, arthritis, obesity would be examples of unsuccessful aging, but still...

    Success is something we work for and may obtain with a combination of effort and luck. Aging happens whether we want it or not, so I don't think it's reasonable to combine the two. In technical terms, the expression "unsuccessful aging" is whopperjawed.


    04 Aug 20 - 06:05 PM (#4067304)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    What are you going to make with aforesaid fresh basil, Steve?


    04 Aug 20 - 07:15 PM (#4067317)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Imma use whopperjawed as soon as you tell me what it means, leeneia!


    04 Aug 20 - 07:59 PM (#4067320)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    In a ragù with pasta. Torn big leaves in the sauce a minute before the end, then the baby leaves sprinkled on the final dish, along with freshly-grated Canossa dairy Parmesan and a drizzle of the finest olive oil. If you haven't got fresh basil, just leave basil out altogether. Since you ask.


    05 Aug 20 - 01:24 AM (#4067340)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    1. Steve, sounds delicious.

    2. Mrrzy, whopperjawed means crooked. Supposed you had a bookshelf and the shelves were slanted while the corners were not right angles. It would be whopperjawed.


    05 Aug 20 - 08:00 AM (#4067359)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    After being gob smacked he was whopperjawed.

    Much of BS is about the 'price of tea in China'.
    The phrase is believed to have begun in 19th century England where the actual price of tea in China was of interest. When someone in the British House of Commons said something others felt was irrelevant, it was met with this saying... meaning, the price of tea in China is a relevant topic, but yours is not.


    05 Aug 20 - 08:29 AM (#4067362)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ah, like my second set of Ikea shelves, when I thought putting the first ine together right meant I didn't need to read the instructions again.

    From Slate, today: billboards in a near-empty Times Square are going to blare images of the Hindu deity Rama and the Ram Mandir.

    I am still trying to figure out how to blare, which is auditory, an *image* which is visual.


    05 Aug 20 - 10:00 AM (#4067373)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Seems like I've been familiar with "blaring headlines" (sensational ones) for decades.

    As several people have observed, individual words commonly carry more than one meaning.

    Nowhere does it say that images in a public space can't be blared.

    Obviously a figurative usage, with the advantage of being brief and understandable.


    05 Aug 20 - 02:13 PM (#4067402)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Only sounds can be blaring. Only sights can be glaring. Colors can be loud, though, and also run, and bleed...


    05 Aug 20 - 06:32 PM (#4067424)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well I heard today that the civil rights hero John Lewis has been "funeralised."


    "Funeralised."


    Fer chrissake...


    05 Aug 20 - 07:49 PM (#4067433)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Oxford provides a number of quotes for "funeralize," transitive and intransitive, back to 1859.

    It's marked "Chiefly U.S. colloquial and regional."


    05 Aug 20 - 08:01 PM (#4067434)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yes I know. I found that out too but that doesn't make it not shit, does it? The people of that era also almost wiped out the buffalo and sent little boys into flues to scrape off arsenic to send to America so that cotton plantation workers could be slowly poisoned...


    05 Aug 20 - 08:24 PM (#4067437)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Mind you, 1859 also saw On The Origin Of Species, the book that started civilisation and that began to see off God...


    05 Aug 20 - 11:46 PM (#4067449)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    From today's WashPo:

    Many Lebanese have blamed the country’s political elite — widely seen as corrupt and mired in rampant corruption — for the economic collapse.

    Have they also been corrupted?


    06 Aug 20 - 04:38 AM (#4067458)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I agree that that isn't a great construction, but I suppose that if all around you are corrupt whilst you yourself are honest and incorruptible, you could still say that you are mired in rampant corruption. I think I might have chosen another way of saying it.


    06 Aug 20 - 05:04 AM (#4067460)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Civilisation greatly pre-dates "On the origin of species".


    06 Aug 20 - 06:36 AM (#4067466)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Do I really have to tell you every time whether I'm being whimsical or not, Nigel, or d'ye think you could work that out for yourself?


    06 Aug 20 - 07:41 AM (#4067468)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    I agree that "funeralize" is inelegant, and carries inappropriate connotations, and I'd avoid using it, but if other people want to say it all the time, that's fine with me.

    "Funeralize" is briefer than the alternatives, as well as crystal clear. I have bigger things to worry about.

    Many of the posts to this thread, I assume, are semi-humorous. Some seem to go out out their way to fail to understand what is obviously being said. They self-obfuscize (just made that one up).

    However ("never use at the beginning if a sentence" said somebody in my schooling), statements that are obscure to their intended audience, or needlessly wordy or convoluted, or disorganized, or ambiguous, are clearly a nuisance - or worse.

    I almost forgot another voice from my past: "Never place commas between phrases beginning with "and" or "or."


    06 Aug 20 - 07:54 AM (#4067469)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Two very useful lessons I learned were "Know your audience" and "Omit needless words.


    06 Aug 20 - 08:02 AM (#4067471)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Never place commas between phrases beginning with "and" or "or."

    Do both phrases have to begin with "and" or "or"? ;-)


    06 Aug 20 - 08:36 AM (#4067476)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Probably applies to "and/or" as well. :^}


    06 Aug 20 - 08:45 AM (#4067477)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > "funeralize" is inelegant, and carries inappropriate connotations

    Perhaps I should have added, "for many language-oriented people, especially with degrees."

    For the rest of the world, who knows?


    06 Aug 20 - 12:15 PM (#4067505)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jeri

    Somebody other than you said "Never place commas between phrases beginning with "and" or "or."

    As you did with

    "statements that are obscure to their intended audience, or needlessly wordy or convoluted, or disorganized, or ambiguous, are clearly a nuisance - or worse." (missed one).

    Exactly where they SHOULD go, unless I misunderstood your meaning, which is entirely possible.


    06 Aug 20 - 01:15 PM (#4067515)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Jeri, you evidently received different advice than I did - quite likely, since my memory goes back to the Eisenhower administration.

    Commas ordinarily do go between items in a simple series:

    "funeralize, aircrafts, blaring, and fast." (The last is allegedly optional.)

    But ("never begin a sentence with 'but'") a series connected with coordinating conjunctions is (or was) for some mystical reason distinct:

    "funeralize or aircrafts or blaring or fast."

    I find the commas useful for emphasis, but those who never learned the "rule" of omitting them won't even notice.

    For some perspective, imagine how they felt in the tenth and eleventh centuries, when all those grammatical endings were falling off their words. Chaos! (Or did people even care?)


    07 Aug 20 - 12:08 AM (#4067569)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I was just looking at YouTubes and came across another journalist's weasel word (phrase, actually.) The phrase is "designer drug." They make it sound like some illegal, unhealthful street drugs are high class and somehow better. They are not.

    In the video, a man who had been using a designer drug was walking down a busy highway, confused and incoherent, convinced the cars on the highway were enemies following him. This was bad, but he was carrying a young baby as well. No diaper bag, nothing to care for the kid, and he had him slung carelessly across one arm, as if he had forgotten the kid was there.

    I googled the drug (molly), and it's just another form of methamphetamine.


    07 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM (#4067649)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    "Designer drug" sounds more dangerous to me.

    DC


    07 Aug 20 - 05:35 PM (#4067654)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    "Designer drugs" were named in the early '80s. They were analogs of widely used street drugs, like heroin, that were intentionally "designed" to be different enough chemically as to be entirely legal.

    At least in the U.S., laws were overhauled to catch up.


    09 Aug 20 - 02:10 PM (#4067829)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I don't think so. Just as jeans are cheap, sturdy working-class denim, and designer jeans are expensive, upper-class denim, so designer drugs are supposed to be somehow nobler and classier than street drugs. But they are not, and it is irresponsible to go along with that idea.


    11 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM (#4067989)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Some news source reported that someone strangled someone else till that someone else was unconscious. No. Choking someone means cutting off their airway; strangling means choking them *to death*.


    11 Aug 20 - 11:26 AM (#4067993)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Not all dictionaries would agree: Strangle:
    Squeeze or constrict the neck of (a person or animal), especially so as to cause death. 'especially' so as to cause death is not exclusive.
    If someone has another in a choke hold you might say "He's strangling her", but with a restricted meaning of 'strangle' you don't know whether that's true (prior to the outcome).


    11 Aug 20 - 01:43 PM (#4068007)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Mrrzy, I agree with you. We are so accustomed to media reporting on deaths that when we see 'strangled,' we assume the victim died. 'Choked' or 'started to strangle' would be better journalism.


    11 Aug 20 - 02:14 PM (#4068017)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I'm with Nigel on this one. And then, of course, there's strangling the turkey....

    Another drastic thing that doesn't necessarily kill you is electrocution...


    11 Aug 20 - 02:50 PM (#4068024)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    I'm with Nigel on this one. And then, of course, there's strangling the turkey....
    Ah yes, "Parsons knows" best ;)


    11 Aug 20 - 04:21 PM (#4068034)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Very good, Nigel! Just a tiny cavil: it's the pope's nose on a turkey... ;-)


    12 Aug 20 - 11:13 AM (#4068131)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Pope's nose on chicken, game hen, duckduckduckgoose in my family


    15 Aug 20 - 07:03 PM (#4068497)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    A current news story refers to wild-boar piglets (or "boarlets") as "cubs."

    Scandalous or so-what?

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/wild-boar-stole-german-nudists-152429522.html


    15 Aug 20 - 07:33 PM (#4068499)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I started off to stuff half an avocado with crab salad, but it kinda took a sharp left... Now I have a big bowl of chopped lettuces tomato avocado celery dill parsley with crab and lemon on top, with vinaigrette and almonds. Yum.


    15 Aug 20 - 07:35 PM (#4068501)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oops wrong thread!


    15 Aug 20 - 11:40 PM (#4068520)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Well, let's make it relevant to a language thread.

    Your avocado reminds me of a joke in the comic opera Fledermaus. The Italian tenor who's been trying to seduce the leading lady is in jail (I forget why) and he demands a lawyer (avvocato.)

    A guard reports to the warden that the prisoner wants an avocado.


    16 Aug 20 - 01:30 AM (#4068522)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    I really wish I'd been aware of the word "funeralize" in my younger days - I'm sure I would have been heard to say, "I'm going to funeralize that sonofabitch!" (I had a habit of announcing what I would - ideally, theoretically, hypothetically - enact.)


    16 Aug 20 - 08:06 AM (#4068531)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I have long wondered why that food is named Advocate. The ancients probably beaned a miscreant with hard things but if you were on their side, you could demonstrate your support by using a hard thing wrapped in softer stuff?

    Thanks for a creative way of repairing my, uh, boner!


    16 Aug 20 - 02:57 PM (#4068578)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    You're welcome. You would do the same for me, I'm sure.

    We had lentil soup last night, and for the first time I added some celery seed at the end. It was good.


    17 Aug 20 - 03:44 AM (#4068609)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Rusty Dobro

    The TV weather girl has just announced that we’re having literally every kind of weather thrown at us today!
    I’m now preparing for deep snow, hurricanes, pea-soupers and a new ice-age. What an August this is turning out to be!


    17 Aug 20 - 01:22 PM (#4068649)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    You forgot derecho, tornado, heat wave and haboob.

    I was on the fringe of a derecho last week - the weather map showed a cone laid on its side, and inside the cone were tiny green dots, each one a thunderstorm. I think there were 524 in all. The cone extended from Nebraska to Indiana at the time I looked, and places had winds of 80 mph.

    My sister called me from Wisconsin, upset and on-edge, just needing somebody to talk to, because she had non-stop thunder for an hour.
    ==========
    Spellcheck in out-of-date. It doesn't like derecho or haboob.


    17 Aug 20 - 03:25 PM (#4068658)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    There are also "firenados." And "sharknados."

    There's no limit to a wordnado. (Bigger than a "word cloud.")


    18 Aug 20 - 07:19 AM (#4068706)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    According to the Charlottesville Police Department, the stabbing was the result of an unrelated incident that occurred on the UVA Corner, which sent me thinking, what?!?


    18 Aug 20 - 10:35 AM (#4068720)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    The language of police and lawyers is one of the most fertile sources of language peeves. With cops, some of the worst tangles arise from an effort to avoid implying as a fact something that is not yet officially "true", such as the constant reiteration of the word "alleged", and others come from narrow special meanings, such as the "unrelated" incident in Mrrzy's example. I'll bet that actually means the stabbing and the "unrelated" incident were not committed by the same person, or were committed by the same person but not for the same reason.


    18 Aug 20 - 10:41 AM (#4068723)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Did they also state that the "suspect" stabbed the victim?


    18 Aug 20 - 02:34 PM (#4068745)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I have no idea what they meant, even after reading the article! I just loved the "caused by" x "unrelated" oxymoron.


    18 Aug 20 - 05:28 PM (#4068755)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "Alleged" means that the person is suspected of a crime but has not been convicted. In fact, the person may be innocent. Both police and journalists use the term.

    Cops have their jargon, all right. They never seem to drive or walk anywhere, they proceed. And why do they have to say that something "went down" when the rest of us say it happened?


    18 Aug 20 - 05:32 PM (#4068757)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    The more heinous the crime, the more certain the perp will be referred to as "the gentleman".


    18 Aug 20 - 06:00 PM (#4068760)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok now this:

    each design includes a yellow diamond-shaped star

    Again... What?!?


    19 Aug 20 - 05:22 AM (#4068805)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    each design includes a yellow diamond-shaped star
    I have no problems with that. a quick google will give pictures of such a display (as a 4-pointed star). Perhaps you were expecting the more common 5 pointed star.
    A quick look at flags will show you stars with many differing numbers of points:
    3: The international brigade (or, on cars, Mercedes Benz)
    4: Aruba, Nato
    5: USA, Tunisia
    6: Israel, Morocco
    7: Australia
    8: Phillipines
    And there are flags with even pointier stars.
    But it is just a representation. Most pictures of our nearest start show it as being almost spherical, and not pointy at all.


    19 Aug 20 - 05:54 AM (#4068806)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    each design includes a yellow diamond-shaped star

    If we are talking about the proposed Mississippi state flag, the yellow (5 pointed) star is made up of 5 diamond shapes, as against the solid, white or blue 5 pointed stars shown elsewhere in the designs.

    DC


    19 Aug 20 - 07:32 AM (#4068816)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    In any case, it truly is an example of incomprehensible writing.

    The writer should have said, "a star consisting of five diamond shapes" or something like that.

    The valuable principle of omitting needless words refers only to *needless* words.


    19 Aug 20 - 09:42 AM (#4068825)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    I worked for a woman once whose pet peeve was "pre-recorded earlier".


    19 Aug 20 - 12:57 PM (#4068846)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    You mean like "prepare in advance"?

    Personally, I think such redundant phrases reflect a natural desire for emphasis and not the speaker's foolishness.

    They make easy targets, though.


    19 Aug 20 - 02:02 PM (#4068858)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Right, I finally found out they meant A star made out of diamonds.


    19 Aug 20 - 05:37 PM (#4068872)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    This is pure peevishness on my part. I'm tired of clicking on YouTube videos that begin with an over-chirpy young person exclaiming "Hi guys! What's up?" The person is usually too close to the camera.

    What's up is I was hoping for a good video.


    19 Aug 20 - 07:19 PM (#4068878)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    ....pre-recorded earlier at a previous time before this... ;>)


    19 Aug 20 - 07:35 PM (#4068879)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    At the last school I taught in, we had a PE teacher who would round up his kids on the field of play by shouting "OK, listen up, guys!" notwithstanding that there were both boys and girls in the group! I fell out, temporarily, with the same bloke when, as as a form teacher collating subject reports, I sent one back to him in which he had written, about one of the many kids who understandably lack enthusiasm for enforced sportiness, "This boy is completely disinterested in PE." The dispute went as far as the headteacher (ironically, a graduate in English from Cambridge University), who overruled me! Good times though...


    19 Aug 20 - 09:20 PM (#4068895)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    We are often addressed as “You guys” by chirpy young folks in service occupations. When I feel extra-curmudgeonly, I will stiffly inform these nice people that I am a woman, and no “guy”, thus earning a full dose of that whipped-puppy expression that I have learned to dread, for it means : “You are unhappy with me already and I don’t know *why*!”

    Of course, my curmudgeonlyness just multiplies.


    19 Aug 20 - 09:32 PM (#4068896)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > "OK, listen up, guys!" notwithstanding that there were both boys and girls in the group!

    About the norm in the U.S. for 30 years or more. So no exclamation point is required in these parts.

    The usage of "guy" is surprisingly nuanced.

    Grown American women call each other "girls" or "gals," but "guys" may be even more common among females under fifty or so. But it would sound very weird to me to hear a lone female addressed as "guy" by anybody. Men and boys, of course, are often addressed as "guy." (I don't intend to get into the complications of "bud," "buddy," "bro," "brah," "boy," "dude," and earthier terms.)

    "You guys" long ago became essentially the Northern equivalent of genderless Southern and African-American "y'all."

    P.S. Plural "youse" seems to be on the way out. And I've never heard anybody say "youse guys" who wasn't on a movie screen, though I can easily imagine it being used occasionally for emphasis.

    Neither of my middle-class grandparents, born in NYC in the 1880s, ever said "youse." Everybody was "you" (plurals: "both of you," "all of you.")


    19 Aug 20 - 10:08 PM (#4068900)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    It is ironic that at just about the point at which the universal "man" (i.e., as in "mankind") was fully purged from the language, the universal "guys" was gaining a firm foothold. For some reason, that one doesn't seem to bother the language police.


    20 Aug 20 - 09:11 AM (#4068936)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Guys has been genderfree for a while now. Yeah, wonder why too.


    20 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM (#4068938)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It was about the "listen UP" just as much as it was about "guys."


    20 Aug 20 - 11:17 AM (#4068956)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    It's the fake familiarity of "Hi guys!" in a video that irritates me. "Guys" as a vaguely non-gender term is okay, coming as it does from these obvious C-students, but I resent the way they sound like I'm their drinking buddy. They may not care about nuances in language, but they do know the difference between a buddy and a stranger.


    20 Aug 20 - 05:37 PM (#4068989)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    Oh, yes, leeneia!

    We are completely unknown senior citizens who might well part with a nice tip — why can’t we be Sir and Ma’am? Must we plunge into the deep waters of familiarity at very first contact?


    22 Aug 20 - 12:14 PM (#4069176)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Exactly!


    22 Aug 20 - 01:27 PM (#4069186)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    "Guys" makes me feel like a teen again.


    22 Aug 20 - 04:27 PM (#4069204)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Guys are cords used to provide angular tension to support a tent.


    22 Aug 20 - 07:11 PM (#4069221)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    That's not what the servers (i.e., waiters and waitresses) mean.


    22 Aug 20 - 08:34 PM (#4069227)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    I don't like being chirpily addressed as "Hi, guys!" either. Anyone approaching us for a charity donation and addressing us in such a way gets short shrift and no money.

    While we're at it, what's with "shut up!" in the context of "well, really?" I've seen it on TV a few times and, being an Olde Pharte as what I am, am totally puzzled by it.


    22 Aug 20 - 11:53 PM (#4069242)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Hi, Jennie. I don't think I've heard the kind of "Shut up!" you mean. Is it an expression of incredulity? My mother-in-law went through a phase where everything anybody said was met with incredulity. A favorite response was "Get out!", which sounds like your "Shut up!"

    I was grateful that as an in-law, I could just sit nearby and pretend none of this was happening. After a while I was reading a psychology book, and the author said that incredulity was a fad of the time, and it saved the speaker from having to listen and formulate an appropriate response to the other person. In time, people starting ignoring the MIL, and that broke her of the habit.


    23 Aug 20 - 01:09 AM (#4069244)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    leeneia, your MIL's "Get out!" sounds very much like the context of "Shut up!" Yes, it was used in the context of incredulity and I can see it would get irritating very quickly.

    I remember an Irish TV series from several years ago, 'Father Ted' (I just looked it up, it was in the late 1990s) in which the housekeeper kept repeating "ah, go on, go on, go on, go on......." to the point of irritation.

    Speaking of irritation, a colleague in my last job used the expression "the irrits" meaning something which annoyed her - as in "it gives me the irrits". Or even "a strong dose of the irrits", if it was even more so. Far from bugging me I quite like it, and sometimes use it myself. She was from Victoria, Oz, so perhaps it was a Victorian thing; they are quite different to those of us who hail from New South Wales with different patterns of speech. My Posh Melbourne Grandmother's way of speaking was very Melbournian despite having grown up and married in N.S.W.; my grandparents moved to Melbourne, Victoria, upon marriage.


    23 Aug 20 - 08:04 AM (#4069301)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    When I was a lad, the expressions used were "Go way!" "Get outta here!" and "Are you kiddin'me?" "You're kiddin' me!" or "You gotta be kiddin' (me)!"

    Since then, there's been "No way!" "Get out!" "Get outta town!" and "Shut up!"

    In certain cirles, "F--- off!" has long been used instead of "Get outta here!" Also the substitution of "s---tin'" for "kiddin.'"


    23 Aug 20 - 09:53 AM (#4069312)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Sir and Ma'am are now scary to some people because of the awkward transgender issue, which also, as a nonbinary person, bugs me. That is, if you look like a bloke, I don't think it's fair of you to chastise people who automatically Sir you.


    23 Aug 20 - 03:04 PM (#4069357)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I've been addressed as sir, although I don't try to look masculine at all. True, my hair is short, but I always tell the beautician, "Maximize the waves; I don't want to look like a boy."

    When somebody calls me sir, we all pretend it didn't happen.

    If somebody's gender is a mystery, don't use Sir or Ma'am. How about "my friend" instead?


    24 Aug 20 - 12:10 PM (#4069454)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    If "Hi, guys" bugs you, what do Mudcatters think of "Latinx," a new, gender-neutral word for Hispanic persons.

    It's becoming common among American academics, though not yet among the people it designates.

    It's pronounced "LatEEn-ex," btw.


    24 Aug 20 - 09:42 PM (#4069512)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    "Ex", not "equis"? What a bastard formation!


    25 Aug 20 - 12:22 AM (#4069525)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Thanks for the explanation about Latinx. I doubt if it will catch on. For one thing, x already means something else, so why should we all have to learn that it now means "gender unspecified"? For another thing, it sounds like something you use to clean the bathroom.
    ====================
    I was just on YouTube, finally seeing who Lada Gaga is, when I came across this song by Weird Al Yankovic about grammar and usage. Everybody here would probably enjoy it.

    grammar song


    25 Aug 20 - 06:01 AM (#4069545)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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!


    25 Aug 20 - 09:31 AM (#4069568)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > "Ex", not "equis"?

    It's unwittingly language-inclusive too.


    25 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM (#4069569)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    "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.


    25 Aug 20 - 09:45 AM (#4069570)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah, I like whom too.


    25 Aug 20 - 10:01 AM (#4069573)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > 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."


    25 Aug 20 - 11:39 AM (#4069593)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "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.


    26 Aug 20 - 07:00 PM (#4069752)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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."


    26 Aug 20 - 07:06 PM (#4069754)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

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


    26 Aug 20 - 08:10 PM (#4069761)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Like, crazy, man!

    In my youth I recall using "wild."

    Must start again.


    26 Aug 20 - 10:05 PM (#4069767)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    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


    27 Aug 20 - 10:09 AM (#4069842)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    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!


    27 Aug 20 - 11:42 AM (#4069855)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    27 Aug 20 - 12:14 PM (#4069863)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    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.


    27 Aug 20 - 01:15 PM (#4069867)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    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!


    27 Aug 20 - 02:38 PM (#4069877)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    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.


    27 Aug 20 - 05:59 PM (#4069899)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Sauté in the sense of leaping?


    27 Aug 20 - 06:34 PM (#4069903)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "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...)


    28 Aug 20 - 09:21 AM (#4069957)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    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.


    28 Aug 20 - 10:08 AM (#4069962)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    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.


    28 Aug 20 - 10:18 AM (#4069963)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion's brother Andrew

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


    28 Aug 20 - 10:47 AM (#4069966)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    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.


    28 Aug 20 - 11:31 AM (#4069968)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    How could I have forgotten the shithouse rat?


    28 Aug 20 - 03:08 PM (#4069993)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    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.


    28 Aug 20 - 03:38 PM (#4069999)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    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."


    28 Aug 20 - 10:45 PM (#4070034)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

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


    29 Aug 20 - 01:12 AM (#4070037)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

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


    29 Aug 20 - 05:18 AM (#4070045)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "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


    29 Aug 20 - 09:23 AM (#4070055)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

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


    29 Aug 20 - 06:04 PM (#4070109)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

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


    02 Sep 20 - 07:37 PM (#4070538)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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.


    02 Sep 20 - 10:19 PM (#4070548)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    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.


    03 Sep 20 - 11:16 AM (#4070613)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    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."


    03 Sep 20 - 11:20 AM (#4070615)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

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


    03 Sep 20 - 12:26 PM (#4070629)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Is that people in a Chinese province?


    03 Sep 20 - 02:10 PM (#4070641)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oops!

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


    03 Sep 20 - 05:59 PM (#4070664)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    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.


    03 Sep 20 - 06:21 PM (#4070666)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    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.


    04 Sep 20 - 05:01 AM (#4070705)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

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


    04 Sep 20 - 06:11 AM (#4070707)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    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.


    04 Sep 20 - 08:12 AM (#4070712)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "SALE - up to 70% off!"


    04 Sep 20 - 10:14 AM (#4070720)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    '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.


    04 Sep 20 - 10:25 AM (#4070722)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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!


    04 Sep 20 - 11:47 AM (#4070731)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion

    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!


    04 Sep 20 - 02:07 PM (#4070741)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    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.


    04 Sep 20 - 03:55 PM (#4070757)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    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.


    05 Sep 20 - 02:39 AM (#4070811)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    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.


    05 Sep 20 - 09:41 AM (#4070844)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Charmion's brother Andrew

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


    05 Sep 20 - 05:46 PM (#4070900)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Noon and midnight, yeah.


    05 Sep 20 - 05:59 PM (#4070903)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    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...


    06 Oct 20 - 08:49 AM (#4074489)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    NRO reveals plans for previously-undisclosed SpaceX launch this month

    Well, who reveals previously-disclosed news?


    06 Oct 20 - 10:04 AM (#4074497)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    True.


    06 Oct 20 - 10:55 AM (#4074505)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Well, who reveals previously-disclosed news?


    "NRO reveals plans for ...... SpaceX launch this month"


    The proposal to launch a mission could have been disclosed previously, but the detailed plans may have only just been revealed. In this particular case, it would appear to be the first time that the general public has been given any information on the mission, detailed or otherwise.

    DC


    06 Oct 20 - 03:01 PM (#4074520)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Right. Previously undisclosed. Like all revelations.

    Also an actor "made a brief cameo" in my movie... Like, long cameos are a thing? I thought those were called Roles.


    06 Oct 20 - 03:34 PM (#4074523)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    It is the launch that was 'previously-undisclosed' - and the plans that are being 'revealed'.


    07 Oct 20 - 02:08 AM (#4074567)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Ebbie

    I did not go back and reread this whole thread- it has suddenly exploded in size, so here goes:

    A peeve: the misuse of who's and whose. I've even seen it in official use. I see it everywhere, it seems, and I don't understand the problem.

    Sometimes I think that all contractions should be disallowed for awhile- maybe we could finally grasp all of them for all time.

    Who's = who is. Whose= it belongs to me. Or to you. Or some other idjit.


    07 Oct 20 - 05:14 AM (#4074586)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Who's = who is.

    .... unless it is preceded by "The" (as used elsewhere in this thread), in which case it means "belonging to a well known British rock band formed in the 1960s".

    Ebbie, you didn't have to reread the whole thread. A quick search on the word "who's" shows that your point was raised 10 years ago to the day, on 07 Oct 10.

    DC


    07 Oct 20 - 05:16 PM (#4074679)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    It's an odd thing that when we make a mistake using its and it's, that we usually put the apostrophe in when it is not called for. Like this:

    The cat landed on it's feet.

    I consider that odd because it's is harder to type than its. It has one more character, the apostrophe, and the apostrophe is off to the right, calling for the use of the weak little finger.

    It's the same with who's and whose. I see more cases where who's is used in the wrong place, even though who's is less natural to type.

    But I also think that these are natural typos, merely the result of going too fast. I like to save my peeves for people I think are being deceptive or manipulative.


    08 Oct 20 - 01:21 AM (#4074705)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Ebbie

    leenia, that's what my sister in law does, just the opposite. Like I say: so close.


    08 Oct 20 - 11:50 AM (#4074758)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Do you mean she omits apostrophes that should be there?


    08 Oct 20 - 12:18 PM (#4074761)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    On the radio this morning I heard (yet again!) someone being described as 'mischeevious'. Can people not understand that the word is 'mischievous' - meaning indulging in mischief - NOT indulging in 'mischeevy'?


    08 Oct 20 - 01:27 PM (#4074767)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: The Sandman

    like, you know what i mean like you know that joe offer like he is a good egg like


    08 Oct 20 - 03:42 PM (#4074780)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I think the extra I in Mischievous came in on the same boat as Aliminum and just got lost.


    08 Oct 20 - 05:32 PM (#4074789)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I just encountered a peeve of mine - using 'of course' when stating some obscure fact.

    "A red-cheek, of course, is merely a juvenile red-headed woodpecker."

    It peeves me because it implies that everybody knows the obscure fact but me, who must be ignorant and shouldn't argue.

    Ha!


    09 Oct 20 - 05:16 AM (#4074825)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Ebbie

    Yes, leenia, she omits apostrophes that should be there and inserts them where they should not be. For instance, she might write: Its not as colorful as it's neighbor. (And no, I have no idea what that sentence is conveying.)


    09 Oct 20 - 07:03 AM (#4074827)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    People who don't know the difference between '... and I' and '... and me'.


    09 Oct 20 - 10:35 AM (#4074838)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Also, by accident, on purpose. Not on accident.


    09 Oct 20 - 10:53 AM (#4074844)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I can't say that I have ever heard anybody use "on accident".

    DC


    09 Oct 20 - 11:59 AM (#4074850)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: John on the Sunset Coast

    Way to avoid the error '... and I' and '... and me,' always put the 'I' or 'me' FIRST. Unfortunately, 'proper' English requires putting the I or Me after the 'and,' which can cause momentary lapses, especially in oral communication. BTW, I often hear these mal-usages by lawyers commentators, and other supposed highly educated people, who would never do so in writing. Ergo the solution is evident...always say 'I' or 'Me' first, depending on whether both parties are acting or acted upon.


    09 Oct 20 - 12:13 PM (#4074853)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Another way people can check is by disregarding whoever is involved in the 'and'.
    You wouldn't say 'Johnnie saw I going to the shop' [unless you were in the West Country, maybe], so don't say 'Johnnie saw my brother and I going to the shop'. He saw my brother and me.
    In the same way, you wouldn't say 'Me went to the shop' [unless you were about three years old, possibly], so don't say 'My brother and me went to the shop'.


    10 Oct 20 - 07:13 AM (#4074957)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > Can people not understand that the word is 'mischievous' - meaning indulging in mischief - NOT indulging in 'mischeevy'?

    Evidently not.

    Oxford show they've been saying "mischievious" since before 1572.

    And spelling it more or less that way too.


    10 Oct 20 - 10:20 AM (#4074985)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    That's interesting, Lighter.

    I have read a good many books on the English language (420's in the library), and some scholars talk about "drift", which are strong tendencies, perhaps unconscious, for us to talk a certain way. With the word "mischievious", we see drift which says that fancy adjectives ought to end in -ious, such as

    obvious
    devious
    furious
    curious
    impecunious

    The only other adjective I can think of right now which doesn't have the i is "larcenous."

    I remember hearing a teacher in grade school telling us that the word is "mischievous." I believed her, but I thought it awkward.
    ==========
    Re: impecunious. If I am pecunious, what am I like?


    10 Oct 20 - 10:28 AM (#4074989)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    All those five words are related to another word using 'i' or 'y' -

    obviate
    deviate
    fury
    curiosity
    pecuniary


    10 Oct 20 - 06:28 PM (#4075065)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    Mrzzy.......that extra "i" in aluminium is alive and well, and living in Oz.


    10 Oct 20 - 06:37 PM (#4075068)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oh yeah it is just the Murricans that say aluminum.

    Interestingly enough, the original nomenclature had no I. The Brits changed the spelling to make it be like other elements, but the US uses the original, correct, spelling.


    10 Oct 20 - 09:10 PM (#4075088)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    The Canadians use the US pronunciation, as we have found out on our visits.


    11 Oct 20 - 01:21 AM (#4075098)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    In fact, we Canadians prefer to say that the Americans use the Canadian pronunciation.


    11 Oct 20 - 09:12 AM (#4075121)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Canadians spell Canada with three letters: C eh? N eh? D eh?


    11 Oct 20 - 12:35 PM (#4075131)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok forgot to get asparagus so there I was with my crab, and no crab and asparagus soup on this cold and rainy day. So farmers' market lettuce and tomatoes, crab, half an avocado, a handful of almonds and my vinaigrette made a great salad. But I am still cold, and it is still rainy. Poor Charmion.


    12 Oct 20 - 10:51 AM (#4075251)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Sometimes I think that all contractions should be disallowed for awhile..."

    Er, Ebbie... is that American?


    13 Oct 20 - 06:00 PM (#4075430)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    It's a long-lost cause, but in my book "mayhem" does not mean disorder. It means the crime of depriving someone of the use of a body part.


    13 Oct 20 - 08:14 PM (#4075445)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Canadians spell Canada with three letters: C eh? N eh? D eh?

    Maybe that is why the group is called the BeeGees. When I was learning to read B G would be pronounced 'bugger' ;)


    14 Oct 20 - 12:05 AM (#4075463)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    My Greek Table just said Mykonos has nightlife 24/7. That takes some doing.


    29 Oct 20 - 10:18 AM (#4077255)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Both from cnn this morning:

    Remains of 59 bodies found in clandestine graves in Mexico - how about either 59 bodies, or remains of 59 individuals?

    Newly discovered Triassic lizard could float underwater to pick off prey ... Well, if it is floating, it is not *under*water, now, is it?


    29 Oct 20 - 10:33 AM (#4077257)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Well - the bodies are presumably not complete, so what you've got is what remains of what were once whole bodies, so, the 'remains of the bodies' - but it is awkward wording, because the term 'remains' is generally taken to mean 'all that remains' of that individual who we were chatting with the other day but whose soul has since gone on to Glory, while the body remains here below.


    29 Oct 20 - 10:35 AM (#4077258)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    How about, in reference to a couple, "They/We are pregnant!" I've heard that one a few times lately. I've lived too long.


    29 Oct 20 - 12:44 PM (#4077290)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    I like the "They are pregnant" usage. In a society where thousands of newborns go unacknowledged by their fathers, the usage gives the father credit for being involved with and caring for his child.


    29 Oct 20 - 05:59 PM (#4077346)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    Another (very) long-lost cause: The feeling you have for something you want that somebody else has is *envy*. *Jealousy* is the feeling you have for something you have that might be taken away from you.


    29 Oct 20 - 06:53 PM (#4077356)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Apropos of pregnancy, two expressions that seriously get on me tits are "She fell pregnant" and "She was heavily pregnant".


    30 Oct 20 - 02:39 AM (#4077380)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Towards the end, a pregnancy can feel very heavy if you are the one lugging it around wherever you go.


    30 Oct 20 - 11:40 AM (#4077460)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oh and I am so old I didn't know that Pride is now, apparently, exclusively an LGBTQ word. I feel like some old curmudgeon asking why people are using gay to mean homosexual when they [the curmudgeon] are gay themselves but in the sense of Happy.

    What happened was my undergraduate institution had online Homecoming so I signed for several things including Tufts Pride on opening day which I thought was going to be about pride *in* Tufts but was Pride *at* Tufts... Oh well. Being nonbinary puts me at Q so I was not at the wrong party, I just wasn't at the party I *thought* I was going to. But a good time was had by all.

    Which is an expression I had trouble with in college, when I ran into someone senior year that I had been to a really fun party with freshman year but who had forgotten where we'd met, and I said at Roots and Growth, we had a good time, and he took several shocked steps backwards as I had apparently told him we'd had sex. Which we hadn't.

    Got into trouble in French with Sortir Avec, which I thought meant Go Out With but apparently meant have sex with, so an odd conversation occurred with somebody who had had sex with a Marine in the pool once, but was denying Going Out with them.

    Ah, youth.

    And I'm not even going into my strenuous objections to claiming pride in anything you didn't actually *accomplish* - mom, holocaust survivor, refugee, could be *proud* to be American, it was a personal feat. I on the other hand was *born* American, so proud does not compute. I feel bloody lucky [present times excepted], sure, but never Proud. One cannot imosho claim *pride* in one's skin color, sexual orientation or gender identity, or birthright nationality.

    You *can* be proud of getting out of a closet, though. Applies to atheists too, that last.


    30 Oct 20 - 06:32 PM (#4077513)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    "... changed everything."

    Nothing changes everything.


    31 Oct 20 - 12:29 AM (#4077548)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    All the ramifications too, or rather neither, JoeF.


    31 Oct 20 - 09:13 PM (#4077679)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    "Blockbuster"
    should make people imagine digging corpses out of rubble.


    01 Nov 20 - 10:24 AM (#4077735)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    You're right, Joe. What block is it that blockbusters bust?
    ==============
    Here's a peeve of mine, but it's not actually language. It's when somebody is leaving, and they point a finger at me and lower the thumb as if shooting me with a gun. Fortunately this fad seems to be over, but maybe it's not over. Maybe since I retired I have managed to exclude people like that from my world.

    It was always done by people who live in neighborhoods where a sudden loud noise does not lead to saying "Was that a gunshot?"

    Literary note: I remembered this gesture because it was in a detective novel about Spenser and Hawk.
    ================
    Mrrzy:   Good points. What does imosho mean? Sounds Japanese.


    01 Nov 20 - 10:54 AM (#4077741)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons


    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy
    . . .
    Newly discovered Triassic lizard could float underwater to pick off prey ... Well, if it is floating, it is not *under*water, now, is it?


    Well, actually, they can be 'floating'. It just means that they do not need to regulate the depth of their dive. Floating is being in a state of suspension due to the upthrust of the medium one is in matching the downthrust of ones weight/mass. Or, as our physics teacher had us memorise:
    "When a body is wholly or partially immersed in a liquid or fluid it receives an upthrust equal in force to the mass of liquid or fluid displaced."
    Hope I got that right, it's 50 years ago now, and a quote (in translation) of Archimedes.
    Divers use weighted belts to offset the floatation effect of the sea-water surrounding them.


    01 Nov 20 - 11:23 AM (#4077743)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I think that should be the weight of fluid displaced, Nigel.


    01 Nov 20 - 12:27 PM (#4077753)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Yes, it should, as we're talking forces rather than their components.


    01 Nov 20 - 01:11 PM (#4077761)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    Would IMOSHO be 'in my oh-so humble opinion'?


    01 Nov 20 - 01:30 PM (#4077764)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "In m'humble" does it for me.


    01 Nov 20 - 01:55 PM (#4077767)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Sen got it on the nose.

    On NPR today (NPR!) on a science show (a *science* show!), something was "part and partial" of whatever they were talking about...


    01 Nov 20 - 02:36 PM (#4077772)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    With half an ear on Countryfile this evening, I definitely heard one of the presenters say of some view or location that it "never fails to disappoint".
    I really don't think that was what she meant.


    01 Nov 20 - 05:47 PM (#4077794)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    "Impact"
    saves the trouble of deciding whether to say "affect", "effect", or "influence". An app that would respond to "impact" with "BANG" would automatically make fun of semiliterates.


    02 Nov 20 - 07:43 AM (#4077866)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    So someone is a "semiliterate" for using "impact."

    Fascinating.

    My friend was clerk of the state supreme court for many years. The clerk's job (for those unfamiliar with the judicial system) is, essentially, to study the case, write a decision, and pass the decision on to the judge for approval or revision.

    My friend had to revise just one decision in his career. He frequently uses "impact." And "irregardless," too.

    Does that make him (and others who use these words) semiliterates?

    When I was in high school, we were warned never to use "contact" as a verb, because it meant we were too lazy or tongue-tied to use "call," "phone," write," etc.

    You can see how far that got.


    02 Nov 20 - 10:09 AM (#4077880)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    What happened to the word Widow? I keep wincing at headlines about Sean Connery's, but they all say Wife.


    02 Nov 20 - 11:47 AM (#4077889)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    "Impact"
    saves the trouble of deciding whether to say "affect", "effect",


    Yes, always a difficult choice. A writing guide used in HMRC stated that the correct usage should be easy, as "affect is a verb and effect is a noun".

    Unfortunately that isn't always the case.


    02 Nov 20 - 06:17 PM (#4077935)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: GUEST

    Right, Nigel. Psychologists use affect as a noun to mean emotion.

    Also, I can effect a change.

    What's wrong with contact as a verb when I don't wish to specify the method? If I tell my assistant to contact a vendor, s/he may write, telephone, text, fax, send an e-mail or visit the firm.
    ==========
    It's my own fault, but I can never remember what a meme or a trope is.


    02 Nov 20 - 08:28 PM (#4077957)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    "Incredibly" is no longer just an exaggeration for "surprisingly". It may mean "very" or nothing at all.


    02 Nov 20 - 10:04 PM (#4077970)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Well, if we're going to get into that - how about "awesome"?

    Waitress: Would you like some more coffee?

    Me: Sure.

    Waitress: Awesome!


    03 Nov 20 - 02:33 AM (#4077980)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Gibb Sahib

    "What block is it that blockbusters bust?"

    The block where the movie is screening, where the theatre is located.


    03 Nov 20 - 05:30 AM (#4078009)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    When we visited Perth (the Aussie one) we were tickled by how frequently we heard assistants in shops, cafes, etc., replying to each and every step in the transaction with "no worries!"


    03 Nov 20 - 06:16 AM (#4078018)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    'awesome' - reminds me of the television coverage of the Jubilee celebrations a few years back. I remember thinking "What large crowds, what small vocabularies."
    Almost everyone asked what they thought of it said either "It's amazing" or "It's a once-in-a-lifetime-opper'uni'y."


    03 Nov 20 - 06:39 PM (#4078124)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    There is usually an aisle in a (U.S.) supermarket labeled "International". In fact, most of the offerings in that aisle came from the U.S., and many of the other commodities in the rest of the place were imported. It is stupid to use "international" to mean "foreign", and stupid stupid to use either to mean "ethnic".


    04 Nov 20 - 02:48 PM (#4078232)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    And all those sugary crap things shelved under Nutrition. Shudder.


    05 Nov 20 - 02:21 AM (#4078287)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: The Sandman

    theivery instead of theft, some illiterate republican politician


    05 Nov 20 - 05:20 AM (#4078298)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    There seems to be widespread confusion between 'reticence' and 'reluctance'.


    05 Nov 20 - 03:42 PM (#4078373)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    Steve - "no worries" is an Ozzie-ism that has been around for many years. Back in the day when I was a Sweet Young Thing people - always blokes, women weren't supposed to know such things - would sometimes say "no wucking forries".

    Another dating back a very long time, and still in use today, is "she'll be right". It can also be combined with "no worries" to make the compound phrase "no worries, mate, she'll be right".

    Once again, a bloke thing. Women have their own Womenspeak. There is also Familyspeak.


    05 Nov 20 - 04:09 PM (#4078375)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I've noticed recently that when people are talking about numbers, instead of saying there has been an increase they often say there has been an 'uptick'. Is this because so many statistics these days are bad news?
    A tick is a positive sign so this could be an attempt to make the larger numbers seem less unwelcome.


    05 Nov 20 - 05:41 PM (#4078382)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It was a delight, Jennie, so no worries!


    05 Nov 20 - 07:57 PM (#4078400)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Back in the day, I never heard anyone say, 'Back in the day' - then all of a sudden everyone was saying it - how come?


    06 Nov 20 - 03:46 AM (#4078431)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    A tick is a positive sign - but it puts a different slant on "uptick" if it's the parasitic sort.


    06 Nov 20 - 05:33 AM (#4078444)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bonzo3legs

    Possibly mentioned above, but the inclusion of an aggressive "right" at the end of a sentence is beyond fuckdom!!!!!


    06 Nov 20 - 06:22 AM (#4078453)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    And why use five exclamation marks when one is perfectly sufficient?????


    06 Nov 20 - 10:02 AM (#4078479)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    As Woody Guthrie would say to the question "Why, oh why, oh why, oh why,...why, oh why, oh why?"


    "Because, because, because, because...goodbye, goodbye goodbye."


    06 Nov 20 - 01:37 PM (#4078499)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I keep hearing people saying 'as many ...' without continuing with 'as ...'.
    I heard an example just know in a local television report about an installation consisting of giant soldier figures to represent those who had died fighting in wars.
    Its creator was interviewed, and said he wanted as many people to donate to the poppy appeal. Did he mean as many people as there were giant figures in the display? Or as many as died in the two world wars? He probably meant 'as many as possible', but why not say so?


    07 Nov 20 - 04:49 PM (#4078650)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    . . .said he wanted as many people to donate to the poppy appeal.
    Not having seen the report I can't tell what was intended. But context is everything. If it was preceded by a comment about last year's supporters then the partial sentence makes sense.


    07 Nov 20 - 06:38 PM (#4078670)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    Another long-lost cause: "Both of them were talking with each other." "Both" properly implies "Not just one, but...". Since it is impossible for one to talk with each other, the emphasis of "both" is absurd.


    08 Nov 20 - 03:17 AM (#4078697)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Silly question: "Are they both the same?"
    Silly answer: "No, only one of them is."


    08 Nov 20 - 04:36 AM (#4078703)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    "A crisis situation". A crisis is a crisis. You don't need to add "situation" to elucidate.


    08 Nov 20 - 04:57 AM (#4078706)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Unless it's in a text message, "Thx."


    08 Nov 20 - 05:53 AM (#4078715)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Surely you mean "Tx", you prolix bollix?


    08 Nov 20 - 06:10 AM (#4078718)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yep, and all the other variants. I think it's to do with that letter x at the end, which isn't even a part of the full word. It fills me with angxt. I'll get over it...


    08 Nov 20 - 06:15 AM (#4078720)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Ah cool your jexts.


    08 Nov 20 - 06:18 AM (#4078722)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    How's about "razed to the ground" (terrible) or even "raised to the ground" (very terrible indeed)?


    08 Nov 20 - 06:20 AM (#4078724)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    And even though I'm a damned atheist, I will never write "Xmas."


    08 Nov 20 - 06:22 AM (#4078725)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Or the outrageous "Xtian"...

    Any more xs exes?


    08 Nov 20 - 06:39 AM (#4078727)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    I am a practising Christian, and I've no problems with "Xmas". "X" (chi) was an early symbol used by Christians to identify themselves.
    Xmas has a long history of use.
    "Xtian" however is a neologism which I strongly dislike.


    08 Nov 20 - 07:04 AM (#4078730)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    That may be so, Nigel, but it's a good bet that most people who use "Xmas" use it as a convenient shorthand, or just a lazy one, and are unaware of that Greek origin. As an atheist I have no dog in the fight as to whether it's offensive or not to believers, but a quick google revealed that there are plenty of Christians who find it offensive (try Quora for example). As it takes about 0.568 seconds longer to write the word in full, and as I have many Christian friends, I'll carry on choosing to avoid the short form.


    08 Nov 20 - 09:33 AM (#4078737)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I use X for Xian but $ for $mas.

    Raised to the ground reminds me of Reign in, which should be rein in.


    08 Nov 20 - 09:57 AM (#4078744)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Hmm. Or is that a mute point? Or simply beyond the pail?


    08 Nov 20 - 10:17 AM (#4078752)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Why isn't the opposite of tuition, intuition? Or is it?
    Without established knowledge all we can do is make fuzzy guess.


    08 Nov 20 - 12:16 PM (#4078774)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Ladies! Please! Tow the line!


    08 Nov 20 - 01:16 PM (#4078781)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I must say, this misuse of words is a very interesting phenomena...


    08 Nov 20 - 01:48 PM (#4078785)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Ladies! Please! Tow the line!

    Ladies often please, whether they're towing a line or knot.


    08 Nov 20 - 04:18 PM (#4078807)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Ah, and we come to a linguistic example I love:
    Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.


    08 Nov 20 - 06:02 PM (#4078820)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Tits like coconuts.


    09 Nov 20 - 11:39 AM (#4078912)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Gift = that which has been given, and is thus a noun.

    Ask is a verb. If you have a big favor to ask, it is the favor which is big.


    09 Nov 20 - 12:17 PM (#4078917)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    "in my [or his, her, their, etc.] DNA"
    when used about something that is obviously not in DNA, such as saying of a film director: "Cinema was in his DNA".


    09 Nov 20 - 02:58 PM (#4078939)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Reinhard

    The OED defines gift as a verb too besides the noun and gives as examples:
    P.G. Wodehose: She was gifted with a sort of second sight.
    Daily Telegraph: You can be ... gifted up to £90,000 before you become liable to tax.
    J.C. Lees: The Regent Murray gifted all the Church Property to Lord Sempill.

    A friend from Edinburgh, who is a singer/songwriter and speaks very precise, uses gift as a verb regularly; so I'm quite accustomed to it.


    09 Nov 20 - 04:59 PM (#4078951)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    But those all make the point: "gifted with second sight" is gifted as a verb, yes, but gifted in the sense of having a natural gift, rather than of receiving a birthday present; the other two are gifted as a verb in legal contexts.


    09 Nov 20 - 06:05 PM (#4078958)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I'm afraid that to criticise people who allegedly misuse "gift" is something that is not within my gift.


    11 Nov 20 - 05:29 AM (#4079146)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Have to say I'm fond of a little light verbing now and then.


    11 Nov 20 - 01:43 PM (#4079231)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Never met a noun I couldn't verb.

    PC mealymouthiness is another peeve.


    13 Nov 20 - 02:39 PM (#4079512)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: ripov

    "x times cheaper than"-when what is meant is "1/xth of the cost"


    13 Nov 20 - 08:39 PM (#4079546)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    One that makes me shout at the TV - something is said to be "easy as." Or "cheap as".

    Easy as what? Cheap as what?

    A woman in my quilting group uses it, I suspect it may have come from her grandchildren. It is still irritating.

    Irritating as........


    13 Nov 20 - 09:09 PM (#4079548)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah, I saw that in a headline recently and bristled for both of us.


    13 Nov 20 - 09:50 PM (#4079552)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    Thank you, Mrzzy! Like minds and all that......


    15 Nov 20 - 06:45 AM (#4079694)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Easy as pie. Cheap as chips. Nothing wrong there!


    15 Nov 20 - 09:44 AM (#4079715)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Abandoned Boat Was Found With A Missing Girl For 8 Years
    Boy did that not make sense


    18 Nov 20 - 07:13 AM (#4080047)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    This is one which always makes me cringe: someone asks a question like 'Have you got ...' and the reply comes back 'Yes, I do' (or 'No, I don't'). You hear it all the time. Aaaarrrggghhh!!


    18 Nov 20 - 07:16 AM (#4080048)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    Yesterday we received our paper TV Licence, and the schedule for Direct Debit payments.The wording in the opening paragraph made me fume. It said, "If you have already set up a Direct Debit arrangement then you're done." Eh? What? DONE???? Grrrrrr!!


    18 Nov 20 - 07:22 AM (#4080049)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    When people are introducing two points, instead of listing them as first and second or 'A ... and B...' they often present them as:
    A ... and secondly ...'.


    18 Nov 20 - 09:06 AM (#4080061)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    This is one which always makes me cringe: someone asks a question like 'Have you got ...' and the reply comes back 'Yes, I do' (or 'No, I don't'). You hear it all the time. Aaaarrrggghhh!!

    It is the initial questioner who is at fault for using 'got' in that manner. (unless it means 'have you been to collect . . .?')
    The question could just as easily "Have you . . .?" Such as "Have you chips?". To which the answer would be either: "Yes. I have (chips)", or, if the question was taken as meaning "Do you have ...?" then an answer of "I do" would also be correct.

    In my opinion.


    18 Nov 20 - 09:13 AM (#4080065)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "If you have already set up a Direct Debit arrangement then you're done."

    Well I have some sympathy with organisations that are trying to be a bit less formal by ditching officialese. They do go a bit over the top at times. I've just had some protracted email correspondence (concerning a rather large financial matter - no criminality involved! - which took months to resolve) with a solicitors' firm hundreds of miles away. The person who finally managed to sort it out for me signed off her final email "With kind regards, Imogen." I'm OK with that. In my (separate) dealings with my late mum's affairs, I'm on first-name terms with my solicitor (who I've only ever met once, briefly, twelve years ago). Among several doctors and other medics who have worked on my ailments over the years there's been Adam, Dave, Charlie, Rob and Gretel. There's nothing to say that due deference can't still be afforded simply because we use first names or less formal language in m'humble...


    18 Nov 20 - 09:16 AM (#4080066)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I can't imagine my asking anyone "Have you chips?" I'd be far more likely to say "Give us a bloody chip, you tight arse!"


    18 Nov 20 - 09:36 AM (#4080071)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I'd be more likely to say "Have you any chips?"
    (Assuming I'm not in a chip shop. They would have chips, wouldn't they?)

    Something that makes me uncomfortable is people who write, for example, "See the below list" or "See the below link". When I first came across this in emails I reported them as spam, as they contained what to me was suspect English.
    I don't know why it seems wrong though, as "See the above link" sounds fine, and of course "See the link below" is as good as "See the link above".


    20 Nov 20 - 04:31 AM (#4080304)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Oh God. "Absent" meaning "without". Without is a perfectly good word. "Absent a policy to do yadayada…" No!


    20 Nov 20 - 12:13 PM (#4080355)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Another peeve of mine: 'shout out', as in "Let's give a shout out to John Jones for his generous donation to Children's Hospital."

    I think a kind donation deserves gracious words of thanks, not a shout, as if we were all at a football game.


    21 Nov 20 - 12:52 AM (#4080426)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    From cooking shows: This dish [nobody ever heard of] is a new tradition. You can't know that, ya know.

    This is an authentic recipe. An authentic what recipe? All recipes are authentic *recipes* eh.


    21 Nov 20 - 03:44 AM (#4080438)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Authentic - there are as many authentic recipes for ragù alla bolognese as there are housewives in Bologna.
    Mine, derived from that of the late great and not entirely unlamented Fanny Cradock, isn't one of them.


    21 Nov 20 - 04:59 AM (#4080441)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    My first Bol recipe came from Katharine Whitehorn's "Cooking in a Bedsitter." Anyone else remember that? :-)


    21 Nov 20 - 05:31 AM (#4080442)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I particularly hate people who shout "Come on!" like a bullying PE teacher faced with reluctant children who have no interest in getting a ball into whatever variety of hole or goal the game requires.

    Jamie Oliver does it in nearly all his cookery programmes (at which point I switch off).


    21 Nov 20 - 05:43 AM (#4080444)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bonzo3legs

    Use of the word "chair" for chairman and chairwoman or chairlady - hideous unnecessary neuterisation.


    21 Nov 20 - 07:22 AM (#4080451)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Calling them 'chairholders' would solve that problem.


    21 Nov 20 - 07:31 AM (#4080454)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I have just heard someone on BBC Radio 4 describing financial problems resulting from Covid 19 as "the biggest cause of mental health ...".
    Not "mental illness", or even "mental problems".

    Shouldn't we be encouraging anything that is a cause of mental health?


    21 Nov 20 - 08:18 AM (#4080459)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh, I *like* chair and such as gender-neutral titles. Necessary, I would say. Silly to have to specify genitalia, and hyphen-person is awkward.


    21 Nov 20 - 09:38 AM (#4080466)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    If I'm in a meeting and the person chairing it is a woman, I'm perfectly fine with Chairwoman. Likewise, Chairman if it's a bloke. I'm fine with Chairperson or just Chair in either case. But if we're just talking about meetings in general, we may need something generic. In that circumstance I'm fine with Chair or Chairperson. Shouldn't be saying Chairman if I don't know the gender of the person in the chair or if I know it's a woman. It isn't hard, is it?


    21 Nov 20 - 11:52 AM (#4080478)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    Not a pet peeve, but I heard this on the radio this morning: "If we do that now, it will come back and bite us in the end."


    21 Nov 20 - 01:55 PM (#4080491)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Lol!


    22 Nov 20 - 03:46 AM (#4080553)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    I'm happy with "lady chairman" (and so is the lady chairman of our local Country Dance club).


    22 Nov 20 - 04:50 AM (#4080559)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Here in Bude we have a lady policeman and a lady postman. :-)


    22 Nov 20 - 07:20 AM (#4080570)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    If 'chair' is considered preferable to 'chairman', shouldn't we be using the term 'hu beings' ?

    DC


    22 Nov 20 - 10:20 AM (#4080583)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I have been stymied by humanity in my endeavor to use neutral terms.


    22 Nov 20 - 11:46 AM (#4080595)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    "hupersonity", obviously!

    Back when women in hitherto 'men's jobs' was new, my father referred to their female letter-carrier as 'the femailman' - or 'femaleman' - not sure of the spelling ... !


    22 Nov 20 - 11:57 AM (#4080598)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    In England (probably in other parts of the UK as well) the person who delivers the post isn't called the 'mailman' (or 'mailwoman'). Some people try to call them 'posties' but that sounds Australian.
    If calling the chairman (or woman) the chair is now widely regarded as normal, why not call him/her 'the post'? We do say 'Has the post come yet?'


    23 Nov 20 - 01:22 PM (#4080680)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Another peeve of mine: "categorically" as in "It is categorically untrue that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in 1832."

    Apparently the word is substituted for "absolutely" or "completely", but every time I hear it, I wonder what unstated category the speaker has in mind. It doesn't help that those who use it often sound like they are trying to put over a snowjob.
    ==============
    Re: the mail. In the U.S. we call them letter carriers.


    23 Nov 20 - 05:57 PM (#4080718)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It's VACCine fer chrissake. Not vaccINE!


    23 Nov 20 - 10:06 PM (#4080746)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    Jos: When I was in Scotland in 1959, I received an anonymous valentine whose envelope was inscribed

    Postie, postie, dinna falter.
    This may take me to the altar.

    So "postie" must be Scottish as well.


    24 Nov 20 - 06:20 AM (#4080776)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Elvis's 'Return to Sender' begins 'I gave a letter to the postman ...'.

    So at one time in America the person who both collected and delivered letters was called the 'postman'.

    'Letter carriers' sounds like the homing pigeons that carried messages in wartime.


    24 Nov 20 - 06:44 AM (#4080778)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    We give letters to our postman. It's like that round here.


    24 Nov 20 - 06:54 AM (#4080780)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    "The Postman Always Rings Twice" is a 1946 American film noir based on a 1934 novel of the same name, by an American author James M Cain.

    DC


    24 Nov 20 - 10:55 AM (#4080803)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    VaccINE.


    24 Nov 20 - 11:49 AM (#4080808)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    VACCine - Edward Jenner was English. He invented it, so the English pronunciation is correct.
    Here's a little BBC film about it.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p015gmdn


    And while we're about it, it's conTRIBute, not CONtribUTE, and disTRIBute, not DIStribUTE.


    24 Nov 20 - 12:46 PM (#4080815)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well I'm pretty tolerant when it comes to variations in pronunciation, but vaccINE seems to have caught on like an infection. Until the last couple of weeks I have never heard that pronunciation in this country (and I am 69...). A few of our telly commentators, after hearing reports from the US, have slipped into saying it then corrected themselves. I regard vaccINE as a horror no less vile than albeit, prior to and on a daily basis. It's just wrong. It comes from the Latin word for cow, vacca, fer chrissake.


    24 Nov 20 - 12:47 PM (#4080816)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    "He invented it, so the English pronunciation is correct." Thanks for my morning chuckle.


    24 Nov 20 - 12:54 PM (#4080820)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yeah, and the French invented champagne, and we in Europe respect that and refrain from calling our sparkling wines champagne. Not so in America, eh? If vaccination was invented here and we've been saying VACCine for 200 years, well just behave yourselves and talk proper!


    24 Nov 20 - 05:00 PM (#4080839)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ford has ordered freezers to vaccinate their employees. Took me a while to place that missing comma!


    24 Nov 20 - 06:29 PM (#4080848)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Would that be vaccINate? :-)


    24 Nov 20 - 11:57 PM (#4080882)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    about six months ago, the DH and I got interested in a British TV show about archeology. The name of the show is Time Team, and although it's been off the air a long time, we still enjoy it.

    Watching the show has cause me to hear many different pronunciations between English English and American English. It's a funny thing, because the books I read about English don't mention them.

    It's late at night and I'm tired, so I'm not going to try to list them. Nonetheless, there are so many of them that railing against them is like telling the waves not to come in.

    We do smile at all the extra r's in the British speech:

    arear
    Carenzer (Carenza)
    dramer (drama)

    We think they're cute.


    25 Nov 20 - 04:19 AM (#4080893)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Leeneia, you'll find many (slightly) different pronunciations across England, mainly between North & South although there are other regional accents. There are also local dialects like Geordie or Black Country, quite unintelligible to an outsider if the speaker so chooses.

    Steve, I seem to remember that "champagne" was once a generic term for sparkling wine. However, that changed when we joined the Common Market.


    25 Nov 20 - 06:01 AM (#4080901)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Champagne is not a generic term for sparkling wine. Champagne is a fairly small region of France north-east of Paris. It has a particular climate and terroir and there are strict regulations as to its sparkling wine production methods. The wine we call champagne has been produced there for centuries (for long before there was a USA). The Champagne region has long battled to preserve its name for its sparkling wine, and most countries in the world, including China, Brazil and the EU countries, all abide by the legal requirement to not call any wine not from that region champagne. Some winemakers in the US persist, via a loophole in the law, to dishonestly use the word champagne on their labels. If you call a wine Rioja, it has to come from that part of north-east Spain. Likewise, Napa Valley, Porto, Chianti Classico, among many others. We can't call a cheese Stilton unless it comes from a very restricted area of the English Midlands, and it has to be made a certain way. You can't call a pork pie a Melton Mowbray pie unless that's where it comes from. Prosecco has to come from the Veneto in northern Italy, from nowhere else. Routinely, these are not just place names but also reflect strict rules with regard to local and often highly traditional production methods. By any measure you look at this, the regulations are entirely moral. Of course, we've lost a few battles, Cheddar for example, though some of us, me included, will not buy any cheese calling itself "Cheddar" unless it comes from that small part of the Westcountry (wot pfr calls Scrumpyshire). I've just sampled a superb cheese from south-east England called Sussex Charmer, in every regard very like a superior cheddar, but it refrains from using that word on its label. Let's hang on to and celebrate regionality, say I!


    25 Nov 20 - 06:20 AM (#4080903)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Democrats are rhetorical wimps. Republicans can demonize the conceptual name ANTIFA but Democrats can not bring themselves to call the gun toting white supremacists PRO FASCISTS.


    25 Nov 20 - 06:23 AM (#4080904)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    As for Cheddar, we have at least got legal protection for the term West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, thus:

    "Cheese can only be called ‘West Country Farmhouse Cheddar’ if:

    It is made using milk from local herds reared and milked in the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon or Cornwall. This ensures that the cheese has a particular texture and flavour.

    It contains no colouring, no flavouring and no preservatives.

    It is made in these four counties to traditional methods. These methods include the cheese being made by hand and the unique process known as ‘cheddaring’.

    It is made and matured on the farm and aged for at least 9 months. Authentic Farmhouse Cheddar doesn’t leave the farm from the moment the milk arrives from the parlour until it’s ready to cut and pack. This means the Cheddar remains in the care of the farmer who can ensure that it is produced and stored to the very highest standards required of a premium cheese."


    25 Nov 20 - 08:33 AM (#4080915)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    There were objections some years back concerning 'elderflower champagne', which is usually made by people in their own homes for their own use, using bunches of elderflowers, water, sugar and lemon juice. Problems arose when someone produced it commercially and in 1993 large champagne houses took the case to court, but failed. This report is from The Independent:

    "Although a product sold as 'elderflower champagne' constitutes a misrepresentation in that it indicates that it contains 'champagne' and is likely to deceive a small section of the public, it is unlikely that the champagne houses' reputation and valuable goodwill in the name champagne will be substantially affected by the small-scale sale of elderflower champagne. Since there was no likelihood of substantial damage to the champagne houses' business, reputation or goodwill, the champagne houses' passing off claim failed.

    Sir Mervyn Davies dismissed the plaintiffs' passing off claim for damages and an injunction to restrain the defendants from selling elderflower champagne."


    25 Nov 20 - 09:21 AM (#4080918)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Well I take the point about its not being especially harmful to Champagne's reputation, and I admit to having made it meself and called it elderflower champagne, I do have to ask meself though why that company decided to be so provocative. Sparkling elderflower wine does it for me.

    One elderflower bush in eight produces flowers that smell of cat's piss, so beware...

    I'd generally rather drink a sparkler that's cheaper than champagne myself (something very nice with Parma ham, a little drizzle of aceto balsamico di Modena and a nibble of parmigiana reggiano - there I go again!). Some are a third the price and much better value. There are some lovely vintage cavas around, and we've been enjoying a bottle or two of the new-fangled rosé Prosecco from the Cantine Maschio (£6.50 at Morrison's). Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. It's a lovely drop!


    25 Nov 20 - 09:45 AM (#4080920)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Even the French winemakers outside the Champagne region don't call their fizz champagne. They make wines they call "crémants," made in exactly the same way and with similar strict regulation. They are much cheaper and some can be pretty good, as good as champers in m'humble.


    25 Nov 20 - 10:12 AM (#4080921)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I thought the commercial elderflower champagne makers could have simply called it 'Elderflower Shampagne', and the rest of us usually don't have a reason to write it down anyway so everybody would have been happy.

    PS If you look for recipes on the internet you will find some that tell you to add yeast. You don't need to - there are natural yeasts on the flowers.


    25 Nov 20 - 05:25 PM (#4080943)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I was watching a documentary on the horrors of some island during some war where one side had prisoners-of-war whom they hunted, for sport and for dinner. I kept cracking up because the British [English?] narrator pronounced CANnibalism caNIBBLEism.
    Like, they ate them daintily, with pinkies sticking out. And tea and crumpets.


    25 Nov 20 - 07:13 PM (#4080955)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    You will never hear that pronunciation here.


    25 Nov 20 - 08:09 PM (#4080962)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Or here.


    25 Nov 20 - 08:41 PM (#4080967)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: LilyFestre

    My clients often talk about their "baby daddy."

    It. Makes. Me. CRAZY.

    Michelle


    26 Nov 20 - 05:31 AM (#4081000)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    And that reminds me of that inane bit in She's Leaving Home:

    "She breaks down and cries to her husband
    Daddy our baby's gone..."


    26 Nov 20 - 06:08 AM (#4081006)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I don't think I have EVER heard "caNIBBLEism". It's the sort of thing you sometimes hear from people whose first language isn't English.

    Leeneia, have you ever heard a Bristol accent - I think you'd love it.


    26 Nov 20 - 06:20 AM (#4081007)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I think "baby daddy" is really a pronunciation of "baby's daddy". It doesn't bother me.

    What I really hate is cat or dog owners being referred to as the animal's mummy or daddy - yuck.


    26 Nov 20 - 06:42 AM (#4081011)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    Doesn't baby daddy suggest a father who's absent and flaky?


    26 Nov 20 - 07:21 AM (#4081015)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    "Doesn't baby daddy suggest a father who's absent and flaky?"

    Not necessarily. It's just that that is often the case.
    But he could just be living elsewhere but keeping in touch and being supportive.


    26 Nov 20 - 12:38 PM (#4081054)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Jos, I'm with you on the pets. I am my cat's owner, not her mother.


    26 Nov 20 - 01:06 PM (#4081058)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    When I had cats I thought of them as friends, rather than possessions.


    26 Nov 20 - 03:02 PM (#4081072)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.


    26 Nov 20 - 03:26 PM (#4081074)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Fur-weather friends, Jos? :-)


    26 Nov 20 - 04:55 PM (#4081081)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok, this from Newsweek:

    Child Dragged From House As California Highway Patrol Evicts Families From Vacant Homes

    Um, if they are vacant, nobody can be dragged out of them, child or no, as nobody is *in* them.


    26 Nov 20 - 05:08 PM (#4081083)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Boy trapped in refrigerator eats own foot


    27 Nov 20 - 04:12 AM (#4081110)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Thompson

    "Hailed" used without "as", for instance "He was hailed a hero". Makes me crill.


    27 Nov 20 - 04:33 AM (#4081113)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I've heard of 'krill' but I don't suppose you mean you are a tiny sea creature.
    Maybe 'crill' should be added to the 'New words / usage' thread.


    29 Nov 20 - 10:19 AM (#4081305)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I keep hearing, for example, "If I [or you, they, etc.] had done something ..." replaced by "If I'd 've done something ...", "If you'd 've done something ...".
    It was used on the radio this lunchtime when a professor, who was talking about how the virus would look in a few months' time, included the phrase "if we'd 've been a bit more careful in December ...".
    Did he think he was saying "if we had have been ..." (or "if we had of been", even)?
    Or was he saying "if we would have been ..." (or "if we would of been")?

    Or do the people who use this expression not think at all?


    29 Nov 20 - 12:08 PM (#4081315)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    The 'proper' phrasing would be, I suppose, "if we were to have done ... ", but "if we'd've done" ("if we had have done ... " or "if we would have done ... ") strikes me as acceptable colloquial English, even for academics. YMMV.


    29 Nov 20 - 01:30 PM (#4081322)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    If the professor has been researching Covid, he may be absolutely exhausted and can be forgiven a lapse in diction, perhaps a reversion to his childhood speech. There's no reason to accuse him of not thinking.

    I believe a simple "If we had taken precautions in December..." would convey what he meant.


    29 Nov 20 - 02:11 PM (#4081327)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    The problem isn't whether he said "If we had taken precautions" or "If we had been a bit more careful" - it's whether he said "If we had taken precautions ..." (I'm happy with that), or "If we'd've taken precautions ..." (which is not the English I learned many years ago).

    Strangely, that construction sounds OK to me in French or Spanish.
    English: "If I had done ..." (good), "If I would have done ..." (not so good), but it seems OK translated as: "Si j'aurais fait ..." and "Si hubiera hecho ...".

    Did it come in with the Common Market, perhaps?


    29 Nov 20 - 03:16 PM (#4081330)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    It shouldn'ta oughto've...


    02 Dec 20 - 08:40 AM (#4081642)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    INCREDIBLE
    It means impossible to believe.
    I have always felt the word is mostly misused.


    02 Dec 20 - 09:07 AM (#4081647)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    "set to"

    It's everywhere:

    Debenhams stores are set to close ...
    The covid19 vaccine is set to be rolled out ...
    The queen is set to spend Christmas at Windsor ...

    It makes me think of a long row of up-ended dominoes, all set up and waiting for somebody to give the one at the end a push.


    02 Dec 20 - 11:05 AM (#4081668)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh unpeeve... NPR just said And Trump lied and said x instead of Trump claimed x without evidence. Good on NPR.

    Meanwhile WashPo is touting recipes for potato latkes. How about fried potato latkes, eh.


    03 Dec 20 - 09:01 AM (#4081770)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: ripov

    "play sport"
    play football, yes
    play baseball, yes,
    but play sport, no,
    you can sport(and play)on Flora's holiday
    historically sport refers to amusement, or entertainment in the song            Wednesbury Cocking (I think Wednesbury is correct,it's in th right area but I've never heard of Wedgebury)in th DT)it refers to placing bets, a very healthy pastime


    03 Dec 20 - 04:22 PM (#4081812)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    What does one do with sports if not play them? Or is it ok in plural?


    03 Dec 20 - 07:06 PM (#4081834)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    In my day, you "played" specific sports, like baseball, but you "participated" or "took part in" sports generally.

    I first noticed teens talking about "playing sports" in the late '70s.


    03 Dec 20 - 11:32 PM (#4081851)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Alot of people are saying they are peeved bout the way I talk I talk lika stable gene yus I talk like bing bing bong bong and they complain they complain about cohesion coherent sea and comprehenchmen but you understand zackly what I'm sayin I tell ya it drives them crazy cuz you unerstand what I'm sayin. See you get it. Those fake news light wait journalists don't getit but you do.


    04 Dec 20 - 06:12 AM (#4081873)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I try to TYPE decent English on this board. I review what I've typed in the hope that any errors or absurdities that get through are solely down to the fact that I mislaid my reading specs or down to an undetected bit of "assistance" from predictive text or spellchecker. I'm not bothered about anyone else's foe passes :-) as long as they don't challenge mine. Spoken word is not the same. We shouldn't be quick to pick up on what people say off the cuff. Let's celebrate colour in the way people express themselves informally. Let's cringe and delight in equal measure, preferably silently...


    04 Dec 20 - 06:31 AM (#4081876)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Steve writes from the throne, Trump talks from a barstool and can't write.


    04 Dec 20 - 06:46 AM (#4081879)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    People who write ex cathedra don't have to be careful. Bragging that I take some care isn't bragging at all.


    04 Dec 20 - 11:21 AM (#4081914)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "Let's celebrate colour in the way people express themselves informally."

    That's a beautiful thought, Steve. Good for you.


    04 Dec 20 - 01:38 PM (#4081928)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Its the difference between being on the A list or the B list on the talk circuit. When the highest executive in the world is incapable of formal speech it is pathetic. Trump jibberish proved untranslatable into Japanese. Japan has a fairly formal culture.

    My Asian friend makes himslf understood despite some very strong accents. But I know I am missing up to half of what he is saying. I think it is likely he's missing half what I say.
    1/2+1/2=1 understanding


    04 Dec 20 - 01:41 PM (#4081930)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Foe, snicker...


    04 Dec 20 - 10:37 PM (#4081964)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Not a *pet* peeve as I never saw it before, but how can a *movie* have a guest star?


    05 Dec 20 - 04:20 AM (#4081973)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    ......how can a *movie* have a guest star?

    Perhaps when it is part of a series - "The Movie"; "Return of the Movie"; "Movie III, the Next Generation" - with a regular cast. The guest star would be someone well known, but not for that genre, who joins them for one film.

    DC


    05 Dec 20 - 09:26 AM (#4081997)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I keep coming across people using 'whereby' when they mean 'where'.


    05 Dec 20 - 09:38 AM (#4081998)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    If they say "whereby" just butt in quickly and say "Tesco..."


    05 Dec 20 - 10:22 AM (#4082004)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Good idea, but I gave up Tesco a while ago. They kept overcharging me and refusing to honour their policy of refunding double when a customer is overcharged.

    But I have an Aldi on one side of the road and a Lidl just opposite it on the other side. Maybe I'll pick one of those.


    05 Dec 20 - 11:50 AM (#4082013)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    One that's become prevalent, in North America, at least: "on behalf of" meaning "on the part of"; e.g., "there was a great deal of nonsense on behalf of Giuliani" meaning "there was a great of nonsense on the part of Giuliani [on behalf of someone else]".


    05 Dec 20 - 01:26 PM (#4082030)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    "Begs the question." I looked it up.
    ==========
    Begging the question means "to elicit a specific question as a reaction or response," and can often be replaced with "a question that begs to be answered." However, a lesser used and more formal definition is "to ignore a question under the assumption it has already been answered." The phrase itself comes from a translation of an Aristotelian phrase rendered as "beg the question" but meaning "assume the conclusion."
    ===========
    Hmm. All this time I thought "beg the question" meant "ignore the question." Now I see that the phrase means so many different things that from now on I intend not to use it.


    Meself, whatever people are saying, "on behalf of" means for the benefit of, or in the place of.


    05 Dec 20 - 01:56 PM (#4082031)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Doug Chadwick no, it was just a movie. Weird, eh?


    05 Dec 20 - 03:59 PM (#4082049)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Begging the question in its original meaning refers to a circular argument, one in which the conclusion is assumed to be true even before the question is asked, thus: "God exists because it says so in the Bible. And the Bible is the word of God." Petitio principii, an informal logical fallacy. Unfortunately, you'll raise an eyebrow these days if you use the expression in that way. Today, most people use it pretentiously to mean raising the question, to the extent that this degraded usage is now standard English. A battle lost.


    05 Dec 20 - 04:08 PM (#4082051)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    "Meself, whatever people are saying, "on behalf of" means for the benefit of, or in the place of." ... um .... Why are you telling me that? Was there something I said that led you to believe I was unaware of that?


    05 Dec 20 - 05:17 PM (#4082068)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I'm still a lone voice fighting the 'begging the question' battle.


    05 Dec 20 - 07:38 PM (#4082080)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I still fight that one, Jos. Not because I think I can win it back, but because the people who use it when they mean "raise the question" are just pretentious and pig ignorant! !


    06 Dec 20 - 04:40 AM (#4082109)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    .....how can a *movie* have a guest star?

    Could it be someone who is well known but contracted to a different studio. A commercial arrangement may have been made for this production only?

    DC


    06 Dec 20 - 10:34 AM (#4082147)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    "Beg the question" as I have heard it means that one question, or answer, immediately raises another which should (possibly) have been dealt with first.
    This is the same (prime) meaning which the online Cambridge dictionary gives:

    beg the question

    If a statement or situation begs the question, it causes you to ask a particular question:
    Spending the summer travelling around India is a great idea, but it does beg the question of how we can afford it.
    To discuss the company's future begs the question of whether it has a future.

    It also gives a secondary meaning:
    to talk about something as if it were true, even though it may not be

    So although comments about "talking about something as if it were true" may describe the situation in which someone then uses the phrase, the person using the phrase is pointing out that there is an underlying question which also needs to be answered.


    06 Dec 20 - 12:43 PM (#4082160)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    The second of your meanings is closer to the original meaning. Begging the question in that sense involves unjustifiably claiming, via faulty, circular reasoning, that the conclusion is true (though, of course, it may well be). The first of your meanings is a modern, regrettable, phenomenon. It could be that "beg the question" comes from "beggar the question," which means to render the question pointless as the conclusion (the answer to the question) has already been assumed via faulty reasoning to be true.


    06 Dec 20 - 02:35 PM (#4082171)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    When the meaning of a term becomes seriously muddied in common parlance, I stop using it. 'Begs the question' is such a term. 'Comprise' is another. English is so rich and adaptable that we don't have to use unclear language.


    06 Dec 20 - 02:42 PM (#4082173)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Steve:
    It could be that "beg the question" comes from "beggar the question,"
    If the origin of the phrase is uncertain, it could just as easily come from "begets the question" which would agree with the first meaning I gave.


    06 Dec 20 - 02:46 PM (#4082176)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    As I said, your first meaning is modern.


    06 Dec 20 - 03:34 PM (#4082180)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Nowadays to "beg the question" almost exclusively means to "unintentionally raise a question that should be answered."

    At least on *all* American cable and broadcast news networks, including NPR.

    Daily.


    06 Dec 20 - 04:03 PM (#4082181)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I wouldn't necessarily regard cable and broadcast networks, in America or elsewhere, as reliable authorities on the use of the English language.


    06 Dec 20 - 04:57 PM (#4082184)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    He's merely reflecting modern usage, Jos (though I dunno what "unintentionally" is supposed to mean, and he's got hold of the wrong end of the stick in any case).

    Here's unpretentious: "Arsenal's recent poor form raises the question as to whether they should strengthen their attack."

    Here's pretentious: "Arsenal's recent poor form begs the question as to whether they should strengthen their attack."

    Now why would any rational person use the latter construction? It's right up there with saying "albeit" instead of "though" or "prior to" instead of "before." Frankly, such things are not big and they're not clever...


    06 Dec 20 - 06:42 PM (#4082196)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > reliable authorities on the use of the English language.

    And who is that authority, pray tell?


    06 Dec 20 - 09:23 PM (#4082202)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Generally speaking, authorities on the English language are self-appointed. The best authority is wot people actually say or write. That isn't to say that there aren't many ignoramuses. English is an amazingly unfettered language both in writing and, more especially, in speech. We should celebrate that. However, and this is very much my personal view, we should always be vigilant in never allowing degradation of nuance to pass. There really IS a useful difference between disinterested and uninterested, and we should fight to maintain that difference. Alternate and alternative are not words that can be used interchangeably. It's VACCine, never vaccINE. Stuff like that. There's definitely a fight to be had, but not against misuse of apostrophes or typos or dodgy spelling. It's usually against pretentiousness or jargonistic bullshit. .


    06 Dec 20 - 09:41 PM (#4082204)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Another new one, from a letter to wjat I have read are called agony aunts, which is superb:
    [Embedded in a litany of complaints] ...he had granchildren out of wedlock...


    07 Dec 20 - 07:49 AM (#4082231)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    Gridlock. Will people, especially young journalists on TV and radio, please stop using 'gridlock' to mean any old traffic congestion. It has a very specific meaning. I heard recently that the M4 was supposedly gridlocked. How can a 100-mile long straight line motorway be gridlocked?


    07 Dec 20 - 08:30 AM (#4082239)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    There are incomprehensible signs in DC that say Don't Block The Box that I think refer to actual gridlock.


    07 Dec 20 - 09:01 AM (#4082243)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    The best authority is wot people actually say or write

    That would be OK if it was said as it was written. Unfortunately what is often said is "The best authori'y is wo' people actually say or wri'e"

    If it was limited to teenagers chatting informally with their friends then I could ignore it but my 35 year old, well educated daughter seems to use only 25 letters of the alphabet in coversation. It can be heard more and more from TV continuity announcers. I find it most annoying.

    DC


    07 Dec 20 - 09:07 AM (#4082244)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I would have expected "Don't Block The Box" to mean "Don't censor television".


    07 Dec 20 - 09:16 AM (#4082245)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    The BBC used to have a Pronunciation Unit that ensured that news readers knew how to pronounce things like foreign words and names correctly.
    I knew things had gone wrong when announcers were struggling to say MaastrICKT instead of MAAstricht.
    Then it occurred to me that they had been instructed to say '...icht' (with the ch as in loch) rather than '...ickt', and had misinterpreted the instruction as referring to the stress instead of the consonants.


    07 Dec 20 - 09:39 AM (#4082248)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > please stop using 'gridlock' to mean any old traffic congestion.

    Hyperbole. The Greeks used it.


    07 Dec 20 - 09:49 AM (#4082252)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    In the '50s, one said "HiroSHEEma" and "CaribBEan."

    Then everyone switched to "HiROshima" and "CaRIBbean."

    Later they switched back.

    Albany, N.Y., is "AWLbunee."

    Albany, Ga., is "ALbunee."

    The Arkansas River is the "ARkinsaw" in Arkansas.

    In Kansas and Colorado it's "ArKANziss."

    Mildly diverting.


    07 Dec 20 - 11:01 AM (#4082260)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    "Then everyone switched to "HiROshima" and "CaRIBbean."

    I assume you are talking about "everyone" where you live.
    Where I live, or at least among the people I live with, "HiROshima" and "CaribBEan" have remained unchanged, along with the "HimaLAYas" rather than the "HimAHHlias".


    07 Dec 20 - 12:00 PM (#4082266)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I am old and pronounce things in English when speaking English. I say noter daym not notra dahm when referring to the Parisian cathedral. I pronounce it in French when speaking French. And so on.


    07 Dec 20 - 05:49 PM (#4082303)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    I forgot "HimaLAYaz" switching to "HimALyuz" and back again.

    By "everyone," I mean seemingly everyone who had or has occasion to use these words in public fora in the U.S. But maybe the flip-flop is just confirmation bias, and all these pronunciations have long coexisted.

    I've never changed. I have bigger things to worry about than how other people pronounce a few words.

    As long as I know what they're talking about, I'm fine.

    If I don't, I ask.


    07 Dec 20 - 08:41 PM (#4082341)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    But you just said fora, Lighter. Fer chrissake, it's forums, and you know it...


    08 Dec 20 - 02:26 AM (#4082370)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Gibb Sahib

    "HimALyuz" is the proper South Asian (Hindi etc.) pronunciation / the pronunciation of the people who live near/in Himal(a)ya, so perhaps people are starting to actually listen to how foreign words are said, rather than looking at a spelling in Roman character and making it up.

    (The first "a" is long and like in "father," the second is a short schwa, like in "about." There being no schwa symbol in the standard Latin alphabet, both, very different vowels have been doomed to be represented with "a," or else the latter is written with "u" [cf. "Punjab"] and causes other problems. None of these vowels are foreign to English, however, so it's just a matter of spelling, and pronouncing from spelling without listening, that screws things up. No language training, just listening is all it takes.)

    My peeve is the spellings of familiar Cantonese items like the foods haa gaau ?? (shrimp dumpling) and caa siu ?? (BBQ pork). A casual "phonetic" rendering might give "ha gow" and "cha siu."

    But more often than not one sees "har gow" and "char siu." I assume the British in Hong Kong / Canton stuck an "r" in there -- though there is no R sound in the Cantonese language -- as one of those "silent Rs."

    But if so, being a foreign word, why add it at all? What do Britons with a non-rhotic accent get out of "har" rather than "ha" or "haa"? And, as a result, everyone else in the world seeing the words in Roman character has now to assume there is some functional R in there, and we sound ridiculous ordering dim sam saying "harrr gow" etc.!

    See also "Burma" / "Myanmar."

    It's a wonder we don't spell India as "Indier"...


    08 Dec 20 - 06:15 AM (#4082393)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Fair enough. But I don't think calling Paris 'Paree' will catch on for a while. At least not while speaking English, even though Lyon has taken over from 'Lyons'.
    And I am not expecting the French to stop calling London 'Londres' any time soon.
    I should add that I have no problem with 'Londres'.

    And what of all those Flemish towns with two spellings and pronunciations, such as Bruges/Brugge?


    08 Dec 20 - 08:01 AM (#4082404)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Both are acceptable according to Merriam-Webster (US) and Collins (UK), but I knew "fora" would drive at least one person krazy.


    08 Dec 20 - 08:40 AM (#4082414)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    "Gay Paree" was a cliche' back in the days when "gay" was expected to have its earlier meaning.

    Dallas Morning News (DEc. 7, 1885), . 3:

    "If you seek that Gay Paree,
    Board that ship upon the sea."


    Oregonian (Portland) (Sep. 10, 1998), p.54:

    "The...gleaming gay Paree of the 1930s."


    08 Dec 20 - 09:25 AM (#4082428)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Belgium spells in Flemish and French, and they are different. No problems there.

    Also to my mind there is no incorrect spelling when rendering foreign words from other writing systems into English or French. So Qadafi quadaffi ghadaffi arguments... irrelevant when the "correct" spelling us squiggle dot backwards anyway.

    And if there is no correct *spelling* as the original language is pictographic anyway I worry even less. The whole point of a pictophraphic writing system is that it is divorced from pronunciation. That is why for Chinese, for instance, no matter what language you *speak* - Cantonese, Mandarin - you all *write* the different words for, say, dog chien Hunt kutya, the same. Mutually incomprehensible *spoken* languages share the same *written* language. Arguing about how to write all those pronunciations in English is, to me, well, silly.


    08 Dec 20 - 09:26 AM (#4082429)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Raedwulf

    I am old and pronounce things in English when speaking English.

    You do? I've already been corrected for getting your gender wrong, don't tell me you're English as well? I thought you were a Yank!* ;-)







    * In which case, you don't speak English. So there! ;-)


    08 Dec 20 - 11:50 AM (#4082457)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Hi, Gibb.

    A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh (1926):

    "He's Winnie-ther-Pooh. Don't you know what 'ther' means?"


    08 Dec 20 - 12:41 PM (#4082466)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    How much time of our lifespan should we devote to learning the 'correct' native pronunciation of every foreign word we might find ourselves inclined or required to utter? You know, my parents had a lot on their plates - I can't fault them for neglecting to learn and pass on the 'correct' pronunciation of 'Himalayas' ....


    08 Dec 20 - 01:16 PM (#4082473)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Snicker, Raedwulf.

    I wish the people reporting on those weird metal structures put together of several parts would stop referring to them as monoliths. They are not unitary, nor are they stone.

    I wish BBC would stop calling the new vaccine Completely Tested.

    And I am not sure it would be nice if the dialects of English spoken around the world were called something other than English. Unification > division.


    08 Dec 20 - 07:36 PM (#4082518)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I am old and pronounce things in English when speaking English.

    One area of Grimsby, England, is written, for the most part, as Scartho but it is carved in stone on the church hall as Scarthoe. Some people living in the area call it "Scartho" while the rest call it "Scather". As most of these people are English, who would you suggest is right and who is wrong?

    DC


    08 Dec 20 - 09:29 PM (#4082522)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    The locals.


    09 Dec 20 - 01:56 AM (#4082541)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Gibb Sahib

    Wow, some people thought I was prescribing how you should say things? huh?

    I made two points.
    1) It was pointed out that some people seem to be pronouncing "Himalayas" in (as I read it to be implied) either an odd or incorrect way. I pointed out that that is in fact the proper way. The point is, therefore, that one might accept that way as equally good as how *you* pronounce it. And I opine that maybe more people are catching on to the correct way, as general knowledge proliferates — as, for example, English speakers at the home office come into direct contact with the colonial, not just see their words written. Not that the correct native way is how you must pronounce it, and certainly not to imply some grander recommendation that you must endeavor to pronounce all foreign words as they are in the foreign language. Sheesh.

    2) The Cantonese example, a peeve (isn't that what this thread is about, peeves?), is that the Britishers needlessly rendered an English spelling that isn't helpful at all, including *to English speakers.* A simple English phonetic rendering of "ha," "haa", or "hah" would have sufficed for the Cantonese word for "shrimp" (for example). Yet we've ended up with "har". It's just silly and misleading. Whom does this spelling help to pronounce the word? (I ask this not rhetorically, but as a sincere question.) It's a peeve and a curiosity. Again, not a prescription for ordinary people to be super linguists with the mastery or the orthography of every language.

    Differences will exist. Accidental butchering happens. Yeah, no big deal. It hurts no one, however, to attempt to butcher less -- or rather, no one gains by butchering more. If you were pronouncing Paris as "Pariz" and someone one told you, "Dude, actually it's Paris," I should think you'd say "OK, cool, I'll try that!" Or, 'hmm, interesting. I wonder where I got Pariz from." Rather than "Oh well how can you expect me to be perfect? And how dare you question my Englishman's right to pronounce however I feel like!" Just take the info, move on, and next time you're with Indians or ordering at a Chinese restaurant you might just find people appreciate your knowledge. And don't worry, your English friends won't think you're a pretentious homosexual or less of a true blue Englishman for "kowtowing" to bloody foreigners ;)


    09 Dec 20 - 03:07 AM (#4082549)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    Currently, on Zo-Bo’s Breakfast Show, followed by Ken Bruce’s show (BBC Radio 2) I’m being driven nuts by some twerp called Richie Anderson, who does the travel announcements, pronouncing ‘st’ with an ‘h’ - so, ‘street’ becomes ‘shtreet’, ‘student’ is pronounced ‘shtudent’, etc. This sloppiness seems to be a creeping affectation amongst BBC presenters.

    But good old Richie’s Coup de Grâce (that’s ‘coo der grass’, Mrrzy, not ‘coop di grayce’) is to pronounce ‘bus’ as ‘buzz’ - so “The 08:37 train from Lincoln Central to Sheffield is cancelled and has been replaced by a buzz service”.


    09 Dec 20 - 06:48 AM (#4082565)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Buzz" is what we called a bus in Radcliffe in my childhood. Any other pronunciation would have had you branded a posh snob. If you didn't want to get the Ribble buzz to Blackpool you could always go on Mills and Seddon's sharrer...


    09 Dec 20 - 06:49 AM (#4082566)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Isn't the 'buzz' for 'bus' and 'uzz' for 'us' just a Midlands accent?


    09 Dec 20 - 06:58 AM (#4082568)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    My favourite TV/radio announcer sloppinesses are "deteriate," "priminister" and "seckertry." Many years ago, when Sir Francis Chichester was doing his round-the-world stuff, we often smirked when the plummy-voiced newsreaders of the time regaled us with "S'Frornsus Chishhter..."


    09 Dec 20 - 07:01 AM (#4082569)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Now just watch yerself there, Jos. I will NOT be called a Midlander. That would be as grievous as calling me a Y*rkshireman...


    09 Dec 20 - 07:08 AM (#4082571)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I do apologise, Steve.
    (But I think maybe they do it in the Midlands as well.)

    As for your favourite sloppinesses, I rather like "plittickle snario".


    09 Dec 20 - 07:26 AM (#4082572)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    ...and my old (Texan) boss, when I worked for a Houston TX -based company, used to amuse me when he asked me to review a set of accounts and investigate s’nificant movements and differences.

    He also used to refer to my company car, a Peugeot, as a ‘Pew-go’. :-)


    09 Dec 20 - 07:26 AM (#4082573)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    We got people in Detroit and Chicago that almost say "black" for "block" and "boss" for "bus."

    Scary, right?


    09 Dec 20 - 09:15 AM (#4082594)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Heheh, I like that one, Jos. And apology accepted!

    Personally, I have to hand a big box of ping pong balls ready to chuck at the telly every time I hear a politician say "...going forward." And what about yanks who end a sentence with "...if you will"? I mean, how bloody daft is that! And doesn't Boris get on yer tits every time he describes something that is, at best, a mild positive as "fantastic"?


    09 Dec 20 - 11:19 AM (#4082617)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > "...going forward."

    I give in. This drives me nuts too.

    Whenever possible, they used to say "at this point in time" instead of "right now." After a while it mostly went away.

    A long, long while.

    But these are problems of tedious excess, not of novelty or pronunciation.


    09 Dec 20 - 11:41 AM (#4082618)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    “At that price-point”. Aaaarrrrrrrggghhh! At that price! :-(


    09 Dec 20 - 12:05 PM (#4082621)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    I suppose there was a time when - I mean, "at which" - people like us were grumbling about the trend of saying "right now" instead of just "now" .....


    09 Dec 20 - 01:32 PM (#4082630)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    > people like us were grumbling about the trend of saying "right now" instead of just "now."

    Coverdale Bible (1535), John IX, 27: "He answered them I tolde you right now."

    There were few style/grammar cops in the 16th century, so I doubt anyone was grumbling.

    OED shows related uses of "right" as far back as Old English, so "right now" must have been well established by 1500.


    09 Dec 20 - 05:06 PM (#4082653)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah Backwoodsman! There is a Havre de Grace (hay-ver duh grayce] in MD. Drove my mom nuts to hear it pronounced the way it is pronounced.
    Not that is was a long drive...


    09 Dec 20 - 05:45 PM (#4082662)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Backwoodsman

    LOL! ;-)


    13 Dec 20 - 08:11 AM (#4083224)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Oi, yanks, what's with this "normalcy"? What's wrong with "normality"? Huh??


    13 Dec 20 - 06:24 PM (#4083309)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    "Normalcy" was popularized by Calvin Coolidge, tho he did not invent it. Democrats picked it up and used it to ridicule Republicans; in my youth I would never have used it otherwise than snidely. Now, apparently, the joke has become a blunder again.


    13 Dec 20 - 06:31 PM (#4083310)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    It was Warren Harding in 1920.

    It's better than "normality," because it takes less time to say it, and there aren't so many sounds to remember.


    14 Dec 20 - 11:31 PM (#4083507)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    Look, fellas. "Normalcy" was beaten to death 50 years ago.

    Here's a new peeve. "Reach out". I read a newsletter from Doctors without Borders today, and though they are a fine outfit, they reached out to somebody on every second page. It began to get on my nerves.


    15 Dec 20 - 04:13 AM (#4083521)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I heard a doc on the radio declaring that dealing with the latest coronavirus spike will need "a whole raft of measures" (he said it twice).

    "Raft?" I'm afraid that this daft expression definitely doesn't float my boat...


    15 Dec 20 - 04:55 AM (#4083525)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Perhaps he meant it in its civil engineering sense - such measures as are necessary will need to be put together on a solid foundation.


    15 Dec 20 - 05:03 AM (#4083526)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Civil engineers regard a raft as 'a solid foundation'?

    Really?

    That is worrying.


    15 Dec 20 - 05:54 AM (#4083531)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Unfortunately, this inanity is spreading like a plague among politicians and others (especially politicians) who like to think they're sounding clever when they are actually sounding like pretentious eejits. People of similar ilk are also fond of saying "going forward..."


    15 Dec 20 - 07:27 AM (#4083539)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    What is this word "eejits"?

    Can today's Britons neither pronounce nor spell?

    The correct word is "idiots."

    IDD-ee-uts.

    America got away from that decadent nation in the very nick of time.


    15 Dec 20 - 08:24 AM (#4083551)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Deputy governor of Kabul slain in targeted killing

    What is wrong with Assassinated? Too many S's?


    15 Dec 20 - 08:46 AM (#4083558)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    That reference to 'assassination' reminds me of a day some years ago when, listening to BBC Radio 3, I heard a news summary reporting that someone had been 'shot and killed'.
    Later that day, Radio 4 reported that he had been 'shot dead'.
    Later still, I heard on another station (either Radio 1 or a commercial channel, I can't remember which) that the man had been 'gunned down'.


    15 Dec 20 - 08:47 AM (#4083559)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Deputy governor of Kabul slain in targeted killing

    Did you understand it? Was there any possible ambiguity?

    If the answers are "yes" and "no", respectively, then what is wrong with it? It meets the necessary requirements for communication.

    English is a rich language with many different ways of saying the same thing. We should be celebrating that, not complaining about it. If we are going to be limited to a set list of approved words, how long will it be before we arrive at Newspeak?

    DC


    15 Dec 20 - 01:06 PM (#4083593)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Eejit", both written and spoken, is a popular rendition of "idiot" by some Irish people and some beyond-Irish. Lighten up, Lighter. Years ago, Jeremy of TheSession website managed to install a fix whereby swear words were automatically replaced by something euphemistic. Unfortunately, it meant that you could never again type "Scunthorpe" in your posts, the word always rendered from then on "Seejithorpe."

    And well said Doug, though you won't stop me moaning about "albeit" going forward.

    Oops...


    15 Dec 20 - 03:56 PM (#4083617)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Doug Chadwick, one of my pet peeves is using multiple-word phrases to explicate things we have words for. Even more so in headlines.

    Another is redundancy.

    That headline had all of those things wrong with it.

    I didn't say it was unclear. Just full of my peeves.


    15 Dec 20 - 04:05 PM (#4083621)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Perhaps you should have a pet peeve with yourself for misusing (or, at best, using in a completely obscurantist way) the word "explicate."


    16 Dec 20 - 02:14 AM (#4083676)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    I think you'll find that headlines are one place where brevity is essential. "Slain" is a good headline word, shorter than "killed" or "murdered" (let alone "assassinated").


    16 Dec 20 - 05:01 AM (#4083685)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    There are some words that I never see or hear anywhere but in news headlines, just because they are shorter than the usual term.
    Such as "boffin".


    16 Dec 20 - 06:57 AM (#4083699)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    To be politically incorrect for a sec, one of my favourite headlines of all time, heading a report into Elton John's wedding, said ELTON TAKES DAVID UP THE AISLE.

    Sorry about that!


    16 Dec 20 - 08:54 PM (#4083828)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Right, so slain in a killing is redundant, and slain in a targeted killling is a lot longer than assassinated. My points exactly.

    I was hoping someone would rise to my dangled bait of Explicated!

    I love this place.


    16 Dec 20 - 09:19 PM (#4083836)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Gibb, I still don't know how to pronounce the true name of the country Hungary.


    17 Dec 20 - 06:13 AM (#4083856)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    ...... slain in a targeted killing is a lot longer than !.

    True, but what difference does it make? I read the headline and instantly understood its meaning. I didn't need top stop and think "do they mean assassinated?". If it hadn't been posted here as an example, I suspect my mind would have passed over the word 'slain' and taken it in as part of the complete phrase.

    I accept that some phrases, such as "at this moment in time" for "now", can be annoying but the peeve should be with its overuse rather than its word count. When it was first coined it would have sounded fresh, and possibly, even poetic.

    Unless there is a world shortage of printing ink, the headline writer should be free to choose how the available space is filled, so long as the meaning remains clear.

    DC


    17 Dec 20 - 06:17 AM (#4083858)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I don"t know where that exclamation mark came from. What I actually copied and tried to paste was:

    .... slain in a targeted killing is a lot longer than assassinated.


    DC


    17 Dec 20 - 09:09 AM (#4083865)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Doug has the right idea about overuse.

    Has anyone mentioned "in real time"?

    It can mean "as it's happening," "expeditiously," or "now."


    17 Dec 20 - 10:23 AM (#4083872)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Doug Chadwick, you seem to be berating me because they aren't *your* peeves. Please desist.


    17 Dec 20 - 12:16 PM (#4083878)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    To quote Priti Patel on BBC Radio 4 a few moments ago, regarding a dinner attended by 27 people:
    "I don't know the details of where this happened, or the location ..."

    Woolly thinking at the very least.


    17 Dec 20 - 12:20 PM (#4083879)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    OK Mrrzy, point taken.


    DC


    17 Dec 20 - 01:44 PM (#4083889)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Mwah.


    19 Dec 20 - 01:23 AM (#4084112)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    In this video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_sYUN5p-ks

    we see Michael Flynn, a Trump hanger-on, saying "He [Trump] could put military capabilities in each of those swing states and basically re-run an election in those states."

    I'm not going to address the evil of this. I'm going to point out the weasel words "military capabilities." What are these capabilities? They're armed fighters, weapons, drones, spy equipment - equipment to injure, kill and intimidate Americans.

    There's a word for that language trick - it's called nominalization.

    (Good thing our military hates his guts.)


    19 Dec 20 - 01:51 AM (#4084117)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: JennieG

    Several TV presenters here add an extra syllable to words so that 'three' becomes 'the-ree', 'threat' becomes 'the-reat', etc.

    It is annoying and irritating. Perhaps it's done for emphasis, but it just sounds sloppy to me. It's mostly done by women, but the occasional bloke has a go too.


    19 Dec 20 - 04:52 AM (#4084125)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Can't" is replacing "mustn't" this end, as in "you can't underestimate the crucial importance of these measures..." You can if you want!l


    19 Dec 20 - 11:45 AM (#4084146)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    I've grumbled about that one before on here - that error turns the literal meaning completely on its head: "You can't underestimate the crucial importance ... " would mean that there is no bottom to the estimation of the unimportance of the "crucial importance", which is nonsensical as well - whereas "you mustn't ... " emphasizes how "crucial" the "importance" is.

    One I've noticed lately that amuses me is the frequent "it's going to be much bigger than we expect", or variations thereof - which could be re-worded as, "we expect it to be much bigger than we expect it to be" ... !


    19 Dec 20 - 05:49 PM (#4084191)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Joe_F

    In my book, "account for" is not a synonym of "take account of" or "tke into account". Properly it means "explain".


    21 Dec 20 - 11:25 AM (#4084455)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yes, usually to someone waiting for that explanation with arms akimbo and a frown.

    I wish, fervently, that media like CNN would stop giving a planetary phenom to the Xians. Yes, I refer to tonight's Grand Conjunction.


    22 Dec 20 - 02:34 AM (#4084544)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    I presume you are referring to a possible similar event being behind the Biblical account of the Star of Bethlehem? More likely the triple conjunction of 8 BC had something to do with it. I further conjecture that the "star" was a cover story made up by the Magi to protect their sources of information from Herod's goons.

    Missed the conjunction - cloudy all evening here in the UK (this corner at least).

    Apologies for the thread drift - let's get back to being peeved.


    22 Dec 20 - 04:11 AM (#4084550)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Cloudy here too, in spite of one of Radio 4's thought spots ('Prayer for the Day' or 'Thought for the Day', I forget which) telling listeners that everyone in the world had a chance to see it.

    Last week, not long after it was announced that man-made structures now weigh more than all life on Earth, one of these 'thoughtful people' declared that man-made structures now weigh twice as much as all life on Earth.

    Statistical inflation, or just another example of woolly thinking?


    22 Dec 20 - 04:14 AM (#4084551)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "a planetary phenom to the Xians."

    Interesting that one of the most linguistically peeved persons here can type a thing like that...


    22 Dec 20 - 03:45 PM (#4084619)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I'm a swinger, or something, maybe?


    22 Dec 20 - 04:04 PM (#4084623)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    A swinger? Do you have a clump of pampas grass growing in your front garden?
    Or was that just in the 1970s?


    23 Dec 20 - 02:16 PM (#4084728)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: mayomick

    Nano
    It used to be ‘back in two shakes of a nanny goats tail’ in Ireland that’s now been replaced by ‘ back in a nano –second’.
    I heard ‘only a nano-step away’ two days ago


    23 Dec 20 - 04:21 PM (#4084739)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    We had "two shakes of a nanny goat's tale" in NYC as well, decades ago.


    23 Dec 20 - 04:45 PM (#4084742)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Tail?

    A person who went to work while sick is likely the cause of two separate Covid-19 outbreaks in Oregon.

    Um, no. If one person caused them both, they are not separate.


    23 Dec 20 - 05:56 PM (#4084759)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It's always been two shakes of a donkey's doodah where I come from.

    You're nitpicking, Mrrzy. You're objecting to things that are unobjectionable to all except you, I reckon.


    23 Dec 20 - 07:08 PM (#4084767)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Rain Dog

    And more than two shakes?


    23 Dec 20 - 08:33 PM (#4084784)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    More than two shakes is a w*an*k, mate, and you know it!


    24 Dec 20 - 03:03 PM (#4084878)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    That is why they are *pet* peeves, Steve Shaw. They need not be anybody else's pet, or even peeve.

    But you are the second person to reprimand me for being peeved by things that don't peeve *you* ... I find that odd. *All* of this thread is about nitpicking. If anything peeving anybody in any language were actually objectively reprehensible, nobody would do it and the whole thread would never have happened.

    So what, exactly, is your problem with *my* nitpicking, that is not wrong with *your* nitpicking?


    24 Dec 20 - 09:16 PM (#4084921)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Why do you suppose that I have a problem with your nitpicking? Frankly, I care not a jot. When it comes to the use of language, etc., I'm a fairly erudite sort of chap (disagree at your peril...), but, at the same time, I'm pretty indulgent when it comes to what people say or type informally, as I've said a number of times in this thread. You do seem to pick up on things that are fairly unobjectionable, yet you post things yourself that are frequently quite buttock-clenching (see recipes thread for example, what with your yum-yum stuff) and, even in this thread, you are not exactly exempt from that accusation, as I've pointed out. You're exactly the sort of chap that gets my antennae a-waggling. Once you start to criticise others for their lack of linguistic precision, you open yourself up to having your own contributions a bit more closely analysed than perhaps would make you comfortable. Summat to do with pedestals, I think...


    24 Dec 20 - 09:21 PM (#4084922)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Rain Dog

    Merry or happy?


    25 Dec 20 - 01:09 AM (#4084933)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Stilly River Sage

    It's difficult to tell who is following whom, but some of you are doing far more bickering through the thread than is seemly, it contributes nothing, and if you don't knock it off you're going to find a BONK next time you try to log on. Capiche?


    25 Dec 20 - 06:15 AM (#4084940)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Merry or happy?

    Christmas and New Year are often linked in a common greeting, in which case, it is'merry' for Christmas and 'happy' for New Year. Taking this as the precedent, I would stick with 'merry' for Christmas even when it is used on its own.

    Personally, I prefer 'bah' to go with humbug.

    DC


    25 Dec 20 - 10:52 AM (#4084957)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I didn't suppose, you said so.

    The poem said Happy Christmas but that always sounds British to me. The only time I've heard Merry New Year is in Trading Places. Which is a *great* $mas movie.

    Today on PBS one of my fave pet peeve redundancies, village razed to the ground.

    Yes, I use fave pet in an ironical sense.

    Good Will Hunting reference, there.


    25 Dec 20 - 11:50 AM (#4084961)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    OED has "raze to the ground" from 1574, and "razed to the earth" from 1523.

    Historically "raze to the ground" is more common than simple "raze."

    Emphasis and all, don't you know.


    25 Dec 20 - 09:03 PM (#4085007)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Historical or not, razed to the ground is illiterate nonsense. Claiming ancient usage doesn't cut it. It simply demonstrates that the ancients could be just as illiterate as we are.


    26 Dec 20 - 03:46 AM (#4085028)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Razed to the ground as opposed to raised to the heavens?


    26 Dec 20 - 05:40 AM (#4085038)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I'll raze a glass to that.


    26 Dec 20 - 06:56 AM (#4085043)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Talking about redundancies, a nice example that infests a lot of writing and broadcasting these days is "reaching a crescendo" or "building up to a crescendo" when a better word would be "climax." Like a lot of things, this has achieved common currency via ignorance, a bit like "disinterested," "epicentre" and "alternate." They are defended by dint of the fact that they ARE now in common use and have become standard English (in their degraded usages). We have to accept that, but not without a wrestling match...


    26 Dec 20 - 09:06 AM (#4085050)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Several times on BBC Radio news summaries yesterday I heard the Brexit described as acceptable 'as an option to' no deal.
    I just wanted to shout at them.


    27 Dec 20 - 09:22 AM (#4085148)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok, question: is the phrase Face Mask redundant? I mean, if you cover your belly, it is not with a mask, is it?

    No idea why this just occurred to me.


    27 Dec 20 - 10:13 AM (#4085152)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    Well.... some things can be 'masked' without referring to a physical object. In current context, 'face mask' is technically redundant, but it's not a big issue.


    27 Dec 20 - 10:39 AM (#4085153)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Headbutt / head-butt / head butt


    In a street fight, can you butt your opponent with anything other than your head?

    DC


    27 Dec 20 - 12:16 PM (#4085172)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I suppose it's a head-butt if you butt someone's head. I just looked up the incident in the 2006 World Cup Final in which Zidane "head-butted" Materazzi (after much earlier needling, Materazzi had pulled Zidane's shirt. Zidane told him that he'd give him his shirt later, to which Materazzi replied that he'd rather have his sister, hence the butt). However, the butt was to Materazzi's chest, in spite of which most reports stated that it had been a head-butt. So you may have a point there, Doug.


    27 Dec 20 - 12:48 PM (#4085183)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    For Mrrzy: I now have a mental image of you trying to mask your belly button with a face mask.

    For the Americans among you: Can you butt something/somebody with your butt?


    27 Dec 20 - 01:11 PM (#4085188)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok, so is head-butt redundant? Seems so.

    As a *verb* mask works for things other than faces (view masked by trees, etc). But as a noun, a mask covers the face, I maintain.

    Jos, um, enjoy?


    27 Dec 20 - 01:16 PM (#4085190)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ok rethink: a butt is *with* the head but a head-butt is *to* a head.

    Thus head-butt is *not* redundant. Unless misused as in He headbutted him in the stomach.

    Gavem drip. I meant gavel drop but kinda like the typoes...


    27 Dec 20 - 01:39 PM (#4085194)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Two more examples of garbled English on Radio 4 this morning.
    I heard someone describing women as “having a most important place to play in being able to show a different type of leadership”. I really don’t think “place to play” meant an area set aside for them to play chess, or netball.
    Then later in the same programme someone talked about “donning on PPE”. Well, Mr whoever-you-are: “donning” MEANS “putting on”.


    27 Dec 20 - 02:43 PM (#4085206)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    "Butt me" means "Give me a cigarette (a "butt," even if fresh).

    If your smart phone is in your back pocket, you can inadvertently "butt-dial" a phone number.


    27 Dec 20 - 03:13 PM (#4085214)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Jos:
    As you're mentioning PPE. One of my peeves is the expression "PPE Equipment".
    This is an example of RAS syndrome (Redundant acronym syndrome (syndrome)). Other examples are "ATM machine" and "TSB Bank".


    27 Dec 20 - 03:18 PM (#4085215)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    At least, in spite of saying 'donning on', he managed not to say 'PPE equipment'.


    29 Dec 20 - 10:59 AM (#4085499)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ah, yes, the department of redundancy department.


    29 Dec 20 - 11:32 AM (#4085508)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Enamoured with"

    "Acquiesce to"

    Two things to not do!


    29 Dec 20 - 12:08 PM (#4085516)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    There is much confusion between 'a fascination with' and 'a fascination for' regarding who or what is fascinating and who is fascinated.

    And I wish people wouldn't talk about laying and laying down when they mean lying and lying down.


    02 Jan 21 - 01:10 PM (#4086167)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Not so much a peeve, more an amusing and surprising find, in an email from Coopers of Stortford:

    Purchase of Sharp Implements/Dangerous Goods:

    When ordering a sharp implement/dangerous good you are....


    (Steve's in a hardware shop):

    Assistant: How may I help you, sir?

    Steve (holding machete picked up from shelf): Can you tell me if this is a dangerous good?

    :-)


    02 Jan 21 - 04:46 PM (#4086176)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Assistant (a D&D player): It's dangerous, but I don't know its 'alignment'.


    03 Jan 21 - 01:26 PM (#4086290)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Chaotic neutral.


    04 Jan 21 - 05:30 PM (#4086489)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Why are so many people unable to understand the difference between ancestors and descendants?
    The latest edition of our local parish magazine has a page about the census, which will happen in March this year. It urges people to answer the questions truthfully because "in 2122 your answers will be available to your ancestors and they'll be using that information to try and understand how we lived our lives a hundred years in the past".


    04 Jan 21 - 06:51 PM (#4086509)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    That's an easy one: there's no chance that your descendants will leave you money.


    04 Jan 21 - 06:55 PM (#4086510)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Visalia (Calif.) Daily Times, Aug. 23, 1926, on the death of Robert Tod Lincoln:

    "The passing, last week, of the last remaining direct ancestor--by the
    name of Lincoln--of the great Civil war [sic] President occasioned modest mention in the telegraphic news of the country."

    (With thanks to my colleague, Garson O'Toole.)


    04 Jan 21 - 08:56 PM (#4086530)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    1926?? Isn't that back when everyone's English was perfect? Oh, dear - when, praytell, when was this Golden Age of grammatical fastidiousness?


    05 Jan 21 - 05:02 AM (#4086567)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    That's an easy one: there's no chance that your descendants will leave you money.

    So, if your child is an adult who has established a separate, single person, household and remains unmarried and childless, what will happen to their estate if they die before you without leaving a will?

    DC8


    05 Jan 21 - 05:55 AM (#4086575)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    As likely as a duff bottle of Hirondelle, Doug, but touché anyway!


    05 Jan 21 - 05:14 PM (#4086632)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    For most of my life, 'wafer' has been pronounced 'wayfer' and I was happy with that. I had ice cream wafers, church Communion services used communion wafers, and anything sliced very thinly was 'wafer-thin'.
    Then a few years ago, when I watched television cookery programmes, I started to hear Jamie Oliver talking about slicing food 'waffer-thin'. I laughed at him, thinking he had met the word when reading cookery books and just guessed at the pronunciation - and none of his friends had put him right. But now other people are doing it, cutting 'waffer-thin' slices.
    Are churches now using communion 'waffers', as well? Are children buying ice cream 'waffers'?


    05 Jan 21 - 11:07 PM (#4086655)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Manitas_at_home

    Think of Monty Python's M. Creosote and his 'waffer-thin mint's.


    06 Jan 21 - 01:51 AM (#4086658)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Ebbie

    One of my peeves is careless errors to be published. There is just now excuse for it.

    For instance, I have seen in a newspaper: Wanted: On Sight Manager.

    (site and sight are frequent offenders.)

    And just now I read the filing by Orange tRump's lawyers petitioning the court to toss Mary Trump's lawsuit against the family, and here is:" "Plaintiff makes outlandish and incredulous accusations in her complaint,..."

    Incredulous??


    06 Jan 21 - 12:24 PM (#4086740)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    This is why I post all those headlines that made some folks accuse me of quibbling. It is worse in a published source, to me too.

    Besides, they could hire me to proofread and save themselves the embarrassment!

    I often tell the reporter whose byline was mis-headlined. They are sometimes grateful.


    06 Jan 21 - 12:27 PM (#4086742)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    I've been rather surprised at the number of 'mechanical' and usage errors in the legal documents I've read since trump took over, particularly in documents produced by trumpian lawyers, for some reason. You would think it would be second-nature for any lawyer to proofread his own legal writing ... ?


    06 Jan 21 - 08:52 PM (#4086827)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Besides, they could hire me to proofread and save themselves the embarrassment!"

    Gosh, you'd be the very last person I'd hire as my proofreader, what with your yum, evvver, zucch and marvy nonsense (see recipes thread). I would prefer someone with a reasonable command of the kind of unaffected English wot we Brits tend to cherish...


    07 Jan 21 - 10:31 AM (#4086891)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Spotted a word on the BBC news website that I've never seen before, describing children from poorer backgrounds who don't have laptops at home for schoolwork as "laptopless." In light of this, I should like to propose a new noun to characterise laptopless people: they are in a state of laptoplessness. I did consider "laptoplessnessitudinousness," but I decided to go for concision, as ever.


    07 Jan 21 - 10:47 AM (#4086899)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    So would providing them with laptops be 'laptopisation' or 'laptopisition'?


    07 Jan 21 - 10:47 AM (#4086900)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    None of my language usages prevent me noticing *other's* mistakes, eh! I was a jolly good proofreader when I was a proofreader... Using language creatively [like accentuating the v in marvvy] is hardly error, anyway. What is wrong with Yum, may I ask?

    I gather that the folks who make up the headlines, though, are not the same folks who write the articles, so letting the actual journalist/reporter/byline person know when the headline given their article makes them (the writer) look illiterate, is usually appreciated.


    07 Jan 21 - 11:24 AM (#4086911)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    It's a bit puerile. Also, your apostrophe is in the wrong place there, Mr Superproofreader. :-)

    I like the concept of an erstwhile laptopless child having being laptopised, Jos... or, I suppose, laptopized in USAville...


    07 Jan 21 - 02:41 PM (#4086937)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    I believe the term is, "laptopisized" (UK: "laptopicised").


    07 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM (#4086943)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    "Laptopisized": about 12" * 9" * 1"


    07 Jan 21 - 05:03 PM (#4086952)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    Is the whole process 'laptopicity'

    And if gardeners are given laptops will that be 'laptopiary'??


    07 Jan 21 - 05:05 PM (#4086953)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    [Apologies for the double question mark. I wasn't being pretentious - just a wobbly thumb.]


    07 Jan 21 - 05:27 PM (#4086958)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Hmm. That's a small one you've got there, Nigel. ;-)


    08 Jan 21 - 02:06 AM (#4086997)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Surely someone would be laptopicised only if they had a laptopectomy?


    08 Jan 21 - 07:10 AM (#4087030)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    If you unfairly diss laptops in favour of iPads, does that make you a laptopist? Guilty of laptopism?


    09 Jan 21 - 01:23 AM (#4087164)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Laptopotomy? Sounds raparian...


    09 Jan 21 - 06:11 AM (#4087191)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    What if AI-bolstered laptops went all wild west on us, terrorising the planet and indulging in mass repression of the people? Would that be dyslaptopia?


    09 Jan 21 - 06:17 AM (#4087192)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Raparian?" I can find no sensible reference to such an English adjective in any dictionary. Either you meant something else or you're induging in deliberate obscurantism...


    09 Jan 21 - 07:14 AM (#4087196)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    From the publishers blurb for a book titled "Raparian Station":

    "Riparian Station is an acid trip away from a universe ordered by God into the recesses of nihilism finding a surf film, good fishing, and meaning in being a one of in a chaotic universe rather than a step in a cycle."

    I'm none the wiser.


    09 Jan 21 - 07:57 AM (#4087204)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I should point out that the illustration showing the book cover spells it "Raparian". The blurb writer must have been writing it on a device using Autocorrect.


    09 Jan 21 - 10:58 AM (#4087233)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I learned that term from Hyacinth ["it's pronounced Bouquet!"] Bucket, on Keeping Up Appearances, for the philistines. Yes, it was deliberately obfuscating. Which I normally eschew. I guessed at the spelling.

    But the word Laptopotomy made me think of the great, grey-green greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees. That is a literary reference. Crossed with Ptolemy, which made me think of the Nile.

    And so from the rivers we get to the word riparian, which means relating to riverbanks. Or did at some point.


    09 Jan 21 - 12:02 PM (#4087244)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    The word used by Hyacinth was riparian.


    09 Jan 21 - 12:37 PM (#4087254)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    If I had seen the correct spelling - riparian - I wouldn't have spent time searching for raparian. I could have bypassed the great grey green greasy Limpopo with its fever trees and jumped straight to the river bank via "hippopotami".

    [And, yes, I do know it's hippopotamuses.]


    09 Jan 21 - 01:53 PM (#4087263)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    [And, yes, I do know it's hippopotamuses.]
    Most online dictionaries (at a quick glance) seem to accept either plural.

    Flanders & Swann: "A regular army of hippopotami"!


    09 Jan 21 - 02:47 PM (#4087273)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Rhymers' licence, Nigel. You'll be singing the praises of octopi, viri and fora next...


    09 Jan 21 - 03:07 PM (#4087278)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    And I do find the confusion between singulars and plurals to be a very strange phenomena...


    Come on, folks, it's Saturday night!


    10 Jan 21 - 06:56 AM (#4087354)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Rhymers' licence, Nigel. You'll be singing the praises of octopi, viri and fora next...

    Steve, no rhymers' licence required.
    I have now extended my search beyond just 'general online dictionaries'.
    My Collins Dictionary, and my 'Shorter Oxford' both give the two options for the plural, as do the online entries from those publishers:
    Collins Dictionary .com
    Oxford learner's dictionary


    10 Jan 21 - 07:58 AM (#4087364)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Dictionaries merely reflect usage, Nigel, and they don't pass judgement. Clearly, "hippopotami" is in currency so dictionaries would report it. What dictionaries won't tell you is that you might look a bit of a twit if you use "hippopotami" in anything other than a humorous context, for example, if you were writing a treatise on the biology of, er, hippopotami... I do that fun thing meself, frequently, whenever more than one hippopotamus is on the radar.


    10 Jan 21 - 10:57 AM (#4087386)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Lighter

    Dictionaries pass judgment all the time.

    First they decide what they think is worth entering.

    Then, if they like, they apply such labels as "colloquial," "informal," "slang," "nonstandard," "archaic," "obsolete," "regional," "U.S.," "Brit.," "Austral.," and occasionally "substandard."

    "Hippopotami" bears no label.

    One label rarely seen is "Not in technical use." That covers things like "virus" used to mean "any illness." No professional epidemiological discussion would use "virus" that way, even though millions of people do and would, because technically it is wrong.

    "Hippopotami," presumably, is likewise "not in technical use," though it's a stylistic rather than a terminological issue.

    OED accepts without comment "Plural unchanged, hippoppotamus, hippopotami."

    "An Account of Several Late Voyages and Discoveries to the South and North" (1694) tells of "Hippopotami" at the Cape of Good Hope.

    Among other serious users of "hippopotami" was David Livingstone in 1865.

    Sounding funny doesn't make it essentially humorous.


    10 Jan 21 - 12:00 PM (#4087391)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Dictionaries don't pass judgement in the sense that they don't tell you what's right or wrong. It is their job to define words, to include all words that are in common usage and to interpret contexts in which words may be used. Of course, the latter requires judgement, but not in the sense you meant.

    As for hippopotami, it's plainly not wrong, but as for how its usage is regarded it all depends on where you look it up. For example, from lexico.com:

    "Other words ending in -us show a very varied pattern. Like octopi, the plural hippopotami is now generally taken to be either funny or absurdly pedantic, and the usual plural is hippopotamuses."

    We can all indulge in confirmation bias.


    10 Jan 21 - 01:22 PM (#4087400)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I was told that the plurals depend on whether the word is based on Latin, as in fungus/fungi, or Greek as in hippopotamus, meaning 'horse of the river' [hippos = horse; potamos = river], and octopus [okto = eight; pous = foot].
    This is confirmed by my Concise Oxford Dictionary.


    11 Jan 21 - 03:00 AM (#4087459)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    I'm no polyglot, but other languages fascinate me. English has plenty of Latin plurals, correct and incorrect, but for some reason no Greek, which I understand would be hippopotamoi, octopoi.


    11 Jan 21 - 09:41 AM (#4087491)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Steve,
    Dictionaries don't pass judgement in the sense that they don't tell you what's right or wrong. It is their job to define words,

    Surely, by your reasoning, it is not their job to define words, but to state what definitions are being given (by users) to the words.


    11 Jan 21 - 09:48 AM (#4087492)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    If I'd said they give the definitions of words, would that've been all right? And don't call me Shirley...


    11 Jan 21 - 11:02 AM (#4087502)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Yes, they give the definitions of words is more accurate.
    And the "Don't call me Shirley" quip only works in the spoken language.


    11 Jan 21 - 01:56 PM (#4087524)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Then do what I do and read out the posts out loud in your head.


    11 Jan 21 - 03:24 PM (#4087535)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I outed once too often there. The spuds were done.


    11 Jan 21 - 04:00 PM (#4087542)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Yeah it worked for me but my whole life happens out loud in my head...


    12 Jan 21 - 11:23 AM (#4087630)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Hee her headline reads Grandparents have been [complaint] my 6-year old behind my back for years!

    How long had their kid been 6?


    12 Jan 21 - 12:27 PM (#4087635)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Apart from the fact that your sentence doesn't make much sense, I can't see much wrong with the construction you appear to be complaining about.


    12 Jan 21 - 04:18 PM (#4087655)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Steve Shaw, I thought my peeves didn't have to be your peeves. Are you starting that up again?


    12 Jan 21 - 06:13 PM (#4087668)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I'm suggesting that you state your case with clarity. It's hard to discuss your peeves with you when you type an incomprehensible sentence (and I recall that you regard yourself as a rather good proofreader. It wouldn't have taken much for you to have reviewed that sentence, would it?)

    "My 70-year-old aunt has been telling me for years that I can't bake a decent cake." Perfectly good English in m'humble...


    12 Jan 21 - 07:40 PM (#4087680)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    Mrrzy,
    I'm not trying to pick a fight - just pointing out:


    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy - PM
    Date: 24 Jun 20 - 04:12 PM

    ..................................

    I like being corrected. How else can I learn?



    DC


    13 Jan 21 - 02:18 AM (#4087700)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    If we all learnt from our mistakes, I'd be a genius by now.


    13 Jan 21 - 04:34 AM (#4087707)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yep, we'd all be genii!

    Er...


    13 Jan 21 - 09:37 AM (#4087748)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    But it *wasn't* MY sentence. It was the headline that peeved me! So it peeved you too! So why, again, exactly, are you picking on my peeves?


    13 Jan 21 - 10:46 AM (#4087761)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "Hee her headline reads Grandparents have been [complaint] my 6-year old behind my back for years!"

    1. What does "Hee her" mean?

    2. Who is this "her?"

    3. What does "[complaint]" in the middle of an alleged headline mean?

    4. "have been"??

    5. Whose "6-year old [sic]"?

    6. Behind WHOSE back?

    Tell us where you saw this headline. I'd love to look it up. I have no peeve with the sentence, but, in general, I do have peeves when it comes to obscurantist writing that requires me to do a lot of unnecessary mental processing before I can see the light. It's far more polite to express things in simple, clear language.


    13 Jan 21 - 02:18 PM (#4087779)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh typoed hee hee. How rude of me, you are so right. I obviously do these things specifically to upset you.

    My use of square brackets to avoid detailing the complaint is standard.

    All your other quibbles are with the headline. It did not make sense. That is what peeved me. And you apparently agree with me in that.

    You want to see the source, look it up yourself. That is what the google is for.

    Again. Why do you quibble with my peeves? And when it is pointed out to you that what you are quibbling with isn't even me, why do you double down instead of apologizing and backing off?


    13 Jan 21 - 02:21 PM (#4087780)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    But what DOES "hee her" mean?


    13 Jan 21 - 02:44 PM (#4087784)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I did google the headline. I didn't find anything with that exact headline, but I did find a story about a mother being upset because her child's grandparents, who had been looking after the child for the whole of the summer, had taken the child with them to church.
    Was that the complaint you were referring to? If so, why the square brackets, which lead the reader to imagine all kinds of appalling behaviour.
    I was taken, and later sent, to church as a child. I don't think it did me any harm although I am no longer a believer (if I ever really was). But as so much of our history, music, literature and so on has been influenced by the church and its beliefs, I appreciated having some knowledge of what that basis consists of.


    13 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM (#4087792)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    My peeve wasn't about the grandparents taking the kid to church, which was indeed the complaint. That is why I didn't specify the complaint. Hee her is a) obviously a typo and b)had been explained already.

    Sigh.


    13 Jan 21 - 04:52 PM (#4087803)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: leeneia

    How long has the kid been 6 years old?

    Good question, Mrrzy.

    I have my own question. The grandparents probably wanted to go to church themselves. What were they supposed to do with the child during the service, leave it at home to play with matches?


    13 Jan 21 - 06:11 PM (#4087812)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Hee hee...


    13 Jan 21 - 06:46 PM (#4087817)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: meself

    That should be "hee HER", Steve.


    13 Jan 21 - 07:27 PM (#4087821)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I stand corrected. -)


    14 Jan 21 - 01:35 PM (#4087940)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: mayomick

    The word "so" when used needlessly as the first word in reply to a question . As in:
    Journalist :"How much longer are we likely to be on lockdown, Dr Holohan"?

    De Holohan : "So, it really depends on how we manage to suppress the virus over the coming days"


    14 Jan 21 - 02:05 PM (#4087945)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Or even "So, it really depends on how we manage to suppress the virus over the coming days, going forward". Arrgh!


    14 Jan 21 - 02:30 PM (#4087949)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I seem to be getting used to "So," now, though I hated it at first.

    But I am still bewildered by people beginning their answer to a question with "Yes-no".


    14 Jan 21 - 03:44 PM (#4087967)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Thanks for the grin, meself/Steve Shaw.


    14 Jan 21 - 04:50 PM (#4087976)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    I seem to be getting used to "So," now, though I hated it at first.

    There are some expressions that go the opposite way for me. I don't mind them at first but grow to dislike them.

    I realise that it is one of Steve's favourites and I accept that he has every right to use it wherever and whenever he wants but, the more I see "in m'humble", the more I hate it.

    Sorry Steve

    DC


    14 Jan 21 - 05:11 PM (#4087983)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I got that from a mate of mine many years ago. You may or may not have noticed that I never use those internet shortenings such as ROTFLMAO, LOL and the like. "In m'humble" avoids my having to type the pretentious IMHO, or, worse, IMNSHO. I suppose that you could accuse "in m'humble" of being pretentious, but it's so daft that I feel that the pretentiousness gets washed away in a tide of self-deprecation. YMMV.


    Shit...


    14 Jan 21 - 08:18 PM (#4088013)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    We have a new weather lady who is prone to pronouncing temperature "temmricher." And I wish weather presenters wouldn't say daft things such as "the temperature will be below where it should be for the time of year," and "the temperature will reach five degrees today but it will feel more like minus one in that breeze," and "the showers will already be moving their way in." And, being the time of year it is, we're starting to get the usual spate of Febyouerries and Febrys. Why can't people just talk proper!


    15 Jan 21 - 04:25 AM (#4088042)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    "the temperature will reach five degrees today but it will feel more like minus one in that breeze,"

    I think that is one of the most useful parts of the weather forecast. I don't have to worry about slipping on a frozen puddle right outside my door but I should wrap up in warm clothes if I am going to walk around the playing fields.

    I don't mind the chatty form of the weather presenters. Not everything has to be read out in the measured tones of the shipping forecast. I do agree with you, though, on the horrors of "temmricher" and "Febyouerry/Febry".

    DC


    15 Jan 21 - 06:36 AM (#4088052)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: G-Force

    The occasional slip when speaking is understandable. We can't always think fast enough to get it right. But I hate to see basic errors in writing.

    A recent caption on a TV programme talked about 'a vertebrae'!


    15 Jan 21 - 06:51 AM (#4088056)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I don't want to go off at too much of a tangent, but the topic of the public perception of broadcast weather forecasts is quite interesting and has been a matter of concern for forecasters. Here's a link that could be worth a read (you'll have to copy and paste it): https://doi.org/10.1080/00046973.1969.9676566

    I'm an amateur member of the Royal Meteorological Society and have been subscribing to their in-house mag for decades. A few years ago there was a discussion of how well the public were able to concentrate on forecasts, and it came up that many people switch on the forecast but have drifted off well before the end. I suppose that we often want to tease out the bits relevant to our own region, but that can seem to be quite an effort when things such as "tomorrow will be dry and bright in the south and east but it will be more unsettled in the north and west." There's a lot to process in that, especially if, like me, you live in the south and west :-) , and by the time the presenter gets to that bit I've probably fallen asleep anyway. I think that the best two communicators on the telly are Susan Powell and Sarah Keith-Lucas, both confident, clear, map-savvy and able to hold the attention for the required two minutes. I struggle with Helen Willetts and body-builder Tomasz Schafernaker. If Mrs Steve asks me what the forecast is if I've listened to either of those two, I realise that I haven't listened properly...

    I've posted this before, but my favourite weather forecast ludicrosity was Helen Willetts telling us that "At least last night's rain has washed the humidity out of the air..."


    15 Jan 21 - 06:52 AM (#4088057)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    That when was meant to be a with.


    15 Jan 21 - 07:46 AM (#4088071)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I usually find television weather forecasts easier to concentrate on than radio as they are visual. You can see the weather moving across the country, see which direction it is going in (easier than remembering that an easterly wind is coming from the east, not going in an easterly direction).
    The only problem is that you have to remember that the design of the map varies according to which channel you are watching. One will use pale green for clear skies and darker green for overcast, while another uses pale green to suggest a cloudy sky, and darker green to mean the sky will be clear.


    15 Jan 21 - 08:03 AM (#4088074)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    My favourite weather forecast was a few years ago when it was just cloudy for weeks on end, no rain, no sun, no heat, no cold.
    For some reason the radio weather forecaster wasn't available one morning, so the presenter just announced that "Today, the weather will be boring."


    15 Jan 21 - 08:13 AM (#4088075)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Reminds me of a week-long biology field course in north Wales I was on when I was at university. I think it was in April 1970. During that whole week there was no sun, no wind, no rain and the temperature hovered within a degree of 7C, day and night. We were supposed to be measuring the effect of the weather on evapotranspiration. We returned to college unenlightened! We did learn quite a bit about mosses and liverworts, however, with the most inspirational teacher I've ever had, so all was not lost.


    15 Jan 21 - 09:16 AM (#4088087)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    An advert came on the TV recently for a mattress. I wasn't paying all that much attention until the person talked about 'laying' on it.
    I bristled (typical retired teacher).
    I've noticed that these days, 'lay' is often misused for 'lie'.
    One lays eggs and bricks, or in the past one lay down.
    "I was laying there" sounds to me as if a chicken is speaking!
    I wonder if people dislike 'lie' because it also means to tell a lie?
    Anyone else hate the misuse of 'lay'?


    15 Jan 21 - 09:24 AM (#4088092)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I think I may have mentioned it somewhere earlier in the thread - but it is so common it does no harm to bring the subject up at regular intervals.

    Maybe it's all Dylan's fault:
    "Lay lady, lay ..."


    15 Jan 21 - 09:36 AM (#4088095)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I once rather fell for a weatherforecaster whose teleprompter said something about "ground fog" and right after saying that he stopped, looked offscreen, and said Ground fog? Of course it's GROUND fog! If it weren't on the ground, it'd be up in the air and be CLOUDS!

    (Did you notice how neatly this came back to language peeves?)


    15 Jan 21 - 09:40 AM (#4088096)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Er, there is such a thing as hill fog.


    15 Jan 21 - 09:49 AM (#4088099)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I wanted to lay the duvet in the bed.

    So I made the duvet lie on the bed.

    The duvet lay on the bed.


    Dylan wanted the lady to lie across his big brass bed. She was a bit reluctant, so he gently laid her across his big brass bed. And then he... (stoppit, Stephen...)

    I hope he'd laid a comfortable mattress on the bed first and made sure it was lying on it properly. I won't lie to you, it isn't my favourite song, so just lay off, will you...


    15 Jan 21 - 09:54 AM (#4088100)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Which reminds me of a modern irritant that's spreading like a virus: "I won't lie to you..."


    15 Jan 21 - 11:09 AM (#4088118)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    And there is sea fog, of course.
    Sometimes the sea fog drifts inland.


    15 Jan 21 - 11:38 AM (#4088128)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Senoufou

    Perhaps Dylan was actually talking to a hen, exhorting it to produce an egg on his bed?
    I suppose quite a few people haven't studied languages/grammar at any depth, so the words 'transitive' and 'intransitive' wouldn't mean much to them.
    I'm always put on alert when someone says, "I don't mean to be rude but..." or "I'm not going to lie to you but...". The 'but' means they jolly well do and will!
    Weather forecasters - oh yes! "Wrap up warm" er... are you my mum? And it's 'warmly' - adverb please.
    "The weather out there..." Where else would it be? Inside my house?
    The older I get, the more crotchety I become. I should wrap up warm and lay down.


    15 Jan 21 - 12:30 PM (#4088138)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I think "wrap up warm" is fine, actually. There's no rule that sez that an adverb has to end with -ly, or that one that does end with -ly can't evolve into one that doesn't. I'm only guessing, but I suspect that the injunction "wrap up warm" is commoner than "wrap up warmly." In that context, "warm" is still an adverb. If enough people use a construction for long enough, it becomes standard English whether we like it or not. Another battle lost, I fear!

    And I'd far sooner hear a weather presenter advising me to wrap up warm than telling me that "five degrees will feel more like minus one in that breeze" which is just gibberish! How many people have an accurate and objective understanding of what "five degrees" or "minus one" feels like? Is that with your coat on or off? When you're wet or dry? Felt on your hands, your feet or your face? Whether you're fat or thin? With your thermal knickers on or off?


    15 Jan 21 - 12:34 PM (#4088140)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    "Wrap up warm" er... are you my mum? And it's 'warmly' - adverb please.


    In my post above (15 Jan 21 - 04:25 AM), I wanted to write "wrap up warm" but, knowing this is a thread about language, I thought someone might pick up the need for the adverb. Still, "wrap up warmly" seemed clumsy. In the end, I chickened out and wrote "wrap up in warm clothes".

    DC


    15 Jan 21 - 12:46 PM (#4088147)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Bill D

    Many years ago, I was listening to late night radio, when the host read the local weather report. It contained a reference to "a patchy fog". (get it? Apache?)

    The guy stopped in mid-sentence and mumbled something about.."what happens if there's a 'Navaho fog' or a 'Comanche fog'... and he started giggling at his own joke... then completely lost it and began sputtering and choking in an effort to STOP laughing. It must have taken him several minutes to compose himself and get back to whatever he was supposed to do.


    15 Jan 21 - 01:01 PM (#4088149)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    We have lots of "patchies" in our weather forecasts. Patchy fog, patchy rain, patchy drizzle, even patchy frost. It's the non-committal way of saying that, in spite of the fact that we have the world's finest computers and the most talented modellers, we can't tell you whether you'll get these types of weather or not where you live. We also have "chance of...", "scattered showers," "sunny spells/periods/intervals/breaks" and "possibly with the odd rumble of thunder."

    One dictionary I just consulted referred to ""wrap up" as a phrase verb. That makes a qualifying word following it an adverb, I guess. It may be informal, but "wrap up warm" is clear and effective in its message!


    15 Jan 21 - 01:03 PM (#4088150)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    That should have been phrasal. Don't you just love text prediction that knows better than you!


    15 Jan 21 - 05:32 PM (#4088186)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Hee hee [I proofread!] there is a great Irish song about the weather, patchy fog fog fog patchy fog fog fog patchy fog fog foooooog, rise and follow Charlie...

    Here, if it's over water, it is usually called mist, rather than fog.


    15 Jan 21 - 05:54 PM (#4088189)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yebbut you get sleet and hail hopelessly mixed up. Do try to learn from your colonial masters.


    15 Jan 21 - 06:38 PM (#4088198)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    "Apache fog".
    Is that a weather condition seen following an "Indian Summer"?


    15 Jan 21 - 06:38 PM (#4088199)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Fifteen Hundred!


    15 Jan 21 - 07:56 PM (#4088208)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "there is a great Irish song about the weather, patchy fog fog fog patchy fog fog fog patchy fog fog foooooog, rise and follow Charlie..."

    That's a Scottish song, not Irish. It's called Sound the Pibroch. Do try to get at least something right.


    16 Jan 21 - 02:48 AM (#4088224)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: BobL

    Way back in my student days, we had a big red "GO SLOW" road sign on the wall.
    It took a visiting Japanese student to ask whether it should not read "GO SLOWLY".
    It took the rest of us a while to come up with a grammatically sensible explanation.


    16 Jan 21 - 05:20 AM (#4088239)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    No need. Go slow is perfectly good English, "slow" serving as the adverb.


    16 Jan 21 - 05:37 AM (#4088243)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    The best road sign I have seen was in Ireland. On the approach to a bend, painted in big white letters on the road, was the word SLOW. Further round the long bend was the word SLOWER.


    DC


    16 Jan 21 - 07:31 AM (#4088259)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Of course, we frequently encounter horrors such as "more slower..."


    16 Jan 21 - 07:48 AM (#4088262)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    Some years ago, in a lane near Cardiff, there were multiple bends with "SLOW" painted before each bend.
    Some wag added "QUICK, QUICK" before the third "SLOW"


    16 Jan 21 - 10:10 AM (#4088284)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I have that song by the Clancy Brothers. Glad to give you a nit to pick!


    16 Jan 21 - 10:59 AM (#4088299)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yes, and we have English opera singers singing Mozart. We're good internationalists here. By the way, be careful what you see as nitpicking if you ever come over here: never, for example, casually confuse Yorkshiremen with Lancashire lads such as myself. We may sound alike to the uninitiated, but we're chalk and cheese, and getting us mixed up will earn you a sharp, non-socially-distanced rebuke. You can distinguish the Yorkshireman quite easily, by the way, because his wallet pocket is sewn up. Hope this helps.


    16 Jan 21 - 07:23 PM (#4088359)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Oh, totz!


    16 Jan 21 - 08:05 PM (#4088363)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    "oh, totz."

    Translator's note, please...


    17 Jan 21 - 04:49 AM (#4088387)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    "oh, totz!" clearly means the same as "glory". If in doubt, refer to Humpty Dumpty.


    17 Jan 21 - 09:58 AM (#4088418)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Is totz not a word outside the US?


    17 Jan 21 - 10:12 AM (#4088420)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    It hadn't reached my bit of the UK. I looked it up, and according to the Urban Dictionary website, it is:

    "Totz toht-z
    –adverb
    1. wholly; entirely; completely.
    2. Slang for totally

    etymology:
    Originates out of Reed college in Portland, Oregon."

    It isn't a word I am likely to use any time soon. It seems to be a rough equivalant of "defo" - another word I am not in the habit of using.


    17 Jan 21 - 10:29 AM (#4088423)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    The spelling might be different outside of the US.

    I have heard as part of "totes amaze" for "totally amazing" but I wouldn't expect to hear it used by anyone who consiiders themself to be an adult.

    DC


    17 Jan 21 - 11:46 AM (#4088432)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    :-)


    18 Jan 21 - 08:18 AM (#4088573)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    A phrase I really despise is "in terms of". People seem to use it at random instead of thinking about what they really mean. Usually they just mean "in" or "on".
    For example, in an interview on Radio 4 yesterday, discussing American–British relations, Dominic Raab said:
    “I think we’ve seen some pretty shocking scenes in terms of Capitol Hill ...”.


    18 Jan 21 - 09:16 AM (#4088585)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Donuel

    Freshman essays are also full of 'in terms of isms'.


    18 Jan 21 - 11:31 AM (#4088613)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Here is a weirdly ambiguous headline:

    Fort Bliss Soldier Charged with Raping Fellow Soldier a Year Before Her New Year's Eve Death


    18 Jan 21 - 08:10 PM (#4088690)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    All that was needed there was to leave "New Year's Eve" out of the headline. I did find one source that actually did just that. A good copy editor would have pointed out that the New Year's Eve bit wasn't at the essential core of the story (which is what headlines are supposed to throw at us) and could easily have been included in the body of the report.


    19 Jan 21 - 04:14 AM (#4088723)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Doug Chadwick

    It is not "New Year's Eve" that causes the ambiguity. Was the soldier charged a year before her death, for a rape that took place earlier, or did the alleged rape take place a year before her death?

    DC


    19 Jan 21 - 04:40 AM (#4088728)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I see what you mean. But if she'd died on New Year's Eve, and he'd been charged a year before that, the charging would hardly have been "news," would it? I suppose that I subconsciously processed that possibility out of it. But it is a bit of a rubbishy headline, with which we can probably agree.


    19 Jan 21 - 05:40 AM (#4088738)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    But it is a bit of a rubbishy headline, with which we can probably agree.

    No, I can't agree with that headline.
    Or did you mean that we can probably agree that it is a rubbishy headline?


    19 Jan 21 - 05:49 AM (#4088740)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    Yes, I realised that I wasn't happy with my post but I realised it only after I'd sent it.


    26 Jan 21 - 03:02 PM (#4090047)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    People now rarely use 'thrice', but lately I often read or hear 'two times'.

    Let's not let 'twice' go the way of 'thrice'.


    26 Jan 21 - 05:48 PM (#4090071)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Nigel Parsons

    At the same time, let's not lose 'multiply'.
    Too often I have heard "times it by" rather than "multiply it by".
    I thought it was a linguistic aberration by the children until, in a parent/teacher evening (early 1990s) I was told "The test was scored out of fifty, so we had to times it by two to get the percentage"! . . .Cringe!. . .


    26 Jan 21 - 08:24 PM (#4090100)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I disagree, Nigel. I can't see anything wrong with that. Like you, I imagine, I chanted my times tables in primary school ad nauseam: one times two is two, two times two is four, three times two is six (I'll let you argue the "is/are" there, but I'm sticking with "is")... I'm pretty sure that the expression "times tables" and the verb "to times" are natural derivatives of that. And there isn't much point arguing against them: their usage is so common that you'd really have to admit that they're standard English. I rather like both, actually. I like the informality, and I'm sure that they are friendlier means of expression to small children for teachers to use. If you don't like them, I fear you'll have to consider it another battle lost...


    26 Jan 21 - 10:00 PM (#4090107)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I have not heard times used for multiply. Multiplied by, yes, as in six times six. But not Times six by six to get 36.

    I get the same Not on your Nelly to the phrase "on accident" (*by* accident!)...


    27 Jan 21 - 02:49 AM (#4090116)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    I have never heard 'on accident'.
    I really dislike 'on the weekend'. It's 'at the weekend', with 'on' being used for a particular day: 'on Friday', 'on Saturday' etc.


    27 Jan 21 - 03:01 AM (#4090118)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Jos

    When I was at school we didn't clutter up our times tables by saying 'times' every time. It was 'Once two is two, two twos are four, three twos are six ... all the way to 'twelve twelves are a hundred and forty-four'.
    No stopping at 'ten times' when you had to learn to calculate in pounds, shillings and pence.


    27 Jan 21 - 04:25 AM (#4090128)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Steve Shaw

    I seem to recall that we moved to that more economical version as we got a bit older, Jos, eight or nine perhaps.


    27 Jan 21 - 05:12 PM (#4090245)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    I have a lycée-aged memory of going behind the little kids' classes to sneak cigs, hearing a familiar tune, going over to listen and realizing they were singing the multiplication table.

    When I learned that song, I did not yet speak French. I thought I was in music class.

    No wonder I still don't know my multiplication table.


    27 Jan 21 - 06:02 PM (#4090252)
    Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
    From: Mrrzy

    Ooh today a NYT headline read Treat yourself to a Parisian apéritif that is easy to make at home.

    But it was about an *appetizer* -not an apéritif, which is a before-dinner drink.

    The NYT! I expect better from them.