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View Full Version : Goodbye, cruel words: English. It's dead to me



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Nomad
10-11-2010, 04:22 PM
Saying someone is "more pretty" or "more happy" is a perfectly acceptable alternative to "prettier" or "happier". Often it gives more elegance to a sentence (though I'm not saying that's necessarily the case in the example you cite).

What I really can't bear is the way nouns are increasingly being turned into verbs. Words such as 'progress' and 'action' have now become transitive verbs, e.g. "to action something". This usage seems to be spreading from the US to Britain, sadly. I know all languages evolve, but using a noun as a verb because the correct verb might not be immediately obvious just seems like laziness.

I hate nouns being turned into adjectives by adding a -y to the end. Or, worse, adding a final -y to a word that already is an adjective.

Squibble
10-11-2010, 04:46 PM
Putting themselves first in a sentance: "Me and him", ugh! As much as I love the show "Psych", "Sean" never and I mean never gets that right. Never. "Most unique" when of course, "unique" is an absolute.

Oh, and I cannot leave out the overuse of the word "did". Once in awhile, for emphasis, it's nice to say (for example), "he did do that"; but it's being used all. the. time. and now every sentance seems to have that emphasis where it doesn't belong.

...

-Bridget, who is praying she didn't make any grammatical or spelling errors herein :o

Not all prayers are granted. :P

John 3 17
10-11-2010, 10:55 PM
Squibble, eys, that will teach me not to post language/spelling pet peeves at 3am, :lol

-Bridget

znachki
10-11-2010, 11:11 PM
My favorite story on this subject: I was standing in line at the Post Office, looking around the way you do, when I saw this sticker on the stamp dispensing machine, "Dollar Bills Excepted". Of course, what was really meant was accepted. When I shook my head and made some sort of "tsk" noise, the woman in front of me asked me what was wrong. When I pointed out the error, she looked at me and said, "life must be very difficult for you".

For the most part - I blame "spell check"

skatingfan5
10-11-2010, 11:20 PM
I kind of like the "doggy dog world" phrase. That's one of the malapropisms that I especially hate! :lynch: :dog: Mainly because it makes not a whit of sense, but probably my being a cat person factors in just a wee bit. Oh well, if it really is a "doggy dog" world, I hope they at least get all the bitches "spaded"! :P
But this is nothing new. I sat in an upper division geography class thirty years ago while the professor roared a rant about the idiotic students who'd written "alpha alpha" as the answer to a test question on primary animal fodders in a certain country. Apparently, out of our class of twenty or so, five or six students had made this same error. One, I am sure, that they never repeated.I had to read that sentence twice before I figured out what they had meant. :lol: I guess they never had a chance to see the Little Rascals on TV.

mkats
10-12-2010, 01:40 AM
I kind of like the "doggy dog world" phrase.

But this is nothing new. I sat in an upper division geography class thirty years ago while the professor roared a rant about the idiotic students who'd written "alpha alpha" as the answer to a test question on primary animal fodders in a certain country. Apparently, out of our class of twenty or so, five or six students had made this same error. One, I am sure, that they never repeated.

:lol: not related to alfalfa, but when I was in middle school we got a very similar question on primary animal fodders in a geography class. The girl behind me put "meat" :P

Back to English... one of my friends was a chemistry undergrad TA. One of the labs involved extraction of pigments from shredded spinach. You wouldn't believe how many ways people came up with to spell spinach (sometimes in the same lab report!) :(

Theatregirl1122
10-12-2010, 03:14 AM
I agree that turning nouns into verbs is especially aggravating. "E-mail me," versus, "Send me an e-mail," is one of my pet peeves.

But mail is a verb so I don't see why email would be unacceptable as a verb. Sometimes I verb things (hehe) but only ironically.

jl
10-12-2010, 08:21 AM
Email's a verb in Scrabble, too! ;)

Tinami Amori
10-12-2010, 09:12 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/13/AR2010091304476.html

Good one.....:rollin:


A jargony phrase bloated with bogus compassion -- once the province only of 12-step programs and sensitivity training seminars -- "reach out to" is now commonplace in newspapers.

So are the jargony phrases bloated with bogus compassion in which the word “challenged”, placed after various adverbs, is used to describe one’s mental, physical, economic and other unfavorable condition or circumstances…. :D.

I don’t see much difference between “mentally challenged” and a “dumb idiot”……. Except that a “dumb idiot” is more likely to comprehend the meaning of “dumb idiot” than the meaning of “mentally challenged”.

skateboy
10-12-2010, 09:58 AM
Here's one that drives me crazy: "these ones."

Isn't it "these" or "this one?" Or am I wrong here?

Zemgirl
10-12-2010, 10:10 AM
The one expression I loathe and sadly see everywhere is "the fact of the matter is". Not only is this poor writing (my English teacher said so, and I agree), it's also often used to refer to things that are not actual facts. Yuck.

I also dislike the ever-increasing tendency to report in present rather than past tense. If it happened in the past, I don't want a play by play - use past tense!

Jackie Sparrow
10-12-2010, 10:37 AM
Except that a “dumb idiot” is more likely to comprehend the meaning of “dumb idiot” than the meaning of “mentally challenged”. :D



I also dislike the ever-increasing tendency to report in present rather than past tense. If it happened in the past, I don't want a play by play - use past tense! Are you talking about the historical present in literature or in general?
I like it in literature, it's very common in German. But I can't stand it in newspaper, it's very sensational and something that sets crap newspaper apart from high quality newspapers.

Zemgirl
10-12-2010, 10:45 AM
Are you talking about the historical present in literature or in general?
I like it in literature, it's very common in German. But I can't stand it in newspaper, it's very sensational and something that sets crap newspaper apart from high quality newspapers.
I'm not overly fond of present tense in literature, but it can sometimes be used to good effect. But mostly I was referring to present tense in journalism - print, online and broadcast. It's becoming more common even in what should be high quality media.

Squibble
10-12-2010, 09:07 PM
Two posts from another thread, in successive posts, that made me smile:

"he believes in the tenants of his religion" and "my tollerance for massive crowds has waned over the years."

:)

Dragonlady
10-12-2010, 09:36 PM
It wasn't until I said "What is 'alpha alpha'?" that I realized what they were trying to say. As soon as a heard "alpha alpha" I realized they meant alfalfa.