Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by jlai, Oct 10, 2010.
I'm gonna let Prancer tackle the last sentence of the piece. I know that's one of her pet peeves.
Mine, too. And it’s a double down!
My writing group got a big kick out of that column last month. Of course, we do have a few members who believe that grammar and spelling are optional, and following rules is a sign of needless conformity.
When I was teaching and coaching speech, my biggest non-word pet peeve was judges writing "pronounciate" or "pronounciation" on score sheets when they meant "enunciate" or "enunciation".
The sad thing is, I know a couple of English majors who talk/write like that. And who think that "irregardless" and "thusly" are just fine.
Oh dear the English language is doomed. Needless apostrophes, lousy spelling, it makes this former English major weep.
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.
Needless apostrophes are one of my pet peeves. Especially when people put them in verbs.
We moved into our particular area because the school district is the best in the county. My son's 4th grade teacher sent home the very first class newsletter with the misspelling of principal. I rolled my eyes, figured she knocked that out quickly but since then I've noticed she has misspelled receive and their. She did not seem to get the spelling rules downpat in grade school.
Proofreading my boss's papers/grants is always an exercise in
Not only is there "thusly" but there's also "firstly." And three-clause sentences that go on for 4 lines. And one doozy that will go down in infamy: "but yet." I crossed that out with gusto, lemme tell you. After my head hit the desk.
It was also amusing for the most recent grant, when it had passed through 5 hands and I was the first person to catch "polulation." My boss was grateful for that one, since that was gonna go to the NCI.
The worst butchers of the language, imo, are the sellers on the home shopping channels. They love to say that a pair of earrings "matches/works back to" or "goes back with" a pendant. They love to say "more pretty" instead, of course, "prettier".
Another new term I can't stomach is "adopt out" instead of "put up for adoption": this isn't just about people, but pets, or even just items that are being given away. Other overuses of "out": "frame the room out" and "switch out".
"Oldest" instead of "eldest". Never getting "I" and "me" correct. 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.
Sorry, this thread is like opening a can of worms for me... somebody stop me! My private school was strict! And getting things correct is so easy if one just puts one's mind to it!
-Bridget, who is praying she didn't make any grammatical or spelling errors herein
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.
At least they didn't say, "more prettier."
I just edited four documents for my company. One of my jobs is to make everything concise and easy-to-read. I felt like the person who originally wrote the documents was being paid for word usage by the letter. My pet peeve with this particular set of documents was that the author consistently wrote "utilize" when "use" would've sufficed. Also, she stuck "will" in a lot of places where it wasn't necessary. Thanks goodness that project is over!
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. Along those lines, I really hate use of the word "sexing" in some pop songs. Ugh and ick. This one makes my skin crawl!
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.
Not all prayers are granted.
Squibble, eys, that will teach me not to post language/spelling pet peeves at 3am, :lol
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"
That's one of the malapropisms that I especially hate! 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"!
I had to read that sentence twice before I figured out what they had meant. I guess they never had a chance to see the Little Rascals on TV.
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"
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!)
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.
Email's a verb in Scrabble, too!
So are the jargony phrases bloated with bogus compassion in which the word challenged, placed after various adverbs, is used to describe ones mental, physical, economic and other unfavorable condition or circumstances
I dont 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.
Here's one that drives me crazy: "these ones."
Isn't it "these" or "this one?" Or am I wrong here?
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!
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.
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."
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.