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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    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.
    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!)

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Johnston View Post
    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.

  3. #23
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    Email's a verb in Scrabble, too!

  4. #24

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    Good one.....

    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…. .

    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”.

  5. #25

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    Here's one that drives me crazy: "these ones."

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

  6. #26

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    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!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    Except that a “dumb idiot” is more likely to comprehend the meaning of “dumb idiot” than the meaning of “mentally challenged”.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    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.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackie Sparrow View Post
    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.

  9. #29
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    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."


  10. #30

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    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.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squibble View Post
    "he believes in the tenants of his religion"
    I wonder how much rent he is charging.

  12. #32
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    Now, now, everyone. Don't loose it.

    (That one makes me want to scream! It's all over the place, too, like some sort of viral mutant typo.)

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8er1964 View Post
    Now, now, everyone. Don't loose it.

    (That one makes me want to scream! It's all over the place, too, like some sort of viral mutant typo.)
    That's the right attitude! Don't take English language abuse laying down! Anymore I'm tired of people playing fast and lose with there grammar, spelling, and whatnot.

  14. #34
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    I read this thread, then the very next thread I read, in the first post, it's/its is misused not once, but twice!

  15. #35

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    The one that makes me crazy is "connect" when it's used in place of "call" or "meet with", i.e. "I've been trying to connect with him for a week" or "When would you like to connect?".

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squibble View Post
    "tollerance."
    This is actually a correctly spelled word -- it means enjoyment of Toller's skating.

  17. #37
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    tollerance - tolerance of highway tolls
    trollerance - putting up with trolls on discussion boards

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemba View Post
    This is actually a correctly spelled word -- it means enjoyment of Toller's skating.
    Indeed. Thomas Hardy used it several times in Far from the Massive Madding Crowd.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    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.
    That was probably what caused the professor, to, ahem (sorry, sk8r1964) loose it. I remember him railing about the utter stupidity of students who heard something - alpha alpha in this case -- and who never thought to ask, "Why would this province of China have a fodder I've never heard of," or, "Why would a Chinese fodder be named using the spelling of letters from the Greek alphabet?" as well as general comments on their overall education if they'd really never heard about alfalfa by that point in their educations.

    It is much funnier in retrospect, but at the time I just prayed that I would never, ever do anything that would cause him to get that mad at me. I wonder what he thinks of it now?

    But, it's a doggy dog world world out there, and the tenants of my religion are generally cat people, so I'm kind of stuck. Maybe we'll connect in a better way going forward, when I'm able to reach out with greater tollerance.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    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!
    Oh, that's another thing my boss does when writing papers. It can be complicated, because we're often referring to experiment methodology done in the past, but at the same time, we're also referring to results from those experiments that are presently true.

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