25
   

ABUSED WORDS

 
 
Setanta
 
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:16 am
I want to scream everytime i hear a news reader or commentator use the word iconic. Iconic means formulaic, following a convention (as was the case with the religious paintings known as icons). I almost never hear it properly used, but more than that, i hear it used ad nauseum. A commentator referred to a musician's new CD as "icnonic," and proceeded to describe it as "groundbreaking," and a departure from established styles--it was therefore clearly not iconic. I heard a news reader yesterday refer to the temple mount in Jerusalem as "iconic"--but the temple mount is one of a kind, it does not follow any convention.

Back in the 90s, the word being flogged was paradigm. I heard it so often and so inappropriately i began to suspect that those using it didn't actually know what it means.

What words do you hear all the time that just sends you screaming?
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:26 am
@Setanta,

A good read instead of a good book or something good to read.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:29 am
@Setanta,
"Challenges", when people try to put a positive spin on the idea of serious problems.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:33 am
My personal pet peeve is the constantly misused mathematical term - exponential.

The term exponential refers to a very specific way the change of one variable affects the change of another variable.

It is constantly misused to mean "a very big change" or even a very large (but not changing) value.
sullyfish6
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:38 am
I'm sick of 'transparency"
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:38 am
the parliamentary use of honourable, being elected doesn't make you honourable
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:45 am
Decimated
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:47 am
@roger,
"issues" and 'growing your business"

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:47 am
Those are all good ones, certainly.

Roger, i hate it when people speak as though decimated means a lot of people were killed. It only means every tenth man.
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:54 am
"enormity"


I was watching Ocean's 13 the other day and there's a moment where someone says to Al Pacino, "I would like to congratulate you on the enormity of your success." I will grant that the movies in this series are clever enough that this line might have been intended literally, but I am inclined to think that the screenwriter, like everyone else, was mistakenly using "enormity" as a synonym for "bigness."
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:56 am
@Setanta,
"Irregardless". Not only isn't it a real word, but it seems redundant in its incorrectness.

Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:58 am
@rosborne979,
Correction: From the M-W Online Dictionary

Main Entry:
ir·re·gard·less
Pronunciation:
\ˌir-i-ˈgärd-ləs\
Function:
adverb
Etymology:
probably blend of irrespective and regardless
Date:
circa 1912
nonstandard : regardless
usage Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 09:58 am
@sullyfish6,
Quote:
I'm sick of 'transparency"


After only a little more than 100 days?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 10:02 am
@Shapeless,
I've always used enormity in the sense of an outrageous act or a crime. I'd probably better go check out the definition to see if i'm using it correctly.
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 10:16 am
Literally is literally never used to distinguish something from its figurative interpretation.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 10:17 am
@roger,
Do you know the origin of this word?

Check it out, you'll be surprised..
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 10:27 am
@Francis,
I recall in Latin, that decem was ten, Francis, so I assume that is the origin of the word.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 10:34 am
@Shapeless,
http://mw1.m-w.com/dictionary/enormity

Quote:


I'm not following how it was misused.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 10:36 am
@Setanta,
http://mw1.m-w.com/dictionary/decimated

Quote:

dec·i·mate Listen to the pronunciation of decimate
Pronunciation:
\ˈde-sə-ˌmāt\
Function:
transitive verb
Inflected Form(s):
dec·i·mat·ed; dec·i·mat·ing
Etymology:
Latin decimatus, past participle of decimare, from decimus tenth, from decem ten
Date:
1660

1: to select by lot and kill every tenth man of
2: to exact a tax of 10 percent from <poor as a decimated Cavalier " John Dryden>
3 a: to reduce drastically especially in number <cholera decimated the population>
b: to cause great destruction or harm to <firebombs decimated the city> <an industry decimated by recession>


Words can have more than one meaning.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 10:38 am
@Gargamel,
I was literally floored by this.... Wink

"Quote-unquote"

"John said he was quote unquote too sick to come in to work."

No, it's "John said he was quote too sick unquote to come in to work."

0 Replies
 
 

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