51
   

What are your pet peeves re English usage?

 
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Apr, 2013 08:29 pm
@joefromchicago,
Thanks. Permitting gay marriage does indeed work for me. Recognizing younger-than-18 representatives would work for me too, except for the severe dearth of actual people to recognize in practice. If I'm wrong about this dearth and a non-negligible number of our representatives is, indeed, younger than 18, then by all means let's recognize them.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Apr, 2013 01:07 am
@Thomas,

Quote:
Permitting gay marriage does indeed work for me


To me that term sounds patronising. What they crave is equality, not a permit. I know I'm splitting hairs, but this is a delicate subject.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Apr, 2013 06:43 am
@McTag,
Nothing wrong with splitting hairs here. This is a pet-peeve thread, after all.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  4  
Reply Fri 26 Apr, 2013 08:21 am
Moving on to another peeve of mine: The next time I hear reporters on the Boston bombing use the term "terrible tragedy", I'll send them a pressure cooker myself. It's a tragedy for Murphy's sake! Did you expect it to be pretty or uplifting?
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 26 Apr, 2013 10:49 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
The next time I hear reporters on the Boston bombing use the term "terrible tragedy",


'Tis all part of the propaganda system, Thomas. But you've been in the US long enough to realize that.

Note how the bombing of hundreds or thousands by the US of any brown skinned folks from other countries barely raises a headline. Babies born deformed from US WMDs doesn't even raise a Meh.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 01:14 pm
Random pep talk on TV: "The word failure is not in my vocabulary". Seriously? Of course it's in your vocabulary! You just brought it up!
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 01:29 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Moving on to another peeve of mine: The next time I hear reporters on the Boston bombing use the term "terrible tragedy", I'll send them a pressure cooker myself. It's a tragedy for Murphy's sake! Did you expect it to be pretty or uplifting?


Personally, I would eschew the use of the word "tragedy" at all in a story like that, Thomas. I remember being told as a young cub reporter by an editor that if I had to tell my readers that an event I was describing is a tragedy, then there's something wrong with the way I'm telling the story.
McTag
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 03:14 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I like that.

What about eye-witness? Is there any other kind?
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:15 pm
@McTag,
McTag wrote:

What about eye-witness? Is there any other kind?


Point taken. It's like 'false pretenses.' What other kinds of pretenses are there?
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 04:51 pm
@McTag,
They don't produce these solecisms for people of taste and intelligence Taggers. They are for the rest of us numpties.

The rain "sweeping in from the west" always makes me laugh. (Weather-girl languidly sweeps beautiful arm from left to right and shudders understatedly).
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 05:15 pm
re McTag
There are also what might be called, but probably aren't, "ear witnesses", like Trayvon Martin's girlfriend, who was talking to him on his cellphone as he was accosted by George Zimmerman, who shortly afterward shot and killed him. She's the nearest thing to an actual witness of the shooting that there is, though she was miles away at the time, and the phone went dead before the shot. There are also witnesses who heard some of what was happening in their backyards, but didn't actually see anything until after the shot, and their accounts of what happened don't agree.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 05:19 pm
@MontereyJack,
I particularly like ""Gimme an apple pie ala mode with a dip of icer cream)
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 05:45 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

I particularly like ""Gimme an apple pie ala mode with a dip of icer cream)



I actually had this conversation quite a number of years ago with a counter girl at a diner in Concord, N.H.

Me: "I'll have a slice of apple pie a la mode."

Counter person: "You want ice cream with that?"

Me: "I said 'a la mode'."

She: (in a petulant kind of voice)"Well, that's with ice cream."
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 06:53 pm
@McTag,
Quote:
What about eye-witness? Is there any other kind?


Yes, for example there's a coroner who rarely gets to the scene of the crime before a person dies. There are witnesses who tell all manner of things that never 'eye-witnessed' the crime.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 01:57 am
@JTT,
Quote:
Yes, for example there's a coroner who rarely gets to the scene of the crime before a person dies. There are witnesses who tell all manner of things that never 'eye-witnessed' the crime.


Yes I know that. There are religious witnesses too.

But I was referring to people who have earlier seen something, as in

"The police spoke to eye-witnesses."

The guardian was running a series on journalistic cliches, of which there are many, you'd be surprised.
How many times do you hear "sneak preview"?
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 02:14 am
And, can you really be surrounded without being surrounded on all sides?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 09:19 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Quote:
Point taken. It's like 'false pretenses.' What other kinds of pretenses are there?


Considering just how much there is to discuss about language that is actually interesting, Merry, why do you always go for these non-issues; then on top of that you even get them all wrong?

0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 09:30 am
@Lustig Andrei,
You're so worldly, Merry. We see it all the time here in your offerings on language and American "history".

0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 09:38 am
@roger,
Quote:
And, can you really be surrounded without being surrounded on all sides?


Most assuredly you can. How many sides does a circle have, Roger?

Where did you steal this little gem from? Which idiotic little prescriptive style manual?

Where do you guys get off criticizing others use of language, most often without any justification, when by and large you don't know your ass from your elbow with respect to language.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 11:36 am
@JTT,

Disagree. If you're surrounded, ipso facto you're surrounded on all sides.

How about "they were stopped in their tracks"?
 

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