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What's Your No. 1 Grammar Pet Peeve?

 
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2011 01:13 am
Youse guys is all just a bunch'a elitist nit-pickin snobs. There ain't nothin' wrong with "ain't" when used in colloquial speech. Fyi, Henry James was known to use it. Prob'ly Jesse James, too. And while I detest the word "irregardless" and have been known to throw things at people who use it, I'm ready to grudgingly admit that it's a legit word. Ugly, but legit. And at my advanced age I'm begining to question the proposition that so-called double negatives are all wrong. If so many people use them in good faith and we all know what they mean to say when they say "that don't mean nothing", how can it be wrong?

I do have one pet language peeve but it ain't about grammar; it's about the misuse of certain words. To wit, translator and interpreter ain't synonims (sp.?) but it seems that every news commentator on radio and TV are using them as though they were. The guy standing next to President Obama in Kabul and repating every word in Pashtu or Farsi which the prexy said in English , well, that guy ain't no translator. He ain't writin' nothing down. He's an interpreter.

But, anyways, I still think youse guys is way too picky.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2011 01:45 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Multiple negatives are common in other languages. In French, you are required to multiply the negatives: Je ne veux pas voir toi, ni ta mère, ni ton père, ni tes frères (the parts of the negation are ne, pas, ni, ni and ni).
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2011 10:28 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Quote:
And at my advanced age I'm begining to question the proposition that so-called double negatives are all wrong. If so many people use them in good faith and we all know what they mean to say when they say "that don't mean nothing", how can it be wrong?


Of course it isn't wrong, LA. It's the idiots who have kept repeating this type of nonsense, nonsense that wasn't even their own thoughts.

Consider their contention: people gloss double negatives [which are really only negative concord] as positives. They actually state this nonsense in complete defiance of reality.

None of these grammar gurus understand Mick Jagger, when he sings "I can't get no satisfaction", as stating that he is satisfied, yet they keep mouthing the nonsense.

0 Replies
 
sharonpustejovsky
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Aug, 2011 10:27 pm
@dupre,
Overuse of the word "awesome" as slang. If you read its meaning in the dictionary: "inspiring awe, extraordinary", shouldn't there only a handful of things in this world that are truly awesome? Yet it is used for everything: "that sandwich was awesome", "you are awesome for remembering to pick up the laundry", "Awesome, it's not raining!", "Look, little Johnny ate all of his broccoli - that's awesome!"
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 12:17 am
@sharonpustejovsky,
Overuse of a word is not a grammatical error. It's merely intelletual sloth.

There was a man who had a teen-age daughter who was very well-behaved and obedient to her parents in most things. But she had one bad habit that really got on her father's nerves. She talked like a Valley Girl, pure adolescent slang. So one day he took his daughter aside and said, "Look, dear, I'd like to ask you a favor. There are two words that I really wish you'd stop using. One is 'awesome'; the other is 'gross.'" And the girl, obedient as always, said, "Oh, f'sure, dad. Which two words are they?"
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 01:30 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Now, that deserves a cross posting to the Bad Jokes thread.
0 Replies
 
sharonpustejovsky
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 07:44 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Okay, well that kind of intellectual sloth is pretty annoying. Awesome story about the Valley Girl, though!

Let me give this another try:
Using "there's" for everything instead of "there are" when necessary.

Correct: "There's only one employee assisting customers."
Incorrect: "There's two employees helping customers."

I hear things a lot worse than that, though, since I live in an area where some people "done ate already".
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 01:25 pm
@sharonpustejovsky,
If you read the meaning of 'awesome' in the dictionary, Sharon, you will note that it, like numerous other English words, holds more than one meaning. Why this escapes so many people mystifies me.

Words acquire their meanings by how they are used in language. That so many people also miss this mystifies me.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 01:36 pm
I despise the word awesome.

The morning the Twin Towers fell, I was watching with horror, along with others, at a car wash I was at that fine morning.

Someone who worked there walked by, some kid, meaning he was early 20's.

He took one look at the loop playing, got this goofy half grin on his face and said "AWESOME!!!"
Like it was some ******* video game.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 01:44 pm
@sharonpustejovsky,
Quote:
Let me give this another try:
Using "there's" for everything instead of "there are" when necessary.

Correct: "There's only one employee assisting customers."
Incorrect: "There's two employees helping customers."


The last one is not incorrect, Sharon, it's nonstandard. But it may be on its way to being standard as corpus studies have shown it's used much more in speech than 'there are', even among professors and graduate students.

It's the same for here's/how's/where's.

The patterns we use for speech are not at all like the patterns we use for writing. They differ in quite the dramatic fashion because the rules for speech are different than the rules for writing.

If you recall you had to learn how to write, it was taught in school whereas you weren't taught to speak. What this tells us is that writing is, in a sense artificial language, speech isn't.

JTT
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 01:50 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
I despise the word awesome.


That, of course, is your right, Chai. But ignorance isn't. You have but to check a dictionary to bring yourself up to speed on the current meanings of 'awesome'.

I'd say that a 100 some story building falling into its footprint is pretty damn awesome.
0 Replies
 
sharonpustejovsky
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2011 01:15 pm
@JTT,
I wondered if using "there's" instead of "there are" was a trend, because I have heard quite a few intelligent/educated people use "there's" when I thought that "there are" was correct.

"Who have" and "that have" is another area that makes me wonder. I always thought that if you were referring to people/a person you would use "who have/has" and not "that has". Am I right or wrong here?

Correct: Is she the one who has access to the vault?
Incorrect: Is she the one that has access to the vault?

Now I am going to admit that I've always been a bit confused when it comes to using "who" and "whom". I had thought that when I was back in high school, that I learned there are certain times when "whom" has been traditionally used, but it is now acceptable to just say "who". Can anyone clarify this? I don't care for the more formal air of using "whom", but I would like to use who/whom correctly.

"Who owns this building?"
"Is he the one who owns this building?"
"Is he the one whom owns this building?"
"Who do I give the money to?"
"Whom do I give the money to?"

Can you please tell me which of the above sentences are incorrect?
Thanks!

I have seen the more modern definition of "awesome", but still think that the word is overused and should still be reserved for something truly awe-inspiring. But the masses have obviously disagreed.
sharonpustejovsky
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2011 01:15 pm
@JTT,
Interesting point about writing vs. speaking.
0 Replies
 
sharonpustejovsky
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2011 01:34 pm
@chai2,
Exactly what I'm talking about...
Using awesome at that time seems so disrespectful and like he didn't see it for the serious thing that it was.
Having not been there when it happened, it seems unfathomable for me to imagine what it was really like.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2011 01:38 pm
@sharonpustejovsky,
Quote:
"Who have" and "that have" is another area that makes me wonder. I always thought that if you were referring to people/a person you would use "who have/has" and not "that has". Am I right or wrong here?


There is a lot of nonsense about the English language out there, Sharon.

As relative pronouns, used for people, both 'who' and 'that' are fine.

['which' is also used, rarely, to make reference to people when it is an obscure reference.]

The man that/who ...


Quote:
Now I am going to admit that I've always been a bit confused when it comes to using "who" and "whom". I had thought that when I was back in high school, that I learned there are certain times when "whom" has been traditionally used, but it is now acceptable to just say "who". Can anyone clarify this? I don't care for the more formal air of using "whom", but I would like to use who/whom correctly.


'whom' is moribund. You can use 'who' in every situation where a 'whom' could be used and be grammatically correct except when a preposition is fronted, eg.

"Who owns this building?"
"Is he the one who owns this building?" OK
X "Is he the one whom owns this building?" X

"Who do I give the money to?"
"Whom do I give the money to?"

X"To who do I give the money [to]?"X
"To whom do I give the money [to]?" OK

sharonpustejovsky
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2011 01:46 pm
@JTT,
Thanks for clarifying.

So basically if I'm using a preposition before who/whom it needs to be whom.

To whom, through whom, etc.

Every other time using "who" is fine.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2011 01:55 pm
@sharonpustejovsky,
Quote:
Every other time using "who" is fine.


There are other considerations in language, Sharon. In some situations, more formal, speech or writing, one can choose to use 'whom' instead of 'who'.
0 Replies
 
WendyLou
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Nov, 2011 03:25 pm
@dupre,
My pet peeve is the tendency for Queensland dwellers to say 'eh' at the end of every comment, whether or not it is a statement or a question. I say this with abject apologies to the delightful people of Queensland, Australia.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Nov, 2011 03:27 pm
Oh . . . they sound like Canadians, eh?
0 Replies
 
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Dec, 2011 09:12 am
@dupre,
My pet peeve is the mispronunciation of the word "nuclear". I hate it when I hear people say "nucular"
0 Replies
 
 

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