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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Lighter 19 Aug 20 - 09:32 PM
Charmion 19 Aug 20 - 09:20 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Aug 20 - 07:35 PM
Bill D 19 Aug 20 - 07:19 PM
leeneia 19 Aug 20 - 05:37 PM
Mrrzy 19 Aug 20 - 02:02 PM
Lighter 19 Aug 20 - 12:57 PM
Bill D 19 Aug 20 - 09:42 AM
Lighter 19 Aug 20 - 07:32 AM
Doug Chadwick 19 Aug 20 - 05:54 AM
Nigel Parsons 19 Aug 20 - 05:22 AM
Mrrzy 18 Aug 20 - 06:00 PM
meself 18 Aug 20 - 05:32 PM
leeneia 18 Aug 20 - 05:28 PM
Mrrzy 18 Aug 20 - 02:34 PM
meself 18 Aug 20 - 10:41 AM
Charmion 18 Aug 20 - 10:35 AM
Mrrzy 18 Aug 20 - 07:19 AM
Lighter 17 Aug 20 - 03:25 PM
leeneia 17 Aug 20 - 01:22 PM
Rusty Dobro 17 Aug 20 - 03:44 AM
leeneia 16 Aug 20 - 02:57 PM
Mrrzy 16 Aug 20 - 08:06 AM
meself 16 Aug 20 - 01:30 AM
leeneia 15 Aug 20 - 11:40 PM
Mrrzy 15 Aug 20 - 07:35 PM
Mrrzy 15 Aug 20 - 07:33 PM
Lighter 15 Aug 20 - 07:03 PM
Mrrzy 12 Aug 20 - 11:13 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 20 - 04:21 PM
Nigel Parsons 11 Aug 20 - 02:50 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Aug 20 - 02:14 PM
leeneia 11 Aug 20 - 01:43 PM
Nigel Parsons 11 Aug 20 - 11:26 AM
Mrrzy 11 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM
leeneia 09 Aug 20 - 02:10 PM
Lighter 07 Aug 20 - 05:35 PM
Doug Chadwick 07 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM
leeneia 07 Aug 20 - 12:08 AM
Lighter 06 Aug 20 - 01:15 PM
Jeri 06 Aug 20 - 12:15 PM
Lighter 06 Aug 20 - 08:45 AM
Lighter 06 Aug 20 - 08:36 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Aug 20 - 08:02 AM
Lighter 06 Aug 20 - 07:54 AM
Lighter 06 Aug 20 - 07:41 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Aug 20 - 06:36 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Aug 20 - 05:04 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Aug 20 - 04:38 AM
Mrrzy 05 Aug 20 - 11:46 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 09:32 PM

> "OK, listen up, guys!" notwithstanding that there were both boys and girls in the group!

About the norm in the U.S. for 30 years or more. So no exclamation point is required in these parts.

The usage of "guy" is surprisingly nuanced.

Grown American women call each other "girls" or "gals," but "guys" may be even more common among females under fifty or so. But it would sound very weird to me to hear a lone female addressed as "guy" by anybody. Men and boys, of course, are often addressed as "guy." (I don't intend to get into the complications of "bud," "buddy," "bro," "brah," "boy," "dude," and earthier terms.)

"You guys" long ago became essentially the Northern equivalent of genderless Southern and African-American "y'all."

P.S. Plural "youse" seems to be on the way out. And I've never heard anybody say "youse guys" who wasn't on a movie screen, though I can easily imagine it being used occasionally for emphasis.

Neither of my middle-class grandparents, born in NYC in the 1880s, ever said "youse." Everybody was "you" (plurals: "both of you," "all of you.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 09:20 PM

We are often addressed as “You guys” by chirpy young folks in service occupations. When I feel extra-curmudgeonly, I will stiffly inform these nice people that I am a woman, and no “guy”, thus earning a full dose of that whipped-puppy expression that I have learned to dread, for it means : “You are unhappy with me already and I don’t know *why*!”

Of course, my curmudgeonlyness just multiplies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 07:35 PM

At the last school I taught in, we had a PE teacher who would round up his kids on the field of play by shouting "OK, listen up, guys!" notwithstanding that there were both boys and girls in the group! I fell out, temporarily, with the same bloke when, as as a form teacher collating subject reports, I sent one back to him in which he had written, about one of the many kids who understandably lack enthusiasm for enforced sportiness, "This boy is completely disinterested in PE." The dispute went as far as the headteacher (ironically, a graduate in English from Cambridge University), who overruled me! Good times though...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 07:19 PM

....pre-recorded earlier at a previous time before this... ;>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 05:37 PM

This is pure peevishness on my part. I'm tired of clicking on YouTube videos that begin with an over-chirpy young person exclaiming "Hi guys! What's up?" The person is usually too close to the camera.

What's up is I was hoping for a good video.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 02:02 PM

Right, I finally found out they meant A star made out of diamonds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 12:57 PM

You mean like "prepare in advance"?

Personally, I think such redundant phrases reflect a natural desire for emphasis and not the speaker's foolishness.

They make easy targets, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 09:42 AM

I worked for a woman once whose pet peeve was "pre-recorded earlier".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 07:32 AM

In any case, it truly is an example of incomprehensible writing.

The writer should have said, "a star consisting of five diamond shapes" or something like that.

The valuable principle of omitting needless words refers only to *needless* words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 05:54 AM

each design includes a yellow diamond-shaped star

If we are talking about the proposed Mississippi state flag, the yellow (5 pointed) star is made up of 5 diamond shapes, as against the solid, white or blue 5 pointed stars shown elsewhere in the designs.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 05:22 AM

each design includes a yellow diamond-shaped star
I have no problems with that. a quick google will give pictures of such a display (as a 4-pointed star). Perhaps you were expecting the more common 5 pointed star.
A quick look at flags will show you stars with many differing numbers of points:
3: The international brigade (or, on cars, Mercedes Benz)
4: Aruba, Nato
5: USA, Tunisia
6: Israel, Morocco
7: Australia
8: Phillipines
And there are flags with even pointier stars.
But it is just a representation. Most pictures of our nearest start show it as being almost spherical, and not pointy at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 06:00 PM

Ok now this:

each design includes a yellow diamond-shaped star

Again... What?!?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 05:32 PM

The more heinous the crime, the more certain the perp will be referred to as "the gentleman".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 05:28 PM

"Alleged" means that the person is suspected of a crime but has not been convicted. In fact, the person may be innocent. Both police and journalists use the term.

Cops have their jargon, all right. They never seem to drive or walk anywhere, they proceed. And why do they have to say that something "went down" when the rest of us say it happened?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 02:34 PM

I have no idea what they meant, even after reading the article! I just loved the "caused by" x "unrelated" oxymoron.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 10:41 AM

Did they also state that the "suspect" stabbed the victim?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 10:35 AM

The language of police and lawyers is one of the most fertile sources of language peeves. With cops, some of the worst tangles arise from an effort to avoid implying as a fact something that is not yet officially "true", such as the constant reiteration of the word "alleged", and others come from narrow special meanings, such as the "unrelated" incident in Mrrzy's example. I'll bet that actually means the stabbing and the "unrelated" incident were not committed by the same person, or were committed by the same person but not for the same reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 07:19 AM

According to the Charlottesville Police Department, the stabbing was the result of an unrelated incident that occurred on the UVA Corner, which sent me thinking, what?!?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Aug 20 - 03:25 PM

There are also "firenados." And "sharknados."

There's no limit to a wordnado. (Bigger than a "word cloud.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Aug 20 - 01:22 PM

You forgot derecho, tornado, heat wave and haboob.

I was on the fringe of a derecho last week - the weather map showed a cone laid on its side, and inside the cone were tiny green dots, each one a thunderstorm. I think there were 524 in all. The cone extended from Nebraska to Indiana at the time I looked, and places had winds of 80 mph.

My sister called me from Wisconsin, upset and on-edge, just needing somebody to talk to, because she had non-stop thunder for an hour.
==========
Spellcheck in out-of-date. It doesn't like derecho or haboob.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 17 Aug 20 - 03:44 AM

The TV weather girl has just announced that we’re having literally every kind of weather thrown at us today!
I’m now preparing for deep snow, hurricanes, pea-soupers and a new ice-age. What an August this is turning out to be!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 02:57 PM

You're welcome. You would do the same for me, I'm sure.

We had lentil soup last night, and for the first time I added some celery seed at the end. It was good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 08:06 AM

I have long wondered why that food is named Advocate. The ancients probably beaned a miscreant with hard things but if you were on their side, you could demonstrate your support by using a hard thing wrapped in softer stuff?

Thanks for a creative way of repairing my, uh, boner!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 16 Aug 20 - 01:30 AM

I really wish I'd been aware of the word "funeralize" in my younger days - I'm sure I would have been heard to say, "I'm going to funeralize that sonofabitch!" (I had a habit of announcing what I would - ideally, theoretically, hypothetically - enact.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 15 Aug 20 - 11:40 PM

Well, let's make it relevant to a language thread.

Your avocado reminds me of a joke in the comic opera Fledermaus. The Italian tenor who's been trying to seduce the leading lady is in jail (I forget why) and he demands a lawyer (avvocato.)

A guard reports to the warden that the prisoner wants an avocado.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Aug 20 - 07:35 PM

Oops wrong thread!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Aug 20 - 07:33 PM

I started off to stuff half an avocado with crab salad, but it kinda took a sharp left... Now I have a big bowl of chopped lettuces tomato avocado celery dill parsley with crab and lemon on top, with vinaigrette and almonds. Yum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Aug 20 - 07:03 PM

A current news story refers to wild-boar piglets (or "boarlets") as "cubs."

Scandalous or so-what?

https://www.yahoo.com/news/wild-boar-stole-german-nudists-152429522.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Aug 20 - 11:13 AM

Pope's nose on chicken, game hen, duckduckduckgoose in my family


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 20 - 04:21 PM

Very good, Nigel! Just a tiny cavil: it's the pope's nose on a turkey... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Aug 20 - 02:50 PM

I'm with Nigel on this one. And then, of course, there's strangling the turkey....
Ah yes, "Parsons knows" best ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 20 - 02:14 PM

I'm with Nigel on this one. And then, of course, there's strangling the turkey....

Another drastic thing that doesn't necessarily kill you is electrocution...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Aug 20 - 01:43 PM

Mrrzy, I agree with you. We are so accustomed to media reporting on deaths that when we see 'strangled,' we assume the victim died. 'Choked' or 'started to strangle' would be better journalism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Aug 20 - 11:26 AM

Not all dictionaries would agree: Strangle:
Squeeze or constrict the neck of (a person or animal), especially so as to cause death. 'especially' so as to cause death is not exclusive.
If someone has another in a choke hold you might say "He's strangling her", but with a restricted meaning of 'strangle' you don't know whether that's true (prior to the outcome).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM

Some news source reported that someone strangled someone else till that someone else was unconscious. No. Choking someone means cutting off their airway; strangling means choking them *to death*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 09 Aug 20 - 02:10 PM

I don't think so. Just as jeans are cheap, sturdy working-class denim, and designer jeans are expensive, upper-class denim, so designer drugs are supposed to be somehow nobler and classier than street drugs. But they are not, and it is irresponsible to go along with that idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Aug 20 - 05:35 PM

"Designer drugs" were named in the early '80s. They were analogs of widely used street drugs, like heroin, that were intentionally "designed" to be different enough chemically as to be entirely legal.

At least in the U.S., laws were overhauled to catch up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 07 Aug 20 - 05:03 PM

"Designer drug" sounds more dangerous to me.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 07 Aug 20 - 12:08 AM

I was just looking at YouTubes and came across another journalist's weasel word (phrase, actually.) The phrase is "designer drug." They make it sound like some illegal, unhealthful street drugs are high class and somehow better. They are not.

In the video, a man who had been using a designer drug was walking down a busy highway, confused and incoherent, convinced the cars on the highway were enemies following him. This was bad, but he was carrying a young baby as well. No diaper bag, nothing to care for the kid, and he had him slung carelessly across one arm, as if he had forgotten the kid was there.

I googled the drug (molly), and it's just another form of methamphetamine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 01:15 PM

Jeri, you evidently received different advice than I did - quite likely, since my memory goes back to the Eisenhower administration.

Commas ordinarily do go between items in a simple series:

"funeralize, aircrafts, blaring, and fast." (The last is allegedly optional.)

But ("never begin a sentence with 'but'") a series connected with coordinating conjunctions is (or was) for some mystical reason distinct:

"funeralize or aircrafts or blaring or fast."

I find the commas useful for emphasis, but those who never learned the "rule" of omitting them won't even notice.

For some perspective, imagine how they felt in the tenth and eleventh centuries, when all those grammatical endings were falling off their words. Chaos! (Or did people even care?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 12:15 PM

Somebody other than you said "Never place commas between phrases beginning with "and" or "or."

As you did with

"statements that are obscure to their intended audience, or needlessly wordy or convoluted, or disorganized, or ambiguous, are clearly a nuisance - or worse." (missed one).

Exactly where they SHOULD go, unless I misunderstood your meaning, which is entirely possible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 08:45 AM

> "funeralize" is inelegant, and carries inappropriate connotations

Perhaps I should have added, "for many language-oriented people, especially with degrees."

For the rest of the world, who knows?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 08:36 AM

Probably applies to "and/or" as well. :^}


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 08:02 AM

"Never place commas between phrases beginning with "and" or "or."

Do both phrases have to begin with "and" or "or"? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 07:54 AM

Two very useful lessons I learned were "Know your audience" and "Omit needless words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 07:41 AM

I agree that "funeralize" is inelegant, and carries inappropriate connotations, and I'd avoid using it, but if other people want to say it all the time, that's fine with me.

"Funeralize" is briefer than the alternatives, as well as crystal clear. I have bigger things to worry about.

Many of the posts to this thread, I assume, are semi-humorous. Some seem to go out out their way to fail to understand what is obviously being said. They self-obfuscize (just made that one up).

However ("never use at the beginning if a sentence" said somebody in my schooling), statements that are obscure to their intended audience, or needlessly wordy or convoluted, or disorganized, or ambiguous, are clearly a nuisance - or worse.

I almost forgot another voice from my past: "Never place commas between phrases beginning with "and" or "or."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 06:36 AM

Do I really have to tell you every time whether I'm being whimsical or not, Nigel, or d'ye think you could work that out for yourself?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 05:04 AM

Civilisation greatly pre-dates "On the origin of species".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 04:38 AM

I agree that that isn't a great construction, but I suppose that if all around you are corrupt whilst you yourself are honest and incorruptible, you could still say that you are mired in rampant corruption. I think I might have chosen another way of saying it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 11:46 PM

From today's WashPo:

Many Lebanese have blamed the country’s political elite — widely seen as corrupt and mired in rampant corruption — for the economic collapse.

Have they also been corrupted?


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