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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Steve Shaw 26 Nov 20 - 05:08 PM
Thompson 27 Nov 20 - 04:12 AM
Jos 27 Nov 20 - 04:33 AM
Jos 29 Nov 20 - 10:19 AM
meself 29 Nov 20 - 12:08 PM
leeneia 29 Nov 20 - 01:30 PM
Jos 29 Nov 20 - 02:11 PM
Mrrzy 29 Nov 20 - 03:16 PM
Donuel 02 Dec 20 - 08:40 AM
Jos 02 Dec 20 - 09:07 AM
Mrrzy 02 Dec 20 - 11:05 AM
ripov 03 Dec 20 - 09:01 AM
Mrrzy 03 Dec 20 - 04:22 PM
Lighter 03 Dec 20 - 07:06 PM
Donuel 03 Dec 20 - 11:32 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Dec 20 - 06:12 AM
Donuel 04 Dec 20 - 06:31 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Dec 20 - 06:46 AM
leeneia 04 Dec 20 - 11:21 AM
Donuel 04 Dec 20 - 01:38 PM
Mrrzy 04 Dec 20 - 01:41 PM
Mrrzy 04 Dec 20 - 10:37 PM
Doug Chadwick 05 Dec 20 - 04:20 AM
Jos 05 Dec 20 - 09:26 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Dec 20 - 09:38 AM
Jos 05 Dec 20 - 10:22 AM
meself 05 Dec 20 - 11:50 AM
leeneia 05 Dec 20 - 01:26 PM
Mrrzy 05 Dec 20 - 01:56 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Dec 20 - 03:59 PM
meself 05 Dec 20 - 04:08 PM
Jos 05 Dec 20 - 05:17 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Dec 20 - 07:38 PM
Doug Chadwick 06 Dec 20 - 04:40 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Dec 20 - 10:34 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 20 - 12:43 PM
leeneia 06 Dec 20 - 02:35 PM
Nigel Parsons 06 Dec 20 - 02:42 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 20 - 02:46 PM
Lighter 06 Dec 20 - 03:34 PM
Jos 06 Dec 20 - 04:03 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 20 - 04:57 PM
Lighter 06 Dec 20 - 06:42 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 20 - 09:23 PM
Mrrzy 06 Dec 20 - 09:41 PM
G-Force 07 Dec 20 - 07:49 AM
Mrrzy 07 Dec 20 - 08:30 AM
Doug Chadwick 07 Dec 20 - 09:01 AM
Jos 07 Dec 20 - 09:07 AM
Jos 07 Dec 20 - 09:16 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Nov 20 - 05:08 PM

Boy trapped in refrigerator eats own foot


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Nov 20 - 04:12 AM

"Hailed" used without "as", for instance "He was hailed a hero". Makes me crill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 27 Nov 20 - 04:33 AM

I've heard of 'krill' but I don't suppose you mean you are a tiny sea creature.
Maybe 'crill' should be added to the 'New words / usage' thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 29 Nov 20 - 10:19 AM

I keep hearing, for example, "If I [or you, they, etc.] had done something ..." replaced by "If I'd 've done something ...", "If you'd 've done something ...".
It was used on the radio this lunchtime when a professor, who was talking about how the virus would look in a few months' time, included the phrase "if we'd 've been a bit more careful in December ...".
Did he think he was saying "if we had have been ..." (or "if we had of been", even)?
Or was he saying "if we would have been ..." (or "if we would of been")?

Or do the people who use this expression not think at all?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 29 Nov 20 - 12:08 PM

The 'proper' phrasing would be, I suppose, "if we were to have done ... ", but "if we'd've done" ("if we had have done ... " or "if we would have done ... ") strikes me as acceptable colloquial English, even for academics. YMMV.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 29 Nov 20 - 01:30 PM

If the professor has been researching Covid, he may be absolutely exhausted and can be forgiven a lapse in diction, perhaps a reversion to his childhood speech. There's no reason to accuse him of not thinking.

I believe a simple "If we had taken precautions in December..." would convey what he meant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 29 Nov 20 - 02:11 PM

The problem isn't whether he said "If we had taken precautions" or "If we had been a bit more careful" - it's whether he said "If we had taken precautions ..." (I'm happy with that), or "If we'd've taken precautions ..." (which is not the English I learned many years ago).

Strangely, that construction sounds OK to me in French or Spanish.
English: "If I had done ..." (good), "If I would have done ..." (not so good), but it seems OK translated as: "Si j'aurais fait ..." and "Si hubiera hecho ...".

Did it come in with the Common Market, perhaps?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Nov 20 - 03:16 PM

It shouldn'ta oughto've...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Dec 20 - 08:40 AM

INCREDIBLE
It means impossible to believe.
I have always felt the word is mostly misused.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 02 Dec 20 - 09:07 AM

"set to"

It's everywhere:

Debenhams stores are set to close ...
The covid19 vaccine is set to be rolled out ...
The queen is set to spend Christmas at Windsor ...

It makes me think of a long row of up-ended dominoes, all set up and waiting for somebody to give the one at the end a push.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Dec 20 - 11:05 AM

Ooh unpeeve... NPR just said And Trump lied and said x instead of Trump claimed x without evidence. Good on NPR.

Meanwhile WashPo is touting recipes for potato latkes. How about fried potato latkes, eh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: ripov
Date: 03 Dec 20 - 09:01 AM

"play sport"
play football, yes
play baseball, yes,
but play sport, no,
you can sport(and play)on Flora's holiday
historically sport refers to amusement, or entertainment in the song            Wednesbury Cocking (I think Wednesbury is correct,it's in th right area but I've never heard of Wedgebury)in th DT)it refers to placing bets, a very healthy pastime


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Dec 20 - 04:22 PM

What does one do with sports if not play them? Or is it ok in plural?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Dec 20 - 07:06 PM

In my day, you "played" specific sports, like baseball, but you "participated" or "took part in" sports generally.

I first noticed teens talking about "playing sports" in the late '70s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Dec 20 - 11:32 PM

Alot of people are saying they are peeved bout the way I talk I talk lika stable gene yus I talk like bing bing bong bong and they complain they complain about cohesion coherent sea and comprehenchmen but you understand zackly what I'm sayin I tell ya it drives them crazy cuz you unerstand what I'm sayin. See you get it. Those fake news light wait journalists don't getit but you do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Dec 20 - 06:12 AM

I try to TYPE decent English on this board. I review what I've typed in the hope that any errors or absurdities that get through are solely down to the fact that I mislaid my reading specs or down to an undetected bit of "assistance" from predictive text or spellchecker. I'm not bothered about anyone else's foe passes :-) as long as they don't challenge mine. Spoken word is not the same. We shouldn't be quick to pick up on what people say off the cuff. Let's celebrate colour in the way people express themselves informally. Let's cringe and delight in equal measure, preferably silently...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Dec 20 - 06:31 AM

Steve writes from the throne, Trump talks from a barstool and can't write.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Dec 20 - 06:46 AM

People who write ex cathedra don't have to be careful. Bragging that I take some care isn't bragging at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 04 Dec 20 - 11:21 AM

"Let's celebrate colour in the way people express themselves informally."

That's a beautiful thought, Steve. Good for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Dec 20 - 01:38 PM

Its the difference between being on the A list or the B list on the talk circuit. When the highest executive in the world is incapable of formal speech it is pathetic. Trump jibberish proved untranslatable into Japanese. Japan has a fairly formal culture.

My Asian friend makes himslf understood despite some very strong accents. But I know I am missing up to half of what he is saying. I think it is likely he's missing half what I say.
1/2+1/2=1 understanding


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Dec 20 - 01:41 PM

Foe, snicker...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Dec 20 - 10:37 PM

Not a *pet* peeve as I never saw it before, but how can a *movie* have a guest star?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 04:20 AM

......how can a *movie* have a guest star?

Perhaps when it is part of a series - "The Movie"; "Return of the Movie"; "Movie III, the Next Generation" - with a regular cast. The guest star would be someone well known, but not for that genre, who joins them for one film.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 09:26 AM

I keep coming across people using 'whereby' when they mean 'where'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 09:38 AM

If they say "whereby" just butt in quickly and say "Tesco..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 10:22 AM

Good idea, but I gave up Tesco a while ago. They kept overcharging me and refusing to honour their policy of refunding double when a customer is overcharged.

But I have an Aldi on one side of the road and a Lidl just opposite it on the other side. Maybe I'll pick one of those.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 11:50 AM

One that's become prevalent, in North America, at least: "on behalf of" meaning "on the part of"; e.g., "there was a great deal of nonsense on behalf of Giuliani" meaning "there was a great of nonsense on the part of Giuliani [on behalf of someone else]".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 01:26 PM

"Begs the question." I looked it up.
==========
Begging the question means "to elicit a specific question as a reaction or response," and can often be replaced with "a question that begs to be answered." However, a lesser used and more formal definition is "to ignore a question under the assumption it has already been answered." The phrase itself comes from a translation of an Aristotelian phrase rendered as "beg the question" but meaning "assume the conclusion."
===========
Hmm. All this time I thought "beg the question" meant "ignore the question." Now I see that the phrase means so many different things that from now on I intend not to use it.


Meself, whatever people are saying, "on behalf of" means for the benefit of, or in the place of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 01:56 PM

Doug Chadwick no, it was just a movie. Weird, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 03:59 PM

Begging the question in its original meaning refers to a circular argument, one in which the conclusion is assumed to be true even before the question is asked, thus: "God exists because it says so in the Bible. And the Bible is the word of God." Petitio principii, an informal logical fallacy. Unfortunately, you'll raise an eyebrow these days if you use the expression in that way. Today, most people use it pretentiously to mean raising the question, to the extent that this degraded usage is now standard English. A battle lost.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 04:08 PM

"Meself, whatever people are saying, "on behalf of" means for the benefit of, or in the place of." ... um .... Why are you telling me that? Was there something I said that led you to believe I was unaware of that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 05:17 PM

I'm still a lone voice fighting the 'begging the question' battle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Dec 20 - 07:38 PM

I still fight that one, Jos. Not because I think I can win it back, but because the people who use it when they mean "raise the question" are just pretentious and pig ignorant! !


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 04:40 AM

.....how can a *movie* have a guest star?

Could it be someone who is well known but contracted to a different studio. A commercial arrangement may have been made for this production only?

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 10:34 AM

"Beg the question" as I have heard it means that one question, or answer, immediately raises another which should (possibly) have been dealt with first.
This is the same (prime) meaning which the online Cambridge dictionary gives:

beg the question

If a statement or situation begs the question, it causes you to ask a particular question:
Spending the summer travelling around India is a great idea, but it does beg the question of how we can afford it.
To discuss the company's future begs the question of whether it has a future.

It also gives a secondary meaning:
to talk about something as if it were true, even though it may not be

So although comments about "talking about something as if it were true" may describe the situation in which someone then uses the phrase, the person using the phrase is pointing out that there is an underlying question which also needs to be answered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 12:43 PM

The second of your meanings is closer to the original meaning. Begging the question in that sense involves unjustifiably claiming, via faulty, circular reasoning, that the conclusion is true (though, of course, it may well be). The first of your meanings is a modern, regrettable, phenomenon. It could be that "beg the question" comes from "beggar the question," which means to render the question pointless as the conclusion (the answer to the question) has already been assumed via faulty reasoning to be true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 02:35 PM

When the meaning of a term becomes seriously muddied in common parlance, I stop using it. 'Begs the question' is such a term. 'Comprise' is another. English is so rich and adaptable that we don't have to use unclear language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 02:42 PM

Steve:
It could be that "beg the question" comes from "beggar the question,"
If the origin of the phrase is uncertain, it could just as easily come from "begets the question" which would agree with the first meaning I gave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 02:46 PM

As I said, your first meaning is modern.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 03:34 PM

Nowadays to "beg the question" almost exclusively means to "unintentionally raise a question that should be answered."

At least on *all* American cable and broadcast news networks, including NPR.

Daily.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 04:03 PM

I wouldn't necessarily regard cable and broadcast networks, in America or elsewhere, as reliable authorities on the use of the English language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 04:57 PM

He's merely reflecting modern usage, Jos (though I dunno what "unintentionally" is supposed to mean, and he's got hold of the wrong end of the stick in any case).

Here's unpretentious: "Arsenal's recent poor form raises the question as to whether they should strengthen their attack."

Here's pretentious: "Arsenal's recent poor form begs the question as to whether they should strengthen their attack."

Now why would any rational person use the latter construction? It's right up there with saying "albeit" instead of "though" or "prior to" instead of "before." Frankly, such things are not big and they're not clever...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 06:42 PM

> reliable authorities on the use of the English language.

And who is that authority, pray tell?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 09:23 PM

Generally speaking, authorities on the English language are self-appointed. The best authority is wot people actually say or write. That isn't to say that there aren't many ignoramuses. English is an amazingly unfettered language both in writing and, more especially, in speech. We should celebrate that. However, and this is very much my personal view, we should always be vigilant in never allowing degradation of nuance to pass. There really IS a useful difference between disinterested and uninterested, and we should fight to maintain that difference. Alternate and alternative are not words that can be used interchangeably. It's VACCine, never vaccINE. Stuff like that. There's definitely a fight to be had, but not against misuse of apostrophes or typos or dodgy spelling. It's usually against pretentiousness or jargonistic bullshit. .


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Dec 20 - 09:41 PM

Another new one, from a letter to wjat I have read are called agony aunts, which is superb:
[Embedded in a litany of complaints] ...he had granchildren out of wedlock...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: G-Force
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 07:49 AM

Gridlock. Will people, especially young journalists on TV and radio, please stop using 'gridlock' to mean any old traffic congestion. It has a very specific meaning. I heard recently that the M4 was supposedly gridlocked. How can a 100-mile long straight line motorway be gridlocked?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 08:30 AM

There are incomprehensible signs in DC that say Don't Block The Box that I think refer to actual gridlock.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 09:01 AM

The best authority is wot people actually say or write

That would be OK if it was said as it was written. Unfortunately what is often said is "The best authori'y is wo' people actually say or wri'e"

If it was limited to teenagers chatting informally with their friends then I could ignore it but my 35 year old, well educated daughter seems to use only 25 letters of the alphabet in coversation. It can be heard more and more from TV continuity announcers. I find it most annoying.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 09:07 AM

I would have expected "Don't Block The Box" to mean "Don't censor television".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 09:16 AM

The BBC used to have a Pronunciation Unit that ensured that news readers knew how to pronounce things like foreign words and names correctly.
I knew things had gone wrong when announcers were struggling to say MaastrICKT instead of MAAstricht.
Then it occurred to me that they had been instructed to say '...icht' (with the ch as in loch) rather than '...ickt', and had misinterpreted the instruction as referring to the stress instead of the consonants.


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