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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Lighter 07 Dec 20 - 09:39 AM
Lighter 07 Dec 20 - 09:49 AM
Jos 07 Dec 20 - 11:01 AM
Mrrzy 07 Dec 20 - 12:00 PM
Lighter 07 Dec 20 - 05:49 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 20 - 08:41 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Dec 20 - 02:26 AM
Jos 08 Dec 20 - 06:15 AM
Lighter 08 Dec 20 - 08:01 AM
Lighter 08 Dec 20 - 08:40 AM
Mrrzy 08 Dec 20 - 09:25 AM
Raedwulf 08 Dec 20 - 09:26 AM
Lighter 08 Dec 20 - 11:50 AM
meself 08 Dec 20 - 12:41 PM
Mrrzy 08 Dec 20 - 01:16 PM
Doug Chadwick 08 Dec 20 - 07:36 PM
Mrrzy 08 Dec 20 - 09:29 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Dec 20 - 01:56 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Dec 20 - 03:07 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Dec 20 - 06:48 AM
Jos 09 Dec 20 - 06:49 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Dec 20 - 06:58 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Dec 20 - 07:01 AM
Jos 09 Dec 20 - 07:08 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Dec 20 - 07:26 AM
Lighter 09 Dec 20 - 07:26 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Dec 20 - 09:15 AM
Lighter 09 Dec 20 - 11:19 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Dec 20 - 11:41 AM
meself 09 Dec 20 - 12:05 PM
Lighter 09 Dec 20 - 01:32 PM
Mrrzy 09 Dec 20 - 05:06 PM
Backwoodsman 09 Dec 20 - 05:45 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Dec 20 - 08:11 AM
Joe_F 13 Dec 20 - 06:24 PM
Lighter 13 Dec 20 - 06:31 PM
leeneia 14 Dec 20 - 11:31 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Dec 20 - 04:13 AM
BobL 15 Dec 20 - 04:55 AM
Jos 15 Dec 20 - 05:03 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Dec 20 - 05:54 AM
Lighter 15 Dec 20 - 07:27 AM
Mrrzy 15 Dec 20 - 08:24 AM
Jos 15 Dec 20 - 08:46 AM
Doug Chadwick 15 Dec 20 - 08:47 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Dec 20 - 01:06 PM
Mrrzy 15 Dec 20 - 03:56 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Dec 20 - 04:05 PM
BobL 16 Dec 20 - 02:14 AM
Jos 16 Dec 20 - 05:01 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 09:39 AM

> please stop using 'gridlock' to mean any old traffic congestion.

Hyperbole. The Greeks used it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 09:49 AM

In the '50s, one said "HiroSHEEma" and "CaribBEan."

Then everyone switched to "HiROshima" and "CaRIBbean."

Later they switched back.

Albany, N.Y., is "AWLbunee."

Albany, Ga., is "ALbunee."

The Arkansas River is the "ARkinsaw" in Arkansas.

In Kansas and Colorado it's "ArKANziss."

Mildly diverting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 11:01 AM

"Then everyone switched to "HiROshima" and "CaRIBbean."

I assume you are talking about "everyone" where you live.
Where I live, or at least among the people I live with, "HiROshima" and "CaribBEan" have remained unchanged, along with the "HimaLAYas" rather than the "HimAHHlias".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 12:00 PM

I am old and pronounce things in English when speaking English. I say noter daym not notra dahm when referring to the Parisian cathedral. I pronounce it in French when speaking French. And so on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 05:49 PM

I forgot "HimaLAYaz" switching to "HimALyuz" and back again.

By "everyone," I mean seemingly everyone who had or has occasion to use these words in public fora in the U.S. But maybe the flip-flop is just confirmation bias, and all these pronunciations have long coexisted.

I've never changed. I have bigger things to worry about than how other people pronounce a few words.

As long as I know what they're talking about, I'm fine.

If I don't, I ask.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 20 - 08:41 PM

But you just said fora, Lighter. Fer chrissake, it's forums, and you know it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 02:26 AM

"HimALyuz" is the proper South Asian (Hindi etc.) pronunciation / the pronunciation of the people who live near/in Himal(a)ya, so perhaps people are starting to actually listen to how foreign words are said, rather than looking at a spelling in Roman character and making it up.

(The first "a" is long and like in "father," the second is a short schwa, like in "about." There being no schwa symbol in the standard Latin alphabet, both, very different vowels have been doomed to be represented with "a," or else the latter is written with "u" [cf. "Punjab"] and causes other problems. None of these vowels are foreign to English, however, so it's just a matter of spelling, and pronouncing from spelling without listening, that screws things up. No language training, just listening is all it takes.)

My peeve is the spellings of familiar Cantonese items like the foods haa gaau ?? (shrimp dumpling) and caa siu ?? (BBQ pork). A casual "phonetic" rendering might give "ha gow" and "cha siu."

But more often than not one sees "har gow" and "char siu." I assume the British in Hong Kong / Canton stuck an "r" in there -- though there is no R sound in the Cantonese language -- as one of those "silent Rs."

But if so, being a foreign word, why add it at all? What do Britons with a non-rhotic accent get out of "har" rather than "ha" or "haa"? And, as a result, everyone else in the world seeing the words in Roman character has now to assume there is some functional R in there, and we sound ridiculous ordering dim sam saying "harrr gow" etc.!

See also "Burma" / "Myanmar."

It's a wonder we don't spell India as "Indier"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 06:15 AM

Fair enough. But I don't think calling Paris 'Paree' will catch on for a while. At least not while speaking English, even though Lyon has taken over from 'Lyons'.
And I am not expecting the French to stop calling London 'Londres' any time soon.
I should add that I have no problem with 'Londres'.

And what of all those Flemish towns with two spellings and pronunciations, such as Bruges/Brugge?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 08:01 AM

Both are acceptable according to Merriam-Webster (US) and Collins (UK), but I knew "fora" would drive at least one person krazy.


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

"Gay Paree" was a cliche' back in the days when "gay" was expected to have its earlier meaning.

Dallas Morning News (DEc. 7, 1885), . 3:

"If you seek that Gay Paree,
Board that ship upon the sea."


Oregonian (Portland) (Sep. 10, 1998), p.54:

"The...gleaming gay Paree of the 1930s."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 09:25 AM

Belgium spells in Flemish and French, and they are different. No problems there.

Also to my mind there is no incorrect spelling when rendering foreign words from other writing systems into English or French. So Qadafi quadaffi ghadaffi arguments... irrelevant when the "correct" spelling us squiggle dot backwards anyway.

And if there is no correct *spelling* as the original language is pictographic anyway I worry even less. The whole point of a pictophraphic writing system is that it is divorced from pronunciation. That is why for Chinese, for instance, no matter what language you *speak* - Cantonese, Mandarin - you all *write* the different words for, say, dog chien Hunt kutya, the same. Mutually incomprehensible *spoken* languages share the same *written* language. Arguing about how to write all those pronunciations in English is, to me, well, silly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Raedwulf
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 09:26 AM

I am old and pronounce things in English when speaking English.

You do? I've already been corrected for getting your gender wrong, don't tell me you're English as well? I thought you were a Yank!* ;-)







* In which case, you don't speak English. So there! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 11:50 AM

Hi, Gibb.

A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh (1926):

"He's Winnie-ther-Pooh. Don't you know what 'ther' means?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 12:41 PM

How much time of our lifespan should we devote to learning the 'correct' native pronunciation of every foreign word we might find ourselves inclined or required to utter? You know, my parents had a lot on their plates - I can't fault them for neglecting to learn and pass on the 'correct' pronunciation of 'Himalayas' ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 01:16 PM

Snicker, Raedwulf.

I wish the people reporting on those weird metal structures put together of several parts would stop referring to them as monoliths. They are not unitary, nor are they stone.

I wish BBC would stop calling the new vaccine Completely Tested.

And I am not sure it would be nice if the dialects of English spoken around the world were called something other than English. Unification > division.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 07:36 PM

I am old and pronounce things in English when speaking English.

One area of Grimsby, England, is written, for the most part, as Scartho but it is carved in stone on the church hall as Scarthoe. Some people living in the area call it "Scartho" while the rest call it "Scather". As most of these people are English, who would you suggest is right and who is wrong?

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Dec 20 - 09:29 PM

The locals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 01:56 AM

Wow, some people thought I was prescribing how you should say things? huh?

I made two points.
1) It was pointed out that some people seem to be pronouncing "Himalayas" in (as I read it to be implied) either an odd or incorrect way. I pointed out that that is in fact the proper way. The point is, therefore, that one might accept that way as equally good as how *you* pronounce it. And I opine that maybe more people are catching on to the correct way, as general knowledge proliferates — as, for example, English speakers at the home office come into direct contact with the colonial, not just see their words written. Not that the correct native way is how you must pronounce it, and certainly not to imply some grander recommendation that you must endeavor to pronounce all foreign words as they are in the foreign language. Sheesh.

2) The Cantonese example, a peeve (isn't that what this thread is about, peeves?), is that the Britishers needlessly rendered an English spelling that isn't helpful at all, including *to English speakers.* A simple English phonetic rendering of "ha," "haa", or "hah" would have sufficed for the Cantonese word for "shrimp" (for example). Yet we've ended up with "har". It's just silly and misleading. Whom does this spelling help to pronounce the word? (I ask this not rhetorically, but as a sincere question.) It's a peeve and a curiosity. Again, not a prescription for ordinary people to be super linguists with the mastery or the orthography of every language.

Differences will exist. Accidental butchering happens. Yeah, no big deal. It hurts no one, however, to attempt to butcher less -- or rather, no one gains by butchering more. If you were pronouncing Paris as "Pariz" and someone one told you, "Dude, actually it's Paris," I should think you'd say "OK, cool, I'll try that!" Or, 'hmm, interesting. I wonder where I got Pariz from." Rather than "Oh well how can you expect me to be perfect? And how dare you question my Englishman's right to pronounce however I feel like!" Just take the info, move on, and next time you're with Indians or ordering at a Chinese restaurant you might just find people appreciate your knowledge. And don't worry, your English friends won't think you're a pretentious homosexual or less of a true blue Englishman for "kowtowing" to bloody foreigners ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 03:07 AM

Currently, on Zo-Bo’s Breakfast Show, followed by Ken Bruce’s show (BBC Radio 2) I’m being driven nuts by some twerp called Richie Anderson, who does the travel announcements, pronouncing ‘st’ with an ‘h’ - so, ‘street’ becomes ‘shtreet’, ‘student’ is pronounced ‘shtudent’, etc. This sloppiness seems to be a creeping affectation amongst BBC presenters.

But good old Richie’s Coup de Grâce (that’s ‘coo der grass’, Mrrzy, not ‘coop di grayce’) is to pronounce ‘bus’ as ‘buzz’ - so “The 08:37 train from Lincoln Central to Sheffield is cancelled and has been replaced by a buzz service”.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 06:48 AM

"Buzz" is what we called a bus in Radcliffe in my childhood. Any other pronunciation would have had you branded a posh snob. If you didn't want to get the Ribble buzz to Blackpool you could always go on Mills and Seddon's sharrer...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 06:49 AM

Isn't the 'buzz' for 'bus' and 'uzz' for 'us' just a Midlands accent?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 06:58 AM

My favourite TV/radio announcer sloppinesses are "deteriate," "priminister" and "seckertry." Many years ago, when Sir Francis Chichester was doing his round-the-world stuff, we often smirked when the plummy-voiced newsreaders of the time regaled us with "S'Frornsus Chishhter..."


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

Now just watch yerself there, Jos. I will NOT be called a Midlander. That would be as grievous as calling me a Y*rkshireman...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 07:08 AM

I do apologise, Steve.
(But I think maybe they do it in the Midlands as well.)

As for your favourite sloppinesses, I rather like "plittickle snario".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 07:26 AM

...and my old (Texan) boss, when I worked for a Houston TX -based company, used to amuse me when he asked me to review a set of accounts and investigate s’nificant movements and differences.

He also used to refer to my company car, a Peugeot, as a ‘Pew-go’. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 07:26 AM

We got people in Detroit and Chicago that almost say "black" for "block" and "boss" for "bus."

Scary, right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 09:15 AM

Heheh, I like that one, Jos. And apology accepted!

Personally, I have to hand a big box of ping pong balls ready to chuck at the telly every time I hear a politician say "...going forward." And what about yanks who end a sentence with "...if you will"? I mean, how bloody daft is that! And doesn't Boris get on yer tits every time he describes something that is, at best, a mild positive as "fantastic"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 11:19 AM

> "...going forward."

I give in. This drives me nuts too.

Whenever possible, they used to say "at this point in time" instead of "right now." After a while it mostly went away.

A long, long while.

But these are problems of tedious excess, not of novelty or pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 11:41 AM

“At that price-point”. Aaaarrrrrrrggghhh! At that price! :-(


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 12:05 PM

I suppose there was a time when - I mean, "at which" - people like us were grumbling about the trend of saying "right now" instead of just "now" .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 01:32 PM

> people like us were grumbling about the trend of saying "right now" instead of just "now."

Coverdale Bible (1535), John IX, 27: "He answered them I tolde you right now."

There were few style/grammar cops in the 16th century, so I doubt anyone was grumbling.

OED shows related uses of "right" as far back as Old English, so "right now" must have been well established by 1500.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 05:06 PM

Yeah Backwoodsman! There is a Havre de Grace (hay-ver duh grayce] in MD. Drove my mom nuts to hear it pronounced the way it is pronounced.
Not that is was a long drive...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Dec 20 - 05:45 PM

LOL! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Dec 20 - 08:11 AM

Oi, yanks, what's with this "normalcy"? What's wrong with "normality"? Huh??


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Dec 20 - 06:24 PM

"Normalcy" was popularized by Calvin Coolidge, tho he did not invent it. Democrats picked it up and used it to ridicule Republicans; in my youth I would never have used it otherwise than snidely. Now, apparently, the joke has become a blunder again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Dec 20 - 06:31 PM

It was Warren Harding in 1920.

It's better than "normality," because it takes less time to say it, and there aren't so many sounds to remember.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Dec 20 - 11:31 PM

Look, fellas. "Normalcy" was beaten to death 50 years ago.

Here's a new peeve. "Reach out". I read a newsletter from Doctors without Borders today, and though they are a fine outfit, they reached out to somebody on every second page. It began to get on my nerves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 04:13 AM

I heard a doc on the radio declaring that dealing with the latest coronavirus spike will need "a whole raft of measures" (he said it twice).

"Raft?" I'm afraid that this daft expression definitely doesn't float my boat...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 04:55 AM

Perhaps he meant it in its civil engineering sense - such measures as are necessary will need to be put together on a solid foundation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 05:03 AM

Civil engineers regard a raft as 'a solid foundation'?

Really?

That is worrying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 05:54 AM

Unfortunately, this inanity is spreading like a plague among politicians and others (especially politicians) who like to think they're sounding clever when they are actually sounding like pretentious eejits. People of similar ilk are also fond of saying "going forward..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 07:27 AM

What is this word "eejits"?

Can today's Britons neither pronounce nor spell?

The correct word is "idiots."

IDD-ee-uts.

America got away from that decadent nation in the very nick of time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 08:24 AM

Deputy governor of Kabul slain in targeted killing

What is wrong with Assassinated? Too many S's?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 08:46 AM

That reference to 'assassination' reminds me of a day some years ago when, listening to BBC Radio 3, I heard a news summary reporting that someone had been 'shot and killed'.
Later that day, Radio 4 reported that he had been 'shot dead'.
Later still, I heard on another station (either Radio 1 or a commercial channel, I can't remember which) that the man had been 'gunned down'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 08:47 AM

Deputy governor of Kabul slain in targeted killing

Did you understand it? Was there any possible ambiguity?

If the answers are "yes" and "no", respectively, then what is wrong with it? It meets the necessary requirements for communication.

English is a rich language with many different ways of saying the same thing. We should be celebrating that, not complaining about it. If we are going to be limited to a set list of approved words, how long will it be before we arrive at Newspeak?

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 01:06 PM

"Eejit", both written and spoken, is a popular rendition of "idiot" by some Irish people and some beyond-Irish. Lighten up, Lighter. Years ago, Jeremy of TheSession website managed to install a fix whereby swear words were automatically replaced by something euphemistic. Unfortunately, it meant that you could never again type "Scunthorpe" in your posts, the word always rendered from then on "Seejithorpe."

And well said Doug, though you won't stop me moaning about "albeit" going forward.

Oops...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 03:56 PM

Doug Chadwick, one of my pet peeves is using multiple-word phrases to explicate things we have words for. Even more so in headlines.

Another is redundancy.

That headline had all of those things wrong with it.

I didn't say it was unclear. Just full of my peeves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Dec 20 - 04:05 PM

Perhaps you should have a pet peeve with yourself for misusing (or, at best, using in a completely obscurantist way) the word "explicate."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 16 Dec 20 - 02:14 AM

I think you'll find that headlines are one place where brevity is essential. "Slain" is a good headline word, shorter than "killed" or "murdered" (let alone "assassinated").


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 16 Dec 20 - 05:01 AM

There are some words that I never see or hear anywhere but in news headlines, just because they are shorter than the usual term.
Such as "boffin".


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