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BS: Language Pet Peeves

BobL 08 May 20 - 03:23 AM
Nigel Parsons 07 May 20 - 02:10 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 20 - 12:37 PM
Senoufou 07 May 20 - 12:07 PM
robomatic 07 May 20 - 11:23 AM
Doug Chadwick 07 May 20 - 11:22 AM
Mrrzy 07 May 20 - 11:13 AM
Steve Shaw 07 May 20 - 10:57 AM
Mrrzy 07 May 20 - 09:44 AM
Steve Shaw 07 May 20 - 05:48 AM
Steve Shaw 07 May 20 - 05:47 AM
Doug Chadwick 07 May 20 - 05:21 AM
Steve Shaw 07 May 20 - 05:10 AM
Backwoodsman 07 May 20 - 01:31 AM
robomatic 07 May 20 - 01:05 AM
Mrrzy 06 May 20 - 11:23 PM
Joe_F 06 May 20 - 09:43 PM
weerover 06 May 20 - 05:11 PM
Doug Chadwick 06 May 20 - 02:47 PM
leeneia 06 May 20 - 01:08 PM
Doug Chadwick 06 May 20 - 09:56 AM
Charmion 06 May 20 - 09:41 AM
Reinhard 06 May 20 - 09:40 AM
Mrrzy 06 May 20 - 09:40 AM
Doug Chadwick 06 May 20 - 09:20 AM
Steve Shaw 06 May 20 - 09:10 AM
The Sandman 06 May 20 - 08:58 AM
Doug Chadwick 06 May 20 - 08:53 AM
Steve Shaw 06 May 20 - 07:01 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 May 20 - 04:54 AM
Steve Shaw 06 May 20 - 02:48 AM
The Sandman 06 May 20 - 02:43 AM
Reinhard 06 May 20 - 01:41 AM
Bill D 05 May 20 - 09:21 PM
Steve Shaw 05 May 20 - 04:16 PM
Mrrzy 05 May 20 - 04:05 PM
Reinhard 05 May 20 - 02:54 PM
Steve Shaw 05 May 20 - 02:40 PM
Barb'ry 05 May 20 - 02:16 PM
leeneia 05 May 20 - 12:37 PM
The Sandman 05 May 20 - 11:44 AM
Mrrzy 04 May 20 - 10:16 PM
Mrrzy 29 Aug 19 - 11:51 AM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 19 - 12:42 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Aug 19 - 12:39 PM
leeneia 28 Aug 19 - 11:52 AM
Steve Shaw 27 Aug 19 - 04:50 PM
leeneia 27 Aug 19 - 10:45 AM
Mrrzy 27 Aug 19 - 10:41 AM
leeneia 27 Aug 19 - 10:36 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 08 May 20 - 03:23 AM

Referring back to earlier posts, "half a thousand" may well mean five hundred, but to an engineer, "half a thou" doesn't!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 May 20 - 02:10 PM

Robomatic:
You're probably right: "They were written during his lifetime by Rex Stout," I don't believe he wrote anything posthumously.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 20 - 12:37 PM

Yes but Doug, there is no such thing as "a per cent." "A quarter of a per cent" simply doesn't make grammatical sense. I know it's used, and we're accustomed to it. Saying "a quarter of one per cent" may sound like a lugubrious way of putting it, but at least it's grammatically correct. And I'm certain of that one hundred and ten percent...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 May 20 - 12:07 PM

This may already have been mentioned - I haven't read through the whole thread. But it always makes me smile when people use the word 'literally' in the wrong context.
For example, "She was literally on fire with anger."
Or, "He must literally have been turning in his grave..."
Makes me literally foam at the mouth!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: robomatic
Date: 07 May 20 - 11:23 AM

There was a series of highly popular and historically well loved detective books following the career of highly sequestered master solver Nero Wolfe. They were written during his lifetime by Rex Stout, and in one of them, Wolfe is tearing apart a newly released dictionary for confusing 'infer' with 'imply'. He is then feeding it to his wastebasket in which he has a small fire. I'm pretty sure it was a real dictionary, a real conflation, and Rex Stout was putting his opinion into his work, probably justifiably (other than the indoor fire aspect).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 07 May 20 - 11:22 AM

This one really is a "pet" peeve, as I suspect that it is me that is out of step, rather than everyone else, but it still irritates me when I hear it:-

If the Bank of England announces an interest rate rise from, say, 2.25% to 2.5%, I would say that there has been a rise of a quarter of a per cent. The BBC would announce that there has been a rise of a quarter of one per cent. All the other TV channels do the same, which makes me think that I am wrong but I don't care - I am going to carry on saying it the way I want to.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 May 20 - 11:13 AM

It *is* the job of a dictionary to define words correctly. They can say "often used to mean Literally" but not define it as such.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 20 - 10:57 AM

It's not the role of dictionaries to decide what is correct usage or misuse. They are there to reflect how people use language. They may refer to slang or colloquialism or informal use of words, but no decent dictionary ever passes judgement on what is "correct usage."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 May 20 - 09:44 AM

Since the dictionary decided to define literal as figurative rather than list that as a common misuse, I don't trust dictionary definitions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 20 - 05:48 AM

Or is that a mute point?


Grrr...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 20 - 05:47 AM

Was it I who rendered you speechless, Doug?

Don't get me started on the gross misuse of "alternate" when what is meant is "alternative." It's become so common that dictionaries are even including it as valid. I blame The Monkees. Them and their "Alternate Title"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 07 May 20 - 05:21 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 20 - 05:10 AM

I find the confusion between singulars and plurals to be a very disturbing phenomena.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 May 20 - 01:31 AM

I wouldn’t say “A thousand and a half”, I’d say “One-and-a-half-thousand”.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: robomatic
Date: 07 May 20 - 01:05 AM

I'm not sure what is wrong with half-a-thousand.

On the other hand, if you say thousand and a half, do you mean:
1,500.
Or
1,000.5

???


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 May 20 - 11:23 PM

Good point about half a dozen v score!

There's a limerick there but that would be thread drift.

Anyway, also visualize is not see, it is imagine you see, or use technology to see. But seeing is seeing, not visualizing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Joe_F
Date: 06 May 20 - 09:43 PM

leeneia: "Alright" has been made into a mark of illiteracy, but this IMO is one case where the illiterates have the better of the argument. Just as "already" is not the same as "all ready", so "they were alright" (they were acceptable) is not the same as "they were all right" (all of them were right). Note the difference in pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: weerover
Date: 06 May 20 - 05:11 PM

"cast in stone" works for me. The mould could be carved from stone and molten metal poured into it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 May 20 - 02:47 PM


"Slightly less than two decades ago, she was the happy mother of four..."

The writer is a journalist and presumably has the facts. If it was 19 years, say so. Better yet, say "In 2001, she was the happy mother..."


It might not have been 19 years ago. 18 yrs and 9 months would still qualify as "slightly less than 2 decades". It might not have been 2001. Anything after June 2000 would be less than 2 decades.

Our language is full of synonyms. Just because you prefer one doesn't make the others wrong. As I said somewhere up-thread, life would be pretty boring if communication was restricted to an approved list of basic words. Variety is the spice of life.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 06 May 20 - 01:08 PM

1) decade. I see sentences like this in the media all the time:

"Slightly less than two decades ago, she was the happy mother of four..."

The writer is a journalist and presumably has the facts. If it was 19 years, say so. Better yet, say "In 2001, she was the happy mother..."

2) Most where almost should be used. "Most everybody enjoys ice cream." arrgh!   

3) Alright instead of all right. I guess alright was born of its visual similarity to already, but already isn't the same as all ready.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 May 20 - 09:56 AM

... half a thousand is not a number but half a million is

The eggs that I buy in the supermarket come in boxes of 6 or 10. If I wanted someone to get me a small box, I would ask them to get me half a dozen. If I wanted a large box, I would ask for a box of ten, never half a score.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 06 May 20 - 09:41 AM

I'm an editor, so my peeves are cast in bronze and carved in stone. Never cast in stone.

I guess my current biggest language peeve is the ubiquitous "passed away" and its even mincier little brother "passed". "In the midst of life we are in death," wrote dear old Tom Cramner, but not any more if you're a "nice" person.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Reinhard
Date: 06 May 20 - 09:40 AM

No Nigel, this is thread 132499, see the url. Your posting in this thread may have been number five-hundred.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 May 20 - 09:40 AM

Never thought about that but you're right, half a thousand is not a number but half a million is. Half a hundred is poetic (never saw a door shut so tight...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 May 20 - 09:20 AM

This is not thread half-a-thousand.

It is FIVE HUNDRED


And yet,
       "He bought a house for half a million pounds"
and
       "He bought a house for five hundred thousand pounds"
are equally acceptable.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 20 - 09:10 AM

I agree with you, Doug, more or fewer... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 May 20 - 08:58 AM

yes, or, I walked less than she did. How about this Potato's


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 May 20 - 08:53 AM

....so I walked less miles than she did

...so I walked fewer miles than she did, I would have thought.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 20 - 07:01 AM

It's a bit complicated is that one. It's less than four hundred miles from Bude to Manchester: good. Mrs Steve walked four miles yesterday but I walked only three, so I walked less miles than she did. Not so good...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 May 20 - 04:54 AM

Any mangling of the correct way of stating numbers and amounts.
This is not thread half-a-thousand.

It is FIVE HUNDRED


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 20 - 02:48 AM

Get in over your head, Reinhard? D'ye mean that this is above your pay grade?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 May 20 - 02:43 AM

has anyone heard the phrase.. going backwards


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Reinhard
Date: 06 May 20 - 01:41 AM

Sorry Steve, can't and won't do that. I already picked all the low-hanging fruits in my last post. Now I would have to be touching base with my severely lacking creativity to achieve a paradigm shift to intelligently worded sentences. So I'd better stop here before I get in over my head.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 05 May 20 - 09:21 PM

Just to be sure all those who share concerns about usage stay busy...

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=89383


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 May 20 - 04:16 PM

You're a genius, Reinhard! :-)

Now don't get me started on "paradigm shift", "touching base" and "low-hanging fruit"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 May 20 - 04:05 PM

Some NPR people have stopped saying In 10 mn from now, which somehow makes those that still do more infuriating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Reinhard
Date: 05 May 20 - 02:54 PM

Uh, Steve I was just going forward to confess that prior to your rant I was using proper grammar on a daily basis, albeit marred by not being a native English speaker. So there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 May 20 - 02:40 PM

Well, Barb'ry, I've said it many times before, but if you're ever in my presence do NOT utter "prior to", "on a daily basis" or the shocking "albeit"... And as for "going forward"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Barb'ry
Date: 05 May 20 - 02:16 PM

Probably already been mentioned but 'at this moment in time' drives me mad. We aren't (usually) talking about a moment in a circle. Then there is 'could of, would of' instead of 'have' and people saying, 'she gave it to myself'.
I could go on...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 05 May 20 - 12:37 PM

This isn't a peeve, just a confusion.

My church is having services via computer, and I just bought a micrunophone for that purpose. Meanwhile, we've all got used to the use of "un" as the all-round prefix to mean the opposite of an action.

So the screen had an icon of a microphone to show the mic is on. Good, so far. Under the mic is says Mute, meaning turn it off. Later it says Unmute meaning to turn off having the microphone turned off.

Then they drew a slanting red line through all that, apparently meaning Do Not Touch the thing that turns off the turning-off. in which case, why buy a mic?

I had to wait for a non-sacred moment to barge in and ask if people heard me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 May 20 - 11:44 AM

but sometimes both names are wonderful, eg birds foot trefoil and eggs and bacon.
the use of the words fucking and cunt unless you are derek and clive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYGy-j_oH5Q


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 May 20 - 10:16 PM

IMDB description includes: okay western with a theme that's been done before in other films, namely "Duel at Diablo" several years later.

Time travel?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Aug 19 - 11:51 AM

Ooh and the way the media are still treating Puerto Rico as if it were not just as American as whatever states are about to have hurricanes.
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 19 - 12:42 PM

Logic is a little bird tweeting in the wilderness. Logic is a bunch of flowers, which smell *bad* [I paraphrase]...

Sorry, I could not help it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Aug 19 - 12:39 PM

I suppose we don't have to use them. I know the Latin names of most of our wild flowers but even professional botanists, generally averse to jargon, often resort to to folk names or invented names. There are exceptions in the bird world. The wren will always be Troglodytes troglodytes to me, and the blackbird, even better, is Turdus vulgaris... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 28 Aug 19 - 11:52 AM

The Union meets every five years and standardizes the vernacular names of birds. This is nothing to do with scientific name versus vernacular name.

It peeves me that some of the names they assign are ugly or illogical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Aug 19 - 04:50 PM

Well, speaking as a botanist and wildflower man, I appreciate the urge to impose vernacular names on wild animals and plants. We try to make the distinction between old country names and invented ones, but it's a distinction that can get blurred. Quite often, invented names are very attractive, and, let's face it, the alternative can be rather arcane Latin nomenclature, which few people appreciate and which, though scientifically invaluable, can sound pretentious and jargonistic. So I'm defending friendly-sounding made-up names for birds, beasts and wildflowers. And I do have a degree in botany...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 27 Aug 19 - 10:45 AM

I sometimes dislike the common names which the American Ornithological Union assigns to birds.

Northern cardinal. Why? There is no southern cardinal. There's pyrroluxia, (sp) which could quality as a southern cardinal, but as far as I know, they haven't even given poor pyrroluxia a name.

House finch. A delightful little bird, brave and chipper. The male has a lovely wash of rosy pink on his breast. Why such a prosaic name? I have a friend who calls them raspberry sparrows.

Yellow-rumped warbler. We still call them myrtle warblers. I have a deal with the birds that I won't talk about their rumps if they won't talk about mine. In Florida, where they are rather common, I have heard them called butterbutts.
=========
Gotta go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Aug 19 - 10:41 AM

Man-bag or man-bun. It's a bag or a bun, no matter what the shape of the skin between your legs. If you carry a purse it's a purse, regardless of gender. Of the carrier thereof.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 27 Aug 19 - 10:36 AM

Good point, DMcG.


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