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BS: Language Pet Peeves part II

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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 08:12 PM

I remain annoyed at people who think, when specifying their pronoun [singular], that they have to conjugate it, or decline it, or whatever.

If it's they, then it becomes them and their.

If she, her and hers.

If he, him and his.

Just specify the gender! The rest follows!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Nov 23 - 11:58 AM

Than before, I think. Gruntled, I am not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Nov 23 - 05:50 PM

The didn't "drop" that toolbox in space. They let it go, yeah, but it didn't fall, so dropped is not the mot juste, to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Nov 23 - 09:23 PM

I guess it's falling ... eventuallu


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Nov 23 - 05:33 PM

Seen on a poster describing a statue of William Wallace in the Scottish Borders - "the statue was unvailed"....
Where was the prufreeder?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Nov 23 - 11:59 AM

The old thread in pages of 50 from the start.

The old thread in pages of 50 from the most recent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 03:54 AM

They did as much if not more work than their husbands or partners

Taking the second part on its own:- "They did more work as their husbands ..." is incorrect.

"Than" cannot be replaced by "as". It's just that an "as" is missing.
It should be:- "They did as much as, if not more work than their husbands or partners".

It would better rewritten as:-
"They did at least as much work as their husbands ..."

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 04:06 AM

Looking back at my post above, it would be better as:-

"They did as much work as, if not more than, their husbands ...."

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 03:48 PM

Does 'debunk' mean 'get out of bed' ?

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 11 Nov 23 - 02:24 PM

Demean: be kind

Delay: pick up off the floor

Decoy: become willing to talk about sensitive subjects

Decaf: leave the restaurant

Debar: leave the pub

Demob: part from the other gang members


Maybe we should be taking these to the joke thread, rather than polluting this thread which is, essentially, for grumpy people.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 11 Nov 23 - 04:43 PM

Here in the States I've not heard debar, but disbar

Debar means to exclude or prohibit someone from participating in something (which, oddly enough, means the same as to bar someone), while disbar means to remove someone’s professional license or authority to practice a profession.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 18 Nov 23 - 04:25 AM

The didn't "drop" that toolbox in space. They let it go, yeah, but it didn't fall ...

Technically, anything in orbit is constantly falling but the curvature of the Earth means that the ground is falling away at the same rate. Astronauts have a 'sense' of weightlessness but their mass is being acted on by the Earth's gravity, so they still have weight.

I think that whoever let the toolbox go should have been made to go and get it.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 03:45 PM

Oxford has "debark," both transitive and in transitive, from as far back as the seventeenth century.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 12:18 AM

Ah yes, Steve, the old "Dead man was killed by brother" headline that makes chief subeditors foam at the mouth!

People were asking me for an example of the increasing use of "than" where "as" would be correct. Here's a beauty:

‘They did as much if not more work than their husbands or partners’ – calls to speed up end of exclusion of female farmers from pension rights


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 12:46 PM

It would be better as "They did as much work as their husbands, if not more", Doug, but it's the creeping use of 'than' that I'm after here.
But in fact in the rather clunky sentence, as second 'as' would be correct:
"They did as much, if not more, work as their husbands [did]."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 09 Nov 23 - 01:49 AM

Unbearable - it's hard to carry a bear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 11 Nov 23 - 11:54 AM

Declare: to leave the Burren behind.
Deplore: give up imploring.
Desist: lance that boil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Nov 23 - 12:49 AM

Unavailable, like in France where they don't let girls wear Muslim scarves in school?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Nov 23 - 04:43 AM

Denude, to put your clothes on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Nov 23 - 11:27 PM

Despoil - stop behaving like children


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 18 Nov 23 - 02:35 AM

Desecrate - chop up all those pallets for firewood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 09 Nov 23 - 04:53 AM

All those adverts that claim "Now 30% better" without stating what they are comparing the new product to.

I am usually there shouting "Than What!!"

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 03:35 PM

‘Deplane’. Or, even worse, ‘debark’. WTF? It’s ‘disembark’.


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Subject: BS: Language pet peeves Mk II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Nov 23 - 11:02 AM

As Mk 1 seems to have disappeared into the error of its ways I thought I'd resurrect it, in the hope that this'll be a temporary measure only. Anyway:

A couple of recently-spotted doublings-up:

"I married my husband last Thursday!" (You've married him twice...?)

Headline on our local news website: "Missing woman disappears in the night" ....Huh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Nov 23 - 12:11 PM

I could read it but not post to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 04:15 AM

Ah, that was me, G-Force. That joke was a straight copy 'n' paste from Quora and I neglected to do an edit. Mea culpa. :-(


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 01:02 PM

Different to, different from, different than. I can stomach the first, I'm happy with the second but I find the third to be just an ugly Americanism. I do like SOME Americanisms...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 05:00 PM

Decry: to stop blubbering

Deglaze: to remove all your windows

Delight: to turn off the lights when you go to bed

Denude: to get dressed

Deliver: to chuck out the offal

Deride: to get off your horse

Declare: to dump your girlfriend

Desire: to decide not to impregnate your girlfriend

Describe: to not write it down


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Nov 23 - 04:56 AM

Debrief: to...oh, never mind...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 23 - 12:51 PM

All right then:

Debrief (v.i.) to remove your knickers

(v.t.) to remove someone else's knickers

I'll get me coat (it's long enough to cover me up...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 23 - 04:26 PM

Delay, Doug? I thought that meant "to get off 'er..."

I've only got the one coat...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 23 - 04:53 PM

I thought debar was deplace where you ordered debeer...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 23 - 05:07 AM

Beat you to that one, Thompson! :-)

Deterred - to flush the lavvy

Depict - ancient attempt at ethnic cleansing in Scotland

Dead - to use an adblocker

Dearest - to let your prisoner go, then find your spellchecker


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Nov 23 - 05:55 PM

Traduisez en englais, s'il vous plonk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Nov 23 - 05:56 PM

Despot: to dab on stain remover


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Neil D
Date: 12 Nov 23 - 09:37 AM

A pet peeve of mine is the deliberate misspelling of words. When I used to deliver meat in Cleveland the 2 largest grocery chains were Bi-Rite and Sav-Mor. I hated the idea of a generation of kids forever misspelling those 4 words.
In company I worked for the head of IT was super smart about computers. He'd been programming since childhood. But when he broadcast an Email about a meeting and I pointed out that in the phrase "goto the breakroom". go and to should be separate words, he didn't even believe me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: G-Force
Date: 08 Nov 23 - 03:56 AM

A recent post on the joke thread had 'laying' instead of 'lying'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 11 Nov 23 - 03:57 PM

Sometimes debark is worse than debite.

Here in the States I've not heard debar, but disbar, which helps when differentiating it from datbar.

I'll go my room now...


Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Nov 23 - 11:29 AM

Um, I didn't start this thread... what is missing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Nov 23 - 05:23 PM

I thought it was me. There's all sorts missing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 29 Nov 23 - 05:05 AM

The increasing use of "purposefully" in place of "purposely", a completely different word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Nov 23 - 06:44 AM

”The increasing use of "purposefully" in place of "purposely", a completely different word.”

Amen on that, Thompson. Drives me nuts! I might be doing American friends a disservice, and apologies if that’s the case, but I have the strong impression that it started over there, another ‘I could care less’ kind of error?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 23 - 07:42 AM

It's not an error if it becomes widely adopted. In the UK "I could care less" isn't used, but if it's common currency in the US it's unfair to call it an error. Personally, I can't get my head round how it's supposed to make sense but I still hesitate to call it an error. I've been castigated by several here for criticising the nonsensical "albeit" (all be it? Although be it? Although it be?), which equally doesn't make sense, but it's widely used, especially by those of pretentious inclination, and there's no way I can call it an error.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Nov 23 - 07:44 AM

I could care less…


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 23 - 08:14 AM

Prior to this moment in time, I could care less either, albeit controversial, and I said so on a daily basis, but could you give me an alternate form of words going forward?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Dec 23 - 01:18 PM

Using literally to mean figuratively is still wrong, despite it being common usage and in the dictionary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Dec 23 - 01:35 PM

Only if you think it's wrong. It's used by so many people that's it's regarded by many (including me!) as wrong no longer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: BobL
Date: 04 Dec 23 - 03:49 AM

If people use literally to mean figuratively, what do they use when they want to mean literally?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Dec 23 - 06:23 AM

Context is everything. When someone uses literally in its literal sense you can tell straight away. It's literally a piece of cake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Dec 23 - 03:49 PM

Just the other day I heard, for about the 4th time, some 'expert' in a TV program about BBQ contests say "with some 'au jus' ".

And just now I read an article misusing "Less" for "Fewer".

It's hopeless, but some of us still fight...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 09 Dec 23 - 02:58 PM

This isn't really a pet peeve; more of a curiosity, I suppose. I heard someone on TV, commenting on an up-coming election, say, "There will be no surprises." I don't think this quite qualifies as an 'oxymoron', but it does seem in a way self-contradictory, given that a 'surprise' is, well, a 'surprise'; it would be the equivalent of saying, "Nothing unexpected will happen". Perhaps someone who has studied logic can apply a neat Latin or Greek term here ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Dec 23 - 04:16 PM

"Less" for "fewer" is indeed hopeless and rightly so.

"Less" has been so used since the 14th century. That it must not be used that way is a superstition promulgated in the 18th.

Stylist John Lyly, 1587:

"I thinke there are fewe Vniuersities that haue lesse faults then Oxford."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Dec 23 - 05:24 AM

Hmm. Less vs fewer is not a simple matter. I'd say we should be inclined to excuse alleged misuse in the spoken word but be a bit stricter with the written word.

The trouble with "less" and "fewer" is that they are both the opposites of "more." Two words on one side of the fence but only one on the other. I've plucked some examples of the use of "less" and "fewer" from the Grammarly website Here goes:

Rebecca has less than twenty dollars left in her checking account.

Rebecca has fewer than twenty dollars left.

Ethan has been at his job for less than five years.

I wish I could spend fewer hours on household chores and more on watching television.

Baby pandas weigh less than 200 grams at birth.

Fewer than eight percent of the world’s people have blue eyes.

I see you have eaten less than ten percent of your mashed potatoes.


On the face of it, it looks like a bit of rule-breaking is going on there in places - but Grammarly adjudges every one of those examples to be correct. Sometimes, either word may be permissible. English is a wonderfully zany language, more or less...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Dec 23 - 05:35 AM

I heard on the radio this morning that the warming climate will make conditions "increasingly ideal" for disease-carrying insects to establish themselves in the UK. I was wondering whether you can have even more ideal than ideal, then I remembered that we often say "less than ideal", which I think is OK. If the top of the mountain equals "the ideal" for the climber, you can come down from it but (unless you can fly) you can't go higher than it. I think the newsreader might have been better off saying "increasingly suitable" or something like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 11 Dec 23 - 06:07 AM

the warming climate will make conditions "increasingly ideal" for disease-carrying insects to establish themselves ...... I was wondering whether you can have even more ideal than ideal

There could be, perhaps, the ideal temperature but the less than ideal humidity. A warming climate could be bringing more factors into alignment.

Or, possibly, the ideal conditions, which have previously only existed for a short period each year, could be occurring earlier and lasting longer.

Just my thoughts as a point for discussion.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Dec 23 - 11:01 AM

Less is for mass nouns, like grass, that don't take "a" in the singular, and have no plural. There is some grass, there is less grass. Less butter. Fewer pats of butter. Fewer blades of grass.

Fewer grassES grow in this region. Now it is a count noun. As in, barley is a grass.


Fewer is for count nouns, like dog, that can take "a" in the singular, and have a plural. There is a dog, there are some dogs, there are fewer dogs.

Both use More. More dogs, more grass. Fewer people. And so on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Dec 23 - 06:09 PM

So, you think that these are all wrong, do you? I'm afraid that I shall have to beg to differ:


Rebecca has less than twenty dollars left in her checking account.

Ethan has been at his job for less than five years.

Baby pandas weigh less than 200 grams at birth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 12 Dec 23 - 12:48 PM

Here's one I've been noticing for the past year or so: "blame on" meaning "blame for". Yesterday I heard on the radio, "Failed health policies are being blamed on increased deaths from drug overdose." Been hearing that misusage a lot lately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Dec 23 - 12:56 PM

Delay - what many's the girl wished too late she could do.

They're still at it: using "on behalf of" where they mean "on the part of". Must see dentist. Teeth ground down to pathetic nubs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Dec 23 - 12:11 PM

Fewer than 10 dollars mwans fewer than 10 individual, counted dollars. Total agreement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 14 Dec 23 - 01:58 PM

Is "blamed on" a misusage? Surely it's just a reversal of meaning. Bad singers are blamed for bad singing; bad singing is blamed on bad singers?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Dec 23 - 03:05 PM

In meself’s example - “Failed health policies are being blamed on increased deaths from drug overdose." - yes, it is a misuseage. Should be “Failed health policies are being blamed for increased deaths from drug overdose”.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Dec 23 - 03:38 PM

IMHO, of course! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Dec 23 - 06:44 PM

"Increased deaths"? Hmm...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 14 Dec 23 - 08:15 PM

Probably wasn't the clearest example, but it was the one I had heard most recently. A simpler example would be something like, "Police are blaming icy roads on the car accidents."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 15 Dec 23 - 03:16 AM

The difference between 'specially' and 'especially' seems to have disappeared.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Dec 23 - 03:49 AM

Then there's speciality and specialty...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 10:07 AM

Bog, dunny, lavvy, shithouse, man about a dog, checking the plumbing, off to drain the spuds, drain the snake, off to shake hands with the unemployed/wife's best friend, take the temperature of the porcelain, spend a penny, khazi, John, throne, crapper, jakes, loo (yuk), even gents or ladies....so many rude or not-so-rude alternatives to choose from. So, yanks, what's with "rest-room" or "bathroom"? You don't go there for a rest and there's no bath! Explain yourselves! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 10:30 AM

‘Murrican prudishness?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: gillymor
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 11:32 AM

We're very informal about it around here, we just call "the euphemism".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 12:11 PM

LOL! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 04:39 PM

I once heard a rumour (refutation requested) that every word for the Smallest Room, and the actions taken therein, is a euphamism, right back to "bog", which was alleged to be of Roman origin; the source wasn't clear whether that included medical terms.* Calling said room or its porcelain furniture "the Euphemism" sounds about right, which makes it a meta-euphemism.

* "Taking the mickey" has an especially long and interesting etymology.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 04:54 PM

I must say, I like "euphemism," which I will now use when in polite company. Except that none of my company is ever really polite...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 05:36 PM

I once heard a rumour (refutation requested) that every word for the Smallest Room, and the actions taken therein, is a euphamism

Washing your hands after urinating or defecating seems to be a fairly non-euphemistic action. As the room in my house where all these actions take place contains a bath, the word bathroom is not a euphemism.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 06:59 PM

We can't help it if you live in a Mayfair mansion, Doug! ;-)

On another tack, I've never quite understood why a bloke needs to wash his hands after having a wee. Your hands have been mauling God knows how many unhygienic objects all day, yet your willy has been kept hygienically under wraps ever since you left home after your shower this morning - and healthy urine is completely sterile. I think we should wash our hands BEFORE having a wee. At least, that would help to protect the family jewels from the hazards of the hostile, germ-ridden outside world...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 04:13 AM

healthy urine is completely sterile.

But what if it's not healthy? - and it still smells, healthy or not. If the last few drops get onto your hands as you are adjusting your underwear, everything you touch immediately after that could end up with a certain perfume.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 06:35 AM

Hmm. I could suggest that you, er, try modifying your technique, Doug... ;-)

From what you say, so many things in daily life should be smelling of wee. Supermarket trolley handles, everything on the shelves (all put there by human hands), my steering wheel, the telly remote, my cat, my harmonicas, my oft-resorted to wine glass... Well, either (a) my sense of smell is too weak, or (b) there's no smell anyway, or (c) I don't do nearly enough sniffing around...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 06:41 AM

And this is not a linguistic pet peeve, but its still a peeve: how come that, after using a public toilet and washing your hands, you are obliged to pull a door handle in order to get out? All that rigorously-executed hand hygiene undone in one obligatory move? The only way to mitigate the problem, at least to some extent, is to employ the pinky only at the very top of the handle, powerful door spring permitting...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 11:14 AM

They answered that on cruise ships, Steve, as part of their response to (*argh*) COVID: use a paper towel to open the door. The notices are still there, and are universally ignored.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: G-Force
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 11:19 AM

This door is alarmed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 12:35 PM

Just remembering what Anne Landers wrote, presumably with a sigh: "Once my readers get into the bathroom, there's no getting them out!" (or words to that effect).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 01:08 PM

Alas, many a lavatorium now lacks paper towels, preferring you instead to launch an aerosol of droplets via fearsome hand-driers. And what's in that nasty little dirty puddle at the bottom of the trough in those Dyson Airblade things you're supposed to stick your hands into...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 01:10 PM

By the way, I used to show my biology classes a video in which it was demonstrated that bacteria on the hands can easily pass through six layers of toilet paper...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: mayomick
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 09:05 AM

i hope everybody is looking forward to their "Christmas lunch "


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 03:22 PM

Once again, Whosis Dies After Plane Crashes made me think Whosis survived the crash, then someone cane along and murdered them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 21 Dec 23 - 02:55 PM

Hot-air hand dryers: For a school science project, one lass wished to find out how effective using a hot-air dryer was at removing germs from the hands. In the event, it proved to be worse than the control, which was to wipe her hands down her jeans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Dec 23 - 03:45 PM

They're even less effective if you can't get them to come on. I've lost count of the number of times I've stood there feeling utterly stupid, waving my hands uselessly under the bloody thing, unable to find the sweet spot that gets it to work...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Dec 23 - 06:17 PM

re: bathrooms..etc as noted above.
Perhaps 25 years ago, our folk club was preparing for our annual weekend festival at a park. We decided to take a lunch break and headed for the picnic tables.
   One bright lady said, "I'll meet you there. I need to go to the euphemism!"
   There is a well-built brick building which has since been remodeled, but I wish I'd stolen the old sign from it..because the sign above the door where that lady was headed said *COMFORT STATION*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Dec 23 - 09:50 AM

The subtitles in something I was watching kept saying Outhouse when they meant Outbuilding. Hilariously, sometimes.

Is the hot air dryer thing a language peeve?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Dec 23 - 10:03 AM

Brick outhouse (polite)
Brick shithouse (less polite)
Built like a brick shithouse: description of a large robust person of whatever gender, e.g. rugby player or district nurse


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Dec 23 - 02:26 PM

Using ‘bring’ but meaning ‘take’ (seems to be another ‘Murrican thing).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Dec 23 - 05:57 PM

Daily Intelligencer (Lancaster, Pa.) (May 12, 1876):

"Two Cigar Stands, one Soda Water Stand, and one Public Comfort Station."

The phrase became widespread in the 1890s. My grandparents were familiar with it. It referred to a public facility, as at at a train station - not just to any lav.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Dec 23 - 09:20 PM

Brits have take-away, we have take-out. Both, you bring home, no?

Example of bring/take?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 03:09 AM

Mrrzy, on the US music forums I lurk around, I frequently see, for instance, “I will bring my guitar to a luthier for a set-up”, when it should be “I will take my guitar…”.

‘Bring” implies movement towards the speaker, whereas take implies movement away from the speaker. Even Merriam and Webster, they of suspect spelling-skills, understood that… ;-)

Merriam-Webster on ‘Bring’ v. ‘Take’.

Under that rule, ‘Take-out’ and ‘Take-away’ are both correct, as they both imply movement away from the fast-food establishment which is supplying them. In the case of the purchaser, he/she brings a Take-out/away home.

And an owner takes his guitar to the luthier, and brings it back home.

That’s IMHO at least. I’m sure someone will be along shortly to ‘correct’ me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 04:50 AM

I completely agree with BWM on bring/take. I have thought several times of raising it as a pet peeve and I was surprised when I checked back through this and the original thread, that it hadn't been discussed before.

In the same vein, when I was at junior school in Liverpool many years ago, it was common for a pupil who needed a writing implement to ask another "Can I lend your pen?". The answer, of course, should have been "Who are you going to lend it to?". For my daughter, who was brought up on Northern Lincolnshire, it was the opposite way round:- "Will you borrow me your pen for a minute?".

The same goes for teach/learn. I have a wonderful spoof foreign language phrase book, for visitors to Liverpool, called "Learn Yerself Scouse".

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 09:44 AM

The casual language of which you speak is all perfectly fine - in speech. It is not fine in the written word unless the writer is deliberately resorting to the vernacular, which is also valid. As ever, language is wot people speak in their everyday lives, not subject to the strict "rules" of the grammar police. Enjoy the colour!

I was a good lad at school, bright and literate*. One day, my mate put up his hand and politely asked the teacher, "Sir, can I go to the toilet, please?" Came the reply, "You can, but you may not." That teacher was two bastards rolled into one, and witnessing that exchange left its mark on me. If you understand what the speaker is saying without having to do a lot of mental processing, it's all good and it shouldn't be subjected to snarky criticism.

*The gloss may have worn off just a tad...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 10:19 AM

The confusion between ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’ seems to be common in my neck of Yellerbelly-land too, Doug (west of your bit). Strangely, it didn’t seem to become a ‘thing’ until perhaps the late ‘60s/early ‘70s - during my childhood and youth I hardly heard it but, beginning in my early 20s, it seemed to become more and more prevalent, especially amongst the younger age-group (who are now the older age-group). It drives me nuts. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 09:32 PM

Hmmm, not my experience with bring and take. Bring, to me, involves the thing going along with the speaker whether to or fro (I could bring my uke to your house, or home again). Take is rather when the thing changes hands (if I took your uke home, I would bring it back to you later. You would then take it from me.).

Fascinating, the take to and bring from thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 11:48 PM

I think you’re doing the ‘Murrican thang with bring and take, Mrrzy, which even your revered lexicologists Merriam and Webster say is wrong. In English English, to use your example, I would take my uke to your house (movement away from the speaker), and bring it home again (movement towards the speaker. If you check the M-W page I linked to, that’s exactly what they say too.

Tomarto tomayto, eh? ;-) :-)

I can live with it, I understand what’s meant, but…. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 11:50 PM

Aa-a-a-and….100! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 08:38 AM

Right, I talk American. Fascinating. You Brits also say different TO where we, more sensibly, say different FROM.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 08:42 AM

You Brits also say different TO where we, more sensibly, say different FROM.

No, we also say "different from", or at least we should do, unless we are saying it wrong.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 09:04 AM

I say ‘different from’, as do most, if not all, of my UK friends and acquaintances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 10:12 AM

I believe most Americans other than me now say "different than."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 12:48 PM

Hmmmm…


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 27 Dec 23 - 11:50 AM

I can't remember whether I said this here before, but what the Microsoft ....

Seen in a London railway station:

LOST PROPERTY
OBJETS TROUVÉ

.... but this doesn't mean French people find things that English people lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 27 Dec 23 - 09:56 PM

Rachel Maddow was on quite a rant (how unusual!) about something awhile back, and kept declaring in regard to two items, that "Each one is different from the other!" - which left me contemplating how much better it would be, presumably, if only one was "different from the other" .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 04:16 AM

I'm reminded of a joke from my youth

What's the difference between a duck?

One of its legs is both the the same


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: BobL
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 04:28 AM

If I am ever asked "Are they both the same?", my inevitable reply is "No, only one of them."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 04:45 AM

Ah, the old chestnut of ‘the same’ and ‘similar’ that my English teacher used to beat us about the head with! Still, it was better than his other practice of beating the classes miscreants and malcontents about the arse with a cricket stump…


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 05:48 AM

What have Lulu and Jimmy Edwards got in common?

They both have moustaches except Lulu.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 12:36 PM

I am reminded of somebody asking What, both of them? upon hearing my kids were twins...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 01:25 AM

I've remembered more clearly what Rachel Maddow was on about, and what she said. She was talking about declarations that the 'fake electors' in two, um ... 'different' states had signed, and how the text was identical in the two documents. She kept saying, "Both of them are exactly the same!!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 08:52 AM

My peeve is the claim that the most nearly perfect synonyms in English are "gorse" and "furze."

I have two reasons.

1. if true, I don't know the name of the genius who first made this observation out of an English lexicon of hundreds of thousands of words, and

2. if false, the claim is smugly pretentious.

It may be true, however. Merriam-Webster defines "gorse" and "furze" identically:

"a spiny yellow-flowered European shrub (Ulex europaeus) of the legume family ...[or] any of several related plants (genera Ulex and Genista)"

So "gorse" and "furze" are exact synonyms. But that's just point one. Besides being semantically interchangeable (like many other synonyms), the words are formally and dialectically similar.

Both are one-syllable words of five letters. Both contain an "r" and both end in a silent "e." What's more, both are perfectly acceptable at all stylistic levels (neither, for example is slang or poetic), and neither is geographically localized.

Finally - as icing on the cake - both descend from Old English, when they were already exactly synonymous.

What other synonyms can make these boasts?

There's a third Ulex synonym, "whin," but, besides having just four letters (none of which appear in either "gorse" or "furze"), regrettably doesn't appear till the 14th century. (Nice try, though.)

So what genius did first discover the unique degree of synonymy between "gorse" and "furze"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 10:11 AM

Call it furze here in Cornwall and everyone knows what you mean and no eyebrow is raised. It's different elsewhere in Britain. In most other parts of England gorse would be the commoner term. Whin is used mostly in Scotland but would confuse many Cornish denizens. We are an ancient country and these seemingly deliciously-illogical things abound in our language. 'Tis just the way things are, no peeves needed!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 10:22 AM

And are gorse and furze really synonyms? They are different words but they mean EXACTLY the same thing. My understanding of synonyms is that they are different words for more or less the same thing but not exactly the same thing. In the same ballpark but not the same ball...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 10:31 AM

Synonym is used for different words of same meaning. If th meaning is different, the terms are not synonymous. Cold and icy may be synonyms but cold and cool are not. In my experience.

Defecate and shit are synonyms. Identical meanings, different etymologies,different usages.

I thought furze and gorse were regional variations, like Youse and Y'all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 10:46 AM

I know what gorse is but I didn't know that it has an alternative common name. I had never come across the name furze before reading about it here in this thread. You are never too old to learn something new!

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 06:10 PM

Lighter et al.: "*furze, gorse, whin.* The first two would appear to be that very great rarity, a pair of exact synonyms, meaning the same thing and used indifferently in all localities and all contexts. The third differs not in sense, but in being chiefly a Scotch & northern word." -- H. W. Fowler, _A Dictionary of Modern English Usage_ (1927)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 06:53 PM

Thanks, Joe. But Henry Attwell, in "Notes & Queries" (7th Ser.) XI (May 23, 1891), p. 406, may have been the genius.


https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924057513537&seq=442&q1=gorse


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 07:38 PM

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds / St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze ... learned as a babe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 07:26 AM

The wren, the wren,
The king we endorse,
St. Stephen's day
Was caught in the gorse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 05:04 PM

gorse and furze are exactly the same, it used to be planted here in ireland, and cut every two years to feed horses, it was cut up by hand and chopped by machine, it is high in protein
there were at least two different varieties of it, french furze and english


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 05:07 PM

doug chadwick have you never heard the song the furze field


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 05:24 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfNZwCAhGJE furze field


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 06:24 PM

No Sandman, I had never heard the song before but I have now, thanks. Even so, if it were not for the discussion in this thread, I would not have been able to make a connection between the song title and the gorse plant that I know so well.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 07:33 PM

To clarify. There are three species of gorse, or furze, in the UK. Ulex gallii is found mostly in SE England. Ulex europaeus, western gorse or furze, is found all over Britain and Ireland and is that taller one that often flowers profusely in spring. It's a very cheery thing which has a sort of rich honey-and-coconut scent. Finally, there's Ulex minor that's pretty common too. It's a bit more compact and is commonly found keeping its head down. There's plenty of it on the Cornish cliffs. It's a lively heathland thing in summer, though I have somewhat negative recollections of it. One day in August 1977 Mrs Steve and I spent a long and languid afternoon picnicking and sunbathing on a grassy slope, replete with gorse, overlooking Bantry Bay near Glengarriff. Very nice - but when we got back to our B&B I discovered that I was playing host to 32 sheep ticks. A good few had taken up residence in, shall we say, some of the more delicate folds of my external anatomy...

I did get them all off, though it took a long time. At least I didn't come down with any nasty infections. I don't blame the gorse/furze, but that particular learning curve at least gave me a tip as to which sunbathing sites to avoid in Ireland...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 02:38 AM

yes, those ticks can carry lymes disease


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Rain Dog
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 02:47 AM

Was that a case of you feeling ticked off?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 03:58 AM

Mrs Backwoodsperson and I always carry a tick-twizzler with us - we both have several, in our car, in both ruck-sacks, in her shoulder-bag and my man-bag, in her purse and my wallet - so that we are never caught out unable to remove those little bar-stewards from our own person and from our dog (who tends to be their main target).

I’d recommend anyone who’s involved in outdoor-activities, as we often are, to carry a tick-twizzler - an amazingly simple, but very effective, instrument for removing ticks without leaving their mouth-parts embedded in one’s skin.

Tick-twister


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 08:13 AM

imo it is important to try and be positive rather than negative. Bavck has suggested a positive how to deal wth ticks.
the tile of this thread is imo a bit negative
so i am going to start a different thread .language positives, where people can give exerts of language that has had a goof effect on them


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 10:07 AM

”Mrs Backwoodsperson and I always carry a tick-twizzler”

Of course I meant ‘tick-twister’! Tired, ancient brain! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 11:49 AM

"imo it is important to try and be positive rather than negative. Bavck has suggested a positive how to deal wth ticks.
the tile of this thread is imo a bit negative
so i am going to start a different thread .language positives, where people can give exerts of language that has had a goof effect on them"

Oh, the irony...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 12:15 PM

Who’s this ‘Bavck’ bloke, eh? Oh never mind, I’ve been called worse…


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 07:10 PM

"Woman Killed After Nightclub Shooting" - a headline today. And, no, she was not killed after the shooting .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 07:00 AM

MaJoC's €0.02: Herself maintains that you're only allowed to kiss when the gorse (or furze) is in bloom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 07:37 AM

sorry, backwoodsman, typo


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 12:58 PM

One of many in that post… ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 02:08 PM

Mistletoe. Kiss under that...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 02:14 PM

Fuggeddit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 03:28 PM

(*ahem*) Herself speaks with forked tongue, Mrrzy. She goes on to say that the most common form of gorse (or furze) is in flower more-or-less the year round.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 07:39 AM

To deduce: to squeeze an orange.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 07:48 AM

Disaster: what happened to a woman who tried to get up suddenly from a bathful of glue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 12:23 PM

I could start to feel gruntled by some of these examples.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 01:33 PM

I thought disaster was when she sat on the bacon slicer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 01:52 AM

A quote from an old Irishman's Diary in The Irish Times - sadly subscriber-only - about the difference between 'may' and 'might':

"One of the more annoying grammatical errors of our time is a tendency to confuse “may” and “might” when speaking of the past. You’re watching football on TV, for example, and a striker attempts a volley, but instead balloons the shot high over the crossbar. Then the commentator notes that the player had time to control the ball first and adds that, if he had done, “he may have scored”.
"What the commentator means is that he might have scored. Whereas “may” implies that he possibly did score, but we don’t know enough about the incident yet to be sure.
"This even though the ball has just knocked the false teeth out of a pensioner in Row W of the stand behind the goal…"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 04:27 AM

One of the more annoying grammatical errors of our time is a tendency to confuse “may” and “might” when speaking of the past.


I have just posted on the 'BS: Funny witticisms' thread and opened with:-
"That may have been ......."

If only I had opened this thread first, I could have avoided such a silly mistake. I will be more careful next time.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 04:50 AM

I don't think it's worth sweating over may and might unless it's in the context of formal writing. In speech the distinction is lost, more often than not. Arguments that we should always preserve the useful distinctions in cases in which confusion is likely are generally lost as language evolves. May and might is an awkward case, and, as long as the intended meaning is clear, I don't think it's worth picking anyone up for their "incorrect usage."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 05:00 AM

May and might is an awkward case, and, as long as the intended meaning is clear, I don't think it's worth picking anyone up for their "incorrect usage."

It is clearly a Pet Peeve of the person writing in The Irish Times.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 05:25 AM

Thing is though, Doug, he was criticising a football commentator. Whatever you might think of those folk, they have to react quickly to what they see in front of them. You'll get a couple of howlers from them in every game, but as far as their grammar is concerned I think maybe we could cut them a bit of slack.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 07:01 AM

“The bowler is Holding, the batsman’s Willey” ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 07:48 AM

Sadly, Johnners never actually said that, though we all wish he had!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 09:31 AM

Johnners was commentating [sometime in the first century before Under Armour] when the batsman received the fifth ball of the over in a rather unkind part of his anatomy. He hobbled around the wicket awhile, then rather gamely elected to continue, at which Johnners said "And there's one ball left". Collapse of Bill Frindall.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 09:56 AM

Argh. Someone on Radio Four* has just said "powerful", and I've just realised it was meant as "I accept you have just said something important, and I can't think of anything to say, but there's other callers, so let's move on".

* Ten bonus points (fifty for left-pondians) for naming the phone-in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 10:30 AM

”Sadly, Johnners never actually said that”

No less funny for that though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 10:43 AM

Was the infamous snooker comment "For those of you watching in black and white, the green is the one behind the pink" not real either?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 11:18 AM

I hold strong on may and might. Always.

Depict: the Roman invasion of Britain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 01:54 PM

May is have permission, as in, Mother may I. Might is possible, as in mother might say yes.

Is that it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 04:21 PM

Is that it?

(i) Present tense vs Past Perfect:-

    Something may happen.
    Something might have happened.

(ii) Higher vs lower probability:-

    Something may happen. (higher)
    Something might happen. (lower)

(iii) Asking for vs giving permission:-

    May/might I do something? (either will do)
    Yes, you may.


DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 05:06 PM

Well that's all great, but you're going to scare people into never wanting to open their mouths! Language is wot people speak, not wot the grammar police dictate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 05:32 PM

I have to stop myself from correcting 'can I' to 'may I'. It was hammered into me and old habits die hard but ffs - everyone knows what someone means when they say 'can I'. Don't they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 05:37 PM

Here in The Backwoods, ‘can I’ and ‘may I’ are accepted by the vast majority as interchangeable. The evolution of language…


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 05:54 PM

Well that's all great, but you're going to scare people into never wanting to open their mouths!


The question was asked. I simply provided an answer.

I have always held that the only requirement for good communication is that it should be clear and unambiguous, but this thread is specifically about the misuse of language that annoys people. If I remember correctly, it was your good self, Steve, who resurrected this thread in its Mk II version.

I would lay a pound to a penny that you know what word I would like to bring up when you complain about people dictating to others but I am going to resist the temptation.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 06:56 PM

Well that resurrection happened at a very confusing time on Mudcat, Doug. My first few posts on the resurrected version are all very mild. and the whole thread for the last couple of months has been benign and free-rambling.

Nah then, Doug. You love to try to catch me out and that much I relish. But when it comes to the quirkiness of our beautiful but complex language, my record, if you'd care to trawl, suggests that I'm consistently on the side of ordinary users of our native tongue and that I care not a jot for casual human errors. I also consider that we should accept that the evolution of language is always in the hands of the billions of ordinary users and never in the hands of the grammar police. There are some red lines, of course. There are some errors that can't be excused as being in the realms of linguistic evolution but which should always be called out as simply pig-ignorant. Alternate for alternative (I blame the Monkees). Building to a crescendo. Awful stuff, those two. Most of all, the pretentious: at this moment in time. On a daily basis. Prior to. Albeit.

But singling out people for "misusing" may/might, less/fewer, who/whom, etc., unless the context is formal writing, is just nit-picking. No-one says you're wrong, but lots of people might ask why you bother. And, as I said, the last thing we need to be doing is to make people scared of opening their mouths lest they annoy the grammar police.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 08:12 PM

I wish I may I wish I might


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 03:56 AM

I can think of a phrase where may and might can be used together

Brian May might


I'll get my coat...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 07:25 AM

It's not a question of scolding people for misusages. May and might have different meanings, and wiping out might lessens the language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 07:48 AM

You could say the same about uninterested/disinterested. I think there's a useful distinction between them but so many people use them interchangeably that we might as well admit that the fight may have been lost (see what I did there...?). Once when I was a form teacher, compiling the class reports from their subject teachers, I sent one back to the PE teacher who had written "This boy is disinterested in sport." The PE teacher refused to change it, and the headmaster, a graduate of Cambridge in English, backed him up!   

I'll never give up on alternate and alternative, though...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 09:22 AM

"The language" has been "lessened" in various ways since the demise of Old English with no clearly deleterious effect. For every "lessening" there are innumerable additions and refinements.

The enforcement of the "may" and "might" rule is now pointless. Nobody is confused or misled by the "misuse," and, should they be, their interlocutor or editor can ask what precisely is meant.

Prescriptivism is usually a lost cause anyway, since by the time an alteration in usage becomes widely noticeable, it's generally too late to do anything about it.

Nor are the "misuser"s eager to accept correction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 09:29 AM

Also amoral and immoral. Not the same, in jargon, but similar in usage. Misusage, ok.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 10:40 AM

"The green is behind the pink": Confirmed: it was on Pot Black. I've seen the repeat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 10:56 AM

"At this present moment in time": like "going forward", it's a simple space-filler, originally intended to give upper management the illusion that something's being said. Real Soon Now, I'll try to get hold of John Barry's Technobabble, which documents such linguistic atrocities, but it may well be out of print by now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 11:29 AM

"May vs "might": it's part of a worrying cascade misconception about probabilities; it's most likely to occur when the chances of this are vanishingly small, but the fallout is extreme.

This happening is next to impossible.
We cannot eliminate the possibility of this happening.
This happening is unlikely [so if it does happen, it hits the headlines].
This might happen.
This may happen.
This happening is likely.
We cannot eliminate the possibility that this will not happen.
This happening is next to inevitable.

In the first lecture of probability theory, a probability of 1 was defined (to much laughter) as "almost certain", and 0 as "almost never".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 11:41 AM

Worth looking up the bullshit generator. Always good for a laugh when you can drop one of the phrases into a report or meeting.


Yes I did. More than once :-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: BobL
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 12:56 PM

A probability of 1 was defined (to much laughter) as "almost certain", and 0 as "almost never".

That's almost reasonable, no level of precision has been assigned to those values.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 03:33 PM

We should hang on to amoral/immoral, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 Jan 24 - 05:30 PM

BobL: Other way around. "Almost certain" (as a technical term in probability theory) is defined as "with probability 1". A randomly chosen real number in a given interval is almost certainly irrational.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 08 Jan 24 - 10:31 AM

Another angle: replace "0" by "negligibly small" with a hint of "we haven't ever seen it", and correspondingly for "1". Seeing one flying pig tells you they can fly after all; it takes at least two sightings on different days before you can start thinking about the cost-effectiveness of buying an umbrella.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Jan 24 - 12:07 PM

Also disinterested (with no personal stake in) vs uninterested (bleagh, who cares).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 24 - 06:28 PM

...But so many people use them interchangeably...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 24 - 07:16 PM

Sometimes you see words used that seem to have been used pretentiously, or just downright incorrectly. Three such that really get my goat in some contexts are enormity, epoch and normalcy. Then you look them up and find that what bugs you can actually be perfectly correct. If I see "look at the enormity of that elephant," or "my childhood was an important epoch in my life," I emit growls. But investigation reveals that both those are correct. Well you may convince me that they're correct but you won't convince me that they're fine. And what's with the horrendous "normalcy?" It's not wrong but I simply never want to see it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: leeneia
Date: 08 Jan 24 - 11:25 PM

Today gave me two examples of journalists wriggling out of a reporting

"Sam Bankman Fried shares why FTX flopped" (Daily Mail) So the problem wasn't embezzlement, foolish trading, and lack of record-keeping by humans. Supposedly FTX, an exchange of sorts, just did it by itself.
=======================

Low-class congresswoman Lauren Boebert got in an altercation with her ex-husband in a restaurant in Silt, Colorado, and the local Fox News reported that "authorities were called."

This is classic use of the passive voice to obscure facts. Who called the police? Is this candidate a woman being stalked, or is she a perpetrator of domestic violence?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 24 - 06:19 AM

Ah yes, the good old passive voice, a vital tool in the box for weasel-worders:

It's said by many people that....
It's been reported by a number of sources that...
It's claimed by medical experts that...
It's emerged that...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jan 24 - 07:54 AM

Often better than the passive voice is simply "They say" or "They did," without saying who "they" are.

If "they" is too obviously a weasel, use "people" or "many people" or some similarly opaque variant.

The benefit is that "they" and "people" emphasize human agency, making the claim more vivid, while the passive doesn't. What's more, it's easier to mislead with "they" and "people," since the passive voice at least declares clearly what was done, but "they" and "people" give no clue as to whom is referred to (maybe nobody).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 11 Jan 24 - 07:57 AM

Then there's the automotive passive voice, used in news reports: "Pedestrian hit by car".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 24 - 08:14 AM

When visiting Bayeux we witnessed an old lady getting annoyed with a car in her way so she set about it with a baguette!

Car hit by pedestrian? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 24 - 10:58 AM

Headline in this week's Bude and Stratton Post: "Car collides with garden"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 11:46 AM

I'm hesitant to bring up matters of pronunciation on an international forum, but I am curious about whether people in other places have noticed any changing pronunciations of certain polysyllabic words. A couple that come to mind: "advertisement" and "pianist". When I was growing up in Canada, the only pronunciation I heard for "advertisement" was "ad-VER-tiz-ment" - now all I ever hear is "ad-ver-TIZE-ment". "Pianist" was always "PEE-an-ist"; now I hear "pee-YAN-ist" all the time.

I will (or will not) provide more examples as they come to me (or not). I know there are about half-a-dozen that I hear frequently these days, and there seem to be more all the time. And, yes, they are 'pet peeves' which I will make no attempt to justify.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 11:54 AM

Eye-ran. Nucular.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 11:57 AM

I have a similar peeve with ‘maintenance’ which always used to be pronounced ‘MAIN-ten-ance’ (it still is by me) but which I frequently hear in my neck of the Backwoods pronounced nowadays as ‘men-TAIN-ance’. Grrrrr!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 11:57 AM

Apropos of pretentious stuff to do with food: compote. A medley of vegetables. Jus. Pan-fried.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 01:34 PM

Au jus is ok. With au jus is not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 01:46 PM

My pet peeve:- overuse of the word "pretentious".

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 02:01 PM

Eye-bee-fah. (Are you reading this, Rylan?).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 03:35 PM

So, Doug, you don't think that "jus" for thick gravy, "compote" for a bowl of sour and mushed-up boiled fruit pulp and a "medley of vegetables" for a rapidly-going-cold pot of over-boiled broccoli, carrots and frozen peas is pretentious? Well, as a down-to-earth northern lad, you do surprise me. You'll be calling a spade a manually-operated bladed digging implement next!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 03:55 PM

I don't give it much thought at all, Steve. I am just sick of hearing the word through its overuse to describe other perfectly good words, elsewhere in the 'Pet Peeve' threads.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 04:16 PM

Jus isn't gravy. Using jus for jus is merely accurate. Using jus for gravy is incorrect, not necessarily (but probably) pretentious.

A medley is a medley. Overcooking it doesn't make it not a medley.

What you're complaining about, Steve, doesn't seem to be the words themselves, but that bad cooks use them.

That's a cooking peeve, rather than a language one.

Yesterday's menu said Red wine reduction. I got brown gravy. Not pretentious, but bad cooking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 04:49 PM

> Yesterday's menu said Red wine reduction. I got brown gravy.

That's not bad cooking: it's an offence under the Trades Description Act. A "red wine reduction" is a price cut on (what I insist on calling) plonque rouge de la maison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 06:00 PM

Heheh.

I know what a medley is supposed to mean on restaurant menus. It's plainly an attempt to big up stuff that's actually very plain, wot I could do in my steamer in eight minutes. In my house, a medley of veg means something to go with my meat, Yorkshire puddings and roast spuds. "Jus" a la UK is a form of gravy with red wine in it that's been cleaned of all its tasty bits and boiled up until it's no longer the stuff you want on your roast chicken. "Compote" is mushed-up soft fruit that wouldn't have cut the mustard had the fruit been left whole. The stuff you can make out of the raspberries that have been in your freezer for a couple of years and which don't really look much like raspberries any more. In my house, if I called any of this stuff "medley," "jus" or "compote," I'd get a really good laugh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 06:02 PM

I know what you mean, Doug, albeit I never agree, not even on a daily basis, though, prior to your comments in this thread, I wouldn't have made an argument going forward, if you will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 06:33 PM

Delighted: the electricity's gone out again


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 12 Jan 24 - 09:02 PM

The term 'pseudo-intellectual' emerged in the '60s or '70s, or such is my impression. It is enjoying a second life, or extended life, on the internet, where it is invariably used to denigrate an intellectual whose views the user of the term objects to. What bugs me about it is the implication that the user has some basis for judging the authenticity of intellectuals, and respects 'real' intellectuals, when it is safe to assume that in fact the user respects only those 'intellectuals' - real or pseudo- - who share the user's views.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jan 24 - 02:41 PM

Reference to anyone at all as an "intellectual" is one of my pet peeves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Jan 24 - 06:46 PM

Eschew obfuscation?

Jus is just that. Meat juice. No flour no wine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 14 Jan 24 - 11:37 AM

Just seen quoted in an article about how Musk is trashing Twitter (or X, or whatever it's called this week):

You're really creating a bit of a perfect storm.

That's on a par with "relatively unique" (and sim perversions) or "a teensy-weensy little bit pregnant". Arghissimo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jan 24 - 12:05 PM

We might not like unique-qualified but, er, I think it's OK, along with the modern "liberal" use of decimate and literally. Language should be about wot people speak, not wot the grammar police say.

As for this damned jus saga, this side of the great divide we make jus (if we really must, and even if we do we try to not call it "jus" unless we're Hyacinth Bucket) with beef stock, red wine, shallots and herbs, boil it all to death, strain it, boil it some more and add butter. There you go. Jus. And don't make me type that ridiculous word again. What's wrong with gravy anyway!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jan 24 - 12:07 PM

As for this: "a teensy-weensy little bit pregnant," that's just as bad as "heavily pregnant." What's wrong with "great with child"??


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Jan 24 - 12:59 PM

"Jus is just that. Meat juice. No flour no wine"

Why not just call it meat juice then?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jan 24 - 02:08 PM

"Meat juice" sounds incredibly unappetising to me, and I'm a confirmed carnivore. "A succulent steak" is another expression I find off-putting. Makes it sound squelchy and raw...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Jan 24 - 02:40 PM

”Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 14 Jan 24 - 12:05 PM

We might not like unique-qualified but, er, I think it's OK, along with the modern "liberal" use of decimate and literally. Language should be about wot people speak, not wot the grammar police say.”


I’ve saved that gem, to be brought out every time you - a leading, and noisy, member of the aforementioned ‘grammar police’ - berate anyone for using ‘albeit’, ‘intellectual’, ‘prior to’, ‘going forward’, or any other of the many perfectly understandable expressions you repeatedly bitch about ad bloody nauseam.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jan 24 - 04:19 PM

Language is a many-faceted thing. Choice of words or expressions to use isn't at all the same thing as grammar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Jan 24 - 02:59 AM

Something I’ve noticed many times during my almost 77 years on this Earth is the way those who have a habit of handing out the shit, tend to lose their own shit very easily and copiously when someone stands up to them and their bullying, know-it-all ways.

This is my last post on this thread, Maggie. Your choice whether to leave it here or delete it, I have no strong feelings either way. I’ll stick to the ‘Good News’ thread, where the air smells a lot nicer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 24 - 06:48 AM

Several posts were deleted - I congratulated you on pulling that rabbit out of your hat ("hoist with his own petard") and his response continued to be inappropriate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Jan 24 - 07:00 AM

Thanks Maggie, I saw your ‘hoist with his own petard’ post, but nothing after that. I’m keeping away from this thread now, you have enough to do without having to censor the loud-mouths. Apologies for stirring up the hornet’s nest. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 15 Jan 24 - 08:09 AM

Not so great with child: morning sickness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jan 24 - 10:16 AM

That is precisely why meat juice is called jus, Steve.

Similar to beef, mutton, and pork. The French for what it is is more appetizing than the English for what it is, to English speakers.

Do those count as euphemisms?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Jan 24 - 01:54 PM

I just drove through Keighley and spotted one of my pet peeves - Hijacking everyday terms to mean something else! 'Gay' is a lost cause now of course and the meaning has become what it is but 'market' seems to be next on the list. Every other shop seems to be a 'mini market' or a 'fresh market' or some such. They are no such thing! Markets are a specific type of trade. These new 'markets' are just shops trying to cash in on the idea that markets are more appealing. Stop it!

Catching up on this thread though and I noticed an even worse and potentially dangerous one. The mis-use of the term 'bully'. Bullying is nasty and ruins lives yet everyone who has a disagreement seems to accuse their opponent of bullying. Bullying is constant abuse of the victim or victims by one or more people and affects the lives of victims and their families. I know from experience how nasty it is. There is no bullying on here. Disagreements and sometimes personal abuse but not to the level that could ever be termed bullying. Keep the term bully for those who go all out to victimise someone else. Watering it down by using it as it was used above does the real victims no good at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 01:34 PM

I've thought about bullying a lot. Here are my elements of bullying so far:

bully wants something he (or she, of course) is not entitled to

bully objects to something that is not really a problem

bully charges in fast, too fast for you to collect your thoughts and defend yourself

bully often is a bigger person, is used to dominating others with his size

bully is too loud

kids may bully outright to be mean, but adults learn to cloak their bullying in claims of being more proper, honorable, discreet, etc.

bully seems to know unspoken behavioral standards that other people don't know about

bully stands too close, invades your space

bully implies that other people are ridiculing you behind your back

bully may be conscious of the audience, making you look inefficient in front of the boss or making you look foolish in the presence of that certain pretty girl

if you come back at him with a good defense, the bully suddenly has more important business elsewhere

bully leaves fast, often slamming the door

I suspect a lot of people are bullies in their teens and eventually improve. Either their minds mature or they wise up and realize that they have no friends and no future. My brother was a bully, but he changed when he topped out at 5'6".
===============
P.G. Wodehouse made a brilliant portrait of a bully when he invented Lady Constance Keeble of Blandings Castle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 02:03 PM

Thanks leeneia but beside the point really. My peeve is that over (mis)use of the term is causing it to become meaningless


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 02:22 PM

I agree with Market not being the same as --dare I say not synonymous to-- Store or Shop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 09:52 AM

Aaargh! Princess hospitalizd after planned abdominal surgery.

Surgery performed at home?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 10:51 AM

Item from TV news last night: "China's population declines as deaths jump." Maybe I'm too visual a thinker, but I find the image of deaths 'jumping' decidedly weird.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 11:32 AM

Dave, I think the difference in how the term is interpreted may depend on which side of the pond one is on. I find Leeneia's list to fit my understanding of the word "bully" as it is used in the US. Synonyms would be intimidator, browbeater, and I would add scold. We're talking about an online environment, not in person where some of the words with a more dense meaning come into play (tyrant, persecutor, thug, heavy, ruffian, etc.)

Euphemisms will abound surrounding Kate's surgery. There are so many possibilities, not just the usual "lady parts." They said this morning she hasn't been seen in public since xmas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 01:44 PM

I don't mind market - it has different meanings in America (big shop) and Europe (road full of artisans selling fresh food).
Bully used to be a term meaning excellent around the turn of the 19/20 century.
Crikey but it's icy here; we're hovering between -5º and 0º. I have a big hooded fleecy cloak thing but it only covers the top half, and it's the bottom half that freezes most.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 01:52 PM

Market here tends to be a specific area with stalls where independent traders can set up.

Bloomin' icy here too. I ended up flat on my back on our drive earlier! OK but for a sore back and bruised ego :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Rain Dog
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 04:12 PM

We can all choose to ignore posts from those who annoy us.

Some seem to find that hard to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 05:09 PM

A regular language debate in my family that played out again at lunch:

I mention an herbal tea with mint and fennel.
"It's really a tisane, not tea."
"You know what I mean." (And I'm the English major!)

Camellia sinensis is the plant that is grown and picked at so many stages and elevations to create many grades of black tea or green tea, oolong, or white tea. Chai. (If you say "chai tea" it is tea tea, too much tea!) Tea being synonymous with the Camellia s. product. Herbal teas don't contain Camellia anything, so technically are a tisane or an infusion. They aren't made with tea leaves.

But it's too late for that argument to win. Packages around the world say "herbal tea" and note "no caffeine" and have no Camellia in them. The "brand" tea isn't a proprietary eponym like Kleenex or Bandaid or Xerox or Aspirin, tea these days means just about any cup of hot water in which leaves or herbs are soaked to create a drink that isn't coffee.

Off my soap box. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 05:12 PM

Why have they got euphoniums surrounding Kate's surgery? I would have thought that they would not want a fuss

Oh, hang on...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 05:15 PM

DtG,
Do you accept 'supermarket' as a valid name for a large store where customers select items from the shelves and then pay for them at a checkout? If so, then why shouldn't a small shop which uses the same system describe itself as a mini-market?

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 06:38 PM

It's a peeve, Doug. It doesn't have to be rational.

Stilly. In my (limited) experience of the USA, they generally cannot make tea there anyway. A cup of warm water with a tea bag to dunk in it just isn't tea :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 17 Jan 24 - 06:50 PM

It doesn't have to be rational.

Just pointing it out! It could reduce the stress in your life if you were able to come to terms with it.
;-)

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Jan 24 - 02:58 AM

”Stilly. In my (limited) experience of the USA, they generally cannot make tea there anyway. A cup of warm water with a tea bag to dunk in it just isn't tea :-)”

Well at least we can agree on that, Dave! And what they call ‘coffee’ is like watter bewitched when compared with Italian and French coffee… ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Jan 24 - 05:58 PM

Doug Chadwick: I was once in a store such as you describe, which called itself, not a mini-market, but a superette. I admired that: an augmentative prefix, a diminutive suffix, and nothing in between! One would expect such a word to cancel itself out, perhaps with a soft click.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 24 - 06:04 PM

I'm not a coffee drinker, and when I make tea I brew loose tea, although these days it is a somewhat disappointing brew since I've had to give up caffeine.

In a change of peeves, I find some of the news channels on cable to overuse the term "breaking news" - if I leave the channel on in the background and hear three different program hosts discuss the exact same "breaking news" it is long since "breaking" and is now just "news."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 10:01 AM

To me, a supermarket is a store, not a market! Who has to make sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 10:32 AM

Well large supermarkets are also called ‘Superstores’ here in the UK. Prolly in the US too??


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 10:47 AM

In addition it is patently obvious that Supermarkets are not markets but if you see something advertised as a market you could end up traveling to see an array of independent traders and finding a dingy corner shop with a few baskets of mouldy veg outside!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 11:16 AM

On my side of town it isn't just English, so I shop in grocery stores and supermercados. The huge stores like Target and Walmart are more than groceries, so they tend to call themselves "super centers." Costco and Sam's Club are warehouse stores. So it looks like the closest to "market" around here is the mercado. Most stores are known by name, so I would never say "I'm going to the supermarket" - it's "I'm going to Kroger" (or Albertson or Aldi or Fiesta).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 11:19 AM

"Breaking News" used to be reserved for some supposedly exciting news story that was just "breaking". Then it was used for any "breaking" news story. Now "breaking news" means ... news.

A few other, um - "developments": used to be a "coup" required completion to be such, but apparently it is too much work to say "attempted coup" or "failed coup" (OTOH, I'm happy to go along with "coup" in place of "coup d'etat", so who am I to gripe?); an "elite" once was a certain group or class of people - now it's an individual member of such a group or class; a "conspiracy theory" has become "a conspiracy".... I blame all those TV political commentators are so busy trying to talk over each other that they have no time to think about what their words actually mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Jan 24 - 11:53 AM

Coup de grace is French for mow the lawn...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Jan 24 - 04:30 AM

When did useful hints and tips become "life hacks"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jan 24 - 09:22 AM

It’s tough for us Boomers trying to keep up with Gen-Z, Dave! :-0


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jan 24 - 10:23 AM

I guess "useful hints" sounds too 1950s, but then everything that existed back then is now the hugely popular Midcentury Modern (used to be referred to as Danish Modern as far as furniture.)

What goes around comes around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Jan 24 - 10:57 AM

Then there's "as far as X" in place of "as far as X is concerned."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 21 Jan 24 - 07:43 AM

DtG: When did useful hints and tips become "life hacks"?

When the whizz kids of the City of London let their work jargon spill out in coffee houses. Personally, as someone who used to code for a living (often having to butcher somebody else's kludgeware* into something sensible in the process), I'm glad the positive senses of "hack" are being noticed again.

* Kluge: a crock which works. The English spell it as "kludge", which comes from "kludgie" -> midden.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 21 Jan 24 - 08:50 PM

Heard on the evening news, re: an immigrant healthcare worker: "She got an undergraduate degree in Nursing and a Ph.D. in Africa."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 22 Jan 24 - 10:01 AM

New peeve: the abusage of "leverage", esp in non-financial contexts*. It's easy to spot when English reporters have been miseducated by listening to too many Left-Pondian financial experts, as they pronounce it "levverage", rather than "leeverage" as Dr Johnson intended.

* In financial jargon, it very specifically refers to buying a firm with its own debt, eg the foghorn formerly known as Twitter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Jan 24 - 06:44 AM

Surely leverage is when you let the hare sit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Jan 24 - 07:27 AM

"At this point in time…" What's wrong with "Now…"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 23 Jan 24 - 11:08 AM

> Surely leverage is when you let the hare sit?

Nah: that's the levee, but only if it's standing up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 02 Feb 24 - 03:58 PM

I just heard on the TV news that Joni Mitchell "will make a surprise appearance at the Grammys" .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: leeneia
Date: 04 Feb 24 - 11:29 PM

clever
never
sever
beverage
lever


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 07 Feb 24 - 02:20 PM

Another one from radio news: the door came off mid-flight because "the bolts that held the door in were not installed."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Feb 24 - 05:35 PM

I am reminded of The only person on the scene missing was the Jack of Hearts...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Feb 24 - 12:22 PM

Not read this thread for ages, but had a few chuckles on the way!

One thing that bugs me, is when people invent new words, often by turning perfectly good nouns into verbs. The latest new one came with a recent update to my iPhone - Journal: ok so far, but then "what are you journaling today?" (only one L as it's American too!) Journaling - I ask you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Feb 24 - 07:14 PM

Also unnecessary backformations.

Worth, noun. Worthy, adjective. Worthiness, useless backformation.

Health, healthy, healthiness. Bah!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 14 Feb 24 - 10:22 AM

English is a wonderful language: you can verb anything.

(Twenty bonus marks for correctly attributing this quote.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Feb 24 - 04:31 PM

What bugs me is the blithe and confident misuse of technical terms.

Like "virus" for a bacterial infection.

Or "euphemism" for "simple synonym."

Or "misnomer" for "misconception."

Or "back-formation" for "derivative."

Oxford has "worthiness" from 1372. It's been thought acceptable by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Hobbes, Wordsworth, and many others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: BobL
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 03:56 AM

Or "quantum leap" for "paradigm shift".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: mayomick
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 09:05 AM

UK police “officers”
I saw this today in a British newspaper- a witness account of police searching a tube train for a suspect

“ Officers told us to move down the train away from the carriage……..then an officer came into our carriage and shouted for the train manager to get the doors open. ………We were directed up towards platform 14 instead of towards the barriers, where there must have been between 20-30 officers present..”

Do they now use the word “officer” in the UK to describe their police? When I was growing up there in the fifties and sixties we never referred to cops as "officers" . I remember the police at the time didn’t like the term saying it was an Americanism and that they should be addressed as “constables” .


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 09:36 AM

Do they now use the word “officer” in the UK to describe their police?

I have gown up with 'police officer' being a perfectly normal, general term for all ranks of the British police. I certainly don't consider it as an Americanism. 'Cops', on the other hand, does not figure highly in my vocabulary and is not a word I would use within the hearing of a police officer.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 10:12 AM

‘Police Officer’ is in common use in my part of the British Backwoods and has been for many years. Similarly ‘policeman/policewoman’, and ‘Bobby’. Like Doug above, I don’t regard it as an Americanism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 15 Feb 24 - 11:02 AM

Here's one I've noticed only in the last, say, ten years or so, particularly in British sources, but now and then from the US as well, and that is, use of 'floor' for 'ground'; perhaps this usage goes 'way back ... ? To my mind, a 'floor' is inside a building, and 'the ground' is that flat surface in the great outdoors - so if you got out of your car and the cop/officer/constable pushed you down, you fell on the 'ground', not on the 'floor'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 16 Feb 24 - 04:44 AM

@ Lighter:
Then there are those who talk about the “HIV virus” - effectively means they are saying virus twice.
And “a bacteria” - the singular is bacterium.
Another common medical one - “prostrate” when they mean “prostate”.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Feb 24 - 04:09 PM

I did not use back-formation incorrectly, fyi.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Feb 24 - 04:29 PM

Merriam-Webster:

"back-formation n. ...a word formed by subtraction of a real or supposed affix from an already existing longer word (such as burgle from burglar)"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: BobL
Date: 17 Feb 24 - 04:07 AM

Regarding Floor/Ground you can also, metaphorically, "hit the deck".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 17 Feb 24 - 11:57 AM

> Regarding Floor/Ground you can also, metaphorically,
> "hit the deck".

Especially if you're all at sea. (In circuit diagrams, "earth" and "chassis" have different symbols.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 17 Feb 24 - 02:14 PM

The headline writers of our local online "rag" - Edinburgh Live - are very fond of using "as" in a rather odd way, which goes against cause and effect. e.g.

Missing child and teenage vanish AS Police launch urgent search (and in this instance there's also the issue of the fact that the child and teenager are already missing before they vanished!)

Edinburgh rush hour collision blocks road AS traffic tails back (did the tailback cause the collision?)

Car ploughs into house on Scottish street AS emergency services rush to the scene (so they knew this was going to happen?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Feb 24 - 04:03 PM

As is weird. We get After, as in 2 people killed after their plane crashes. Like they survived the crash itself, only to be murdered, later.

As would actually work, in those instances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 18 Feb 24 - 07:25 AM

Using "as" in that context is also counterproductive. If they really want to save horizontal space and ink, a comma would serve better as the required hiccup in the cadence, however jarring to those of us who dislike seeing comma abuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 08:26 AM

Navalny's widow. Not hus wife. His widow. Stop robbing her of his death.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 11:36 AM

Guilty, Mrrzy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Feb 24 - 05:53 PM

WashPo has updated their headlines too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Feb 24 - 08:01 AM

Then again, WashPo has this:

Ask Amy: I want to go visit my ex long ago who is ill


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 20 Feb 24 - 12:18 PM

Hmmm - I wonder if "my ex long ago" is something like "my used-to-be", as you find in the old Blues songs ... ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Feb 24 - 02:30 PM

Long-ago ex, maybe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 20 Feb 24 - 03:11 PM

"I want to go visit my ex long ago ... "

I believe the speaker wants to go back in time, and visit their ex, presumably before they were an ex, and before they were ill - after all, isn't that the kind of thing we all want to do now and then?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: mayomick
Date: 22 Feb 24 - 08:26 AM

Doug, in my experience police officers don't mind being called cops - so long as the word is not used offensively .I've looked up the etymology of cop and there's no agreed origin but I wouldn't be surprised if the word wasn't first used by police officers themselves


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 22 Feb 24 - 11:01 AM

Doug, in my experience police officers don't mind being called cops

Maybe so, but I wouldn't be comfortable using it in a situation where police officers were carrying out official duties. In a more informal setting, though, I wouldn't be too fussed about its use.

Vocab.com gives it as:-
"Cop is an informal, somewhat derogatory word for a police officer."

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Feb 24 - 09:56 PM

My kids used to go running up to their favorite cop yelling Hey, look, it's our favorite cop! He thought it was funny, which made me realize it was, actually, disrespectful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Feb 24 - 02:29 AM

My BIL (Mrs Backwoodsperson’s brother) has been a police officer all of his working life - in the RAF Police, Cambridgeshire Police and, for the past 17-or-so years, in the Toronto ON Force - and he sometimes refers to himself as a ‘cop’. But AFAIC that’s his right. I always describe him as a police officer, but I don’t imagine he would feel offended if I called him a ‘cop’.

In my part of the Backwoods, the usual offensive terms for a police officer are ‘rozzer’, ‘PC Plod’, and ‘pig’. I’m sure there may be others, especially amongst young people, although why anyone feels the need to insult men and women who are doing a difficult, stressful, and often dirty, job is beyond my ken.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Feb 24 - 05:14 AM

Another nickname is “the fuzz”, which I gather is derived from “the Feds”. Many years ago, one of Edinburgh’s folk clubs took place in the Police social club premises, so it was referred to as The Fuzz Folk Club. Then Ian Green, who founded Greentrax recordings after he retired from being a serving police offer, wrote his autobiography, which he entitled “Fuzz to Folk”. (None of this is particularly peeving, by the way!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Feb 24 - 06:22 AM

Ah yes, I forgot ‘The Fuzz’! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Feb 24 - 03:05 PM

Sic'm, Fang!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Feb 24 - 03:06 PM

Hard to believe, but here are two English words that are essentially as thoroughly synonymous as "gorse" and furze."

Not very exciting though:

"inalienable"

"unalienable."

Semantically identical and orthographically nearly so - just one letter different out of eleven.

The only other difference, if it is a difference, is that the Declaration of Independence uses "unalienable," though most people (who'd be unlikely to use either one in a sentence) think it's "inalienable."

Oxford shows "inalienable" from 1647 and "unalienable" from 1611.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 24 Feb 24 - 03:07 PM

In Ireland, cops are the shades.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Feb 24 - 02:04 AM

Ok... every car on this lot was hand-selected.

What, like a flower? How do you HAND-select a CAR?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 25 Feb 24 - 06:52 PM

Then there are the “hand-cooked” crisps (chips to those in the US) - as if you’d plunge your hand into a vat of boiling oil?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 25 Feb 24 - 09:46 PM

No, no - you just hold them in your hand and warm them up. The term 'cooked' is being used loosely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Feb 24 - 09:55 AM

Again, someone was arrested "after" a drug bust. Like, in a completely unrelated other bust?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Mar 24 - 08:28 AM

Heard on NPR

surprises are to b expected


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Mar 24 - 09:59 AM

Of course surprises are to expected.

Specific surprises are not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 09 Mar 24 - 04:20 AM

People have discarded "whoever" and are using "whomsoever", weirdly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 10 Mar 24 - 06:53 AM

Has anyone brought up* the overuse of the term "key"? I can see why newspapers use it instead of "vital" in headlines (shortage-of-ink error), but I find use of it in speech to be unforgivably jarring, especially when overuse makes it a stand-in for "important", "noteworthy" or "interesting". There's so many "key" issues these days that there's no room in the door for anything else but locks.

* I use the term most carefully. Sound effect to (dis)taste.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 10 Mar 24 - 09:49 AM

> someone was arrested "after" a drug bust

Bingo! this just seen on the the Beeb's Red Button: someone being "detained", then "arrested". I'll check, but to be formally arrested, methinks there needs to be one or more specific charges, and the defendant must then go before the Beak. One can instead (or first) be detained, which (like being chucked in the cooler after an excessively good celebration) need not necessarily lead to a charge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 10 Mar 24 - 01:17 PM

someone being "detained", then "arrested". I'll check, but be formally arrested, methinks there needs to be one or more specific charges, and the defendant must then go before the Beak. One can instead (or first) be detained, which (like being chucked in the cooler after an excessively good celebration) need not necessarily lead to a charge.

My understanding of the situation in the UK is that there are three circumstances where someone can be detained before arrest: stop and search; to prevent an imminent breach of the peace; search of property. Otherwise, at formal arrest must be made and the arrested person advised of their legal rights. They may then be detained without charge for a limited period, normally 24 hours, although exceptionally, this may be extended to 36 hours by the station Superintendent, or 72 hours under a magistrate's warrant. The decision to charge rests with the Crown Prosecution Service.


DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 11 Mar 24 - 09:33 AM

Thanks for the disambiguation, Doug: I bow to your superior knowledge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Mar 24 - 10:44 AM

NBC headline
Trump frustrated as bond deadline nears and key bacteria identified in colon cancer cases: Morning Rundown

I just bet he cares deeply about bacteria


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Donuel
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 06:30 AM

Lazy American mouths say Ax instead of ask.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 08:10 AM

There are three sounds in both "ask" and "ax."

So it isn't laziness. It's a reversal of the order of the sounds. This is called "metathesis."

Oxford shows similar forms in use since Old English (before 900 AD). Here's a good example from the Coverdale Bible of 1535:

"Axe and it shall be given you."

(The first published English translation of the Old and New Testaments, predecessor of King James Version.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 01:27 PM

"Lazy American mouths" continue pronunciations that were in use long before English-speakers came to 'America'. What the heck is wrong with them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: gillymor
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 02:38 PM

In the U.S. "ax" (for ask) has become a part of the language for African-Americans, nothing to do with laziness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 03:49 PM

Interestingly, Oxford offers no examples, ever, of "ask" being used for "ax."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 04:30 PM

AKS.
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/12074/why-is-ask-sometimes-pronounced-aks


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 05:05 PM

Interesting to read that "aks" was "down to 1600 the regular literary form."

So according to those of a mightily prescriptive bent, "aks" should be correct, and "ask" is an illiterate variant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Mar 24 - 05:33 PM

"Trump frustrated as bond deadline nears and key bacteria identified in colon cancer cases."

There's now a name for these syntactically ambiguous sentences. They're called "crash blossoms."

Why? According to Merriam-Webster:

"While crash blossoms themselves are as old as newspapers, the term dates back to 2009, when editor Mike O'Connell saw an ambiguous headline that appeared in the newspaper Japan Today— 'Violinist Linked to JAL Crash Blossoms' —and wondered in the Testy Copy Editors forum, 'What's a crash blossom?'"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Mar 24 - 03:33 PM

I shall uae the term crash blossom going forward.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Mar 24 - 04:53 AM

Has anyone brought up* the overuse of the term "key"? I can see why newspapers use it instead of "vital" in headlines (shortage-of-ink error), but I find use of it in speech to be unforgivably jarring, especially when overuse makes it a stand-in for "important", "noteworthy" or "interesting". There's so many "key" issues these days that there's no room in the door for anything else but locks.

"Key" is the 2024 equivalent of the 1960s "top" - everyone was a top scientist, a top politician, etc - until some comedian brought out a book called How to be Top, when it gradually faded away.

Words as analogies have these fashions. A few years ago "relish" was the trend, and it really annoyed me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Mar 24 - 05:36 AM

Talking of fashions in language (and my gripe is about pronunciation rather than actual vocabulary), am I the only one of our UK-contingent who has noticed the current fashion for pronouncing 'st' as 'sht' - so 'student' becomes 'shtudent', or 'street' becomes 'shtreet'? I've recently heard 'superstore' pronounced 'supershtore', amongst many annoying others.

It seems to be a BBC-driven phenomenon - the first offender I noticed indulging in this verbal mangling was that Richie character who presents the traffic bulletins (he also pronounces 'bus' as 'buzz' but, having worked with a guy from Dudley for a number of years, I'm used to that one). Unfortunately, 'sht' seems to have become the widely accepted pronunciation and I'm probably just a moaning old wrinkly, but it really boils my piss!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 27 Mar 24 - 05:56 AM

pronouncing 'st' as 'sht'

Sean Connery was the first one I noticed doing
it. Other than him, I can't say that I've noticed it much.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Mar 24 - 07:11 AM

You need to listen to BBC Radio 2 Doug. They’re all doing it on there, and it’s spilling over to BBC TV Channels too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 27 Mar 24 - 07:24 AM

If I listen to the radio at all, which I rarely do, then it's generally Radio 4. There is far more in the 'cheery' chat in between the music, on Radio 2, to annoy me, than the way they pronounce "st"/"sht".

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Mar 24 - 07:50 AM

When I was in Edinburgh a dozen years ago, I heard it a lot.

Listen closely to "Dr. No," etc., and you'll hear Sean Connery saying it regularly.

In my experience, it isn't as, er, "pronounced" as strongly as the letters "sh" might suggest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Mar 24 - 10:37 AM

I haven't noticed Sht for St, but in Ireland I heard Chewsday, which comes after Monday, Chune, which you sing, and Jew, which forms droplets on grass in the early morning...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 28 Mar 24 - 10:42 AM

> a book called How to be Top

There was a similar fashion for using "rules OK" in headlines (usually in the Sun iirc), which only died the death once some comedian or other pushed out "Dyslexia lures KO". They'd never get away with that death-stroke these days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Mar 24 - 10:57 AM

Heard about "Travel Reshtrictions" this morning from the BBC Radio 2 Traffic Nincompoop. WTAF?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Apr 24 - 10:59 AM

I keep reading about that hospital destroyed "after a 2-week raid" - isn't a raid a quick action? Somehow, if it lasted weeks, it wasn't a raid, to me. Attack, onslaught, not siege which lasts but you aren't in the place you are besieging, so, what? I don't think raid is the mot juste, here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Apr 24 - 09:09 PM

"ax" (for ask) has become a part of the language for African-Americans, nothing to do with laziness.

Nah, I have heard white people from the south say ax. One of them was my own sister-in-law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Apr 24 - 04:05 PM

I looked it up. A raid is "sudden" so no, it can't last weeks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 04 Apr 24 - 11:20 AM

Heard on local radio this morning: "It is almost impossible to understate his contribution to the world of comedy" ......


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Apr 24 - 02:01 PM

Compare G. W. Bush's "misunderestimate."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Apr 24 - 08:30 PM

What about the stupidity of the American people?


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