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grammar whores unite!

   Discussion: grammar whores unite!
emilie is CRANKY · 16 years, 10 months ago

one thing i've noticed about fruheads is that most of us seem to be good at the grammar/spelling side of things. well. okay. some of us. *ducks* ;)

so, which is your grammar/spelling pet hate? you know, the one thing that reallyirritates youwhen you see other people write it and you just want to jump in there and give them a lecture on how it's so, so very wrong, dammit!! um.:D

hkath Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
it's/its

It's really not that hard, people! Recently I saw this mistake on a US Government website!
goovie is married! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
it's/its, your/you're, and the confusion of possessives and plurals.
lawrence Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
all of the above. but it bugs me the most when I see it somewhere professional - not so much when it's just casual writing on the internet, as long as the meaning is clear - but official websites and such should be better than that.
ChrisChin is Getting Old Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I agree. I also getpretty perturbedwhen I see mistakes somewhere professional,particularlyin print.The New York Times is a prime example. Their copy editing has been pretty bad the past couple of years. It really disrupts my flow when I'm trying to read an articleanda word is out of place in the middle of a paragraph.
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Yep that's my big thing. I don't get too bent out of shape when it's casual conversation or writing where I'm pretty capable of getting the gist and would never call that person out. But I get so annoyed when I see glaring mistakes in print. It baffles me that people went to the effort and expense to get something professionally printed without proofreading it. Like signs around work saying things like "Trash can's are now located at the C side entrance" or "New on Wednesday's!" How hard is it to get someone (or a couple of people) to spot-check the text before committing it to print??
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Got the calendar of events for my apartment complex yesterday. Under the first of the month it stated "Rent is do". SIGH.
Jillian Bird Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I once caught my dad spelling "do" when he meant to say "dough". I was so ashamed of him.
Mamalissa! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
d'oh!
Phoenix Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I would agree. But when while browsing an artist's website you find things like Buy my CD's it isn't that funny at all - for someone who really should know.
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
The plural posessive with a singular antecedent such as "everyone take their seat" drives me batty too.
It's a girl! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

all the ones carey mentioned plus their, there, and they're

Jillian Bird Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
A friend of mine worked for a local newspaper for COOP in high school and was constantly correcting grammar for the publication. At one point she pointed out the wrong use of "your" and the editor just leveled with her saying, "We don't worry about that kind of thing around here."
no one Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
In principal you are wrong.
Oops, I meant the princple of the dukedom is wrong.
Could be worst that what it was.
I brought the hairdryer. Then I bought it home.
The media lowers the standard of language usage.
So does the mediums.
The data proves it.
You can visually see the picture.
At the present moment in time.
That is also wrong too.
It impacts the scenario.

Sorry about the punctuation. Please don't critique me on it

ad nauseam
goovie is married! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
word.

also, people who don't understand how to write abbreviated words. like l'il instead of --hello? there's no letter between the l and the i!

the tribune has a new print campaign that says, swear to god, "mov'in on up." w. t. f.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
See... "affect" vs. "effect" would bother me a lot more if I could keep the difference straight in my head. But, despite my normal grammar-savvyness, I just *cannot* make the difference stick. So I pretty much have to hit the dictionary every time it comes up.

It's starting to affect my perfomance.
A girl named Becca Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Affect is an action word (otherwise known as a verb). :)

(Of course, sometimes effect is, too, but it doesn't mean "to have an effect," it means "to create.")
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
The worst advice I ever got from an English teacher was, "never use affect just use effect.

Michael (foof) Maki Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Well...yeah. But effect can also be used as a verb.

I effected a complete change from paper files.

A girl named Becca Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Yeah...I said that, in the parentheses.
:P
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
So, basically, your example is a worthless mnemonic. Got it.
A girl named Becca Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Ouch.
Actually, no, I don't think it's worthless. People don't mean to use "effect" as a verb as often as they mean to use "affect," and often when they do mean to use it, they know how to spell it. So, while my mnemonic is not an absolute, I do think it's helpful in many of the situations where people are confused about affect/effect. Sorry if it doesn't help you.
K-Lyn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

I was playing Taboo one New Years Eve with a group that I considered to be quite educated. It was my turn to give the person the clue and make sure she didn't use any of the taboo words. The word was picture and the taboo words were camera, frame, etc. She paused and said "You carry water in this..." and someone yelled outpitcher. Then she cried out in victory until I corrected her. I was completely put off by the fact that she though PICTURE and PITCHER to be the same word.

But what floored me was what came nextthe rest of the group jumped to her defense and said she had won! It was very hard for me to let go of that and have fun the rest of the evening.

Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
In some parts of the country, it is. She probably drives a "Vee-hickle," and calls the "Po-lice" when someone steals her spit cup...
Agent Scully Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
In buffalo, when there is "fawg" and someone steals your "cawr", we call the "Pleece." :)
Agent Scully Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I hate that some can't spell "weird." That "ie" is not in it.

Also I was always taught there is a "lie" in "believe."

It's annoying to see something (like an icon) and the person misspells a word.
Eri Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
YES! There is NOWHERE that spelling/grammar errors are worse, in my opinion, than on an icon.
Agent Scully Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I saw an Amelie icon that said "Mischeif" on it.

I can't look at the icon without cringing.
Misch Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
*lol*

-Misch(ief)
Agent Scully Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
That's a good icon for you! :D
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

Gah. Do you have a few years? :)

"Weary" used when someone means "leery" or "wary".

"mute point"

A lot of the ones others have mentioned, like accept/except, affect/effect.

A new one my coworker ALWAYS does..."make suring". As in, "by using this test scenario we are make suring that the accumulators are updated correctly."

I could compile them forever and never run out of things that PISS ME OFF! :)

zil Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
what if I'm just a whore. not a grammar whore. do I get to be part of your group?
emilie is CRANKY Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
yeah, what the hell. :D
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
only if you put out ;)
zil Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
dude. I'm the put outinest!
;-)
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
then welcome aboard!
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

One a coworker said several times yesterday that had me flinching:

"a dozen of one, half a dozen of the other". Clearly by context she was using the phrase in its standard meaning but missing the point and thus mixing up the wording.

For those who haven't heard the phrase (I have no idea how common it is), it's "six of one, half a dozen of the other", implying you have a choice between two options but in the end your result is the same. The way she used it it was clear she MEANT that, but what she was actually saying was you're better off with the first option. :)

lawrence Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
heh. and I always say "six and a half of one, half a baker's dozen of the other..." :)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I assumed she was buying some stuff and wanted twelve of one thing and six of the other. I had no idea why this would upset you.

I'm lame.
At least they let me go on outings.
Josh Woodward · 16 years, 10 months ago
I'm real good at grammer and spelling. In fact, its easy too see, your not half as good as I.
Gordondon son of Ethelred · 16 years, 10 months ago
Perhaps it is because I make so many other mistakes but what bothers me are things that aren't technically mistakes but dilute the language. There are words that have been misused so much that the wrong definition becomes accepted. Some such as using contact as a verb don't bother me. The language doesn't lose precision from that. One word that really bothers me is the use of enormity for enormousness. Enormity should mean a great evil. There is no othe word that means that. One can speak of the enormity of the holocaust. When you can also use it as the enormity of the task of providing universal health care the language loses precision and texture.
It's a girl! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

How about corporate speak and awful "words" like impactful or paradigm? Yes, paradigm is a word, but it just means an example of something. Not necessarily the best example or even an example of something good. What's wrong with saying model or example? Paradigm just seems pretensious.

Side note: the phrase "very unique" Um... how can uniqueness be qualified?

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
OK you hit a raw nerve there. I hate "very unique." Unique means one of a kind, so what is very one of a kind?
There are ways I can qualify uniqueness, almost unique doesn't bother me. If you replace it with "one of a kind" the sentance still makes sense.
Jºnªthªn · 16 years, 10 months ago
Hearing people say "between you and I" makes my skin crawl. My boss does it all the time.
lawrence Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
definitely. apparently, there's a new "rule" (not really a rule, but an assumption) - because people will correct you when you're young and say things like "Me and him went to a movie," the assumption becomes "Whenever pronouns are used in a pair, the subjective case is used," (instead of the correct "Whenever pronouns are used as a subject, use a subjective form) which overrides the correct rule of "Use an objective form when pronouns follow a preposition or verb" in other situations.

the easy way to remember it is to remove one of the words. (and substitute something that makes sense) so if you're about to say "My dad took my brother and I to a ballgame," remove your brother from the picture and you'll see that "My dad took I to a ballgame" makes absolutely no sense.
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I think I was taught "you and I are we" - subject, "you and me are us"
object
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
That's how I tend to do it as well. Deconstruct it into its parts and if "I" would stand alone there, use it in the pair.
stealthlori Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
*shudders* Any instance where pronouns are used incorrectly makes me crazy, especially if correct and incorrect use are combined in the same clause, i.e. "between him and I" or "Her and I went to the movies". I'd rather the speaker just not know the correct usage than not know AND come off as pompous.

I'm usually fairly tolerant of misspellings because anyone can make an occasional typo, but there are a few examples that I loathe. "Congradulations" -- seen often on banquet-room signboards -- is possibly the worst.

And in the area of pronunciation (which is not "pronounciation"), hearing "thee-ATE-er" or "negoSEEations" is like chalk on a blackboard for my ears. I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm becoming tolerant of Nuke-you-ler, I guess through unrelenting exposure, but pre-Dubya that was a humongous irritant too.
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Despite the fact that Jimmy Carter, whom I generally admire and who has a degree in Nuclear Engineering pronounced it that way, Nuke-you-ler still sounds awfully hillbilly to me.
Sally · 16 years, 10 months ago

Not knowing the difference between "your," "you're" and "yours"
Plus, people who type in short hand, "u kno wut i mean?"
I want to beat the shit out of them :)
*S*


Chaya Papaya Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
the sad thing is that the younger people are the more short hand they use. It's quite odd actually...but the young teens of today...who have had aim around almost their entire lives...speak and write in an almost incomprehensible language. Even my little sister, who is old enough to remember a time when people actually talked to each other will say things like "lol" when things are funny (think LOL...but say it as a word like "loll"). And on that note...i too am tainted...as i can't seem to end sentences, instead opting for the ever elusive ... and i have developed this extreme aversion to the shift key since everyone understands typing without capitalization and ms word corrects it for me when i'm writing real stuff. ok...enough mindless rambling!
Talcott Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Sure, but every generation says that the young kids "speak and write in an almost incomprehensible language". Granted, the 'net and AIM speed things up a good bit, but that's still language in action. While I don't think that L-O-L (with each letter said distinctly) will stick around for a long time, it could morph into something that would sound like "lull" or "ello'el" which would still mean "laughter".
Talcott Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I'd just like to add that the more I think of it, I like "ello'el". It just sounds so happy. I kinda hope that does make it into common language ;-)
Agent Scully Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
That ranks up there with:

Whose and Who's

How many times have I seen "Who's line is it anyway?"

And I *hate* AOHell Kiddie Speak. I don't care if it's a short cut, write the damn word out. :)
danced with Lazlo · 16 years, 10 months ago
I hate the improper overuse of the word "myself."
lawrence Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
yeah, that one bothers myself, too. :)
It's a girl! · 16 years, 10 months ago
Andy and I were just talking last night about using the word anniversary to refer to something that's been happening less than a year. As in "it's our six-month anniversary" Um no. The prefix ann means "year" Look it up, people!
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
The problem is there is no equivilent term for other units of time. Often words end up straying from there etymological roots. September means 7th month even though it is 9th.
nate... Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
yes, well, then, people can just say "we've been together for 3 months" (or whatever length of time kids today stay together for...)

Talcott Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
but there's a perfectly good word for it instead: "anniversary".

Sure, the root of the word comes from "year", but if I describe something as the "three month anniversary" you (and most everyone who speaks English) know exactly what I mean.

When you decimate your mortal foe's town, do you do all the math to make sure you kill exactly 1/10th of the men? I know I don't ;-)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I try to but once I killed 12%, I didn't lose that much sleep over it. It was only a small town anyway.
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
that's because they changed the calendar, not because the word has a different meaning.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I know that, the year used to start in March but the point is that the etymology doesn't control the definition. Actually it always get sto me. If I was going to write today's date might make a false start of 8/7/03.
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I have my own word that is likely completely wrong in construction but at least gets around the anni thing. :) I say "lunaversary" :)
nitsita Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

because some months were added after the calendar was written I think....I forget which ones.. but originally, september, october, november and december was months 7, 8 ,9 and 10, If I remember right...

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Months weren't added, there were always twelve months. That's because there are about twelve lunar cycles in one year. What changed is when the year started. It used to start in March then was moved to January. In most cultures the Year starts near either the spring or vernal equinoxes or the Winter Soltstice. Does anyone know a calendar that starts near the summer solstice?
danced with Lazlo Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
um, actually, I think there was a time when the calendar had 10 months. July and August were added to honor Julius and Augustus Caeser. At least, that's what I learned in school. There were times in history when the days were distributed differently between the months which is how they managed to have varying numbers of them. The making of the calendar is a long and convoluted tale.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I learned that too, it's wrong. There were always 12 months. Teachers can be as bad as the internet when it comes to urban legends. What is true is that February is short because it was considered unlucky. It used to have 29 days till Augustus took one for his month so it would have as many days as Julius'. Yes I'm on a first name basis with the Caesers. I knew them when they were kids. I was already an old man of course.
Mamalissa! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

We learned the Caeser thing in Latin class. We also learned that "January" comes from the Latin ianus, meaning door, and is related to the god Janus, who is the guardian of entrances. If January was never the first month of the year, why would it be named that?

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
There were always conflicting traditions, just as in Judaism. Passover was the beginning of the year for some purposes.

Mamalissa! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

The Jewish calendar has multiple "new year days"- most of them having to do with harvest cycles. It's not the result of conflicting traditions.

Even Rosh Hashana (literally, "Head of the Year" is at the beginning of the 7th month, Tishrei

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Perhaps I didn't phrase that correctly but that is what I meant. The Romans had the same idea. Pretty much all cultures base there calendars on the harvest cycle. You start the year at the harvest, the sowing, or the start of winter, the relatively quiet time of the agricultural year.
nate... · 16 years, 10 months ago
How DARE you start this thread with becca not around???

:D
Chaya Papaya Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
how DARE becca not be around!!!!!

(sorry...i'm in rochester...and it's always weird to be here when she's not!)
A girl named Becca Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Hee....thanks for asking so I didn't have to.

:)
Talcott · 16 years, 10 months ago
While there are definitly some (many) of these things I cringe at, I also take issue with people complaining about the "loss" of "good English".
Language is always shifting. English maybe more than many others.

The English of the Bard is no more good or bad than the English of Jay-Z (to pick an example I know nearly nothing about). Now, there can of course be taste issues here. One might sound better to the individual ear, but in general, there isn't anything fundamentally good or bad about either of them.

Having a big vocabulary is wonderful and important, but the person with the big vocabulary should be fluent in both (well, all really) forms of English, not just the "right" one.

If we're talking about formality, then there can be a right or wrong form. Even then, though, that's only the formal English because someone (or many someones) said so.

zil Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
look at that. isn't he cute? :-)
Rachel Beck Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Talcott,

David Foster Wallace wrote a fascinating article in Harper's about oh, three years ago. It was on "the usage wars" and two different schools of grammar (one practice-based, one rules-we-learned[or were supposed to]-in-school-based). If grammar is exciting to anyone other than language nerds, it's perhaps in part because it falls at the intersection of history, linguistics, politics, and social theory-- one can make assumptions (gender, race, national origin, class, level of education) about a person one has never met based on the version of the English language that person uses. One of the things he mentions in the article is that most people become adept at code-switching and can change from professorial English to talking-with-friends English as appropriate. Grammar nerds, however, find it much harder than most to switch from one variety of English to the other. Stuck. We're stuck!

Does anybody else remember this article? My roommate and I used to bring it out at parties and use it to start arguments.
Agent Scully · 16 years, 10 months ago
This is one word in which I was corrected on in high school and never used again like this:

Hopefully it will work out.

It's wrong. People use it all the time.

I was trying to find a correct definition of the usage and came up with this from dictionary.com

In a hopeful manner.
Usage Problem. It is to be hoped: Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring (William O. Douglas).

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=hopefully

Usage Note: Writers who use hopefully as a sentence adverb, as in Hopefully the measures will be adopted, should be aware that the usage is unacceptable to many critics, including a large majority of the Usage Panel. etc.
Zach · 16 years, 10 months ago
In the words of Winston Churchill (I believe), "Ending sentences in prepositions is something up with which I shall no longer put."
A girl named Becca · 16 years, 10 months ago
This is only one of many of my grammatical pet peeves, but it's one of the few big ones that haven't already been mentioned: hyper-"corrections" like "whom shall I say is calling?"
Rachel Marie aka RAI · 16 years, 10 months ago

This is more of a spelling thing, but I HATE when people use "woah" instead of "whoa." I'm sorry, but that goes against everything I've ever known about spelling. Since when does "oah" form a valid letter combination in English? "Woa" I would understand, but only then it must be pronounced "WO-uh" similar to "boa."

::steps off of soapbox and hands it to the next person::

emilie is CRANKY Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
word. i saw 'woah' on a bottle of bubble bath once and it almost made me throw it violently at the wall. (i couldn't, though, because i was in tesco's at the time. :D)
Rachel Beck Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
or "wo"?

My song is, like, wo. What's up with that, Mya?
Jºnªthªn · 16 years, 10 months ago
The use of the suffix "gate" to denote a scandal really annoys me. And "disinformation," while having a certain orwellian ring to it, still bugs me since Ronnie coined it.
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
"oholic" as a suffix annoys me like "gate" annoys you. Chocoholic, workaholic, shopaholic....you are not addicted to chocohol, workahol, and shopahol. I know chocic, workic, and shopic sound stupid but I'm not advocating their use. Just say "I'm a shopping addict" or something. Or don't bring addiction into it at all. :)
Jillian Bird Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
The "gate" thing pisses me right off too. During "Shawinnagate" up here in Canada, I couldn't watch the news without wanting to start slapping.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I think"oholic" is fine when it is meant facetiously. I don't mind a false back formation in the name of humor.
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I personally AM addicted to chocohol.
goovie is married! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
"i'm a rageaholic! i can't live without rageahol!"
K-Lyn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I had a chocolate vodka once that was quite lovely.
emilie is CRANKY Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
mmmm... devil's chocolate. i think it had chocolate milk, vodka and some other stuff like kahlua (that's spelt wrong, i know) in it. it was yuuuuummy. :)
Yvonne Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

*drools*

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I like the gate suffix, it has a nice sense of history to it. Watergate was a real watershed in history.
jen · 16 years, 10 months ago

i dont know if this one's been mentioned, but i HATE HATE HATE when people spell "alot". i even have some people insisting to me it's one word... it makes me cringe. also "should of" or "could of" really chaps my ass.

jen

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I'm becoming more comfortable with alot. Everything, somebody, everybody, and the like were all originally two words that became one because they were so often used in conjunction. We are now in the middle of the same thing happening to alot.
Mamalissa! · 16 years, 10 months ago

If I am feeling sick, I am nauseated. If I am making someone else feel sick, I am nauseous.

Either can happen when you eat too many crayons.

Andrea Krause Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
That's one where I actually prefer the incorrect. "nauseated" always sounds so deliberate to me, like one trains themselves to say it even though we grow up saying nauseous. I dunno. :) Maybe that's just the defensive side of me because I don't think I could shake the nauseous habit. :)
Mamalissa! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
well don't shake! it'll just make it worse!
A girl named Becca Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
The problem with that is that when someone says they're feeling nauseous they're usually not in the mood to have their word choice corrected.
:)
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Here's webster's take on it:

1 : causing nausea or disgust : NAUSEATING
2 : affected with nausea or disgust
- nauseously adverb
- nauseousness noun
usage: Those who insist that nauseous can properly be used only in sense 1 and that in sense 2 it is an error for nauseated are mistaken. Current evidence shows these facts: nauseous is most frequently used to mean physically affected with nausea, usually after a linking verb such as feel or become; figurative use is quite a bit less frequent. Use of nauseous in sense 1 is much more often figurative than literal, and this use appears to be losing ground to nauseating. Nauseated is used more widely than nauseous in sense 2.
Mamalissa! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
*tiptoes away*
danced with Lazlo Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Well, see, this comes back to Talcott's point... The entry that Jonathan cited doesn't really contradict what you say, it just points out the common usage. The question, of course, is what determines language... is it simply that the most common usage becomes "correct" or are there rules that are more hard and fast than that? We may ask the same questions about , oh, say, Judaism... but that's an entirely different discussion.
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I think you need a new bit Gella....;o)

I raised this point in another thread - dictionaries are supposedly dercriptive, but they still list "fast" as an a adjective, although people clearly use it, and many other adjectives, as an adverb.
danced with Lazlo Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I think you need a new bit Gella

Why? The one I have works perfectly well.
Zach Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
One of my professors told me yesterday that there are no rules in language, per se. Just guidelines. It's like the Pirates' Code.
Agent Scully · 16 years, 10 months ago
how about people who spell it grammer?
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
To quote Abraham Lincoln, "fuck 'em!"
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Do you mean like Tracy?

This was a real conversation

My Friend: What is Kesley Grammer's Brother's Name?
Me: Do you mean Niles? Or the actor that plays him?
Friend: Neither, Tracy!

He thought this was the funniest thing in the world. He said this after seeing Tracy Grammer's name in a venue schedule. I then pointed out that Tracy was a woman.

That wasn't germain to anything but I thought I'd get some sympathy.
goovie is married! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
you'd get more sympathy if you knew how to spell germane. :)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
From nice people perhaps but not from meanie patinis.
emilie is CRANKY · 16 years, 10 months ago

i hate when people use 'there', 'they're'and 'their' in the wrong context. ARGH. :D like, 'they have them in there house'. or, 'their at his place'. :D oh, and even worse is when 'their' is misspelled as 'thier'. :D

also, when people cack up the apostrophes with plurals and things. i remember when i was about 10 i was at the playcentre and the tuckshop menu said can's 50p. i pointed it out to the lady and she just looked at me like i was from another planet. (probably because she didn't likehaving her grammarcorrected by a 10 year-old, hehehehe.)

Mamalissa! · 16 years, 10 months ago
I know that the phrase is "suspend your belief." That is, put your beliefs aside, so you can accept what is going on a plausible (to watch a movie, for example).

I've always wanted it to be "suspend your disbelief." As in, I am inclined to disbelieve something, therefore I need to stop that mechanism.

Then again, I'm the one who never knows whether moving something up in time makes it sooner or later. If someone says "we've moved the meeting up" - well I just have no idea.
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I've actually always heard it referred to as "suspension of disbelief", like in a TV context. Saying "I know it's stupid and would never happen but for the sake of storytelling you have to let go of your cynicism/skepticism a bit" :)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I've never heard "suspend your belief" only "suspend your disbelief." It is used in the context of enjoying fantasy. In Tolkien's essay On Faerie Stories he includes a rant against the idea of suspending disbelief and says that what happens instead is a subcreation that you actively believe in as you read.
Mamalissa! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
right...I'm a dork... It's "suspend your belief" that I like better.
hkath · 16 years, 10 months ago
Dude. How is it that no one has mentioned this yet? This has got to be my biggest pet peeve of all time, and it gets printed everywhere.

In Kaladar, there's a store that sells "Foam" (hilarious to me, in a Fruvous context). The last time I took a Greyhound bus, there was a sign posted at the front asking me to "Please" Mind The Step.

Putting quotation marks around something is not a way of emphasizing it! Why don't people get that?
renita Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
yah. that's what the *asterisk* is for.

;)
Laura P. Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

There is a beauty shop around my house called (I'm changing the name slightly because I can't remember exactly what it's called) Josie's "Hair" Secrets. Why is the Hair in quotations? That makes no sense. Is it not really hair? Maybe it's a house of prostitution that's undercover. Maybe that's what the secret is. It drives mad!

lawrence Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
for more "things" like that, check out "this website."
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
At work we were just talking about the "Friends" episode where Joey keeps misusing the "quotey fingers," saying, "'I'm sorry.'"
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Are quotey fingers anything like spirit fingers?
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
No, they're like chicken fingers.
Bender · 16 years, 10 months ago
My ceramics teacher does not have the word "height" in her vocabulary. She insists on saying "heighth". It drives me nutters.
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
What's wrong width that? ;o)
It's a girl! Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Off topic really, but did anyone ever wonder why height is pronounced "hite" when weight is pronounced "wate?"
A girl named Becca Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Yeah...and what about "daughter" and "laughter"? And "dough" and "rough" and "through"?

Stupid English.
:)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I give up, I'm going catch some ghoti.
renita Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
it has to do with the etymology of the word.

they are spelt the same now and both come from english's germanic roots but
daughter progressed: tohter -->dohtor --> doughter -->daughter
and
laughter progressed: hliehhan -->hleahtor --> laughter. which still doesn't explain the f. hmm. but I'm pretty sure it comes from a gaelic influence.

anyhoo, yah that happens when things morph into the same current spelling but come from different spellings.


Uh, word up?? · 16 years, 10 months ago

It's not grammar or spelling or whatnot, it's the dreaded Internet-spawned shorthand. Any shorthand not in use before the Internet went kaboom I hate. i.e. - LOL, IMO, LMAO, ROFL, W/E, W/O, J/W, J/C, J/K, and the like. They all irk me terribly!

Nathan Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I don't think "w/o" originated on the Internet, unless it's an abbreviation for something other than "without." I don't even know what "w/e" means. While I don't mind all of those abbreviations as such, so many of them seem to be misused. I mean, how often do you think anyone is REALLY laughing at loud when they type "LOL"? "ROFL" is even more ridiculous, because how could you type while doing that?
Uh, word up?? Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Completely off topic, but Nathan, i love your icon! Super Mario 2 fanboys unite!
Nathan Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Thanks. My girlfriend actually made it for me.
Agent Scully Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
In high school we were taught some shortcuts to taking notes and those that you mentioned (not Internet shortcuts) I saw back in 1985.

You use w/o when you work in a place that you have to log calls and have a limited amount of space. But also used in notetaking.

w/o without
w/i within
mtg mortgage
amt amount
__
__ Parallel lines

etc.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
There are so many shorthand symbols in math. You mentioned parallel lines though in math we use lines about 30 degrees from vertical, perpendicular is like an upside down "T." There are also symbols for:

Such that
if and only if
therefore
implies

I'm sure if I started writing out some proofs I could come up with some more.
Agent Scully Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Yup!

Then there is the short hand used in descriptions of property when typing them up.

Center Line
90 angle
45 angle

How about the stuff in math with the upside down A and the Existential (sp?) sentences? I had to do that last year in discrete math.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Of course the upside down A means "for all," and the backwards E means there exists.

Sometimes the logical cojunction and disjunction symbols are used for "and" and "or." That I never went for, you don't save that much time or space.
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I always use // for parallel. That's the GD&T shorthand for it too.
Agent Scully Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Of course the upside down A means "for all," and the backwards E means there exists.

I should've asked you for help last year when we did that in math! :) I couldn't get it for anything when writing out sentences!
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Apparently in Panther (OSX 10.3) there's a font program built in for adding math characters into any app, since the font is in the system. So next time you want an aleph null, you're set.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
They serve a purpose. The internet was the first widely used medium where communication where people communicated by typing in real time. That was not what writing was invented for so modifications were meet the new demands. It is actually similar to what happens in sign language. Spelling out common words is just far too timeconsuming so shorthands were developed.

If my brain were actually functioning now I would have included an internet shorthand. Too bad I couldn't think of an appropriate one. J/K

TTYL

nate... Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
well, fwiw, imnsho, I think many are quite useful for typing real-time... which is where they started, afaik.

but of course, ymmv.

lawrence Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
you forgot

HTH, HAND.
*joolee* Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
see, I'm starting to try and actually talk like that. I think it would be superCOOL. Not. But it is amusing.
A girl named Becca Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
One of the cell phone companies over here has a very cute commercial where they have a bunch of people asking "Do you remember when..." and describing an aspect of life before cell phones. However, one of the examples really irks me. A girls asks, "Do you remember when 'que' had 3 letters?" and displays a text message with "que" (Spanish for "that") spelled as "q."

This does not make me want to sign up with Vodafone. To say the least.
elfy, teacher of many · 16 years, 10 months ago

"All y'all" should be interested in this website:

http://www.lssu.edu/banished/

elfy, teacher of many Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

I was in a dollar store not long ago that had signs advertising its "stationary" and I was watching it for a while just to make sure that it really was going to stay still. Then I got out my pen and made some corrections.

I try not to buy things from stores when their ads annoy me like that or the ad that emphasize things with all capitals, fluorescent posters, overuse of quotation marks, or all of the above (Clancey's Meats in my neighbourhood) as illustrated below.

"SALE"/ "Today Only" / "SPECIAL" on "Marinated Chicken"

(can you tell that I am going to be a teacher?)

nate... Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Heh.
I just get suspicious.

"So, it's not REALLY a sale?"

"What other days are you doing it?"

"Not special... and... if it's not chicken, what IS it?"

Nathan Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I once crossed out an inappropriate apostrophe on a sign in the break room of the toy store where I was working. I don't think I would ever just go out and change the signs at a dollar store, though.
Jillian Bird Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
There is a church in my hometown who has one of those big signs on the front and they like to put up spiritual/words of encouragement/come to our church messages. For some reason, they put exclaimation points in the middle of sentances. I can't remember any specific examples, but it's usually stuff like:

Spring is here
It's time!
to be thankful

It just doesn't make any sense
Rachel Marie aka RAI · 16 years, 10 months ago
Okay, I was just watching TLC and this show about urban legends. This particular urban legend was about a guy who tipped over a soda machine, killing him. HOWEVER, the didn't say that. They said he tipped over the soda machine, "killing him dead."

Um. Can you kill someone alive? And can you *verb* things "dead"? Like... "Dude, I poked him dead," or "The fox ate him dead."
Agent Scully · 16 years, 10 months ago
It's Niagara Falls.

Not Niagra.

That one really gets to me.
Jºnªthªn Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Slowly I turn....
Laura P. · 16 years, 10 months ago
I've heard this several times, but this was the most recent. A lady on a morning call-in show was talking about her attractive husband and she called him "my drop-dead husband." It's not just that she's missing a word, but the most important word!
Gordondon son of Ethelred · 16 years, 10 months ago
This isn't a grammatical error but it is language.

I just deposited a check for $5,000 and got a receipt saying there would be a delay in the cash becoming available. The reason given was "Check amount exceeds $5,000." How can $5,000 exceed itself?
emilie is CRANKY Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
hee. that took me about two minutes to figure out there. :D but you're right. :)
stealthlori Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
that's where the receipt should use that nifty "greater than or equal to" symbol, thus employing a shortcut WHILE gaining accuracy.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
Exactly, I new there was a reason that I loved you.

My old boss, who will remain nameless, didn't know the greater than and less than symbols and refused to learn them. We used to keep track of things either inaccurately or had to use a lot of words in a small spade.
lawrence Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
My old boss, who will remain nameless,

your old boss doesn't have a name? wow. :)
stealthlori Back · 16 years, 10 months ago
I thought "who will remain nameless" was his old boss' name.
stealthlori Back · 16 years, 10 months ago

harrumph. as if you need a reason?

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