Quokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3782 times:
One of my favourites is mixing the third person singular with the third person plural possessive pronoun due to PC. For example, the customer has lost their ticket. "The customer has" is singular but "their" is plural. Because we are no longer allowed to use "his" or "her" we mangle the language.
Airstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2131 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3772 times:
I don't think that's about political correctness, I think that's just one of the problems posed by our language's lack of a third-person singular gender neutral pronoun for non-inanimates.
English also lacks a second-person plural pronoun (this function used to be served by "you" whilst "thou" was singular, "thou" got phased out, don't ask moi why...). So currently (yes Doc, that's how I started this sentence) we are faced with appalling constructs like "Can I get youguys's fax number?"
This is why I heartily endorse use of "y'all." It really does serve an important grammatical function.
Also Doc, FWIW, the Oxford English guide officially blesses use of split infinitives.
Quokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3747 times:
Quoting Airstud (Reply 2): I don't think that's about political correctness, I think that's just one of the problems posed by our language's lack of a third-person singular gender neutral pronoun for non-inanimates.
But why do we need to be gender neutral? PC says that we should but is inconsistent. If we wish to be gender neutral there is no reason why we can't use "its" in place of "their". That would appear more logical to me but I appreciate that language and logic are not the same.
seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 10686 posts, RR: 16 Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3626 times:
The one thing I do not like about the English language is we have to say "yous" or "y'all" if I am speaking to a group but do not want to be included in said group. I run into this all the time in other threads. In Spanish, it is classified as "ustedes."
Dangling participles and infinitives also bother me....
IH8BY From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1137 posts, RR: 3 Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3532 times:
Quoting Airstud (Reply 2): Also Doc, FWIW, the Oxford English guide officially blesses use of split infinitives.
It remains better to avoid it if at all possible. I would only split an infinitive if I thought it would prevent a more serious error of grammar or style. It particularly annoys me when people split the infinitive with many words ("to even more seriously wind me up").
Also, * is an asterisk, not an asterix. Asterix is a French cartoon character!
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ANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3277 posts, RR: 14 Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3510 times:
I've been waiting for a thread like this for a long, long, long, long time. Gives me a chance to rip on all the people who grind my gears with their awful English usage here. (And yes, I mean native English speakers, as I very often see these from them more than anyone else).
Here are the things I hate most...
1) "Could of" or "Should of.": It's COULD'VE or COULD HAVE, people!!!! I can't tell you how often I see this and it drives me absolutely bonkers. It just makes you seem uneducated (and me seem pedantic, which is the theme of this thread, after all!)
2) "For all intensive purposes.": It's "For all INTENTS AND PURPOSES." A purpose cannot be "intensive".
3) "I could care less.": It's "I COULDN'T care less!" If you could care less, that means you DO care a little bit. So you're saying the complete opposite of what you mean!
4) "Your", "You're": Please, please, please just think about this if you write it. It's one of the easiest things in English. And it makes you seem, again, uneducated if you can't do it right.
I'm sure I'll think of many more as I read these forums (and, funnily enough, this thread)...
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ANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3277 posts, RR: 14 Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3490 times:
Quoting JetsGo (Reply 13): I hate when I see people, primarily from England, using the work "whilst." Drives me nuts!
Why? It's an accepted form of the word, and has the same meaning. It's just as common, and it's the American language that has diverged from it. It's actually the more formal literary version. That's like a British person saying he or she (happy, Quokka??) doesn't like Americans using "truck" instead of "lorry". It's just that dialect's version of the word.
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English infinitives consist of two words: "to run," "to be," "to write," etc. It's considered by many to be improper grammar to place other words between "to" and the verb, which is said to split the infinitive.
Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 12): 3) "I could care less.": It's "I COULDN'T care less!" If you could care less, that means you DO care a little bit. So you're saying the complete opposite of what you mean!
English comedian David Mitchell has a nice rant about this, pointing out that "I could care less" only means that you don't care not at all. It allows for all possible levels of caring besides the one you actually meant.
The other one he points out: it's "hold the fort," not "hold down the fort." What is it, some magical inflatable hover-fort that's going to drift away if there isn't someone there to weight it down?
Quoting WestWing (Reply 7): I still find the the use of "was like" for "said" irritating. (e.g., She was like "OMG are you for real?" ).
Ah, but "was like" and "said" have different connotations. "Said" is the baseline, vanilla-flavored version of the word. It signals merely that the speaker is going to recount the words someone said, with no indication as to the style or manner of that repetition. "Was like" implies that the speaker is going to act out what the speaker, literally, "was like," complete with mannerisms, accent, inflection, etc.
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Kent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 941 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3437 times:
Not that it happens too often here, but the use of "phase" rather than "faze" as in " I was really fazed by that" or "that doesn't faze me". Perhaps it's not misused here as most of us know what phases are?
EI320 From Ireland, joined Dec 2007, 1418 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3354 times:
Quoting Airstud (Reply 2): English also lacks a second-person plural pronoun (this function used to be served by "you" whilst "thou" was singular, "thou" got phased out, don't ask moi why...). So currently (yes Doc, that's how I started this sentence) we are faced with appalling constructs like "Can I get youguys's fax number?"
Quoting seb146 (Reply 5): The one thing I do not like about the English language is we have to say "yous" or "y'all" if I am speaking to a group but do not want to be included in said group. I run into this all the time in other threads. In Spanish, it is classified as "ustedes."
In Ireland, we simply use "Ye" (pronounced "Yee").
Eg. Why are ye all posting on a.net?
Much easier than "yous" or "y'all" or whatever else is used.
The obvious problem that has resulted from it's widespread oral usage in Ireland is that many people are now using it as part the written language (unaware of the fact that it's incorrect).
[Edited 2010-12-12 17:02:30]
25 bookishaviator: The abuse and misuse of apostrophes drives me mad, although not nearly as much as Textese... For example: C u l8er / 2nite / 2moro Is it really all th
26 Quokka: Yes, thank you. It's not so hard after all. This could be a hangover from the 80 character limit on SMS. Messages containing more than 80 characters
27 n229nw: WHEN PEOPLE SAY "X AND I" INSTEAD OF "X AND ME" when X and Me is actually correct: Examples: "A picture of my wife and I" "Just between you and I" Mos
28 CXB77L: Says it all, really. This would be my list, too. I refuse to reply to text messages written like this. When the writer calls up to ask why I haven't
29 bookishaviator: I also find the use of "off of" quite irksome. For example, why say "Freddy jumped off of the ladder" when "Freddy jumped off the ladder" is perfectly
30 HSVXJ: I grew up all over the US but spent twenty years in Alabama, so I'm used to different dialects. In fact, although I teach English you might hear me sa
31 HSVXJ: The reason this is used is not always due to PC. Before coming out of the closet, a lot of gay people get to be really good at being non-gender speci
32 MasterBean: I was going to post this in the snow snow snow thread but then realised it was quite pedantic so here we go. Road tax, it doesn't exist hasn't for abo
33 Quokka: As we are being pedantic, that's "bloody Scots to go to uni free of charge." It occured to me that you could have posted this in the other thread on
34 WrenchBender: The plural of "Aircraft" is "Aircraft" not "Aircrafts". You are on "Short Final" not "Short Finals". Your aircraft is parked in a "Hangar" not a "Hang
35 IMissPiedmont: Also, when someone says "Me and my friend....." Do you ever want to slap someone upside the head?
36 AKiss20: Love the show Topgear but what irks me to no end is when they say "RPMs" and "Torques" RPM = RevolutionS per Minute, aka the plural is already there!!
37 ronglimeng: I don't think I am being pedantic here by suggesting that none of the examples here are truly examples of pedantry, i.e. the narrow and often ostentat
38 seb146: It also bothers me that texting language has creeped it's way into everyday language. "omg becky wtf was she thinkin with that shirt here is the pic n
39 n229nw: Technically, of course, it doesn't matter where in the sentence the part comes. It is about whether the pronoun is the subject or object of the phras
40 ANITIX87: I agree about the RPMs. But the use of "Torques" is intended satirically, I believe. Just like when Jeremy Clarkson once said, "This car has 700 torq
41 vikkyvik: In much the same vein, it irks me when people say "ATM Machine." Glad you clarified that an Automated Teller Machine is a Machine! What about the spe
42 Yellowstone: Relative pronouns are another good trap for that. For example, a lot of people might try to show off their mastery of who vs. whom with a sentence li
43 JBirdAV8r: This is, like, totally such an awesome thread; like, it's totally awesome. Anytime I see/hear a restaurant advertising a dish served "with au jus" it
44 mirrodie: He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless steaming pile of cow dung, figuratively speaking.
45 n229nw: Exactly...but that is because so many teachers actually don't understand the grammar they are supposedly teaching. They are just teaching kids to "so
46 AKiss20: I agree sometimes it is used satirically but he often will use the word when simply describing stats of the car "With 500 BHP, producing 250 torques"
47 IMissPiedmont: No, you never say "me and....." anything, correct grammatical structure is to put yourself in a subordinate position. The correct saying is "That is
48 vikkyvik: To be fair, that is the actual name of the tar pits: http://www.tarpits.org/ So it's not really the common Los Angeleno's fault.
49 san747: Let Robert Stack clarify this for us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4XCZfkGF8k
50 n229nw: OK, there are two separate issues here. One is which pronoun to use and the other is whether you can put yourself first in order. I disagree that "me
51 CXB77L: Ordinarily, I would agree, but too often when I've tried to correct people's usage of English, I get labelled a pedant. I've never understood why peo
52 DocLightning: If your participles dangle too much, you should discuss the problem with your doctor. There are medications for that. The infinitive is the "base" fo
53 ANITIX87: Oh, I realize it's accepted vernacular, it just drives me insane. Many idioms and vernacular phrases in English are ridiculous, to begin with: 1) "I
54 DocLightning: I hear it's a short trip. The end of that phrase is: "And made/got four." Make sense now? Is not a word. It is either "irrespective" or "regardless."
55 ANITIX87: I know the end of the phrase, but my point was that you're given TWO pieces of information. If you said, "I put one and one together, and made/got tw
56 Yellowstone: Snopes says that "bought the farm" was predated by a good century or so by the phrase "to buy it," meaning to die. So "farm" is probably just slang f
57 Kent350787: Unless they used extremely large values of two? My other pet hate, against which I struggle in vain, is kids "versing" each other. I always wonder wh
58 Quokka: Perhaps it is derived from "versus" as in the wonderfully idiomatic "me versus you" that I remember from my schooldays. It would be said by one boy t
59 Quokka: The use of the expression "My bad" in place of "My mistake". Usually the word "bad" is used as an adjective. Examples are: bad behaviour, bad breath S
60 ANITIX87: Also an annoying accepted vernacular. We also say, "I like to drive fast," which is incorrect. We should be saying, "I like to drive quickly." But th
61 474218: For years I all the technical responses I wrote were sent by "Telex" and "apostrophes" were not used. So you never used conjunctions, "don't was alwa
62 NAV20: A little surprised at that, Doc - given your profession. I guess I'm showing my age, but when I was a kid antibiotics were not in general use, flyspr
63 clemsonaj: The three that bother me the most are site, cite, and sight. I recently sat through a presentation by a researcher who was trying to gain some 'incite
64 474218: Then there is the President of the United States that doesn't know the difference between: "Corps and Corpse"!
65 Quokka: Now there is a thing. Should that be " the President of the United States that ..." or the the President of the United States who..."?
66 seb146: I am surprised no one has mentioned "verbing" words. That is: taking nouns and turning them into verbs. Like school or text or card. This irked Calvin
67 RussianJet: My main problem is the fact that pointing out the incorrect usage of words such as 'your' and 'you're' and 'there' and 'their' is even viewed as being
68 n229nw: Hmmm....the whole point is that style isn't a matter of "correct" or "incorrect" but a matter of preference. It can perhaps be "bad," but not "wrong.
69 seb146: People saying "ATM machine" and "hot water heater" both bother me as well. Can one really heat hot water? Isn't an automatic teller machine machine re
70 Quokka: along with forgetting their PIN number. Here in Australia, businesses have an Australian Business Number or ABN. A question asked frequently is "What
71 kanban: How about cases where brand names are used instead of the generic when the item is not that brand.. such as Kleenex for tissue, Hoover for vacuum (bot
72 CXB77L: 'Google', 'Wiki', 'Twitter' and 'Facebook' have also become (or are becoming) verbs. I admit to using the first two, but not the latter two (yet). I
73 Yellowstone: Aww, but "Twitter" is so fun to mutate! The site is "Twitter," when you post there you "Tweet," and one who uses it is a "Twit." Or a "Twat," I'm fle
74 kanban: so a message and reply is "twit" for twat"
75 Quokka: In the UK a twit is a person lacking intelligence or common sense and that sometimes is appropriate to those who tweet. But "twat" is usually reserve