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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Phase View Post
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    If you don't like PIN number and ATM machine, you are definitely not going to like GNU. Then again, PIN and ATM are almost treated as words now, certainly I have seen them sans capitals in various styles. Much like how LASER is now almost entirely treated as the word laser.

    I could care less is interesting because I'm certain that one of the reasons people use this turn-of-phrase is because the most common reply to I couldn't care less in an online discussion was and is any quip similar to "but you cared enough to post". Ecksdee implied or added in.

    I like irregardless. I also have used misunderestimated unironically though.

    What I like the most though is what level of conservatism a person has for the english language. Usually a person will have a few consensus relayed grammatical bugbears from their social spheres and will ignore any other errors that they or their cohorts make.

    Finally, one of the few missuses that bugs me is when people use there or their when they mean they're. I have noticed a reversal of the trend where there and their were merging to there and they're is treated separate. Which I believe may be because singular they is becoming stonkingly popular now and so people are now used to writing their again.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    I'm also gong to take this chance to call out people who say "gif" witty a hard G. Because they're wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Aside from the typical ones like your/you're, lose/loose, discrete/discreet, and so on, what really bugs me is when dictionaries legitimize incorrect word usage just because it's commonplace. Like how Webster's Dictionary now has a definition for "literally" that literally means the exact opposite of the real definition.

    Also, it's annoying when people speaking English use a non-English word for something when there's already a perfectly good English word for that thing or concept. It always comes off as either ignorant (they don't know the right word) or pretentious (they're trying to sound smart by using a French or whatever language term).


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    Agreed. That novel was terrible. Literature classes in general give the impression that their reading lists were mostly picked out by the villain from Mystery Science Theater. Like they're going to expose people to inferior quality media until they go insane. The Great Gatsby is particularly exemplary of this as it was (rightly) universally panned when it was first published.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    what really bugs me is when dictionaries legitimize incorrect word usage just because it's commonplace. Like how Webster's Dictionary now has a definition for "literally" that literally means the exact opposite of the real definition.
    Is a dictionary a guide to how words should be used, or a reference to how words are being used?
    Last edited by Peelee; 2017-06-09 at 01:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Is a dictionary a guide to how words should be used, or a reference to how words are being used?
    A debate which I wager has been had since before the first dictionary was published.

    The answer, I believe, is "both". Dictionaries record the living language, but people will also use them as references and authority sources for what is/isn't correct usage, so they will have an influence over the language too.

    I think problems tend to arise when dictionaries are over-hasty to adopt - and therefore legitimise - non-standard, ironic or hyperbolic use of certain words.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    One of my current bugbears is "thusly". It's a nonsense word only used by people who are trying to sound intelligent, but don't understand how to actually use "thus" correctly.

    Its and it's. A lot of people don't realise that there's even a difference between the two. It's is a contraction of "it is". Its is the possessive form of it, comparable to his and her.

    Which also reminds me: a lot. Two separate words. "Alot" is not a word.

    Many people assume wherefore is a fancy Shakespeare word for where. It's actually a fancy Shakespeare word for why. Juliet wasn't asking where Romeo was, she was musing on why she had to fall in love with Romeo of the Montagues. It's hilarious when performers don't get that and mime looking around for Romeo when they say Juliet's famous line.

    A rather specific one to my work: people who say "I am Power of Attorney". No, you're not. You have Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints an attorney to act on a donor's behalf. Unless the deed was physically written onto you, it's impossible for a person to be one.
    Last edited by Ebon_Drake; 2017-06-09 at 04:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    A

    Also, it's annoying when people speaking English use a non-English word for something when there's already a perfectly good English word for that thing or concept. It always comes off as either ignorant (they don't know the right word) or pretentious (they're trying to sound smart by using a French or whatever language term).
    Could you give some examples? I've never encountered this (outside of some coworkers who don't speak great English) outside of terms where the connotation of the word is subtly different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Could you give some examples? I've never encountered this (outside of some coworkers who don't speak great English) outside of terms where the connotation of the word is subtly different.
    I second this request. I've only ever seen this done with Japanophiles using Japanese words like nakama and kawaii. I've never seen it done with words from other European languages, unless you count words that ARE English words simply because we stole them, like guillotine.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    .
    Also, it's annoying when people speaking English use a non-English word for something when there's already a perfectly good English word for that thing or concept. It always comes off as either ignorant (they don't know the right word) or pretentious (they're trying to sound smart by using a French or whatever language term).
    :
    Our journalists do this a lot with English words, a bit to look cool, a bit to vainly try to seem authoritative using fake specialist jargon. One example is "rumors" for "unsubstantiated things I am writing which I won't refer to any source".

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebon_Drake View Post

    A rather specific one to my work: people who say "I am Power of Attorney".
    This is beautiful, it's like "I am woman of cheese!" in an hypothetical "How To: Awkwardly Introduce Yourself" guide, but the latter makes more sense.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    My hero (though we prefer the term Grammarian For Freedom).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebon_Drake View Post
    Which also reminds me: a lot. Two separate words. "Alot" is not a word.
    Which reminds me: thank you. Two words. "Thankyou" is not a word.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I'm also gong to take this chance to call out people who say "gif" witty a hard G. Because they're wrong.
    I don't really care how people pronounce it, because as far as giving gifts to giant giraffes (or jivving jifts to guyant goraffes) is concerned, there's no real precedent as to why it should be one or the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Is a dictionary a guide to how words should be used, or a reference to how words are being used?
    The latter, for most modern dictionaries. There are loads of words we only use the way we do due to a historical mistake/don't use at all because a dude called Geoff decided he didn't like them/whatever. Trying to trace the language back to its roots is something that people stopped doing when they realised it was dumb.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I'm also gong to take this chance to call out people who say "gif" witty a hard G. Because they're wrong.
    I do that, mainly because there is (or used to be, anyway) a cleaning product called "Jif" over here, and it tended to confuse people in conversation!

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I don't really care how people pronounce it, because as far as giving gifts to giant giraffes (or jivving jifts to guyant goraffes) is concerned, there's no real precedent as to why it should be one or the other.
    Except the guy who invented the format and name for it said,"it's pronounced like this." In lieu of precedent, I'll take authorial declaration.
    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I do that, mainly because there is (or used to be, anyway) a cleaning product called "Jif" over here, and it tended to confuse people in conversation!
    Imean, you're allowed to be wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I'm also gong to take this chance to call out people who say "gif" witty a hard G. Because they're wrong.
    I could make a case for the hard "g", because it's simply an abbreviation for "Graphics Interchange Format". But if I did that, then to be consistent, I'd have to pronounce jpeg as "jayfeg". ["Joint Photographic Experts Group").]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I don't really care how people pronounce it, because as far as giving gifts to giant giraffes (or jivving jifts to guyant goraffes) is concerned, there's no real precedent as to why it should be one or the other.
    The fact that a rule has exceptions doesn't mean that it isn't a rule or a real precedent. If it's followed by an, "a", "o", or "u", then use a hard "g" or hard "c". Followed by an "e, "i", or "y", use a soft "g" or soft "c".

    Yes, the rule has exceptions, because English is made out of history at least as much as logic. But it still exists.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Lack of appropriate-hyphen use. The phrase take got me was, "beer making monks", instead of "beer-making monks".
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    I could make a case for the hard "g", because it's simply an abbreviation for "Graphics Interchange Format". But if I did that, then to be consistent, I'd have to pronounce jpeg as "jayfeg". ["Joint Photographic Experts Group").]
    It would also make it awkward pronouncing words like NASA or laser.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    As my signature attests, misuse of deus ex machina.

    Additionally the rule about ending a sentence with a preposition. It does not exist. A sentence may end with a prepositional phrase. A phrase may be just one word. Most of the time you should not end a sentence with a preposition for other reasons. But the idea that you can't because of a written rule of the language is incorrect.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    "More unique" or "Most unique." There are no degrees of uniqueness.
    I disagree. If you have one thing of which there are no exact doubles but for which there exist close approximations, and a second thing that has neither exact doubles nor similar items then both are unique but the second is more unique.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    I disagree. If you have one thing of which there are no exact doubles but for which there exist close approximations, and a second thing that has neither exact doubles nor similar items then both are unique but the second is more unique.
    I agree that there are some where "most" and "more" can be applied accurately to "unique", but they tend to be fringe cases, and in the vast majority of cases where they're used, they are not being used appropriately. And there's no excuse for "very unique".
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    I guess that you can say that my hypothetical hand-carved-by-me pencil is more unique than a bic pen, on the grounds that the bic pen isn't unique at all. It's like saying that my yellow curtains are more yellow than your purple curtains, because 1 > 0. or should one say "that's not yellow, this is yellow"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Is a dictionary a guide to how words should be used, or a reference to how words are being used?
    As is becoming customary, Aedilred has said what I wanted to say, better than I would have said it. As dictionaries are perceived (for better or worse) to have a certain authoritativeness when it comes to the correct usage of a word, I believe that the first option outweighs the second. And so I see adding incorrect usages of words as proper definitions to be a failure of that responsibility.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Could you give some examples? I've never encountered this (outside of some coworkers who don't speak great English) outside of terms where the connotation of the word is subtly different.
    The one that my dad complains about all the time (and thus what got me thinking about this) is "tsunami" for "tidal wave." A cursory bit of research indicates that they are in fact not quite the same thing, but hopefully you can at least see where I was going with the thought.


    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Except the guy who invented the format and name for it said,"it's pronounced like this." In lieu of precedent, I'll take authorial declaration.
    For all those jraphics that are included in those GIF's, right. Given that Steve Wilhite is an engineer, not a linguist, I feel quite comfortable in saying that he's wrong, despite being the inventor.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    For all those jraphics that are included in those GIF's, right. Given that Steve Wilhite is an engineer, not a linguist, I feel quite comfortable in saying that he's wrong, despite being the inventor.
    Fun fact: Nay-sah put mirrors on the moon so you can shine a lah-seer and have it bounce back to Earth.

    Besides, gifs are just animated jfegs.

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    Last edited by Peelee; 2017-06-10 at 04:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Yu sii, dhis is way Ay think dher ar beter weys tu wrayt.
    Last edited by Vinyadan; 2017-06-10 at 04:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Fun fact: Nay-sah put mirrors on the moon so you can shine a lah-seer and have it bounce back to Earth.

    Besides, gifs are just animated jfegs.

    COME AT ME, LINGUIST!
    Shouldn't it be neh-sa?

    I think the "soft g before i" rule is about as much of a rule as "i before e except after c". That is, it's probably not actually a rule at all, and if it is it's not worth anything.

    In fact I'd be willing to wager (a very small sum) that if there was any consistency on the subject in Old English it was that gs before is were hard, and that the soft "gi" was imported from French for certain words.

    In any case I think this is one where I'm happy to be descriptivist. "gif" with a hard g is what the overwhelming majority of people say, and therefore it has to be considered the standard pronunciation, even if the inventor of the concept disagrees.

    To look at another word that's been with us for some time, there's the infamous "lieutenant", for instance. Now, fairly obviously from the spelling that should be prounounced "lyoo-tenant", after all "lieu" and "tenant" are words in their own right and follow all the normal rules. But in America it's "lootenant" and in Britain it's "leftenant"* and to argue that both of those are wrong and we should all be saying "lyootenant" is just to be in denial of reality, no matter what the spelling.

    *Unless you're in the Navy, I believe.
    Last edited by Aedilred; 2017-06-10 at 04:33 PM.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Shouldn't it be neh-sa?

    In any case I think this is one where I'm happy to be descriptivist. "gif" with a hard g is what the overwhelming majority of people say, and therefore it has to be considered the standard pronunciation, even if the inventor of the concept disagrees.
    Huh. Barely anyone I know says hard-g-gif. Maybe it's a regional thing? Similarly, I stand by my "nay." I think you're right on "sa," I was just transcribing it wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Huh. Barely anyone I know says hard-g-gif. Maybe it's a regional thing?
    Could very well be. I know most people around here use hard-g-gif.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rooster707 View Post
    I'm not sure that this is actually incorrect, but it always bugs me when people capitalize "he," "him," "his," etc., when referring to God or Jesus or whatever. Maybe it's okay to do that, I don't know, it just looks wrong to me. Ugh.
    This has been the convention for centuries, due to the whole "you're not allowed to actually say His name" thing. So pronouns get capitalised instead.

    And that's all I'll say on the matter.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Speaking of hard vs soft letter g, how do you all pronounce "giga-". I've gotten the impression that most prople pronounce it with a hard g, as do I, but it's my understanding that historically it was usually a soft g, as attested in Back to the Future in the scene where Doc Brown explains how the time machine works

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