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Usage and Diction Pet Peeves


EmCatlyn
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To help get things going:

We have talked before of words and expressions that, when used incorrectly by others, drive us nuts.  Sometimes we are just being pedantic, other times our indignation is shared by enough people that we feel justified in snarking at others.  So here is a place for all those linguistic pet peeves.

 My latest is the use of rightfully in place of rightly.

"Rightly" refers to what is right.  

"Rightfully" refers to that which constitutes or is related to a right.

"I am rightfully my parents' heir."

"I am rightly known as a good cook."

So the following sentences are all wrong.

  • "He rightfully trusted Jake."*
  • "She refused to see him again and rightfully so because she didn't want to lead him on."*
  • "The movie rightfully shows Lincoln was ill at the time."*

It should be rightly in all three cases.. On the other hand, "Sue is rightfully the one who may give permission," is correct.

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Recently those people who mispronounce 'Parmesan' are seriously perturbing me. Parm.... No. Parm-e-jan. No.

Either use the English or the Italian not some mongrel of both.

I am NOT a particularly adept user of grammar or really outstanding in the written word as many but I'm still allowed my peeves :lol:

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It's "by accident" or "on purpose." NOT "on accident." 

Champing at the bit, not chomping. 

Irregardless is not a word. 

You have fewer potatoes when you make potato salad. When you eat dinner, you have less potato salad. Express lanes are for 12 items or FEWER. 

It's vs its doesn't bother me like it bothers others. I just assume the writer is trying to write on a phone. 

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@Maggie Mae I have become used to "irregardless" when people use it informally. I think some people use it knowing it is "wrong" but because it sounds more emphatic.

In writing I get annoyed by the confusion of "faze" and "phase" because the meaning is so different.  

And my pet peeve at restaurants is when the menu tells me that such and such wine will compliment the menu.  I have visions of the wine bottle bending politely towards the food and saying nice things lot it, such as, "You look perfectly lovely today." 

(Wine or beer can complement the menu.  That means, complete nicely, match, round out.)

Agree about not getting too bent out of shape by misplaced apostrophes.  With rampant spell-checkers that think they know better than we do, sometimes it's a battle to get the pesky apostrophes where they belong.

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I love the topic. Here's my small contribution:

One of the only--if there is more than one, only doesn't apply; if it is the only, then there can be only one. (Highlander reference semi-intentional.) 

(Similarly) Anytime someone tries to qualify unique. "Her decor is very unique." Something either is unique or it is not. No modifying.

@Maggie Mae, my mom worked on the "by accident, on purpose" thing with me until it stuck sometime in my 20s. Nice to know she isn't unique. :my_smile: 

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I knew someone who spelled "definitely" as "defiantly", that drove me nuts. It's a different word with a whole different meaning!!

"I am defiantly going to the party" aaaargh.

I think it actually happened because she kept spelling it "definatly" and her phone autocorrected and she didn't notice. It was annoying though!

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My pet peeve is when people use "(insert name here) and I" incorrectly, for example, when referring to a present.  "Karen got this blanket for Jim and I."  No, it's "Karen got this blanket for Jim and me."  You wouldn't say "Karen got this blanket for I" would you?  I notice that the Duggars do this a lot for some reason.

Edited by RabbitKM
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It drives me nuts when people use "myself" as a first-person noun. 

"Joe and myself were worried."

"Sue and myself went to the store."

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2 hours ago, RabbitKM said:

My pet peeve is when people use "(insert name here) and I" incorrectly, for example, when referring to a present.  "Karen got this blanket for Jim and I."  No, it's "Karen got this blanket for Jim and me."  You wouldn't say "Karen got this blanket for I" would you?  I notice that the Duggars do this a lot for some reason.

It drives me nuts.  Even educated people in the South do it.  I am sorry to say my own daughter does it, though she knows better.

The problem actually has its origin in attempts to correct an earlier error.  At some point the Grammar Police noticed that a lot of kids (and maybe grown ups too) were using "me" in place of "I" --For example, "Jimmie and me went to the circus."  

The Grammar Police got really loud:  "It is Jimmie and I"  they said. Over and over...  They may have explained why, but the "why" didn't stick.

What did stick was that "Jimmie and I" is right and "Jimmie and me" is wrong.  So now people say "Give it to Jimmie and I" instead of "Jimmie and me."  But they no longer say "Jimmie and me went to the circus" all that much.   :rolleyes:

In the South (don't know about elsewhere) it is so common that to say it correctly (give it to Jimmie and me") may get you stares.  And people who know better often choose to use the incorrect form in speech though they may not do so in writing.  

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3 hours ago, snarkykitty said:

It drives me nuts when people use "myself" as a first-person noun. 

"Joe and myself were worried."

"Sue and myself went to the store."

Oh yes this is annoying. Another irrational thing that annoys me - when people say "yourselves" when addressing multiple people, they could easily say "you" or "you all". I think because it's mostly said in business contexts, it automatically makes me think the person is pretentious and annoying. Using a longer meaningless word to sound better where a short one would do. They do it a lot on the Apprentice (UK). 

"I'm very pleased to be presenting this pitch to yourselves"

"business gurus such as yourselves" etc. 

I don't know why it annoys me so much. It's perfectly grammatically correct (I think?)  But it REALLY DOES ANNOY ME. 

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There/their/they're.  Then/than. 

These annoy me when coming from someone whose native language is English. I had these drilled into me by teachers many years ago so don't get why people confuse them, unless this stuff is no longer emphasized in school anymore?

Oh, and autocorrect annoys the crap out me more than anybody's misuse of the English language ever could.

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3 hours ago, Playagirl said:

There/their/they're.  Then/than. 

These annoy me when coming from someone whose native language is English. I had these drilled into me by teachers many years ago so don't get why people confuse them, unless this stuff is no longer emphasized in school anymore?

Oh, and autocorrect annoys the crap out me more than anybody's misuse of the English language ever could.

:Yes:

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I HATE 'could of' instead of 'could have' or 'could've'.:annoyed:

And I have a friend who always says 'I'll learn him how to do it' - and I know it would be really rude to correct her, but it drives me MAD!

Edited by sawasdee
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Could of

Should of 

Would of

Aaaaarrgh!

4 hours ago, EmCatlyn said:

It drives me nuts.  Even educated people in the South do it.  I am sorry to say my own daughter does it, though she knows better.

The problem actually has its origin in attempts to correct an earlier error.  At some point the Grammar Police noticed that a lot of kids (and maybe grown ups too) were using "me" in place of "I" --For example, "Jimmie and me went to the circus."  

The Grammar Police got really loud:  "It is Jimmie and I"  they said. Over and over...  They may have explained why, but the "why" didn't stick.

What did stick was that "Jimmie and I" is right and "Jimmie and me" is wrong.  So now people say "Give it to Jimmie and I" instead of "Jimmie and me."  But they no longer say "Jimmie and me went to the circus" all that much.   :rolleyes:

In the South (don't know about elsewhere) it is so common that to say it correctly (give it to Jimmie and me") may get you stares.  And people who know better often choose to use the incorrect form in speech though they may not do so in writing.  

It isn't only the South. I've lived in the Northwest all my life and my friends who were repeatedly told to say, "Jimmy and I", instead of their original, "Me and Jimmy", now repeatedly make that mistake as adults. (Despite the fact that I was an annoying little grammar police-child who corrected their mistakes all through grade school. :my_blush: ) I especially dislike hearing it on our local news.

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It's "supposed to," not "suppose to." I see this at work regularly from otherwise-intelligent people.

I work in payroll/HR, and we pay our staff "time and a half" when they work on major holidays.  But we have one department head who always says "time in a half." It makes my brain cry.

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26 minutes ago, catlady said:

It's "supposed to," not "suppose to." I see this at work regularly from otherwise-intelligent people.

And "I use to do this" instead of "I used to do this" -- argh!  (I think Lori Alexander does this one often?)

On the other hand, one I actually like is "A whole nother" thing.  I have no idea what the right way is -- "a whole other thing" seems to have a slightly different meaning -- and since it fits comfortably in casual/colloquial usage, I find myself rather fond of it...

30 minutes ago, catlady said:

I work in payroll/HR, and we pay our staff "time and a half" when they work on major holidays.  But we have one department head who always says "time in a half." It makes my brain cry.

That almost seems to border on a malapropism, which I always get a tickle out of.

Say, that raises a good question -- why do I enjoy malapropisms so much and yet still get so irked and annoyed at plain ol' grammar errors?  Aren't they more or less the same, just a matter of degree?  :my_tongue:

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I worked with someone who made a worker's comp claim for "carpool tunnel syndrome." She may or may not have been the same woman who asked me to proof a letter she was writing to her kid's school - addressed to the "Super Intended."

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14 minutes ago, MarblesMom said:

I worked with someone who made a worker's comp claim for "carpool tunnel syndrome." She may or may not have been the same woman who asked me to proof a letter she was writing to her kid's school - addressed to the "Super Intended."

Those make me :laughing-rollingred:

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Your and You're 

A whole nother 

Affect vs. Effect 

I'm totally guilty of screwing up "and I" vs. "and me" :angry-banghead:

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On 3/8/2016 at 8:51 PM, catlady said:

It's "supposed to," not "suppose to." I see this at work regularly from otherwise-intelligent people.

I work in payroll/HR, and we pay our staff "time and a half" when they work on major holidays.  But we have one department head who always says "time in a half." It makes my brain cry.

I don't know if you are American, but American's in general have lazy tongues that like to slip into neutral position and don't like to work harder than they have to.  I know if I am eating a sandwich made from ham, cheese, and bread, I would say, "I am eating a ham 'n cheese sandwich." When putting most anything in a double sequence I sub /n/ for /and/.  

More examples: Cat 'n dog, sister 'n brother, gin 'n tonic

Anyway, all this to say when I say "Time 'n a half" I am not saying "in," but rather a contraction for and. 

Also, back to laziness, /t/ and /d/ are cognates produced in the same place of the mouth.  The only difference is we turn on our voice for /d/.  If I am writing "supposed to" I write it correctly, but if I am speaking, I dialectically reduce to just the /t/. :)  Less work for lazy mouths, and more accent than error. 

Edited by LaLele
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Properly, invitations are a noun, and invites are a verb. I sent you an invitation, not an invite, and when I did that, I invited you.

Yes, I know the slang dates back a ways, but it's been made popular with Facebook "invites". Drives me fucking nuts every damn time. *grumble grumble*

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This thread is very informative. Thank you all.

On 7/3/2016 at 11:23 PM, TShirtsLongSkirts said:

Oh yes this is annoying. Another irrational thing that annoys me - when people say "yourselves" when addressing multiple people, they could easily say "you" or "you all". I think because it's mostly said in business contexts, it automatically makes me think the person is pretentious and annoying. Using a longer meaningless word to sound better where a short one would do. They do it a lot on the Apprentice (UK). 

"I'm very pleased to be presenting this pitch to yourselves"

"business gurus such as yourselves" etc. 

I don't know why it annoys me so much. It's perfectly grammatically correct (I think?)  But it REALLY DOES ANNOY ME. 

I don't understand this though. Yourself is a reflective pronoun right?  My grammar says that in English reflective pronouns are used when the subject and the object of the sentence are the same (ie "I cut myself with the kitchen knife") or to emphasise that someone did something all by her/himself. In Italian "yourselves" corresponds to "voi stessi" in this case and if I translate your example "Sono molto contento di presentare questo lancio a voi stessi", that "voi stessi" isn't a senseless redundancy but a serious mistake. So I am curious to understand why you consider it an annoying habit instead of an error. I am not saying that it must be an error, I am most assuredly not an expert in English grammar, I only want to understand why it can be accepted.

Edited by laPapessaGiovanna
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1 hour ago, laPapessaGiovanna said:

This thread is very informative. Thank you all.

I don't understand this though. Yourself is a reflective pronoun right?  My grammar says that in English reflective pronouns are used when the subject and the object of the sentence are the same (ie "I cut myself with the kitchen knife") or to emphasise that someone did something all by her/himself. In Italian "yourselves" corresponds to "voi stessi" in this case and if I translate your example "Sono molto contento di presentare questo lancio a voi stessi", that "voi stessi" isn't a senseless redundancy but a serious mistake. So I am curious to understand why you consider it an annoying habit instead of an error. I am not saying that it must be an error, I am most assuredly not an expert in English grammar, I only want to understand why it can be accepted.

I don't know too much about grammar (hence the "I think"!) so I'm glad to hear it's grammatically incorrect and not just me beng pedantic. I've heard it so much and by so many people, I just kind of assumed it was correct! I'm glad it's not, it just sounds so wrong to me.

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The word exists for things that someone did to themselves. So like, it would be "You cut yourself". Or, "You dressed yourself!" But not, "Business experts such as yourselves." They didn't make themselves business experts. Blechhhhh. 

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