Quit Shit Hits Lit Twit

politi-hit

Perhaps this is a silly personal pet peeve, and lord knows it’s the least of Politico’s sins. But if I see this headline, I want to read an account of Sarah Palin flooring Peggy Noonan with an uppercut to the jaw. (It would also be cool if Noonan rose up from the mat, kneed Palin in the cooch and executed a pile-driver.)

That’s what “hit” means, not opening up a rarely closed piehole and letting more stupid dribble out. I also hate the term “baby bump,” but in defense of those who use it, there aren’t that many short, snappy substitutes. The same cannot be said of “hit” used in the context above: insults, taunts, heckles, jeers, etc. — all better choices, Mr. Byers.

If you were Language Emperor, what common expressions or usages would you banish from the English language?

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268 replies
  1. 1
    PigInZen says:

    “At the end of the day…”
    “Going forward…”
    Anything using “synergies” to refer to business practices.

  2. 2
    Schlemizel says:

    I’m old so the list is long:
    “me and him went”
    “whatev’s”
    “LOL”
    those are just the top couple, there are many old

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    Violent rhetoric to describe political disagreement is the norm. Jon Stewart mocked it a couple of years ago.

    What was this spat about? Whether Bush or Reagan was America’s Greatest President?

  4. 4
    scav says:

    @PigInZen: “business practices” do rather provide a thick and easily accessible vein of phrases to bulldoze into the pit of damnation.

  5. 5
    tbone says:

    It is what it is.

  6. 6
    Thlayli says:

    “Double down” is a blackjack term, for a move you make when you have an advantage. You’re increasing your bet because the odds are in your favor.

    I would ban its use as a shortcut for “when you’re in a hole, dig deeper.”

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    I’d ban “Sarah Palin” and “Peggy Noonan.”

  8. 8
    eric says:

    anyways

    monies

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    No shit! Although it is appropriate sometimes.
    @Baud: Is it possible to ban anyone who uses the term anti-christ?

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @JPL:

    That’s exactly the type of thing the anti-Christ would want.

  11. 11
    Jim C says:

    “arguably”

    Usually used as a stipulation to get to the writer’s main point, I grate at some of the more arguable claims that they want stipulated simply to make some point. “Bill Mumy, arguably one of the greatest child actors in history, yadda yadda yadda …” All apologies to the kind and decent Mr. Mumy, but the author might need a better platform to launch their point. Or spend some of their 800 words or less arguing why they make such a claim.

    Watch for the lazy “arguably.” See how often you want to argue with them.

  12. 12
    Elmo says:

    @tbone:

    No, that one I find useful. It’s a shorthand way of explaining to self-involved drama-queen junior managers under me that the world is not going to either remake itself to their preferences or suddenly change recent history because its embarrassing.
    If you’re embarrassed by your mistakes, own up to them quickly, because they aren’t going to get any easier to discuss with age.

  13. 13
    Mr. Prosser says:

    “Back in the day.”

  14. 14
    Suffern ACE says:

    I would have gone with ‘taps’ if I wanted eyeballs.

  15. 15
    scav says:

    Must admit, I’m also rather tired of the proverbial bus with people entangled in its undercarriage. More because it’s lazily over-used along the lines of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons but without the underlying robust quality.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    I’d also ban all variations of the following statement from bosses to employees:

    “Be grateful you’re not in my shoes.”

  17. 17
    eric says:

    I hope never to hear “school shooting” again, but that just wouldnt help the gun manufacturers

  18. 18
    eric says:

    “when you get to be my age…”

  19. 19
    eric says:

    @scav: wow, throwing the Four Seasons under the bus, just to make a cheap point.

  20. 20
    maya says:

    fetus fart

  21. 21
    ShadeTail says:

    In nerd circles, I’d make using “fanboy” a crime punishable by life imprisonment without access to your nerd stuff.

    In general circles, “irregardless” and “I could care less” need to go. Also, white people using black slang.

  22. 22
    Ol'Froth says:

    I’d ban “same difference” unless its being used in mathematics.

  23. 23
    Stella B. says:

    “Holistic”. What the hell does that mean? In fact anything “istic” is questionable.

  24. 24
    gogol's wife says:

    “best practices” (spoken by an administrator)

    “swap out” when there’s nothing wrong with the words “substitute for” and “replace with”

    “incredibly” used in student papers to mean “sorta”

  25. 25
    piratedan says:

    fuhgeddaboutit

    and synergizing your paradigms

  26. 26
    Calming Influence says:

    Hearing “What can I do you for?” gives me temporary Tourette’s.

  27. 27
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    If I never saw “also, too” on this blog again, that would be nice. It was mildly humorous the first 10,000 times. Now it just means Palin has burrowed into your brain like a virus—mad cow disease, say. Think about that.

  28. 28
    gene108 says:

    Make IRREGARDLESS a word!

    EDIT: I’m tired of grammar snobs saying Irregardless isn’t really a word. It should be proper word.

    Also, AIN’T should be a proper word too.

    If people know what the words mean they shouldn’t be excluded from proper use.

  29. 29
    gogol's wife says:

    “Can I help who’s next?”

  30. 30
    BudP says:

    “some say” or “some people say”
    “the simple fact of the matter is … “

  31. 31
    Ken says:

    What Terry Pratchett called “wallpaper words”: clearly, obviously, certainly when they’re used to wallpaper over a big hole in your argument. As TP said, when you see one of those, stop a moment and think – odds are the assumption is not clear, obvious, or certain.

  32. 32
    gogol's wife says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet):

    For me that one has become part of the language. It ain’t going away.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Mark C says:

    Carefully Curated (and I usually like alliteration)

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    Either “flammable” or “inflammable.” Don’t care which.

  36. 36
    Bob says:

    May I ban all headlines at Huffington Post?

  37. 37
    eric says:

    @gogol’s wife: like the way “they” has become a singular gender neutral pronoun

  38. 38
    The Other Chuck says:

    “Campaign”

  39. 39
    Jont says:

    I’d add all variations of this sort of thing. “Slam,” “eviscerate,” “slap in the face,” “under the bus.” NO. BAD.

  40. 40
    Cermet says:

    This is, without any doubt, the worst not completely offensive word in all of english (unlike that certain racist name for darker skin colored (really, your spell check want’s the UK spelling!?) people – that’d be my first pick if racist names are to be selected): nerd.

    These smart and hard working kids/teens/young adults are our best and brightest as well as being our best hope to improve human kind and what do people call the very best of our youth – nerds! That needs to be removed as well as that other word (ok, I picked two.)

  41. 41
    David in NY says:

    @ShadeTail:

    Also, white people using black slang.

    If enforced, that would eliminate about 95% of all slang used by white people. For example, “cool” would be entirely gone, which would wipe out a high percentage of white slang right there. From the Online Etymology Dictionary: “Slang use for ‘fashionable’ is 1933, originally Black English; modern use as a general term of approval is from late 1940s, probably from bop talk and originally in reference to a style of jazz; said to have been popularized in jazz circles by tenor saxophonist Lester Young.”

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    Polar vortex!

  43. 43
    SRW1 says:

    @Baud:

    What was this spat about? Whether Bush or Reagan was America’s Greatest President?

    Na, goes back to 2008 when Peggy kindda called candidate Palin a nincompoop. There are two things Sarah’s good at: she can see Russia from her house, and she can bear a grudge.

  44. 44
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    what common expressions or usages would you banish from the English language?

    “sexytime”
    “feature, not a bug”

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    Incomplete.

    When I was in the fifth grade, I had a teacher say she wanted the homework “in complete sentences”. I swore she said “incomplete”, so I went out of my way to do my homework in sentence fragments. My arguments on following her instructions of writing “incomplete” sentences didn’t help my grade.

  46. 46
    The Other Chuck says:

    @gene108: I recently found myself using the word “cromulent” without irony.

  47. 47
    Keith P says:

    “Person rocks Group”
    “Person A blasts Person B”

  48. 48
    scav says:

    @Calming Influence: Can we keep one swell foop though? Hardly anyone seems to remember what a fell swoop really means anymore in its constituent parts. At least the swell foopiness variant is very clear about the probably isn’t going to happen that way use of the general concept.

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @David in NY:

    Maybe a waiting period then.

  50. 50
    pcpablo says:

    Slam. I think it’s a fox contrivance. ie: PALIN SLAMS OBAMA! or, CHRISTIE SLAMS CRITICS!

  51. 51
    MattF says:

    How about using ‘divisive’ to mean ‘disagrees with me.’

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    “Sarah Palin hits Peggy Noonan” — that headline is so Dynasty. “Quit Shit Hits Lit Twit” is so much punchier, but it’s also very Variety.

    Were I to become Maharaja Bahasa Inggeris, I would banish from my realm those who think the noun of “admonish” is “admonishment” and not “admonition”; speak of “n-month anniversaries” (an anniversary is the passing of a whole year, goshdamnit!) or “n-year anniversary” (redundant! You say “the nth anniversary”); or use any expression characteristic of MBA-speak; gripe about the nouning of verbs or the verbing of nouns (way too late for that now).

    I’ve got other peeves too, but that’ll do for a start.

  53. 53
    R-Jud says:

    I’m well tired of “Really, x? Really?” and “So that just happened”.

  54. 54
    David in NY says:

    @Cermet: Slightly OT, but at my niece’s kid’s elementary school in techie Washington (Boeing-MS territory) they had a “dress like a nerd day.” Her husband called the school and asked when they were going to have “slut” and “jock” days (he claimed, he did; I think he just told them it was a terrible idea, he and his wife are both engineers, etc.).

    My theory about American education is that it’s lousy because people don’t really believe in education, as evinced by their disdain for smart kids and glorification of jocks.

  55. 55
    vtr says:

    To “print out” or “print off” instead of “print.”
    The ridiculous “sign off on” instead of “sign.”
    To begin the answer to every question, “So…” “So” is the new “Ummm.”
    Did anyone suggest “at the end of the day”?

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @MattF:

    Oh, that reminds me. I hate when ”silenced” is used to mean ”disagreed with.”

  57. 57
    jeffreyw says:

    It goes without saying that the synergies some people say they see in this proposal have merit.

  58. 58
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I don’t want to see the news media referring to a criminal suspect as a ‘shooter’. It sounds like they’re trying to affect a military or law enforcement point of view. The term is compact and efficient but too much like specialized jargon to be used by the media.

    My brother is ranting agains ‘mageddon’, ‘pocalypse’ and ‘palooza’ today. Because snow.

  59. 59
    scav says:

    @vtr: “At the end of the day?” At the very beginning of the day.

  60. 60
    Gorgon Zola says:

    “quite literally”

    “wait for it”

    “amirite”

    “because [omits preposition] X”

    “This.”

    Anything written by Maureen Dowd.

  61. 61
    Gorgon Zola says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Holy shite you were employing one my pet peeve expressions while I posting, wait for it, my list of pet peeves.

  62. 62
    SinnedBackwards says:

    “literally” when used to mean “figuratively”

    “unique” when used to mean “unusual”

    “problematic” when used to mean “causing problems” rather than “leading to uncertainty”

    “trolley” when used to mean any vehicle other than those running on overhead electricity

    Ah, what a rich vein we have to mine here!

  63. 63
    ShadeTail says:

    @David in NY: What’s your point?

  64. 64
    inventor says:

    As an engineer, I hate the use of “impact” to mean “effect”. Impact is the collision of two or more bodies in space. The collision did not have an impact, the collision was the impact and it had an effect on the bodies being impacted.

  65. 65
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Gorgon Zola:
    I know. It was intentional. I get that it annoys some people but ‘because X’ is useful and somewhat recognized as valid emerging grammar. Descriptivism FTW.

  66. 66
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    The phrase “The American people,” should be forever banished. Those who use it try to imply that they’re speaking for the American people. Actually, “the American people” for whom they’re speaking are generally the chorus of voices inside their own heads.

  67. 67
    Keith P says:

    People saying “try and do something”, ESPECIALLY when it’s a news site or other edited work. (it’s supposed to be “try to do something”).
    And yes, I also hate when people use “literally” to refer to something that isn’t literal, like Lindsey saying “the world is literally about to blow up”. If you want to see a world literally blow up, watch Man of Steel. Other than that, it ain’t literal.

  68. 68
    David in NY says:

    @Baud: Heh.

  69. 69
    Rex Everything says:

    “Hoodie”

    “Nuff said.”

    Any use of “beg the question” that doesn’t connote an actual petitio principii

    “Seamless”

    “…at worst.” This requires some explanation: When you say “that argument is moronic at best,” you’ve said enough. You don’t need to go on to add what it is “at worst”; to do so always renders your point rhetorically weak (e.g “moronic at best, and disingenuous at worst”—you’ve just set a limit on how bad your opponent’s argument can stink. If you must provide a contrast, say something like “…and probably specious.”)

  70. 70
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @jeffreyw:

    It goes without saying that the synergies some people say they see in this proposal have merit.

    I’m seeing a new paradigm take shape.

  71. 71
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Oh, and politicians saying ‘dollars’ when they mean money or funding. Always makes me think of stacks of currency, which is the wrong association when you’re talking about a block grant or a business investment.

  72. 72
    David in NY says:

    @inventor: Well, you’ll love “impactful” and “impactfully” which have arrived in business-bureaucrat-speak. The non-prescriptivist folks are already accepting it though it’s like fingernails on a blackboard (there’s an out of date one) to me.

  73. 73
    Citizen_X says:

    Thought leader.

  74. 74
    Runt says:

    If I was a reporter covering the movie industry, I would probably be arrested pretty quickly for slapping everyone who used the word “journey” to describe their life/work/character/lunch. On the other hand, someone really should start slapping, because that thing is completely out of hand.

    I would also love it if Americans would stop saying “at this point in time”. “At this point” will do nicely, thanks.

  75. 75
    Gorgon Zola says:

    @Rex Everything: “Nuff said” really steams my onions too. Compounding the crime is that the user invariably has much more bullshit to say.

  76. 76
    Tokyokie says:

    As a former newspaper copy editor (and it’s copy editors who write the headlines), I can attest that “hit” is often used because it’s only 2 counts. (Lower-case i’s and t’s are skinny and only take up half a space.) I hated using it as a synonym for “criticize” however, so if I was tight on the headline count (which is usually the case), I’d use “blast” instead, which is 4 counts. The sad thing is that it looks to me like Politico is using a flush-center headline format that would allow several more counts and probably would have accommodated “criticize,” which is really the correct word. But I guess it didn’t seem snappy enough to the editor.

    And news organizations by and large nowadays think that editors are an unnecessary luxury.

  77. 77
    David in NY says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: That’s gonna be very impactful.

    I think “passion” has been throroughly overused: “Shoe lace nibs are our passion.” Yikes!

    And I’m gonna find a great drive-by takedown of “curated” from a recent NY Times piece to show what’s wrong with that.

  78. 78
    Citizen_X says:

    Calling a pro football team “Redskins.” (Link goes to a beautiful ad to that effect by the National Congress of American Indians. Go watch it, you won’t regret it.)

  79. 79
    scav says:

    @David in NY: oh I would so lose it in those meetings as my conjured image is fecal impaction and not rocketry.

  80. 80
  81. 81
    hildebrand says:

    Using ‘way’ as an adverb. It may be grammatically correct, but it is grating.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    “Significantly” used to mean “greatly”. A significant change is a meaningful one, not necessarily a large one.

  83. 83
    Rex Everything says:

    @Gorgon Zola: Yeah, and what really annoys me about it is people write it like they’re saying something hip and snappy when, Jesus Christ, hack pop critics were using it 30+ years ago.

  84. 84
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Runt:

    I would also love it if Americans would stop saying “at this point in time”. “At this point” will do nicely, thanks.

    You could leave out the “at this point” part, and still not lose any meaning. The entire phrase is just padding.

  85. 85
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @David in NY:

    “Shoe lace nibs are our passion.”
    Aglets. You mean aglets.

  86. 86
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @David in NY:

    “Shoe lace nibs are our passion.”
    Aglets. You mean aglets.

  87. 87
    Gorgon Zola says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: And “literally” has come to be an accepted usage for “virtually.” That makes it all the more galling.

  88. 88
    David in NY says:

    @Runt: The “at that point in time” battle was long ago lost. The Watergate hearings enshrined it in the national lingo.

  89. 89
    Mandalay says:

    “Arab street”
    “…on the planet”

  90. 90
    YellowJournalism says:

    Using “abortion” to describe something you think is terrible but trivial, like a bad movie or song.

  91. 91
    hildebrand says:

    @David in NY: In the same vein, the word ‘revolution’ should be shelved unless actually talking about something revolutionary. A ‘revolution’ in shaving’ (as one commercial stated) isn’t likely particularly revolutionary if it still involves blades and cutting whiskers.

  92. 92
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @SinnedBackwards: as a fan of Rob Lowe’s work on Parks and Rec I couldn’t disagree more. He uses literally wrong to hilarious effect.

  93. 93
    Violet says:

    @Citizen_X: Where did “thought leader” even come from? All of a sudden I saw people making fun of it. Who came up with that stupid term? Someone self-designating as a thought leader, no doubt.

  94. 94
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Rex Everything:
    “Hoodie” is the name for a particular thing, and if you took that word out you’d have to resort to a longer and more annoying noun phrase: “jacket/sweatshirt with an attached hood”.

  95. 95
    Betty Cracker says:

    @YellowJournalism: John Kennedy Toole pulled it off successfully in “A Confederacy of Dunces” when he had the protagonist use it to describe a painting. But you have a point; it generally falls flat.

  96. 96
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Violet:
    Whoever came up with that term was a fuckhead.

  97. 97
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    I”m with tbone on “Is is what it is.” For similar reasons, “Life isn’t fair,” which always seems to said in a gleeful way meaning “I got mine, sucks for you.”

    And I’ve been wishing for about 20 years that the term “politically correct” would die. It always turns out to mean “presumes to hold an opinion that doesn’t match mine,” and/or “called me on some racist/sexist/homophobic crap that I can’t otherwise defend.”

  98. 98
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    One of my bosses starts 2 out of every 3 sentences with ‘it turns out that’ or ‘what it is is’. These are meaningless noises he makes to allow his thoughts to catch up with his mouth.

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @MattF:

    How about using ‘divisive’ to mean ‘disagrees with me.’

    And can we kill “bipartisan” with fire?

  100. 100
    Rex Everything says:

    @Roger Moore : Right on! A “significant” thing, properly considered, is significant of something; i.e., something is being signified. Modern usage obliterates this & gives us one more completely unnecessary synonym.

  101. 101
    inventor says:

    @David in NY: It “scratches my blood” as my great grandmother used to say. A destruction derby is impactful, a new advertising strategy is not.

  102. 102
    p.a. says:

    “conservative intellectual”. “to grow” as a verb for anything economic/business related. fave word (h/t Hobbes): “smock”. smock! smock! smock!

  103. 103
    Rex Everything says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    “Hoodie” is the name for a particular thing

    Yeah. A sweatshirt.

  104. 104
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Violet: @Citizen_X: Where did “thought leader” even come from

    David Brooks was IIRC the first person I saw use it. If it isn’t his, I’m guessing it was the title of a session at an Aspen Institute conference.

    Specifically in politics, the words that drive me crazy, along the OP’s lines, are “attack” and “demonize”. Every criticism is an “attack”, every time you point out the actual consequences of a policy, you’re “demonizing” the person who proposed it.

    (OT, just heard on NPR: Mary Landriue, Democrat Senator)

  105. 105
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Rex Everything: But with a hood!

  106. 106
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    ‘Reach out to’, to mean to speak or write to someone. Just say write or speak.

  107. 107
    Roger Moore says:

    @Runt:

    I would also love it if Americans would stop saying “at this point in time”. “At this point” will do nicely, thanks.

    How about “now”?

  108. 108
    David in NY says:

    I don’t know if others have been annoyed by the sudden explosion of “curate” or “curated” in some circles, but this should have killed it.

    From a Times article by Ginia Bellafante, on the demise of the Loehmann’s discount chain due to “the notion that shopping should feel more like cultural enrichment than commercial diversion.”

    Ms. Bellafante describes this trend as one that has led to the “almost criminal overuse of terms like edit and curate in conjunction with the exercise of buying pants.”

    Nice work there.

  109. 109
    David in NY says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: People who “reach out” also seem to “thank you for sharing” a lot.

  110. 110
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gene108:

    I was invited to a party when I was in junior high. The invitation said “Informal dress.” Of course I read it as “In formal dress,” and was the only person there in party clothes. That stings when you’re 12 years old, or at least it did in 1954.

  111. 111
    Rex Everything says:

    @YellowJournalism: I’m pretty sure “abortion/abortive” in the pejorative sense precedes the use of “abortion” to mean a terminated pregnancy. It’s definitely not any kind of metaphor based on/referring to a terminated pregnancy.

  112. 112
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I knew someone who thought the expression “take it with a grain of salt” was “take it with a grain assault.” What did she imagine, a barrage of barley?

  113. 113
    Runt says:

    “The Commander in Chief” as a synonym for “the president” should go, as well. Makes him sound like a dictator – and the slobbering way the villagers say it shows that they see that connection, too.

  114. 114
    scav says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I once heard a request to “reply audibly” as a request to “reply oddly”. Luckily everyone was replying at once.

  115. 115
    Rex Everything says:

    @Betty Cracker: And a pocket! Hey, can I call it a “pockety”?

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @vtr:

    The ridiculous “sign off on” instead of “sign.”

    It makes sense in corporate-speak, though. When you “sign off on” something, you’re not literally affixing your signature to a piece of paper. You’re giving someone permission to move ahead on a project.

  117. 117
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    These are meaningless noises he makes to allow his thoughts to catch up with his mouth.

    Those meaningless noises also serve as a way of maintaining his hold on the conversational thread. If he paused to gather his thoughts, somebody else might mistakenly believe he was finished and butt in. That makes them more acceptable in speech than in writing.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Not necessarily — I’m wearing a “hoodie” that has two pockets. And a zipper. Hoodie may have originally meant “hooded pullover sweatshirt with a kangaroo-style pocket in front,” but it’s expanded out to mean any hooded sweatshirt (or hooded t-shirt, these days).

  119. 119
    Joey Giraud says:

    “Intellectual Property”

    “Weapons of Mass Destruction”

    “Jumbo Shrimp”

  120. 120
    Roger Moore says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    What did she imagine, a barrage of barley?

    Rice, like at a wedding.

  121. 121
    Glocksman says:

    It’s not something that can be banned, but I read a lot of fanfiction*, and a lot of authors either don’t know the difference between ‘rogue’ and ‘rouge’ or they don’t care.

    Once is a spelling error, throughout the entire story isn’t.

    *90% is badly written dreck. It’s finding the gem in a mound of horseshit that makes it worthwhile.

  122. 122
    Rex Everything says:

    “Agenda” needs to go. You know what I mean. “President Obama has an agenda!” Yeah, this MUST must mean he’s about to seize control of the means of production and start brainwashing 8 year olds.

    As if an elected official shouldn’t have an agenda.

  123. 123
    gogol's wife says:

    @David in NY:

    Oh yeah, “my passion” to mean “my major” or “pursuit I think will help me make money in the future.” And I can forgive the students, but the administrators put it into their heads.

  124. 124
    Culture of Truth says:

    derisively referring to state of the union “Laundry List”

  125. 125
    Tehanu says:

    1- Betty, I’m so happy I’m not alone in loathing “baby bump”!
    2 – Think of “I could care less” as leaving out the rest of the sentence, “but it’s hard to see how.”
    3 – “They” is the appropriate gender-neutral pronoun for a singular antecedent. It’s natural, unlike “hir” and “hem” and all the other stupid attempts to produce a newfangled one. (And I think words like “newfangled” and “blithering” and “pecksniffery” ought to come back into style!)
    4 – We call “journey” the J-word around our house. Talk about pretentious….
    5 – If I never hear anyone say, “I’d like to share my thoughts with you” again, it’ll be too soon — especially when their thought is, “Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?”, to which the only correct response is, “Sure, as soon as he gets in line behind my personal trainer, my personal dogwalker, and my personal manicurist.”

  126. 126
    Rex Everything says:

    @Mnemosyne: Wow, it’s expanded like crazy without sounding any less stupid and lame!

  127. 127
    Runt says:

    @Joey Giraud: I seem to recall that the guy behind the Boston bombing has been charged with use of “weapons of mass destruction”? If that term now includes anything that can explode, I guess Saddam had WMD’s after all.

  128. 128
    Elmo says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I do that sort of thing with my poor hearing. I once had a cashier in conversation ask me if I’d seen the nudist play at Sea World.
    The WHAT now?
    The nudist play, she said again.
    At which point my partner, understanding both what she said and what I heard, leaned close and said clearly, Honey – there is a New. Display. At Sea World.
    Oh.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Fight the power — insist on telling everyone that you’re leaving as soon as you find your hooded pullover sweatshirt. That’ll show ’em!

  130. 130
    gogol's wife says:

    @Elmo:

    I said to someone in my one-horse town, “I heard we’re going to get a tapas place downtown.” She (a nice middle-aged lady) said, “Oh, we already have one! My sons go there all the time!” She thought I was all excited about our first “topless place.”

    ETA: And we still don’t have a tapas place, 10 years later.

  131. 131
    Steeplejack says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Not all sweatshirts have hoods.

  132. 132
    RubberCrutch says:

    Hurrah, Betty! I’ve hated “hit” in headlines for decades. Only low-rent editors allow it. I’d bet it originates in newspaper headline copyfitting conventions, but that’s no excuse for any editor who has a mastery of the “synonym” concept.

  133. 133
    chopper says:

    “This begs the question, (insert question)?”

  134. 134
    Rex Everything says:

    @Steeplejack: Yeah. But who gives a fuck?

  135. 135
    Rex Everything says:

    @Mnemosyne: Why couldn’t I just say “sweatshirt”? Does anybody—ANYBODY—care whether it has a hood? What’s next, are we gonna give them special names depending on what color they are? Whether they’re lined or not? WHERE DOES IT END?

  136. 136
    Ruckus says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:
    Do his thoughts actually catch up with his mouth?

    Dad used to have a sign on his tool box –
    Remember to put brain in gear before opening mouth.

  137. 137
    Culture of Truth says:

    everyone / everything not ‘ vs not everyone everything

    as in, “everyone is not a genius” vs “not everyone is a genius”

    this is particularly irritating because the meaning is completely changed.

    Also, we are in real danger losing adverbs, especially in sports coverage.

    “The Broncos played great!”

  138. 138
    Amir Khalid says:

    More of my gripes: People who can’t tell when to use “who” and when to use “whom” in a relative clause — is it that hard to understand the difference between a subject and an object? The English habit of saying “I was sat …” instead of “I was seated …”.

  139. 139
    PurpleGirl says:

    @inventor: The misuse of impact is also one of my pet peeves. Impact can also be the result of an action, it can be an auxiliary verb for “to have”, i.e. to have an impact.

  140. 140
    Runt says:

    On the other hand, why doesn’t anyone use “forsooth” anymore?

  141. 141
    Ruckus says:

    @Tehanu:
    #5. I just ask them “What the fuck business is it of yours?” Of course they may continue instead of running away.
    Of course if I were nicer I would say, “None of your business.” But I’m not.

  142. 142
    RSA says:

    @Gorgon Zola:

    “Nuff said”

    This gets on my nerves, too, because the speaker is generally not promising to shut up but rather wants everyone else to stop.

    In the same kind of situation, I also hate “blah blah blah… Think about it.” As if what has been said is so subtle and insightful that I will need some time to fully grasp it. Please. (Now someone else will object to “Please.”)

    As Language Emperor, I would decree that business people speak in ordinary language, for example, not to attach “-ize” to words like “product” and “incentive” for a patina of complexity, and that sports commentators basically stop commenting.

  143. 143
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Rex Everything:
    I seem to remember that the hood on the late Trayvon Martin’s hoodie was a pretty big deal to some people.

  144. 144
    Glocksman says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It is if you don’t remember 7th grade grammar classes from 1979. :)

    At work, one of the accuracy control people came up to me and asked if one of my co-workers named ‘Morales’ spoke English*.
    My reply was that she speaks better English than I do, and I was only half kidding.

    *It’s a fair question because we have a lot of hispanics in the plant who barely speak English.

  145. 145
    Rex Everything says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yeah, but in my language empire those people can go fuck themselves.

  146. 146
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Wearing a hoodie is racist slang for black hoodlum, not a hooded sweatshirt.

    ETA for clarity.

  147. 147
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    The nearly universal use of “epicenter” for “center.” They’re not synonyms, and even when used figuratively, epicenter very seldom makes sense in the contexts in which it’s (over)used.

  148. 148
    pinnochio says:

    You want to know the truth?
    You want to know the truth?

    Also, two: brainfart and FSM

  149. 149
    Steeplejack says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    “Who/whom.” And I/me. Particularly nettlesome in costume-drama dialogue. “I fear that the Marquis plans nothing but mischief for you and I.”

    And, for the hat trick, hang/hanged. “He was hung by order of the King!”

  150. 150
    stinger says:

    @piratedan: Let’s me and you get together and leverage our synergies.

  151. 151
    Karen in SoCal says:

    I vote for “hella.” That’s so damn annoying.

  152. 152
    Cervantes says:

    If you were Language Emperor

    Well, you can’t be.

    I am — and I have no intention of abdicating, so there.

  153. 153
    Cervantes says:

    Two hours in, and none of you would-be emperors have mentioned take/bring?

    Pretenders!

  154. 154
    tesslibrarian says:

    “how come” instead of “why”

    “2.0” (or any “.0”–this one does seem to be dying out, though)

    “hopefully” to mean “I hope”

    “very unique”

  155. 155
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Some people say…”

    Especially when said by Brit Hume.

  156. 156
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steeplejack:
    My, but that was a generous King.

  157. 157
    Rex Everything says:

    OK—actually, here’s MY VERY BIGGEST PET PEEVE lately:

    Pronouncing foreign words or phrases that have been anglicized in the accent of the language they’re derived from.

    The reason this bugs me is, people who do it think they’re correct to do it. The one thing it isn’t is correct. It may be cute; it may be impressive; it may—who am I to say?—be pretentious and insufferable and boot-to-the-jaw-inviting; but the one thing it is not is correct.

    One example out of a billion: “ukelele” is an English word. It is an English word, in the English lexicon, with an English pronunciation, regardless of the fact that it derives from a Hawaiian word that’s pronounced oo-ka-leh-leh. If you pronounce it oo-ka-leh-leh when speaking English, you’re NOT pronouncing it correctly; you’re lapsing into another tongue.

    (This, incidentally, is what annoys me about the whole “espresso-expresso” shitshow: Expresso was for decades, and should still be, a perfectly correct anglicisation of the Italian espresso, but a bunch of 1980s coffee snob idiots who were clueless enough to mistake their predilection for dropping European words & phrases for correct English have convinced at least 2 generations of shitheads that their bad English is good English.)

  158. 158
    Chris T. says:

    @BudP: Some Say his left eyeball is actually a testicle!

  159. 159
    different-church-lady says:

    “Focus in.” Redundant. And mixing metaphors — when using a lens one focuses on something, or one zooms in on something (saying one has a zoom lens to begin with).

  160. 160
    rb says:

    It’s kind of an obscure one, but I really can’t stand “your call will be answered in the order it was received.” What’s so difficult about “calls will be answered in the order they are received?”

  161. 161
    gbear says:

    Late to jump in, but I’d like to banish the word ‘robust’. I never noticed the word until Norm Coleman started using it in every other sentence. Then I started noticing how often it was used and how it was used, and it seemed to be used most often when things were totally in the shitter. It’s almost always a BS alert.

  162. 162
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Rex Everything:
    I don’t agree that it’s wrong to pronounce a loan-word the way it’s pronounced in its original language. After all, it’s the Anglicised pronunciation that is incorrect.

  163. 163
    trollhattan says:

    @Tehanu:

    Also, too, “I could care less’s” lesser cousin, “Laughing all the way to the bank.”

    Think, people, think.

  164. 164
    Cervantes says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    ‘because X’ is useful and somewhat recognized as valid emerging grammar.

    Not hardly. (How do you like them apples?)

    Anyway, it’s recognized as current slang, maybe. It won’t last.

  165. 165
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Chris T.:
    Portentious Jeremy Clarkson voice: “All we know is, he’s called The Stig.”

  166. 166
    Robert Sneddon says:

    “Absolutely”. I hear this word used a lot as the answer to a leading question in an interview, replacing a simple “yes” for emphasis. (The temptation to not continue and leave the interviewer hanging would be almost irresistible to me).

    Another word that often does not mean what the speaker thinks it means is “literally”. I literally can’t count the number of times I’ve heard it misused.

  167. 167
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Rex Everything: You’ll take my Franglais when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

  168. 168
    Quizboy says:

    “Controversial” as a way to soft-pedal assholish policy while invoking Both Sides Do It. Example:

    “Today, House Republicans unveiled a controversial bill that would force poverty-stricken schoolchildren to survive a gladiatorial combat tournament before receiving proper food benefits. Democratic leaders denounced the idea as ‘an unthinkable, barbaric bloodsport’; however, GOP officials say their proposal would help create jobs and bring a much-needed boost to local economies.”

    The other lazy media buzzword I’d place a moratorium on would be “legacy.”

  169. 169
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    I would so banish the us of “he / she was like” to introduce a direct quote.

    I understand that such devices are natural occurrences in language evolution. In fact, “he / she goes” has been around longer and serves the same function, to introduce a direct quote.

    But this one particularly just grates me raw. It just sounds ignorant and illiterate.

    Sadly, I am half way through ‘Trask’s Historical Linguistiecs” Second Edition, and this was discussed in one of the chapters I just finished, and the authors state their fear that the usage may have entrenched itself to the point it will become acceptable standard English usage.

    In which case, it is another sign of the End Times, and we are all doomed.

    I found one source stating the following in regard to this construction:

    The OED’s earliest citation is dated 1982. It is from Frank Zappa’s song ‘Valley Girl’, which has the line ‘She’s like Oh my God.’ The entry is for to be like, and it is described as colloquial and of US origin and as being ‘used to report direct speech (often paraphrased, interpreted, or imagined speech expressing a reaction, attitude, emotion, etc.); to say, utter; (also) to say to oneself.’

  170. 170
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    Haven’t read the thread yet, so I might be repeating somebody else, but:
    This may have already died out on its own, but “business solutions” when what is meant is “I sell copier toner.” (I have seen the variant “business solutioning” which is considerably worse.)

    And the phrase “assless chaps.” If they weren’t assless, they would just be pants. The asslessness is the biggest defining feature that distinguishes them from pants.

  171. 171
    Steeplejack says:

    @HeartlandLiberal:

    But this one particularly just grates me raw. It just sounds ignorant and illiterate.

    Stern language from someone using so as a superfluous, all-purpose intensifier in the very first sentence: “I would so banish . . .”

    Thank you, Friends. Ross: “Rachel, that is so not what happened!”

  172. 172
    WaterGirl says:

    Saying “You’re welcome” before anyone has thanked you.

    Using the word “rape” to describe something that is not rape.

    All improper pronunciations of nuclear.

  173. 173
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Calming Influence:

    Hearing “What can I do you for?” gives me temporary Tourette’s.

    I’d be willing to make one exception: a sex worker negotiating with a prospective client.

  174. 174
    Splitting Image says:

    I would rid the world of “left-wing”, “right-wing”, and all of their variants. Without defining the axes of the equation, the terms are meaningless, and the only point there is to describing a person as left-of-centre, or the U.S. as “a centre-right nation” is to delegitimize the people on the “wrong” side.

  175. 175
    tjmn says:

    “As a matter of fact,…”

  176. 176
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    “Shoe lace nibs are our passion.”
    Aglets. You mean aglets.

    This will make it easier to remember.

  177. 177
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I think what he’s objecting to is a sort of de-anglicization, where people use the original, foreign pronunciation and/or spelling for a word that has been anglicized. It’s usually a pretentious attempt by the speaker to prove his sophistication.

    Sometimes people even do it wrong, taking a foreign word that’s naturally easy for English speakers to pronounce and giving it an incorrect, “more foreign-sounding” pronunciation in the mistaken belief that we’ve anglicized it. The one I can most easily think of is people incorrectly using “habañero” instead of “habanero”. Habaneros are actually named for Havana, which does not have a “ñ”, but people draw an incorrect analogy from the anglicization of “jalapeño” to “jalapeno”.

  178. 178
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Roger Moore:
    No, that’s plainly not what Rex is getting at:

    One example out of a billion: “ukelele” is an English word. It is an English word, in the English lexicon, with an English pronunciation, regardless of the fact that it derives from a Hawaiian word that’s pronounced oo-ka-leh-leh. If you pronounce it oo-ka-leh-leh when speaking English, you’re NOT pronouncing it correctly; you’re lapsing into another tongue.

  179. 179
    Cervantes says:

    @Rex Everything: In fact, it comes from the Latin for “miscarry.”

  180. 180
    efgoldman says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    “Back in the day.”

    Especially when “when I was your age” or “in my day….” are so much handier, and guaranteed to get the eyeroll from da’ yout’.

  181. 181
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker: Similarly, someone I knew thought “Up and at ’em” was, in fact, “Up an atom.”

  182. 182
    Cervantes says:

    @Rex Everything: Agenda is plural.

  183. 183
    Cervantes says:

    @Rex Everything: Actually, she said “expanded out” …

  184. 184
    Cervantes says:

    @gogol’s wife: Otherwise known as a tapasserie.

  185. 185
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    “Additionally, such studies might also help researchers hone in on genetic changes not found in any other species, and learn if these changes helped endow early people with uniquely human attributes.”

    Ugh. To hone is to sharpen. To home in is to focus or approach closely. ‘Hone in’ means nothing.

  186. 186
    efgoldman says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    These are meaningless noises he makes to allow his thoughts to catch up with his mouth.

    That’s what taking a puff of your cigarette was for in the old days. Even people who smoke can’t do it anymore in a place of business or a conference center.
    Nice to see you, BTW; it’s been a while.

  187. 187
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @efgoldman:
    Howdy. Nice to be back. Omaha this week, then that place I forget the name of where they make caskets for 2 days. Next week Greenville SC.
    But I’ll always come home to BJ.
    My new project on digitizing vinyl records should be coming out in a few weeks.

    ETA: Batesville. Batesville IN. Brain is getting old…

  188. 188
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Cervantes:

    Otherwise known as a tapasserie.

    I assumed a tapasserie was a brothel.

  189. 189
    Cervantes says:

    @tesslibrarian: The original, “How comes it,” is an old construction. Doesn’t mean you can’t be peeved about it, of course.

  190. 190
    Cervantes says:

    @tesslibrarian: The original, “How comes it,” is an old construction. Doesn’t mean you can’t be peeved about it, of course.

  191. 191
    Kirbster says:

    My pet peeve is: “Mistakes were made.” instead of “I (or other responsible party) made mistakes.”

    The use of “mispoke” as a substitute for the far more accurate “lied.”

  192. 192
    efgoldman says:

    @Cervantes:

    Agenda is plural.

    As is “data”

  193. 193
    efgoldman says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    My new project on digitizing vinyl records should be coming out in a few weeks.

    You using one of the available USB turntables, or did you build your own?

  194. 194
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @Cervantes:

    @Rex Everything: Agenda is plural.

    As a member of the Society for the Preservation of the Plurality of Agenda, I must also lend my support to the plurality of Data!

    Edit to add: Somewhat scooped by efgoldman!

  195. 195
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @efgoldman:

    You using one of the available USB turntables, or did you build your own?

    I designed a phono/RIAA preamp circuit optimized to interface with a computer line input. It goes between a computer and an ordinary turntable. That was the easy part. Writing up the construction details and photographing the whole thing was grueling.

  196. 196
    SFAW says:

    “Republican majority”

    “Chairman Issa”

    “NY Times pundit David Brooks”

    “Erick Erickson”

  197. 197
    SFAW says:

    @efgoldman:

    As is “data”

    It should be capitalized, and there was only one Data.

    Or did you mean something else?

    ETA: Of course, the other question is: Should it be “as is ‘data'” or “as are ‘data'”?
    ETA2: Which then leads to another question: Should “anal-retentive” be hyphenated?

  198. 198
    tybee says:

    in my poor 2 numeral discipline, data is both plural and singular.
    may not be correct but it is the reality.

  199. 199
    Snarkworth says:

    How about, “Let me be honest with you”? It suggests that all previous statements were lies.

  200. 200
    Snarkworth says:

    How about, “Let me be honest with you”? It suggests that all previous statements were lies.

  201. 201
    Snarkworth says:

    How about, “Let me be honest with you”? It suggests that all previous statements were lies.

  202. 202
    Betty Cracker says:

    @tybee: True. That train has sailed.

  203. 203
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Rex Everything: It’s also known as a Hyperforeignism

    It always bugged the crap out of me in the 80’s when news anchors would affect a Latino accent when saying “Nicaragua”.

  204. 204
    Snarkworth says:

    Oops.

  205. 205
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @SFAW:

    ETA: Of course, the other question is: Should it be “as is ‘data’” or “as are ‘data’”?
    ETA2: Which then leads to another question: Should “anal-retentive” be hyphenated?

    “As is data” is correct when speaking about the word “data.” If you are speaking about multiple data points, then “as are (the) data.” could be correct, depending on what exactly you are trying to say.

    As for anal-retentive, this is usually used as an adjective before a noun, so, yes, it should be hyphenated (e.g., “He was an anal-retentive man.” When using “anal-retentive” as a noun or predicate adjective, almost always “retentive” would be dropped (e.g., “He was always anal.”) so there wouldn’t be a situation to not have it hyphenated.

  206. 206
    SFAW says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    It was a joke.
    Well, actually, it were jokes.

    But, for what it’s (or “its,” for some of y’all), “anal retentive” – hyphen or not – is not a noun. Some may use it that way, but some also say “literally” when they mean “figuratively,” and say “bemused” when they mean “amused.”

  207. 207
    Donalbain says:

    @eric: “They” has been gender neutral singular for hundreds of years.

  208. 208
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @SFAW:

    It was a joke.

    Yes, I know.

    But you have no idea how many people honestly ask me this question on a daily basis (because I’m so anal).

    Maybe I should write a grammar book?

  209. 209
    Cervantes says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: A book about grammar is called a grammar.

  210. 210

    “Statement” anything, as in statement necklace, statement sweater, fashion blogs are particularly guilty of this. Using singular instead of plural, as in statement lip, smoky eye and so on. Also, curating for choosing clothes, all of us get dressed, you are not an art gallery or a museum, get over yourself.
    Grown women writing in the voice of a 15 year old, using words like delish and yummo. Not cute.

  211. 211
    SFAW says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:
    It occurred to me, after my follow-up, that you were also making a joke. Looks as if maybe I was right?

    Re: book: be sure to spell it “Grammer” if you want to get the wingnuts to buy it. (Wait a minute – wingnuts trying to educate themselves? What was I thinking?)

  212. 212
  213. 213
    vtr says:

    @The Other Chuck: They have no idea what’s going on in Neekahlawah, but they nail that pronouncer.

  214. 214
    danielx says:

    @Tehanu:

    Baby bump. And thank god nobody uses paradigm any more.

  215. 215
    SFAW says:

    @danielx:

    uses paradigm any more

    That’s because, with inflation, you have to use a quarter instead of paradigms.

  216. 216
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @SFAW:

    It occurred to me, after my follow-up, that you were also making a joke. Looks as if maybe I was right?

    Yes. I thought it’d be kind of funny to actually answer the questions seriously . . .

  217. 217
    Cervantes says:

    @SFAW: I bet you say that to all the girls.

  218. 218
    efgoldman says:

    @SFAW:

    Which then leads to another question: Should “anal-retentive” be hyphenated?

    It would take one to know.

  219. 219
    SFAW says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: @efgoldman:

    It would take one to know.

    “Back in the day” (although he didn’t have a literally paradigmatic baby bump) I had a T-shirt with the question: “Is anal-retentive hyphenated?” The responses generally fell into one of three categories:
    1) Confused/quizzical look
    2) Laughs
    3) Stopping to argue as to whether it should/shouldn’t

  220. 220
    SFAW says:

    @Cervantes:

    Unless I’m pretending I’m a Brit, in which case it’s “snaaahb.”
    Whilst holding a teacup, and having my little finger extended.

  221. 221
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    When I come across Malay loan words in English, I cringe a little inside when I hear an Anglicised pronunciation, or even one with too foreign an accent. The spelling of amuk as “amuck”, with the corresponding (mis)pronunciation that rhymes with the English word “muck”, really bugs me. As does Stephen Fry, in a book on verse, spelling pantun “pantoum”. And the American pronunciation of parang. I expect Malay words to be pronounced as Malay words.

  222. 222
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    Any US political scandal ending in “gate”.

  223. 223
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    It ticks me off when I see a pair of pants being called a “pant”. Are they sold one leg at a time?

  224. 224
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    An old friend now owns a successful eyewear boutique in boutiqueland. She spells lens as ‘lense’. I don’t know if this is special optometry terminology or just an affectation. In either case, it’s a real clanger on the page.

  225. 225
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid: Sarong.

  226. 226
    Cervantes says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: It’s an old variant, pretty much obsolete — so I doubt that’s where she gets it. I bet she’s simply back-forming it from “lenses.” Is she consistent about it?

  227. 227
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:
    “Suh-wrong”. Ew.

  228. 228
    Rex Everything says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    it’s the Anglicised pronunciation that is incorrect.

    Do you say Wein instead of Vienna, wasser instead of water, mutter instead of mother, & schule instead of school? If not, why not?

    My point is, English vocabulary consists mostly of what you call loan-words. Some were anglicized longer ago than others; that’s the only difference.

  229. 229
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid: Batik.

  230. 230
    Citizen_X says:

    @Rex Everything:

    If you pronounce it oo-ka-leh-leh when speaking English, you’re NOT pronouncing it correctly; you’re lapsing into another tongue.

    So? Free country, innit?

    What if you are Hawaiian? You’re “lapsing into” your own tongue. Which is fine, except to bigots. (“Thizziz ‘MURICA! We speak English!”)

    What if you’re Anglo, but learning ukulele from a Hawaiian? What if you’re somewhere where the pronunciation is disputed? (Example: Manchaca, a major street in Austin, is pronounced “Man-shack” by many Anglos. Not by Chicanos, though, and personally I’m fine with “Manchaca.”)

    There’s a bunch of different languages. Use whatever you like.

  231. 231
    Cervantes says:

    @Rex Everything: Wien instead of Vienna.

  232. 232
    Fluke bucket says:

    A post title for the ages. Great job!

  233. 233
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:
    Thank God, that one seems to resist mispronunciation.

  234. 234

    If you were Language Emperor, what common expressions or usages would you banish from the English language?

    Fucked if I know.

    You are either with us, or with the terrorists.

    Irregardless, no one is going to shave the cats ass over this.

  235. 235
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Cervantes:

    It’s an old variant, pretty much obsolete — so I doubt that’s where she gets it. I bet she’s simply back-forming it from “lenses.” Is she consistent about it?

    100%. I’m guessing it’s a convention from eyewear marketing materials. No idea why except maybe to appear fancy.

  236. 236
    Rex Everything says:

    @Cervantes: Ah thanks. Fixed.

  237. 237

    @ShadeTail: Shut your hole, little bitch, a’for I pop a cap in your cracker ass.

  238. 238
    SFAW says:

    @Cervantes:

    Yes, Weiner is actually in NYC.

  239. 239
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid: No, it’s most often pronounced “buh-teek” here.

  240. 240
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Oh! Backseat instead of back seat and backyard instead of back yard, etc. These words became commonly conjoined when I wasn’t looking and I didn’t have a chance to object.

  241. 241
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    How about babai? Which, according to the estimable Cervantes, is pronounced “buh-bye.”

  242. 242
    Cervantes says:

    @Rex Everything: Not exactly.

    But you’re welcome.

  243. 243
    Rex Everything says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    @Roger Moore:
    No, that’s plainly not what Rex is getting at:

    What Roger Moore said, in his first paragraph, is exactly what I was getting at.

  244. 244
    SFAW says:

    @Cervantes:

    Not exactly.

    Rex was thinking the drinking lamp was lit.

  245. 245
    Rex Everything says:

    @Citizen_X:

    What if you are Hawaiian? You’re “lapsing into” your own tongue. Which is fine

    Right. That’s what you’re doing, and it is fine. But it’s not English; still less correct English.

  246. 246
    Rex Everything says:

    @Cervantes: Oh yaeh. Whoops.

  247. 247
    SFAW says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Whoops.

    Which, in German, translates to “Scheisse.”

  248. 248
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Do you say Weiner instead of Vienna, wasser instead of water, mutter instead of mother, & schule instead of school? If not, why not?

    You’re stretching the definition of a loan word there, so much so as to obliterate the distinction between German and English. Yes, Mutter and mother are cognates with a shared origin; but while they mean the same thing, they are not the same word. Not any more, not after so many centuries of divergence between German and English.

  249. 249
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Rex Everything:
    The paragraph I quoted says something quite different.

  250. 250
    Juju says:

    I can’t stand it when decimate is used to mean destroyed, the variations on, and the made up word transitioning, and the word bling.

  251. 251
    SFAW says:

    @Juju:

    Perhaps you should prioritize which words you’d eliminate.

  252. 252
    Rex Everything says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The paragraph I quoted says something quite different.

    ?? Roger Moore:

    I think what he’s objecting to is a sort of de-anglicization, where people use the original, foreign pronunciation and/or spelling for a word that has been anglicized. It’s usually a pretentious attempt by the speaker to prove his sophistication.

    Me (the paragraph you quoted):

    One example out of a billion: “ukelele” is an English word. It is an English word, in the English lexicon, with an English pronunciation, regardless of the fact that it derives from a Hawaiian word that’s pronounced oo-ka-leh-leh. If you pronounce it oo-ka-leh-leh when speaking English, you’re NOT pronouncing it correctly; you’re lapsing into another tongue.

  253. 253
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:
    Close enough not to make a fuss about.

  254. 254
    Rex Everything says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m not stretching the definition of loan word at all. I mean Wikipedia, citing Sprachliche Interferenz by Kolb and Lauffer, lists “music” as a loan word (from French musique). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loanword#cite_note-6

    Which do you say, Amir, music or musique? Which do you play on your ooka-leh-leh?

  255. 255
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid: Sell-out!

  256. 256
    Cervantes says:

    @Rex Everything: Actually, never mind the French, “music” is from the Greek word for “muse.”

  257. 257
    Rex Everything says:

    @Cervantes: Not directly, though. It entered English as a loan word from French.

  258. 258
  259. 259
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @Kirbster:

    My pet peeve is: “Mistakes were made.” instead of “I (or other responsible party) made mistakes.”

    The use of “mispoke” as a substitute for the far more accurate “lied.”

    Yes, and any variation on “sorry if you were offended” instead of “sorry I f***ed up.”

  260. 260

    MSM bots beginning their stories with, “some people say”, I want to know who those people are.

  261. 261
    tybee says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    mom was an english teacher and she always pointed out that the language evolves…

    except for when she railed against it.

  262. 262
    PigInZen says:

    @Jont:

    Agree 100% about “slap in the face.” Just overused and lazy. How about using insult instead fer crying out loud?

  263. 263
    mclaren says:

    If the sharks are starting to eat each other, that’s good news. Perhaps Peggy Noonan will someday be brought to justice on criminal conspiracy charges for her role in aiding and abetting the vast 8-year-long crime spree misnamed the Reagan administration.

  264. 264
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    “Popcorn futures”

    Silly, useless tripe.

  265. 265
    David in NY says:

    @gogol’s wife: When my younger boy was sending job application letters from home, he thought it was more or less mandatory to say something was his “passion.” I said no.

  266. 266
    Cervantes says:

    @Rex Everything: Yes, you’re right, that’s a distinct possibility, but it’s not certain — it could also have come into mediæval English from early German mosica; or directly from Latin musica; or from all three. (And all these paths can be traced back to the Greek for “muse.”)

    Also, “school” is not ours from German; it comes to us from Latin. And “water” could not have come from wasser; it probably came from the older watar. And the same with “mother”: not from mutter but probably from the earlier mothær.

    Also, not a linguistic point but included just for completeness: the ukelele (the instrument) is not indigenous to Hawaii; it is itself an import that has evolved.

    But those are details. Here’s where this began, with your “VERY BIGGEST PET PEEVE lately”:

    Pronouncing foreign words or phrases that have been anglicized in the accent of the language they’re derived from.

    And Amir Khalid‘s response:

    I don’t agree that it’s wrong to pronounce a loan-word the way it’s pronounced in its original language. After all, it’s the Anglicised pronunciation that is incorrect.

    Both interesting comments. On the one hand, there are people, allegedly speaking English, who pronounce café as if it were caff. No matter our respective views on the pronunciation of loan-words, I think we can all agree that this sort of thing is simply grotesque. Similarly, Amir Khalid, being bi-lingual, finds the American (or anglicized) pronunciation of sarong somewhat disgusting. On the other hand, you ask about (for example) music. Well, when it started out as a loan-word in English, it was not pronounced the way we pronounce it now. It was pronounced self-consciously in the accent of the language(s) from which it was borrowed (see above) — but modal pronunciations evolve, and clinging to a (e.g.) French pronunciation of music today, while trying to speak English, would be silly (or something done for effect).

    So in a way, you’re both right: it’s a matter of time, i.e., how long ago a word was adopted.

    As for your primary (or, at least, most energetic) example:

    (This, incidentally, is what annoys me about the whole “espresso-expresso” shitshow: Expresso was for decades, and should still be, a perfectly correct anglicisation of the Italian espresso, but a bunch of 1980s coffee snob idiots who were clueless enough to mistake their predilection for dropping European words & phrases for correct English have convinced at least 2 generations of shitheads that their bad English is good English.)

    I won’t say this verges on xenophobia — nor will I say I’m one of those espresso drinkers who found expresso illiterate when it emerged in the late ’50s — but in this case can’t we just declare that there are two variant pronunciations (and spellings) and let the “better” one win out over time? Or do you object to this?

  267. 267
    Sourmash says:

    Got to the end and never saw this. Why can’t propel tell the difference between subjective and onjective pronouns?

  268. 268
    Sourmash says:

    MYSELF!!! Can the abuse of this fine word stop?? Why can’t people tell the difference between subjective and onjective pronouns? As in “Bill and myself will go to eat” or “please comment and send the proposal back to Jim and myself”. What is wrong with “I” and “me”??

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