Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: reflection5 on April 08, 2013, 11:40:51 AM

Title: When people misuse words
Post by: reflection5 on April 08, 2013, 11:40:51 AM
I called an automated line to get some information and the voice on the other end said something that made me wonder if anyone bothered to approve what was being transmitted to callers.

“Please punch in your pacific code number…..” (Huh?  I thought Pacific was the name of an ocean off the coast of California.)  Try “specific”.

I know a couple of people who regularly say “pacific” instead of “specific”.  Both people are college-educated – one has an MBA.

I’ve also heard and read people say “For all intensive purposes…” (The correct expression is “For all intents and purposes.”)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 08, 2013, 11:58:58 AM
I've mentioned Annoying Coworker uses "criteriors".  She seems to think it is the plural for criteria. (I know the singluar "criterion" is not widely used, but really?)

She also thinks concurrently and congruently mean the same thing.

A friend of mine was talking about her nephew going out in the rain and catching "ammonia".  Ugh!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Twik on April 08, 2013, 12:05:43 PM
A friend of mine was talking about her nephew going out in the rain and catching "ammonia".  Ugh!

AHHH! It's not the acid rain that'll get us, it's the alkaline rain!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 08, 2013, 12:08:12 PM
A friend of mine was talking about her nephew going out in the rain and catching "ammonia".  Ugh!

AHHH! It's not the acid rain that'll get us, it's the alkaline rain!

Twik, I really want a "like" button because of this statement!  ;D
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: reflection5 on April 08, 2013, 12:23:25 PM
Quote
She also thinks concurrently and congruently mean the same thing.
memories of 9th grade geometry.......
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Thipu1 on April 08, 2013, 12:26:26 PM
How about 'enormity'? 

In my experience the word would only be used to describe something horrific.  You could talk about the enormity of deeds by people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Idi Amin.  You could use it to describe the aftermath of a devastating storm.  You shouldn't use it to describe the size of a large, pleasant parade. 

I know that Webster's allows the use of the word to describe something 'of great size' but I wouldn't do it.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: jaxsue on April 08, 2013, 12:57:29 PM
If I had a drink every time I heard the English language being abused, I'd never be sober!  8)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: PastryGoddess on April 08, 2013, 01:27:52 PM
If I had a drink every time I heard the English language being abused, I'd never be sober!  8)

POD to the nth degree
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Margo on April 08, 2013, 03:01:38 PM
If I had a drink every time I heard the English language being abused, I'd never be sober!  8)

POD to the nth degree
Pod .

My personal goat is got when I hear people (particularly those who should know better, such as legal journalists) use 'refute' when what they mean is 'deny'. If someone refutes the allegations made against them they have disproved them.
There seems to be the same problem with rebut.

I also dislike 'ignorant' when used to mean 'insolent', but I have to accept that, in the area I live in, that one is so common that it probably should be considered a correct regional usage.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 08, 2013, 03:07:14 PM
Margo, it's not just your region.  I've seen it everywhere.  I have even, in my sassier days, replied, "Exactly what about that didn't he know?  Of what was he unknowing?" when someone called someone else's behavior ignorant.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: TurtleDove on April 08, 2013, 03:12:34 PM
I worked with a lawyer who admitted that he was in high school before he realized that "approximately" did not mean "exactly." 
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Kaora on April 08, 2013, 03:18:36 PM
I often get nagged at for using snitch when I jokingly ask, "could I snitch a french fry?"  Apparently, snitch can't be used as a verb, but I think it can?  Someone care to help me?

(We're pretty lax about food.  French fries tend to be everyone's fair game ;) )
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: blueyzca01 on April 08, 2013, 03:22:20 PM
A former supervisor (Dr. So-and-So) stood up in the middle of a company-wide meeting and was speaking about something I cannot remember right now.  The subject of that meeting has forever been banished from my brain because all I can think about, whenever I think about that day, is how she got up in front of everybody and said, "Okay, so irregardless of what you heard, blah blah blah."

This woman has a PhD in English.  I still cringe when I think about it.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 08, 2013, 03:25:24 PM
If I had a drink every time I heard the English language being abused, I'd never be sober!  8)

Yeah, but you'd care less!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: bansidhe on April 08, 2013, 03:28:43 PM
I'm pretty sure that roughly 85% of the English-speaking population misuses the word "mortified." I rarely hear it used correctly and it drives me nuts.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 08, 2013, 03:36:51 PM
I'm pretty sure that roughly 85% of the English-speaking population misuses the word "mortified." I rarely hear it used correctly and it drives me nuts.

Could you please give examples?  I can't imagine how people are misusing it...
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: violinp on April 08, 2013, 03:41:51 PM
"Hopefully, he'll get to do that." AUGH! No, no, no! Adverbs are not used like that! It's "I/We hope he'll get to do that."

And on the subject of adverbs, if you (general) say, "I did that right," you may have accomplished your task, but your grammar was not taught to you rightLY.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: reflection5 on April 08, 2013, 04:52:26 PM
"Statue of limitations".  Really??  Actually a statue is a likeness of a person, made of stone/granite, in front of buildings.
Try: "statute".  3 ts.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Margo on April 08, 2013, 04:55:24 PM
"Statue of limitations".  Really??  Actually a statue is a structure of a person, made of stone/granite, in front of buildings.
Try: "statute".  3 ts.
I suppose a skilled sculptor might create a statue of limitations. I doubt it would be an I poring artwork.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Margo on April 08, 2013, 04:58:02 PM
Margo, it's not just your region.  I've seen it everywhere.  I have even, in my sassier days, replied, "Exactly what about that didn't he know?  Of what was he unknowing?" when someone called someone else's behavior ignorant.
I suppose it could be ignorance about what was an appropriate way to behave, but that implies an lack of intent, whereas the way people use it here definitely implies deliberate rudeness.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: LazyDaisy on April 08, 2013, 05:09:05 PM
A few years ago the LA County Fair ran a campaign using the word "funner" in one of their slogans. I quietly seethed every time I saw a poster or commercial for it. The fair is a big proponent of education and most of the local elementary schools have an assigned morning to visit the exhibits before it's open to the general public. I'm sure now a generation of school children think "funner" is a word and use that as a basis for their "knowledge."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: VorFemme on April 08, 2013, 06:17:05 PM
People mentioning that they were "conversating" when someone came up and "axed" them a question (may or may not have started a fight).  That was on several "reality" television shows.

"Timely" misused by someone as a synonym to "time consuming" (I couldn't see over the cubicle wall - so I never did know which of several possible co-workers it was).

Someone asking me to "borrow" them a pen - they meant LOAN them a pen.....but kept using asking me to borrow them something instead of if they could borrow the item. 

Someone (when I was a naïve young college student) asking where the prophylactics were......he wouldn't use any other term and I had never heard that synonym for condom......I was a slightly less naïve college student the next day when an older coworker explained what he'd meant to ask for. 
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: katycoo on April 08, 2013, 07:00:07 PM
How about 'enormity'? 

In my experience the word would only be used to describe something horrific.  You could talk about the enormity of deeds by people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Idi Amin.  You could use it to describe the aftermath of a devastating storm.  You shouldn't use it to describe the size of a large, pleasant parade. 

I know that Webster's allows the use of the word to describe something 'of great size' but I wouldn't do it.

I think it is appropriate solely in relation to size.  After all, its is a derivative of enormous and that words solely relates to size.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: katycoo on April 08, 2013, 07:01:36 PM
I often get nagged at for using snitch when I jokingly ask, "could I snitch a french fry?"  Apparently, snitch can't be used as a verb, but I think it can?  Someone care to help me?

(We're pretty lax about food.  French fries tend to be everyone's fair game ;) )

I'd understand your meaning but IMO snitch basically means to dob or tell on someone to get them into trouble.  I don't think it strictly extends to stealing.  "Pinch" I think does.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 08, 2013, 07:10:17 PM
Margo, it's not just your region.  I've seen it everywhere.  I have even, in my sassier days, replied, "Exactly what about that didn't he know?  Of what was he unknowing?" when someone called someone else's behavior ignorant.
I suppose it could be ignorance about what was an appropriate way to behave, but that implies an lack of intent, whereas the way people use it here definitely implies deliberate rudeness.

That's how they use it here, too, and many other places I've lived.  They use it as a synonym for rude.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 08, 2013, 07:13:02 PM
People mentioning that they were "conversating" when someone came up and "axed" them a question (may or may not have started a fight).  That was on several "reality" television shows.

"Timely" misused by someone as a synonym to "time consuming" (I couldn't see over the cubicle wall - so I never did know which of several possible co-workers it was).

Someone asking me to "borrow" them a pen - they meant LOAN them a pen.....but kept using asking me to borrow them something instead of if they could borrow the item.

Someone (when I was a naïve young college student) asking where the prophylactics were......he wouldn't use any other term and I had never heard that synonym for condom......I was a slightly less naïve college student the next day when an older coworker explained what he'd meant to ask for.

Similarly, when people confuse "bring" and "take".  When they ask me what is the difference, I explain it using "come" and "go".
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: bansidhe on April 08, 2013, 07:15:38 PM
I'm pretty sure that roughly 85% of the English-speaking population misuses the word "mortified." I rarely hear it used correctly and it drives me nuts.

Could you please give examples?  I can't imagine how people are misusing it...

A co-worker arrived at work one morning all breathless and wide-eyed and announced that she'd seen a terrible accident on the way in and was thoroughly mortified.

People think it means "horrified."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 08, 2013, 07:21:16 PM
I'm pretty sure that roughly 85% of the English-speaking population misuses the word "mortified." I rarely hear it used correctly and it drives me nuts.

Could you please give examples?  I can't imagine how people are misusing it...

A co-worker arrived at work one morning all breathless and wide-eyed and announced that she'd seen a terrible accident on the way in and was thoroughly mortified.

People think it means "horrified."

OOOOOH, OK.  I see that is exactly what they think it means.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: WillyNilly on April 08, 2013, 07:53:07 PM
As a nutritionist, one that gets me is "healthy" vs "healthful".

If you have a "healthy diet" you either mean your food was in good health before it became food (cows were free of disease, plants were robust, etc) or you tend to eat a lot more then the average person.

Most people actually mean they have, or they want to have a "healthful diet", which is a diet that promotes good health in themselves.

Another that bothers me a ton is "and I," so very many people smugly misuse these words! Sometimes "and me" is actually the correct phrasing! Correcting someone "don't you mean 'and I'?" just makes you sound like a fool when you are wrong!

Mary gave the concert tickets to Chris and me.
Chris and I will attend the concert.

(The trick is, drop the other person - would you say "me" or would you say "I"? It doesn't change when you add another person: Mary gave the concert tickets to me./I will attend the concert.)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: SamiHami on April 08, 2013, 08:00:44 PM
Disorientated is not a word. I'm also quite weary of everything being "awesome." Ice cream is awesome. That TV show last night was awesome. Getting a "B" on a test is awesome. Look at my awesome new jeans! And isn't my new haircut just awesome?

No. No. No. No. No.

Not everything is awesome. Some things are nice, some things are funny. Some things are good news. Not everything is awesome!!!!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: jaxsue on April 08, 2013, 08:22:18 PM
I was watching the local news tonight. They had a substitute anchorwoman. She said "nucular" twice. This is a major market - NYC.  :o
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Micah on April 08, 2013, 08:22:59 PM
I have a friend who says emancipated instead of emaciated. We're both involved in horse rescue, so unfortunately I hear it a lot. She's a lovely woman, but she takes everything to heart, so I haven't been able to think of a way to correct her without making her upset. It makes me twitch.

It seems to be a regional thing, a lot of people in my area say counseled instead of cancelled. My other half and his father do this. Again with the twitching.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Danika on April 08, 2013, 08:34:21 PM
Another that bothers me a ton is "and I," so very many people smugly misuse these words! Sometimes "and me" is actually the correct phrasing! Correcting someone "don't you mean 'and I'?" just makes you sound like a fool when you are wrong!

Mary gave the concert tickets to Chris and me.
Chris and I will attend the concert.

(The trick is, drop the other person - would you say "me" or would you say "I"? It doesn't change when you add another person: Mary gave the concert tickets to me./I will attend the concert.)

This is like the misuse of "myself." People think they sound formal and educated when they overuse it. I've been watching Star Trek Next Generation episodes lately. The captain often says things like "Riker, Geordi and myself will head in this direction."


Here's another thing I hear fairly often and when I've asked people why they say it that way, if it's regional to them or if I've somehow missed the memo and it's an ok way to speak, they deny having ever said it.

Instead of saying "That car needs to be washed" they'll say "that car needs washed." Are they saving syllables? Is the verb "to be" so boring that it's not necessary to include?
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 08, 2013, 08:34:47 PM
When someone asks me to 'borrow' a consumable that they obviously have no intention of replacing.  'Can I borrow a tea bag?'  Ummm... No.  But you can have one.  I really don't want it back when you are finished with it.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: reflection5 on April 08, 2013, 08:36:12 PM
Quote
She said "nucular" twice.
Pres GWB never did learn to say "nuclear".
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 08, 2013, 08:37:06 PM
Another that bothers me a ton is "and I," so very many people smugly misuse these words! Sometimes "and me" is actually the correct phrasing! Correcting someone "don't you mean 'and I'?" just makes you sound like a fool when you are wrong!

Mary gave the concert tickets to Chris and me.
Chris and I will attend the concert.

(The trick is, drop the other person - would you say "me" or would you say "I"? It doesn't change when you add another person: Mary gave the concert tickets to me./I will attend the concert.)

This is like the misuse of "myself." People think they sound formal and educated when they overuse it. I've been watching Star Trek Next Generation episodes lately. The captain often says things like "Riker, Geordi and myself will head in this direction."


Here's another thing I hear fairly often and when I've asked people why they say it that way, if it's regional to them or if I've somehow missed the memo and it's an ok way to speak, they deny having ever said it.

Instead of saying "That car needs to be washed" they'll say "that car needs washed." Are they saving syllables? Is the verb "to be" so boring that it's not necessary to include?

D'ya really want your ears to hurt?  "That car needs washing."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Minmom3 on April 08, 2013, 08:44:48 PM
My best friend can spectacularly mangle certain names and words:

Album =/= alblum
McCaffrey (the author) =/= McCaferty

There are dozens of others, but I can't recall them at this moment.  Those two above are the ones that make me foam at the mouth, because she'll tell you that she's SAYING it CORRECTLY, or that everybody says them that way....  I have to bite holes in my tongue and just be deaf to it.  She doesn't care that saying things that poorly reflects poorly on her as a well educated woman, who COULD manage your office well, you just can't stand to listen to her!  (Horribly run on sentence, but, you know what I mean!).  Sadly enough, she has hideous table manners, too. 

Sweet woman, great friend, but there's a lot to get past sometimes.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Danika on April 08, 2013, 08:48:54 PM
What's frustrating is that I want to learn to speak more properly instead of unlearning what I used to know. But when you're surrounded by many people who say things like "if I would have saw it, I would have took it" you start questioning yourself.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: caroled on April 08, 2013, 09:02:08 PM
Some years ago Our warehouse sent a memo about pumpkin pies we had ordered for the upcoming holiday (  I work in retail grocery ) 

blahblahblahblah... "pumpkin pies are unavilable until further notice.We are sorry for any incontinence this my cause." :o

I still get a laugh when I think of that. ;D
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: StarDrifter on April 08, 2013, 09:28:56 PM
"All of the sudden..."

Stabby McStabby wants to emerge whenever that one comes up... It's enough to make me close out of an otherwise entertaining piece of fanfic.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 08, 2013, 10:01:31 PM
"All of the sudden..."

Stabby McStabby wants to emerge whenever that one comes up... It's enough to make me close out of an otherwise entertaining piece of fanfic.

I always thought this was a relatively modern mangling of words, but it dated back to at least Shakespeare!

/END etymology-esque lesson of the day.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Danika on April 08, 2013, 10:16:34 PM
"We are sorry for any incontinence this my cause." :o

LOL!!!

I am soooooo going to slip this into conversation. Intentionally being funny though.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: reflection5 on April 08, 2013, 10:22:58 PM
Quote
We are sorry for any incontinence this my cause."
   ;D

There was a popular comedian (Norm Crosby) who said things like that.  (malapropisms - ?)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: snowdragon on April 08, 2013, 10:24:21 PM
I often get nagged at for using snitch when I jokingly ask, "could I snitch a french fry?"  Apparently, snitch can't be used as a verb, but I think it can?  Someone care to help me?

(We're pretty lax about food.  French fries tend to be everyone's fair game ;) )

According to Webster's two of three definitions of the word are verbs
this is the closest to your usage:

3snitch
transitive verb
Definition of SNITCH
: to take by stealth : pilfer
Origin of SNITCH
probably alteration of snatch
First Known Use: 1904

And where I come from it is common to use it that was.


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snitch
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: snowdragon on April 08, 2013, 10:27:10 PM
A former supervisor (Dr. So-and-So) stood up in the middle of a company-wide meeting and was speaking about something I cannot remember right now.  The subject of that meeting has forever been banished from my brain because all I can think about, whenever I think about that day, is how she got up in front of everybody and said, "Okay, so irregardless of what you heard, blah blah blah."

This woman has a PhD in English.  I still cringe when I think about it.


While Webster's advises against its use - they do call it a word. It's just non-standard but its not that bad. 


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irregardless
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: diesel_darlin on April 08, 2013, 10:50:01 PM
My dad was watching some TV show last night about the manufacture of weapons or something. I wasnt really paying attention. My ears perked up when the narrator said "nuke ya lurrrr" instead of "new clee yur".  :o
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: PastryGoddess on April 09, 2013, 01:39:42 AM
I have caught myself using the word conversate while speaking.  I have to immediately stop and correct myself.  I'm still not sure how it got into my vocabulary...I know better
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: athersgeo on April 09, 2013, 03:24:05 AM
Two mispronunciations/misused terms that used to get my father's goat (and that I cannot hear now without hearing the echo of my father's ghost!):

Vun-ra-bul instead of Vuln-ra-bul

Train station instead of railway station (he was a railways enthusiast which probably helps explain this particular bee in his bonnet)

And a case of a mis-used word (or two):
An apostrophe, a double quote, a comma and an exclamation mark all mean vastly different things in most contexts, but when you're writing programming, getting the right one in the right place can be the difference between your code compiling and not. One of my former coworkers used to frequently (but not always) say comma when she meant apostrophe and apostrophe when she meant double quote and then used to get VERY upset if you attempted to clarify which she meant. I got accused of being pedantic more than once because "I OBVIOUSLY knew what she meant" - uh, no, no I didn't; that was why I was asking.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: starry diadem on April 09, 2013, 03:53:34 AM
Disorientated is not a word.  {rest snipped}

Both orientated and disorientated are British English usage,and are defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, which is the world standard dictionary for British English.  They are words, even if not standard US use.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: crella on April 09, 2013, 04:25:31 AM
My brother says "Ec cetera" and it drives me nuts. He can't seem to stop though  :D

If I spend a lot of time with my niece, the following few days I have to bite my tongue to stop saying 'like'  :o
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: MissNomer on April 09, 2013, 06:11:35 AM
I work in a medical billing office and the things some of my fellow coworkers actually notate on the accounts drive me batty. While it's possible for a patient to "deny" setting up a payment plan, you probably mean decline. The patient will probably pay the remaining balance, not the "reaming" balance.

All time favorite is when someone called a displeased patient and wrote that they "became irate and started using profound language."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: athersgeo on April 09, 2013, 07:24:41 AM
Writhing
Writing

This one used to be quite common in fanfic circles - especially in the, uh, smuttier stories. You'd come across people who were "writing in passion", which is a mental image I've always rather loved. Less commonly, you might also find people "writhing an essay".

Viscous
Vicious

I've seen this in published work as well as fanfic, and it's almost always about "viscous fights". I did ask one culprit if her protagonists were wrestling in treacle. She didn't get it...

Marital
Martial

Another one very common in fanfic circles. I think the all up best (worst?) version I saw was someone who was describing a character who was a black belt as an "expert in marital arts", although the person who had a couple going off to their bedroom to practice "martial arts" comes a pretty close second. A close third would be the story that had The Emperor "declaring marital law" in the galaxy.

Lastly, my second favourite ever "typo" (can't post my first fav because the filters won't let me!):
"They parted monuments later."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 09, 2013, 08:01:20 AM
Two mispronunciations/misused terms that used to get my father's goat (and that I cannot hear now without hearing the echo of my father's ghost!):

Vun-ra-bul instead of Vuln-ra-bul

Train station instead of railway station (he was a railways enthusiast which probably helps explain this particular bee in his bonnet)

And a case of a mis-used word (or two):
An apostrophe, a double quote, a comma and an exclamation mark all mean vastly different things in most contexts, but when you're writing programming, getting the right one in the right place can be the difference between your code compiling and not. One of my former coworkers used to frequently (but not always) say comma when she meant apostrophe and apostrophe when she meant double quote and then used to get VERY upset if you attempted to clarify which she meant. I got accused of being pedantic more than once because "I OBVIOUSLY knew what she meant" - uh, no, no I didn't; that was why I was asking.

I wonder what he would do with me?  I pronounce it "VUL-ner-uh-ble".
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: athersgeo on April 09, 2013, 08:04:05 AM
Two mispronunciations/misused terms that used to get my father's goat (and that I cannot hear now without hearing the echo of my father's ghost!):

Vun-ra-bul instead of Vuln-ra-bul

Train station instead of railway station (he was a railways enthusiast which probably helps explain this particular bee in his bonnet)

And a case of a mis-used word (or two):
An apostrophe, a double quote, a comma and an exclamation mark all mean vastly different things in most contexts, but when you're writing programming, getting the right one in the right place can be the difference between your code compiling and not. One of my former coworkers used to frequently (but not always) say comma when she meant apostrophe and apostrophe when she meant double quote and then used to get VERY upset if you attempted to clarify which she meant. I got accused of being pedantic more than once because "I OBVIOUSLY knew what she meant" - uh, no, no I didn't; that was why I was asking.

I wonder what he would do with me?  I pronounce it "VUL-ner-uh-ble".

He'd have probably grimaced, but said "At least she knows there's an l in there!"
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: scotcat60 on April 09, 2013, 08:19:48 AM
Someone asking me to "borrow" them a pen - they meant LOAN them a pen.....but kept using asking me to borrow them something instead of if they could borrow the item. 

When i was a primary school, my teacher pointed out that to say "Can I lend your pen?" is incorrect, when what you should really say is "Can I borrow your pen?"

I once told someone i would give him a piece of Sellotape, as if he borrowed it, it mean that he would have to give it back, and from a practical point of view, that was not really possible.

Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 09, 2013, 08:21:34 AM
Someone asking me to "borrow" them a pen - they meant LOAN them a pen.....but kept using asking me to borrow them something instead of if they could borrow the item. 

When i was a primary school, my teacher pointed out that to say "Can I lend your pen?" is incorrect, when what you should really say is "Can I borrow your pen?"

I once told someone i would give him a piece of Sellotape, as if he borrowed it, it mean that he would have to give it back, and from a practical point of view, that was not really possible.

There's a difference, though, in the sentence structure.

"May I borrow your pen?"

vs

"Will you lend me your pen?"
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: SamiHami on April 09, 2013, 08:27:37 AM
Oh, and I musn't forget another one that makes me stabby. The word is temperature, not tempachur.

On the other end of the spectrum is a former friend who always went out of her way to overpronounce words, to the point of being ridiculous. When saying February, the "r" is usually silent. Some people do pronounce it. But ex-friend would always overdo it; FebROOOary. Samething with raspberry...she always overemphasized the "p" to a ridiculous extent (rass-PUH-berry).

I asked her once why she did that and her response was something along the lines of her having superior intelligence and some other nonsense. She always did have a superiority complex.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: athersgeo on April 09, 2013, 08:28:19 AM
Someone asking me to "borrow" them a pen - they meant LOAN them a pen.....but kept using asking me to borrow them something instead of if they could borrow the item. 

When i was a primary school, my teacher pointed out that to say "Can I lend your pen?" is incorrect, when what you should really say is "Can I borrow your pen?"

I once told someone i would give him a piece of Sellotape, as if he borrowed it, it mean that he would have to give it back, and from a practical point of view, that was not really possible.

There's a difference, though, in the sentence structure.

"May I borrow your pen?"

vs

"Will you lend me your pen?"

Eh, yes and no. What Scotcat60 is talking about (I think) is the dialect of English that uses the construction "Can I have a lend of" for "Can I borrow" - the teacher wasn't (I don't think) saying lend is never right; just that particular use.

(I should note it's not a construction I've ever heard anyone use, but I've seen it in books written in the 1950s [the character was from Hampshire and was described as having a "Hampshire" accent])
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 09, 2013, 08:48:54 AM
Someone asking me to "borrow" them a pen - they meant LOAN them a pen.....but kept using asking me to borrow them something instead of if they could borrow the item. 

When i was a primary school, my teacher pointed out that to say "Can I lend your pen?" is incorrect, when what you should really say is "Can I borrow your pen?"

I once told someone i would give him a piece of Sellotape, as if he borrowed it, it mean that he would have to give it back, and from a practical point of view, that was not really possible.

There's a difference, though, in the sentence structure.

"May I borrow your pen?"

vs

"Will you lend me your pen?"

Eh, yes and no. What Scotcat60 is talking about (I think) is the dialect of English that uses the construction "Can I have a lend of" for "Can I borrow" - the teacher wasn't (I don't think) saying lend is never right; just that particular use.

(I should note it's not a construction I've ever heard anyone use, but I've seen it in books written in the 1950s [the character was from Hampshire and was described as having a "Hampshire" accent])

That's not what scotcat60 wrote, though.

scotcat60, will you clarify, please?
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Thipu1 on April 09, 2013, 09:08:14 AM
Disorientated is not a word. I'm also quite weary of everything being "awesome." Ice cream is awesome. That TV show last night was awesome. Getting a "B" on a test is awesome. Look at my awesome new jeans! And isn't my new haircut just awesome?

No. No. No. No. No.

Not everything is awesome. Some things are nice, some things are funny. Some things are good news. Not everything is awesome!!!!

Agreed. 'Awesome' should be reserved to describe someone's first view of the Grand Canyon or the Giant's Causeway.  It does not apply to ice cream, jeans or a TV show. 
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: athersgeo on April 09, 2013, 09:31:36 AM
*snip*
"Can I lend your pen?" is incorrect, when what you should really say is "Can I borrow your pen?"

There's a difference, though, in the sentence structure.

"May I borrow your pen?"

vs

"Will you lend me your pen?"

Eh, yes and no. What Scotcat60 is talking about (I think) is the dialect of English that uses the construction "Can I have a lend of" for "Can I borrow" - the teacher wasn't (I don't think) saying lend is never right; just that particular use.

(I should note it's not a construction I've ever heard anyone use, but I've seen it in books written in the 1950s [the character was from Hampshire and was described as having a "Hampshire" accent])

That's not what scotcat60 wrote, though.

scotcat60, will you clarify, please?

Whoops - you're right. Reading comprehension - it's not just for other people!

Although what you wrote wasn't what Scotcat60 wrote, either! ;)

*joins MentalMagpie in asking Scotcat60 for clarification!*
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 09, 2013, 09:34:48 AM
athersgeo, I wasn't trying to copy what scotcat60 wrote, I was just showing how to use both borrow and lend...

Let's just start over and wait for scotcat60 to come back with clarification, as it seems we keep confusing each other  :D
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: athersgeo on April 09, 2013, 09:39:54 AM
athersgeo, I wasn't trying to copy what scotcat60 wrote, I was just showing how to use both borrow and lend...

Let's just start over and wait for scotcat60 to come back with clarification, as it seems we keep confusing each other  :D

Sounds like a plan *grin*

And, just to be vaguely near the topic while we wait (!), another one of my favourite "typos":

He put his hands around her waste.

vs

She threw out the waist paper.

The mind boggles.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Mental Magpie on April 09, 2013, 09:42:08 AM
athersgeo, I wasn't trying to copy what scotcat60 wrote, I was just showing how to use both borrow and lend...

Let's just start over and wait for scotcat60 to come back with clarification, as it seems we keep confusing each other  :D

Sounds like a plan *grin*

And, just to be vaguely near the topic while we wait (!), another one of my favourite "typos":

He put his hands around her waste.

vs

She threw out the waist paper.

The mind boggles.

Did you hear about the guy who made a belt out of cardboard?  It was a waist of paper.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: athersgeo on April 09, 2013, 09:46:31 AM
Did you hear about the guy who made a belt out of cardboard?  It was a waist of paper.

And that was my coffee very nearly into my sinuses - tyvm! (*giggling*)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: jaxsue on April 09, 2013, 10:00:57 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHYYkZpZGjo

 :)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: jaxsue on April 09, 2013, 10:01:45 AM
Another pet peeve: pregnate. Blech!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: RebeccainGA on April 09, 2013, 10:08:15 AM
My department, until very recently, had a director that used the word "magnanimous" in place of "enormous". i.e. "We have a magnanimous amount of work that's overdue".

This has spread, as has her use of "irregardless" and "I could care less".

I am now known as the grammar nerd on the team, because I understand that words mean things!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: jaxsue on April 09, 2013, 10:18:33 AM
I heard a teacher - a TEACHER - say "Did he borrow it to you?"    I was eight years old at the time, and my mouth fell open.

Wow.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: WillyNilly on April 09, 2013, 10:20:25 AM
Oh, and I musn't forget another one that makes me stabby. The word is temperature, not tempachur.

On the other end of the spectrum is a former friend who always went out of her way to overpronounce words, to the point of being ridiculous. When saying February, the "r" is usually silent. Some people do pronounce it. But ex-friend would always overdo it; FebROOOary. Samething with raspberry...she always overemphasized the "p" to a ridiculous extent (rass-PUH-berry).

I asked her once why she did that and her response was something along the lines of her having superior intelligence and some other nonsense. She always did have a superiority complex.
Two mispronunciations/misused terms that used to get my father's goat (and that I cannot hear now without hearing the echo of my father's ghost!):

Vun-ra-bul instead of Vuln-ra-bul

Train station instead of railway station (he was a railways enthusiast which probably helps explain this particular bee in his bonnet)

And a case of a mis-used word (or two):
An apostrophe, a double quote, a comma and an exclamation mark all mean vastly different things in most contexts, but when you're writing programming, getting the right one in the right place can be the difference between your code compiling and not. One of my former coworkers used to frequently (but not always) say comma when she meant apostrophe and apostrophe when she meant double quote and then used to get VERY upset if you attempted to clarify which she meant. I got accused of being pedantic more than once because "I OBVIOUSLY knew what she meant" - uh, no, no I didn't; that was why I was asking.

I wonder what he would do with me?  I pronounce it "VUL-ner-uh-ble".

There is a world of difference over being annoyed at the wrong word being used and being snobbish about how a word is pronounced.
A person might not like, or be used to VUL-ner-uh-ble but it actually is a perfectly correct pronunciation (I just looked it up - of 4 dictionarys 2 had"vuln" and 2 had "vul" as the opening syllable). As is Feb-roo-ary or Fe-broo-ary... in fact I'm struggling to even imagine it with a silent first "r", of course the "r" is pronounced! And several other pronunciation/dialect/accent complaints on this thread are equally grating. Head over to the "how to you pronounce things" thread to nitpick on those, please, as pronunciation is not the same issue as word choice.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: LazyDaisy on April 09, 2013, 10:58:55 AM
One that gets me sometimes is using "past" instead of "passed". I know when said out loud the two sound very similar but written out it is obvious.

"The white car past me on the right" -- NO!  past is not a verb, it is a noun or an adjective. Usually having to do with time
"The white car passed me on the right" -- Yes, pass and passed are verbs. The past tense of to pass is passed.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Barney girl on April 09, 2013, 11:33:18 AM
There was a garage near me once which had a sign saying

"Your driving passed [the cheapest petrol]"

At least I think it was cheap petrol, but I must admit the first part used to get my brain in such a twist I couldn't swear to it.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: MerryCat on April 09, 2013, 12:23:38 PM
Disorientated is not a word. I'm also quite weary of everything being "awesome." Ice cream is awesome. That TV show last night was awesome. Getting a "B" on a test is awesome. Look at my awesome new jeans! And isn't my new haircut just awesome?

No. No. No. No. No.

Not everything is awesome. Some things are nice, some things are funny. Some things are good news. Not everything is awesome!!!!

Agreed. 'Awesome' should be reserved to describe someone's first view of the Grand Canyon or the Giant's Causeway.  It does not apply to ice cream, jeans or a TV show.

Agreed. Because those things are epic :P *ducks for cover*
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: jayhawk on April 09, 2013, 12:53:09 PM
I have to count to ten and go to my happy place if I hear at a meeting, "I motion that we approve [whatever]."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: PastryGoddess on April 09, 2013, 04:14:40 PM
pronunciation is not the same issue as word choice.

Agreed. WillyNilly you posted before I did.

Different people in different places have different ways of pronouncing things.  As long as they are using the word properly it shouldn't matter how it sounds. 
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Calistoga on April 09, 2013, 05:12:32 PM
My mother in law keeps talking about having a Vowel Renewal.

One might argue that this is just a pronunciation thing...except that she also writes it out as Vowel Renewal.

She also says and writes "I've got this ideal for something I want to do."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: WillyNilly on April 09, 2013, 05:25:28 PM
Well, I sort of agree with her. I too am a little weary of "Y"'s inability to commit!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nvHzwyzpoM
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: SamiHami on April 09, 2013, 05:39:03 PM
Oh, and I musn't forget another one that makes me stabby. The word is temperature, not tempachur.

On the other end of the spectrum is a former friend who always went out of her way to overpronounce words, to the point of being ridiculous. When saying February, the "r" is usually silent. Some people do pronounce it. But ex-friend would always overdo it; FebROOOary. Samething with raspberry...she always overemphasized the "p" to a ridiculous extent (rass-PUH-berry).

I asked her once why she did that and her response was something along the lines of her having superior intelligence and some other nonsense. She always did have a superiority complex.
Two mispronunciations/misused terms that used to get my father's goat (and that I cannot hear now without hearing the echo of my father's ghost!):

Vun-ra-bul instead of Vuln-ra-bul

Train station instead of railway station (he was a railways enthusiast which probably helps explain this particular bee in his bonnet)

And a case of a mis-used word (or two):
An apostrophe, a double quote, a comma and an exclamation mark all mean vastly different things in most contexts, but when you're writing programming, getting the right one in the right place can be the difference between your code compiling and not. One of my former coworkers used to frequently (but not always) say comma when she meant apostrophe and apostrophe when she meant double quote and then used to get VERY upset if you attempted to clarify which she meant. I got accused of being pedantic more than once because "I OBVIOUSLY knew what she meant" - uh, no, no I didn't; that was why I was asking.

I wonder what he would do with me?  I pronounce it "VUL-ner-uh-ble".

There is a world of difference over being annoyed at the wrong word being used and being snobbish about how a word is pronounced.
A person might not like, or be used to VUL-ner-uh-ble but it actually is a perfectly correct pronunciation (I just looked it up - of 4 dictionarys 2 had"vuln" and 2 had "vul" as the opening syllable). As is Feb-roo-ary or Fe-broo-ary... in fact I'm struggling to even imagine it with a silent first "r", of course the "r" is pronounced! And several other pronunciation/dialect/accent complaints on this thread are equally grating. Head over to the "how to you pronounce things" thread to nitpick on those, please, as pronunciation is not the same issue as word choice.

Oh, but see I have rarely heard the "r" pronounced in February (and I've lived in quite a few different places across the US), so it really isn't an "of course" pronounciation. But that's not my point. It's not that ex-friend pronounced the "r." It's that she overprounounced it dramatically. You might say Feb-roo-ary. That's cool. She would pronounced it feb-ROO-ary. Again, in her mind it was some way of showing superiority.

On the other hand, she could never pronounce the word jewelry correctly. She always said joo-lerr-ee. I guess her superiority didn't extend that far.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: reflection5 on April 09, 2013, 05:44:32 PM
There is a separate thread to discuss pronunciation (or mispronunciation).
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=126537.0
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Danika on April 09, 2013, 05:59:23 PM
I have to count to ten and go to my happy place if I hear at a meeting, "I motion that we approve [whatever]."

I wish I'd had a happy place! I remember being in meetings years ago where I heard this often. And I have no poker face. I would just cringe.

Then, I became like PP's former friend with the supriority complex because when it was my turn to make a motion, I'd say "I mooove that we do X."

And I'm told that in a/the dictionary, you can find the word "invite" as a noun. But I still cringe when I hear "thanks for the invite."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: SamiHami on April 09, 2013, 06:13:21 PM
Back when I was in college I was part of a study group. In that study group was a very nice man who was terrific with math/numbers, but awful with language. He mispronounced a lot of words and, worse, would substitute one word for another if they sounded kind of alike. If he was trying to make a salient point, he would make a silent point. Generally he would just pick a word that started with the same letter and stick it in there and hope it would slip by.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: turtleIScream on April 09, 2013, 06:27:15 PM
She also says and writes "I've got this ideal for something I want to do."

My son says that too! But he's 3, and while I think it's cute now, I do hope he will outgrow it.

My contributions to this thread:

A former pastor of ours always got "relative" and "relevant" confused. There was one memorable morning when he emphatically stated that "Truth is not relevant!"

Friend of ours who talks about his self-defecating humor. He also talks about nailing down pacific plans.

My husband's co-worker will send out information, and include the sentence, "I've enclosed the following for your edification."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: LazyDaisy on April 09, 2013, 06:41:21 PM
She also says and writes "I've got this ideal for something I want to do."

My son says that too! But he's 3, and while I think it's cute now, I do hope he will outgrow it.

My contributions to this thread:

A former pastor of ours always got "relative" and "relevant" confused. There was one memorable morning when he emphatically stated that "Truth is not relevant!"

Friend of ours who talks about his self-defecating humor. He also talks about nailing down pacific plans.

My husband's co-worker will send out information, and include the sentence, "I've enclosed the following for your edification."
He's so funny you'll...never mind
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: merryns on April 09, 2013, 08:49:12 PM
Fulsome.  It's not just a fancier way of saying 'full'. It was hard to keep a straight face when one of the bigwigs at work  described her own speech as giving fulsome details. She was right.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Venus193 on April 09, 2013, 09:37:03 PM
This is a written one because the pronunciation is identical.  Too many people write

discrete   (adjective)

1.  apart or detached from others; separate; distinct: six discrete parts.
2.  consisting of or characterized by distinct or individual parts; discontinuous.
3.  Mathematics .
a.  (of a topology or topological space) having the property that every subset is an open set.
b.  defined only for an isolated set of points: a discrete variable.
c.  using only arithmetic and algebra; not involving calculus: discrete methods.

when they mean discreet   (adjective):

1.  judicious in one's conduct or speech, especially with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature; prudent; circumspect.
2.  showing prudence and circumspection; decorous: a discreet silence.
3.  modestly unobtrusive; unostentatious: a discreet, finely wrought gold necklace.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: TootsNYC on April 09, 2013, 11:40:19 PM
"Hopefully, he'll get to do that." AUGH! No, no, no! Adverbs are not used like that! It's "I/We hope he'll get to do that."

And on the subject of adverbs, if you (general) say, "I did that right," you may have accomplished your task, but your grammar was not taught to you rightLY.

Do you really think people should say "I did that rightly"?

You need some brush-up on adverbs.

Specifically, the "flat adverb." Try this:
http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/do-all-adverbs-end-in-ly.aspx

And this (scroll down just about halfway down the screen, to entry 3)
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/right

Also, FYI--
Many, many, many highly reputable authorities accept "hopefully" to mean "it is to be hoped that."


There was a garage near me once which had a sign saying

"Your driving passed [the cheapest petrol]"

At least I think it was cheap petrol, but I must admit the first part used to get my brain in such a twist I couldn't swear to it.

For a minute, I thought the sign said, "Your driving passed gas." I thought it was a joke about farting cars!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: artk2002 on April 10, 2013, 12:30:21 AM
A recent error message:  "Updation of the configuration file has failed."  Yes, "updation."  I think I need to go commit updation on my resume.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Kaora on April 10, 2013, 03:40:25 AM
Oh, and I musn't forget another one that makes me stabby. The word is temperature, not tempachur.

On the other end of the spectrum is a former friend who always went out of her way to overpronounce words, to the point of being ridiculous. When saying February, the "r" is usually silent. Some people do pronounce it. But ex-friend would always overdo it; FebROOOary. Samething with raspberry...she always overemphasized the "p" to a ridiculous extent (rass-PUH-berry).

I asked her once why she did that and her response was something along the lines of her having superior intelligence and some other nonsense. She always did have a superiority complex.
Two mispronunciations/misused terms that used to get my father's goat (and that I cannot hear now without hearing the echo of my father's ghost!):

Vun-ra-bul instead of Vuln-ra-bul

Train station instead of railway station (he was a railways enthusiast which probably helps explain this particular bee in his bonnet)

And a case of a mis-used word (or two):
An apostrophe, a double quote, a comma and an exclamation mark all mean vastly different things in most contexts, but when you're writing programming, getting the right one in the right place can be the difference between your code compiling and not. One of my former coworkers used to frequently (but not always) say comma when she meant apostrophe and apostrophe when she meant double quote and then used to get VERY upset if you attempted to clarify which she meant. I got accused of being pedantic more than once because "I OBVIOUSLY knew what she meant" - uh, no, no I didn't; that was why I was asking.

I wonder what he would do with me?  I pronounce it "VUL-ner-uh-ble".

There is a world of difference over being annoyed at the wrong word being used and being snobbish about how a word is pronounced.
A person might not like, or be used to VUL-ner-uh-ble but it actually is a perfectly correct pronunciation (I just looked it up - of 4 dictionarys 2 had"vuln" and 2 had "vul" as the opening syllable). As is Feb-roo-ary or Fe-broo-ary... in fact I'm struggling to even imagine it with a silent first "r", of course the "r" is pronounced! And several other pronunciation/dialect/accent complaints on this thread are equally grating. Head over to the "how to you pronounce things" thread to nitpick on those, please, as pronunciation is not the same issue as word choice.

February and Wednesday, the former how you described, and the latter being pronounced "Wends-day" are pretty common around here.  At least I know how to spell them. :P
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: scotcat60 on April 10, 2013, 04:20:26 AM
The teacher overheard a classmate asking another pupil "Can I lend your pen?".

She said  she should ask "Can I borrow your pen?". She wasn't referring to the term "Can I have a lend of", which no one used , and she did say that as the pen did not belong to the enquirer , she could not lend it to anyone else. E.g Can I lend your pen? To whom do you wish to lend it?
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: TootsNYC on April 10, 2013, 06:47:58 AM
I actually do one misuse that, though I *know* it is wrong, I find it useful.

I will say to my kids, "I will get you in trouble," meaning, "I will decide that you are in trouble."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: o_gal on April 10, 2013, 07:20:15 AM
The misuse of the word "troop" drives me bonkers.

"We support our troops" - valid usage

"4 troops died today in Kabul province" - not valid usage, but I'm sure that it will become an accepted alternate meaning document in the next editions of various dictionaries. Like how "decimate" has gone beyond it's original meaning of "to select by lot and kill every 10th one".
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: TootsNYC on April 10, 2013, 07:38:15 AM
The misuse of the word "troop" drives me bonkers.

"We support our troops" - valid usage

"4 troops died today in Kabul province" - not valid usage, but I'm sure that it will become an accepted alternate meaning document in the next editions of various dictionaries. Like how "decimate" has gone beyond it's original meaning of "to select by lot and kill every 10th one".

Yep--the language is a democracy. And words only mean what we have all agreed they mean.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Verloona Ti on April 10, 2013, 08:30:08 AM
Disorientated is not a word. I'm also quite weary of everything being "awesome." Ice cream is awesome. That TV show last night was awesome. Getting a "B" on a test is awesome. Look at my awesome new jeans! And isn't my new haircut just awesome?

No. No. No. No. No.

Not everything is awesome. Some things are nice, some things are funny. Some things are good news. Not everything is awesome!!!!

It seems to be fading now, but I am so tired of the word 'amazing' that I pray I never hear it again. Everything is 'amazing', pronounced 'a maaaaaaaaaayyyyyzing" . Argh!!!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Redwing on April 10, 2013, 08:33:40 AM
Disorientated is not a word. I'm also quite weary of everything being "awesome." Ice cream is awesome. That TV show last night was awesome. Getting a "B" on a test is awesome. Look at my awesome new jeans! And isn't my new haircut just awesome?

No. No. No. No. No.

Not everything is awesome. Some things are nice, some things are funny. Some things are good news. Not everything is awesome!!!!

It seems to be fading now, but I am so tired of the word 'amazing' that I pray I never hear it again. Everything is 'amazing', pronounced 'a maaaaaaaaaayyyyyzing" . Argh!!!

Oh, I so agree with that. 
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Calistoga on April 10, 2013, 08:38:30 AM
Disorientated is not a word. I'm also quite weary of everything being "awesome." Ice cream is awesome. That TV show last night was awesome. Getting a "B" on a test is awesome. Look at my awesome new jeans! And isn't my new haircut just awesome?

No. No. No. No. No.

Not everything is awesome. Some things are nice, some things are funny. Some things are good news. Not everything is awesome!!!!

It seems to be fading now, but I am so tired of the word 'amazing' that I pray I never hear it again. Everything is 'amazing', pronounced 'a maaaaaaaaaayyyyyzing" . Argh!!!

Bwahaha. My DH and I constantly make fun of Gordon Ramsey for his "amazing everything". At some point he was showing people these ingredients...and it was just...

"We've got for you some of the most...AMAZING... local lamb, with these amazing heirloom tomatoes, with the most amazing organic carrots and this amazing rice..."

Really, Gordon? You're 43 years old, you've been in a kitchen for at least 20 years, and CARROTS still amaze you?

Also starting to hate the fact that "Sexy" is sneaking in to the kitchen. Your ravioli are not sexy.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: reflection5 on April 10, 2013, 08:42:14 AM
In Jimmy Kimmel's monologue he tracks the number of times "amazing" is said on each episode of "The Bachelor".  Seems to average in the 20s.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: BatCity on April 10, 2013, 09:20:20 AM
(Sigh) I couldn't even get through this thread. I'm a language purist, and I'm married to an engineer who seems to think that approximate uses of words are close enough. It drives me bonkers, but I learned long ago that it's not worth it to correct him.

The one that he does right now isn't really a word, it's the name of a major street in our town. The street is called Las Positas. He insists on calling it Las Postadas. When I correct him he just says "I can't help it, I don't speak Spanish"  ::)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Dr. F. on April 10, 2013, 09:32:46 AM
This is a written one because the pronunciation is identical.  Too many people write

discrete   (adjective)

1.  apart or detached from others; separate; distinct: six discrete parts.
2.  consisting of or characterized by distinct or individual parts; discontinuous.
3.  Mathematics .
a.  (of a topology or topological space) having the property that every subset is an open set.
b.  defined only for an isolated set of points: a discrete variable.
c.  using only arithmetic and algebra; not involving calculus: discrete methods.

when they mean discreet   (adjective):

1.  judicious in one's conduct or speech, especially with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature; prudent; circumspect.
2.  showing prudence and circumspection; decorous: a discreet silence.
3.  modestly unobtrusive; unostentatious: a discreet, finely wrought gold necklace.

I once read something that discussed "three discreet outreach events." I admit it - I giggled.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: PastryGoddess on April 10, 2013, 10:35:38 AM
This is a written one because the pronunciation is identical.  Too many people write

discrete   (adjective)

1.  apart or detached from others; separate; distinct: six discrete parts.
2.  consisting of or characterized by distinct or individual parts; discontinuous.
3.  Mathematics .
a.  (of a topology or topological space) having the property that every subset is an open set.
b.  defined only for an isolated set of points: a discrete variable.
c.  using only arithmetic and algebra; not involving calculus: discrete methods.

when they mean discreet   (adjective):

1.  judicious in one's conduct or speech, especially with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature; prudent; circumspect.
2.  showing prudence and circumspection; decorous: a discreet silence.
3.  modestly unobtrusive; unostentatious: a discreet, finely wrought gold necklace.

I once read something that discussed "three discreet outreach events." I admit it - I giggled.
Of course it depends on what type of outreach you're talking about ;)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: baglady on April 10, 2013, 03:49:08 PM
"Diffuse" for "defuse."

"Diffuse" means scatter or disperse. "Defuse" means (literally or figuratively) disarm. You defuse a bomb or a tense situation. I can sort of see why people confuse them, because DIFfusing something (e.g. light) makes it less intense, and that's the goal of DEfusing.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Shoo on April 10, 2013, 03:52:37 PM
"Hopefully, he'll get to do that." AUGH! No, no, no! Adverbs are not used like that! It's "I/We hope he'll get to do that."

And on the subject of adverbs, if you (general) say, "I did that right," you may have accomplished your task, but your grammar was not taught to you rightLY.

Do you really think people should say "I did that rightly"?



I have never heard anyone use the word "rightly."  I think most people correctly use the word "correctly."  :)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: violinp on April 10, 2013, 04:12:18 PM
"Hopefully, he'll get to do that." AUGH! No, no, no! Adverbs are not used like that! It's "I/We hope he'll get to do that."

And on the subject of adverbs, if you (general) say, "I did that right," you may have accomplished your task, but your grammar was not taught to you rightLY.

Do you really think people should say "I did that rightly"?



I have never heard anyone use the word "rightly."  I think most people correctly use the word "correctly."  :)

I use either rightly or correctly, but I admit that most people I know just say correctly. I used rightly in that example because of "I did it right."
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: violinp on April 10, 2013, 04:28:17 PM
"Hopefully, he'll get to do that." AUGH! No, no, no! Adverbs are not used like that! It's "I/We hope he'll get to do that."

And on the subject of adverbs, if you (general) say, "I did that right," you may have accomplished your task, but your grammar was not taught to you rightLY.

Do you really think people should say "I did that rightly"?

You need some brush-up on adverbs.

Specifically, the "flat adverb." Try this:
http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/do-all-adverbs-end-in-ly.aspx

And this (scroll down just about halfway down the screen, to entry 3)
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/right

Also, FYI--
Many, many, many highly reputable authorities accept "hopefully" to mean "it is to be hoped that."


It sounds less...I don't know...choppy to use -ly in most circumstances? And I never heard of a flat adverb, even in advanced English classes.

Hopefully in that usage (and its many other siblings in usage) has me looking for the verb it's modifying. It doesn't sound quite right in my ear.

I guess it's lucky I'm not teaching advanced grammar. :P

I did squint when one of my teachers insisted that "There are/is" should never, ever begin a sentence, because it's too vague or something.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: VorFemme on April 10, 2013, 05:14:21 PM
Disorientated is not a word. I'm also quite weary of everything being "awesome." Ice cream is awesome. That TV show last night was awesome. Getting a "B" on a test is awesome. Look at my awesome new jeans! And isn't my new haircut just awesome?

No. No. No. No. No.

Not everything is awesome. Some things are nice, some things are funny. Some things are good news. Not everything is awesome!!!!

It seems to be fading now, but I am so tired of the word 'amazing' that I pray I never hear it again. Everything is 'amazing', pronounced 'a maaaaaaaaaayyyyyzing" . Argh!!!

Bwahaha. My DH and I constantly make fun of Gordon Ramsey for his "amazing everything". At some point he was showing people these ingredients...and it was just...

"We've got for you some of the most...AMAZING... local lamb, with these amazing heirloom tomatoes, with the most amazing organic carrots and this amazing rice..."

Really, Gordon? You're 43 years old, you've been in a kitchen for at least 20 years, and CARROTS still amaze you?

Also starting to hate the fact that "Sexy" is sneaking in to the kitchen. Your ravioli are not sexy.

If you think that your food is sexy, I don't want to go into your kitchen nor do I think that I want to eat your cooking.

Personally, I prefer my food TASTY!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: TootsNYC on April 10, 2013, 09:27:24 PM
"Hopefully, he'll get to do that." AUGH! No, no, no! Adverbs are not used like that! It's "I/We hope he'll get to do that."

And on the subject of adverbs, if you (general) say, "I did that right," you may have accomplished your task, but your grammar was not taught to you rightLY.

Do you really think people should say "I did that rightly"?



I have never heard anyone use the word "rightly."  I think most people correctly use the word "correctly."  :)

I use either rightly or correctly, but I admit that most people I know just say correctly. I used rightly in that example because of "I did it right."

And there is nothing wrong with "I did it right." That was my point.

In addition to being an adjective, "right" is *also* an adverb. A "flat adverb."
There is *nothing* wrong with it.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: AuntieA on April 10, 2013, 11:51:06 PM
BF sometimes misuses words. The most common are:

atypical - as in "your reaction is an atypical female one, all the women I've ever know react the same way." No dear, that would be typical.

droll - "I know you thought that movie was really funny, but I found it droll." No, you didn't find anything funny about it. That`s not what droll means.

There are more, but I get headaches from correcting him all the time. He is an intelligent man, he just misuses words sometimes.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Venus193 on April 11, 2013, 05:28:12 AM

Bwahaha. My DH and I constantly make fun of Gordon Ramsey for his "amazing everything". At some point he was showing people these ingredients...and it was just...

"We've got for you some of the most...AMAZING... local lamb, with these amazing heirloom tomatoes, with the most amazing organic carrots and this amazing rice..."

Really, Gordon? You're 43 years old, you've been in a kitchen for at least 20 years, and CARROTS still amaze you?

Also starting to hate the fact that "Sexy" is sneaking in to the kitchen. Your ravioli are not sexy.

Neither are business presentations or products that have nothing to do with sex.  This one annoys me, too.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: cabbageweevil on April 11, 2013, 05:38:27 AM
Train station instead of railway station (he was a railways enthusiast which probably helps explain this particular bee in his bonnet)
Coming in rather belatedly --athersgeo, are you (like me) in the UK? I ask because you write "railway", rather than "railroad".

I'm a railway enthusiast; some of my fellow-hobbyists over here, likewise loathe this expression "train", instead of "railway", station. An Americanism, I gather, increasingly getting used in the UK. I always say / write "railway station", but "train station" doesn't bother me much. Except for a couple of pet hates, I tend not to get upset about the rise of new ways of putting things: language has always changed and evolved...

I'd had the impression that at least in times past, the place where you get on and off trains was often called in the US, a railroad "depot", as an equivalent to "station"; but maybe I have that wrongly?
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: scotcat60 on April 11, 2013, 07:40:35 AM
I'm a railway enthusiast; some of my fellow-hobbyists over here, likewise loathe this expression "train", instead of "railway", station

Possibly they are trying to differentiate between a bus station, coach station and railway station. To me station in connection with transport means somewhere you go to catch a train, i do not add railway, e.g. I would say Euston, or London Bridge station,
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Thipu1 on April 11, 2013, 07:41:46 AM
I've always considered 'depot' to mean a major railway terminal with the capacity to handle freight while 'station' means a smaller, local place to catch a train. 

  However, there's a classic book, 'Down at the Depot.  American Railroad Stations from 1831 to 1920', so the issue may be moot. 

Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Barney girl on April 11, 2013, 07:54:19 AM
I can't remember if I've posted this before, but I can pinpoint almost exactly when I first heard the term 'train station' - it was either the last Saturday of September or first of October 1983 at Tesco, Five Lane Ends, Birmingham. I was at the University Freshers week and asked the cashier where the nearest station was as I was intending going into the city centre. She said - "Do you mean the train station?". I'd never heard the term before and I think I thought it was a West Midlands one, not one coming in from America.

What I do dislike is the announcements "The next station stop will be ..." I know they're excluding unexpected stops by saying this, but credit the passengers (sorry, customers) with a little common sense please  ::)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Thipu1 on April 11, 2013, 08:56:13 AM
The announcements don't bother me.  I assume that they're for the benefit of passengers with impaired vision. 
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: WillyNilly on April 11, 2013, 09:12:01 AM
What I do dislike is the announcements "The next station stop will be ..." I know they're excluding unexpected stops by saying this, but credit the passengers (sorry, customers) with a little common sense please  ::)

I don't understand this. What do you mean by common sense? Not every passenger has a train map in front of them or has memorized the line. They need to know when their stop is next so they can gather up their stuff (put in their coat, put their book into their bag, etc) to get off promptly.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Layla Miller on April 11, 2013, 10:05:03 AM
What I do dislike is the announcements "The next station stop will be ..." I know they're excluding unexpected stops by saying this, but credit the passengers (sorry, customers) with a little common sense please  ::)

I don't understand this. What do you mean by common sense? Not every passenger has a train map in front of them or has memorized the line. They need to know when their stop is next so they can gather up their stuff (put in their coat, put their book into their bag, etc) to get off promptly.

And there's people like me, who is a big old worrywart and was scared to death of missing my stop when I took the train a few times on a visit to NYC a few years ago.  Those announcements gave me some badly needed peace of mind!
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Anniissa on April 11, 2013, 10:28:18 AM
What I do dislike is the announcements "The next station stop will be ..." I know they're excluding unexpected stops by saying this, but credit the passengers (sorry, customers) with a little common sense please  ::)

I don't understand this. What do you mean by common sense? Not every passenger has a train map in front of them or has memorized the line. They need to know when their stop is next so they can gather up their stuff (put in their coat, put their book into their bag, etc) to get off promptly.

I don't think Barney Girl was complaining about the announcements in general but the additional word "Station" rather than "The next stop is..." as, presumably barring emergencies, all stops are necessarily at stations so the "station" appears rather superfluous.
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: cabbageweevil on April 11, 2013, 10:33:18 AM
Thanks all, for thoughts. Thipu 1 -- "depot" -- maybe a thing largely from times past, maybe a bit of wishful-thinking re different American / British parlance.

"Next station stop" announcements -- I tend to feel (as with Thipu 1, Willy Nilly and Layla Miller) -- never underestimate people's capacity for getting things wrong: wise, and considerate, in announcements, to differentiate between station stops, and unscheduled stops for signals or whatever -- which, re Anniissa's post, do quite often happen.

I sometimes muse on how wretched things must have been for passengers in Britain and continental Europe in World War 2, when -- with people being worried / hopeful about the other lot, invading their territory -- railway station nameboards were taken away (likewise, on the roads, signposts, and "welcome to / you are leaving" town signs) -- so as to make things as difficult as possible for potential invaders.  Presumably, the same with on-train announcements: don't risk giving help to travelling bad guys...

At the risk of going way off-topic: I've always liked the thing about newsreels in Britain in 1940, showing signs reading "Welcome to [name diligently blocked out] -- Birthplace of William Shakespeare". I gather that the audiences fell about laughing...
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 11, 2013, 02:55:20 PM
I just remembered a friend of my mother who could butcher the English language better than any one I knew.  Two examples:

1.  She worked in a small snack bar in the local hospital.  A customer asked for ketchup.  She said "We don't have packets.  There are ketchup and mustard suspenders over there."  She meant dispensers.

2.  Her newborn nephew had just had a circumcision.  She said "His poor little intestines were all swollen."  Anyone want to guess what she meant?
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: reflection5 on April 11, 2013, 03:14:18 PM
Quote
2.  Her newborn nephew had just had a circumcision.  She said "His poor little intestines were all swollen."  Anyone want to guess what she meant?

Oh my goodness.  ???  :-[  (scratching my head)
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 11, 2013, 04:26:00 PM
In honour of Toby Keith, was she referring to his 'vegetables'?   :D
Title: Re: When people misuse words
Post by: Barney girl on April 11, 2013, 04:40:47 PM
What I do dislike is the announcements "The next station stop will be ..." I know they're excluding unexpected stops by saying this, but credit the passengers (sorry, customers) with a little common sense please  ::)

I don't understand this. What do you mean by common sense? Not every passenger has a train map in front of them or has memorized the line. They need to know when their stop is next so they can gather up their stuff (put in their coat, put their book into their bag, etc) to get off promptly.

I don't think Barney Girl was complaining about the announcements in general but the additional word "Station" rather than "The next stop is..." as, presumably barring emergencies, all stops are necessarily at stations so the "station" appears rather superfluous.

Thanks. Yes, that's what I meant. Either say "the next station is..." or "the next stop is...".  To combine them seems to suggest the think we're going to try climbing out of the train when it stops at a signal on red.