Author Topic: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!  (Read 15529 times)

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Thipu1

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2012, 11:14:28 AM »
One thing that drives me up the wall is the use of 'enormity' when describing something of very large size. 

'Enormity' is used to describe something horrible, not something big. 

Another that drove me nuts in the office was the the head librarian's  insistence on pronouncing 'obelisk' as 'oh-bee-lesk'. When we were working together on a show about Ancient Egypt, this problem came up a lot because we would both be giving tours of the show. 

Minmom3

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2012, 02:09:37 PM »
One thing that drives me up the wall is the use of 'enormity' when describing something of very large size. 

'Enormity' is used to describe something horrible, not something big. 

Another that drove me nuts in the office was the the head librarian's  insistence on pronouncing 'obelisk' as 'oh-bee-lesk'. When we were working together on a show about Ancient Egypt, this problem came up a lot because we would both be giving tours of the show.

According to Dictionary.com - something big would be the 3rd meaning of it.  Not the most common, but not wrong, either.

1.
outrageous or heinous character; atrociousness: the enormity of war crimes.
2.
something outrageous or heinous, as an offense: The bombing of the defenseless population was an enormity beyond belief.
3.
greatness of size, scope, extent, or influence; immensity: The enormity of such an act of generosity is staggering.

Got nothin' for your obelisk, though.  I'm right there with you on that - it makes me nuts when people mispronounce words.  My best friend and my mother are the co-queens of it.  Gah!  :-[
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Coley

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2012, 05:28:55 PM »
My work involves grading college students on their grammar, so I do correct misused words. An error I see frequently in students' work is use of "rather" when they mean "whether," as in "rather or not."

Another one is misuse of "detrimental." Some students use it incorrectly when they seem to mean "necessary."

DH uses one that makes my hair stand on end: "irregardless." My mother uses it, too. Yes, it is listed in the dictionary, but its nonstandard status doesn't mean it's a real word!

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2012, 05:56:07 PM »
I used to have a boss who'd tell us he needed something ASP instead of ASAP.  This stopped when my co-worker, who had an excellent relationship with the boss, asked him if we should find Cleopatra to get that asp.  Boss thought about it for a second and laughed and (mostly) started using the right term after that.

Back when I was in grad school, as a TA I read a student's paper that referred to "vast suppositories of power."  (I think he meant "repositories.")  I just circled the word and wrote him a note suggesting he look it up before using it again.

jmarvellous

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2012, 06:23:17 PM »
Unthaw... I have a friend who always says "dethaw". Never really understood the reasoning behind it but I never bothered to correct her, probably because I've known her since we were kids so who knows how old we were when I first heard her say it.

I will usually correct someone on the misuse of a word if it's egregious or if the misuse can potentially lead to embarrassment for the user. I tend to say something like, "magnanimous, do you mean enormous?" Or "Magnanimous, I'm not sure what you mean by that".

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with correcting someone on word usage, as long as it's called for (a situation where it actually makes a difference, not just for the sake of trying to prove that I know more than someone else) and as long as it's done politely.

I agree with your stance on when to correct people, yet I can't resist pointing out that "unthaw" and "dethaw" are both wrong. It's just "thaw."

Unthawing something would be freezing it.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2012, 06:54:45 PM »
My work involves grading college students on their grammar, so I do correct misused words. An error I see frequently in students' work is use of "rather" when they mean "whether," as in "rather or not."

Another one is misuse of "detrimental." Some students use it incorrectly when they seem to mean "necessary."

DH uses one that makes my hair stand on end: "irregardless." My mother uses it, too. Yes, it is listed in the dictionary, but its nonstandard status doesn't mean it's a real word!

That's it, I'm pulling this thread over.  You are hereby ordered to report to the "Exchanges that make your brain hurt" thread for processing!

YeGADS, detrimental for necessary?!
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Nikko-chan

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2012, 07:26:25 PM »
Another one I hear a lot is aks for ask...

*Sigh* I do hear other ones too and I will keep my ears open.

VorFemme

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2012, 07:30:29 PM »
I hear it as "axe" a question instead of "aks" - but either way it makes me want to take an axe to the person making inquiries.

Then there is anyone saying that "Me and her were conversating" - those two misused parodies of real words have me ready to spork my ears to avoid having to hear them used like that again.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 10:39:01 PM by VorFemme »
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MissNomer

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2012, 10:03:22 PM »
I work in a call center, although I'm not on the phone. Instead, I handle some processes and then give the information to the customer service reps. I usually makes charts and whatnot as I've found that it's easier for people on the phone to took at a flow chart rather than a paragraph explaining what to do.

Recently I was in a meeting with my supervisor and a coworker (who does the same thing I do) about a change in one of our processes. My supervisor was telling me to be sure to get the information to the customer service reps when my coworker piped up.

"Oh! [Nomer] has a great diaphragm we can use!".

Supervisor paused. "Did you mean diagram?"

"Oops."

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GrammarNerd

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2012, 12:10:38 AM »
Unthaw... I have a friend who always says "dethaw". Never really understood the reasoning behind it but I never bothered to correct her, probably because I've known her since we were kids so who knows how old we were when I first heard her say it.

I will usually correct someone on the misuse of a word if it's egregious or if the misuse can potentially lead to embarrassment for the user. I tend to say something like, "magnanimous, do you mean enormous?" Or "Magnanimous, I'm not sure what you mean by that".

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with correcting someone on word usage, as long as it's called for (a situation where it actually makes a difference, not just for the sake of trying to prove that I know more than someone else) and as long as it's done politely.

I agree with your stance on when to correct people, yet I can't resist pointing out that "unthaw" and "dethaw" are both wrong. It's just "thaw."

Unthawing something would be freezing it.

Yes...exactly!  DH would use it and I'd say, "So you want to freeze it again?"  I think the first time I had to explain that 'thaw' meant to go from the frozen state to a warmer, non-frozen state, so unthaw would be to basically refreeze something, but after that, I'd just have to say something like, "Really?" and he'd get it.

lowspark

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2012, 08:31:22 AM »
Unthaw... I have a friend who always says "dethaw". Never really understood the reasoning behind it but I never bothered to correct her, probably because I've known her since we were kids so who knows how old we were when I first heard her say it.

I will usually correct someone on the misuse of a word if it's egregious or if the misuse can potentially lead to embarrassment for the user. I tend to say something like, "magnanimous, do you mean enormous?" Or "Magnanimous, I'm not sure what you mean by that".

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with correcting someone on word usage, as long as it's called for (a situation where it actually makes a difference, not just for the sake of trying to prove that I know more than someone else) and as long as it's done politely.

I agree with your stance on when to correct people, yet I can't resist pointing out that "unthaw" and "dethaw" are both wrong. It's just "thaw."

Unthawing something would be freezing it.

Yes...exactly!  DH would use it and I'd say, "So you want to freeze it again?"  I think the first time I had to explain that 'thaw' meant to go from the frozen state to a warmer, non-frozen state, so unthaw would be to basically refreeze something, but after that, I'd just have to say something like, "Really?" and he'd get it.

Ya! Exactly. Unthaw=Dethaw. Like I said, I never understood why she would say that when "thaw" was the correct word and Un/De impiles refreezing (although I'm pretty sure neither of those is an actual word).

athersgeo

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2012, 08:50:47 AM »
I used to work with someone who constantly called semi-colons commas (and vice versa). Now, this would be irritating in the run-of-the-mill office, but we were (are!) both programmers, where commas, semi-colons, apostrophes and just about every other punctuation mark under the sun have entirely different meanings.

It all came to a head one morning where she'd repeatedly told me to put commas at the end of my lines of code. I can't remember what I ended up saying, but it was something to the effect of "Are you sure? Shouldn't it be semi-colons?" and she darn nearly ate me without salt for DARING to question her, then stormed out of the office like a petulant seven year old, leaving me sitting at my desk going "What just happened here?!"

She was a nice enough lady, but oh-so touchy...

**edited to fix a very silly typo
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 08:55:18 AM by athersgeo »

Coley

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2012, 10:00:17 AM »
My work involves grading college students on their grammar, so I do correct misused words. An error I see frequently in students' work is use of "rather" when they mean "whether," as in "rather or not."

Another one is misuse of "detrimental." Some students use it incorrectly when they seem to mean "necessary."

DH uses one that makes my hair stand on end: "irregardless." My mother uses it, too. Yes, it is listed in the dictionary, but its nonstandard status doesn't mean it's a real word!

That's it, I'm pulling this thread over.  You are hereby ordered to report to the "Exchanges that make your brain hurt" thread for processing!

YeGADS, detrimental for necessary?!

Ha! Yes, I had a student over the summer who misused "detrimental" consistently in nearly every assignment she submitted. And she wasn't the first! I usually suggest that they review the definition of "detrimental" and consider using "necessary," "important," or "instrumental" instead.

Because these are college students, I think it's appropriate to let them know that their grammar and word usage reflects on their professionalism. I try to do that constructively.

MrTango

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2012, 10:26:32 AM »
Sometimes, I just can't bring myself to correct someone.  Instead, I just act based on what they said, not what I think they meant.

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Misused words in the office - propogating bad word use!
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2012, 10:50:58 AM »
Sometimes, I just can't bring myself to correct someone.  Instead, I just act based on what they said, not what I think they meant.

I have to do that with my sister, though, she doesn't end up with the wrong word; normally, it's a mispronounced word.  Like skellington (skeleton) and mammarygram (mammogram).  She hates being corrected, so now I let it go.  I'd rather know if I'm mispronouncing something or misusing a word, but some people just hate to be corrected.