Author Topic: When people misuse words  (Read 6479 times)

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Kaora

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #90 on: April 10, 2013, 04:40:25 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

scotcat60

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #91 on: April 10, 2013, 05:20:26 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?

TootsNYC

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #92 on: April 10, 2013, 07:47:58 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."

o_gal

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #93 on: April 10, 2013, 08:20:15 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".

TootsNYC

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #94 on: April 10, 2013, 08:38:15 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.

Verloona Ti

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #95 on: April 10, 2013, 09:30:08 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!!!

Redwing

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #96 on: April 10, 2013, 09:33:40 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. 

Calistoga

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #97 on: April 10, 2013, 09:38:30 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.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 09:40:43 AM by Calistoga »

reflection5

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #98 on: April 10, 2013, 09:42:14 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.

BatCity

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #99 on: April 10, 2013, 10:20:20 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"  ::)

Dr. F.

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #100 on: April 10, 2013, 10:32:46 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.

PastryGoddess

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #101 on: April 10, 2013, 11:35:38 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 ;)

baglady

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #102 on: April 10, 2013, 04:49:08 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.
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Shoo

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #103 on: April 10, 2013, 04:52:37 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."  :)

violinp

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #104 on: April 10, 2013, 05:12:18 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."
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