Author Topic: When people misuse words  (Read 4825 times)

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reflection5

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When people misuse words
« on: April 08, 2013, 12:40:51 PM »
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.”)

BeagleMommy

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 12:58:58 PM »
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!

Twik

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 01:05:43 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!
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BeagleMommy

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 01:08:12 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

reflection5

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 01:23:25 PM »
Quote
She also thinks concurrently and congruently mean the same thing.
memories of 9th grade geometry.......

Thipu1

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 01:26:26 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.

jaxsue

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 01:57:29 PM »
If I had a drink every time I heard the English language being abused, I'd never be sober!  8)

PastryGoddess

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 02:27:52 PM »
If I had a drink every time I heard the English language being abused, I'd never be sober!  8)

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Margo

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 04:01:38 PM »
If I had a drink every time I heard the English language being abused, I'd never be sober!  8)

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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.

Mental Magpie

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 04:07:14 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.
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TurtleDove

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 04:12:34 PM »
I worked with a lawyer who admitted that he was in high school before he realized that "approximately" did not mean "exactly." 

Kaora

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2013, 04:18:36 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 ;) )

blueyzca01

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2013, 04:22:20 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.
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Ms_Cellany

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2013, 04:25:24 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!
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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2013, 04:28:43 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.
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