Author Topic: When people misuse words  (Read 5721 times)

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Shalamar

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2013, 04:29:56 PM »
blueyzca01, I think I've posted this story before; your story reminded me of it.  I had a co-worker who used the word "irregardless" all the time, and the thing is, he always rolled it out of his mouth with great relish as though he was proud of himself for using such an impressive word.  He was a nice guy, and I didn't have the heart to tell him it was a non-word.

I have a friend who aspires to be a professional writer, and on his website - the one that's supposed to make people want to hire him - he said "Take a peak at my work and see what you think."  Oh dear.  This is the same guy who said that his little girl "literally exploded with joy" on her birthday.  :o

Mental Magpie

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2013, 04:36:51 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...
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violinp

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2013, 04:41:51 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.
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reflection5

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2013, 05:52:26 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.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 05:54:42 PM by reflection5 »

Margo

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2013, 05:55:24 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.

Margo

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2013, 05:58:02 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.

LazyDaisy

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2013, 06:09:05 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."
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VorFemme

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2013, 07:17:05 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 nave 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 nave college student the next day when an older coworker explained what he'd meant to ask for. 
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katycoo

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2013, 08:00:07 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.

katycoo

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2013, 08:01:36 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.

Mental Magpie

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2013, 08:10:17 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.
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Mental Magpie

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2013, 08:13:02 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 nave 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 nave 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".
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

bansidhe

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2013, 08:15:38 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."
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Mental Magpie

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2013, 08:21:16 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.
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WillyNilly

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Re: When people misuse words
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2013, 08:53:07 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.)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 09:03:39 PM by WillyNilly »