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"LITERALLY!" and Other Offenders on the Grammar Police Docket

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Don't know if this has been mentioned yet. Why do most of the people on tv  court shows have to tell their case starting with "Basically". I just want to slap them.

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Back in the 90s I worked with a young man at a previous job who started ALL his sentences with "Basically". Nice guy but I thought it was as a little weird. Now you can't watch a TV court show without hearing it sprinkled throughout  the entire show. I do love it when Judge Judy will say  "Not basically". to them.  It's as bad as the Kardashians with their "like" in every other sentence.

 

I do have 2 coworkers who say basically and literally a lot. UGH!

Edited by MrsEVH
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My pet peeve? Contestants on televisions saying "I want it so bad". It drives me up the wall. 

It's not foolish or pedantic to maintain standards beyond "common usage."   And "common" isn't automatically the equivalent of  "acceptable."   Isn't the natural course of a growing, evolving language to develop in the direction of greater precision rather than less?

This is from one of the first few pages. I think it's a question of there being more room to grow, usually, outward than inward. Precision, in a way, is finite, eventually it will be perfect, then it won't grow and therefore die. Therefore a living language continues to expand, it must. I'd probably have a lot more friends if I could stop hearing mistakes, but I can't help cringing. Which is not to say that my English is perfect by any means. 

 

How about this one: I'm watching something right now with closed-captioning and someone said, "What about THE PERSON who didn't bring a date with THEM?" I hear that type of blunder all the time.

This is coming from "corporate speak", I think. It's to avoid saying him or her. 

 

Email.

I don't bemoan the death of cursive writing. I haven't used it since sometime in junior high when they stopped making me write it. I don't use it. Ever. I don't even remember how.

 

I've found that cursive writing is much faster than printing. But it may be an American thing, to use the cursive writing. I don't think we (Indians) use printing from when we start forming words. (Based on my personal experience, which of course, you must admit is representative of India).

 

According to Websters "loan" is both a noun AND a verb. 

I thought loan was a verb, just that "lend" is the past tense of "to loan"?

 

Hah, @Bastet, I was thinking that myself.

 

"Thrice? Who the hell says thrice?"

I tend to use that. 

 

Just so y'all don't inadvertently bug me: I'm pretty sure SEO is never plural. ;>)


I was very satisfied to hear on a Bones rerun yesterday:
Booth: Him and me [did such and such]...
Brennan: ...and when you and he [did such and such]...
It was in character for Booth to use improper grammar, and it was just as in character for Brennan to say it correctly in the next sentence without saying directly to him that he had said it incorrectly (since they were a loving couple at that point). The writers didn't have to use the parallel dialogue, but I appreciated hearing it.

Isn't Brennan still wrong though? She should have said he and you?

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And neither will 110%.  The latter annoys me much more than many things.  :-) 

This is one of my favorites because, inevitably, all the other people are inspired to state the 100+ percentages that THEY will commit.  Snerk.

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I do have 2 coworkers who say basically and literally a lot. UGH!

Just for grins, try to use the word "figuratively" more often.  Bet they don't know it.

For a really good few riffs on grammar, I highly recommend a new comedien, Gina Brillon  She has a special running on the Nuvo channel called "Pacifically Speaking".

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I assume we'll reach the point where people will be offering infinity percent and being told they need to give infinity plus one percent (which is only possible if you're Buzz Lightyear).

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When a character tosses off a flippant "I could care less". No. That's not what you meant.  I could care less means you still care. "I couldn't care less" means the limit has been reached.

 

I'd like to say I couldn't care less if someone says "I could care less", but if that were true, I probably wouldn't bother to comment.

 

So I suppose I could care less.

 

Just as people who say "I couldn't care less" could care less.  They cared enough to let you know that they didn't care.  But if they couldn't care less, they would have remained silent, not caring whether or not you knew that they didn't care.

 

Either way, I don't much care.

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Assuming my brain is still functioning properly after reading that, "I could care less" may be technically true but ultimately pointless.

Edited by Brandi Maxxxx
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This is not grammar but I had to chuckle at an email I received today from a client regarding a "sparatic" data loss issue they were having.  It literally (not figuratively :) took me a few moments to realize what she meant.

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I'm not sure if this is what was actually said or if I misheard it, but in last night's episode of Hellsing Ultimate: "It appears that our reputation has proceeded us."

 

 

From the BBS news came a report saying "There have been improvements as China exports rise." I don't know where the verb and the object are in that sentence. Exports? Rise? China? Are they exporting a rise? Raising their exports? Exporting dishes?

 

 

Local newscast stuff:

 

"We're grasping at straws in a haystack." Mixed metaphors are even better when they're cliches.

 

"The police tell us that accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians is extremely common." So, accidents is common?

 

"Her friend says that the relationship is unseparable." I find that completely inbelievable.

 

 

I assume we'll reach the point where people will be offering infinity percent and being told they need to give infinity plus one percent (which is only possible if you're Buzz Lightyear).

If you ever have a lot of time to waste, ask a mathematician to explain the different sizes of infinities to you. Have them start with countable vs. uncountable infinities. You'll love it. No, really.

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"Her friend says that the relationship is unseparable." I find that completely inbelievable.

 

Hee.  Unconceivable! 

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That's the way I've always heard it pronounced, but I've always seen it spelled with an F.

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Gah!  One of the sportscasters on last night's Bengals-Patriots game said of a pass into coverage:  "Brady literally threaded the needle!"  If I had a twitter account, I would have tweeted the twit.

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One of the sportscasters on last night's Bengals-Patriots game said of a pass into coverage:  "Brady literally threaded the needle!"

 

One of the announcers of the Denver/Arizona game (or one of the other afternoon games) did it too!  "That's literally threading a needle."  Unless Peyton Manning was getting ready to stitch up a rip in his jersey, no it's not.

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Gah!  One of the sportscasters on last night's Bengals-Patriots game said of a pass into coverage:  "Brady literally threaded the needle!"  If I had a twitter account, I would have tweeted the twit.

 

 

One of the announcers of the Denver/Arizona game (or one of the other afternoon games) did it too!  "That's literally threading a needle."  Unless Peyton Manning was getting ready to stitch up a rip in his jersey, no it's not.

 

If it makes either of you feel any better, this morning I heard a talking head say "threading a needle", and nothing more, after watching a highlight in which the quarterback completed a pass to a receiver in tight coverage.

 

However, I'm not sure if the talking head left out the word literally because it would inappropriate, or if he was just being unusually succinct for a talking head, since he also didn't bother to mention the quarterback's name (someone else did before the clip was played).

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Guilty. But only among friends.

On the boards I've been known to type "anyhoo." To me it's not a real word anyway.

I heard part of a discourse on NPR in my car yesterday about the ubiquitous and incorrect usage of "so" to begin a sentence. I think it's okay. I remember in high school French learning "donc," which means, according to Google translator, "therefore," but I seem to recall learning it was used like "so" is now.

My ex-late-father-in-law (who would be in his 100s if he was alive) used to begin sentences with "now." I've seen it in old books too.

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An old episode of Doctor Who that was on last night featured a piece of equipment with a big ol' dial on the front of it labeled "MEGGA VOLTS." I guess they're getting their electricity from eggs now.

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An old episode of Doctor Who that was on last night featured a piece of equipment with a big ol' dial on the front of it labeled "MEGGA VOLTS." I guess they're getting their electricity from eggs now.

LOL! On Doctor Who they really might be.
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On the reality show Utopia, one participant, Aaron, described being criticized as "he's LITERALLY trying to castrate me in front of the group."

I guess FOX will do anything for ratings.

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OK, so this isn't grammar-related, it's spelling-related, but I've got to put this somewhere:

 

It's "definitely" - not "definately"

It's "no one" - not "noone"

 

And finally:

 

It's "a lot" - not "alot"

 

I feel better now.

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What is the correct pronounciation of Literally?  I've seen it pronounced both ways.

Is it  

LIT- TRA- LY   or    LIT- ER- ALLY? 

 

What does it mean anyway?

 

 

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And finally:

It's "a lot" - not "alot"

 

And it's "ridiculous," not "rediculous."  I don't even understand where that spelling comes from.  

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What is the correct pronounciation of Literally?  I've seen it pronounced both ways.

Is it 

LIT- TRA- LY   or    LIT- ER- ALLY?

 

I think it depends on if you are British or American.

 

Speaking of American things, it annoys me when I hear this common mispronunciation in the national anthem.  Perilous is pronounced pair-ill-us, not pair-ull-iss.

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Could someone tell me when, "You know what I'm sayin'?" became a punctuation mark?  It seems that people are using it at the end of sentences, from rappers to politicians--even people for whom proper English is mandatory for their jobs.  "An Alberta Clipper is rapidly moving across Canada and will affect parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States.  This weather event is nothing to play with--you know what I'm sayin'?"  ARRGGGHHH!!

 

Other ridiculous words that set my teeth on edge are "conversate" and "conversating."  What the fuck does that actually mean?  I'll never forget when someone testified in open court, "And, we started to conversate..."  The judge was so astounded that he abruptly halted the witness' testimony and asked, "Conversate?  Do you actually mean you started to converse or talk?"  The witness had so little self-awareness that he repeated himself!

Edited by MulletorHater
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Could someone tell me when, "You know what I'm sayin'?" became a punctuation mark?  It seems that people are using it at the end of sentences, from rappers to politicians--even people for whom proper English is mandatory for their jobs.  "An Alberta Clipper is rapidly moving across Canada and will affect parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States.  This weather event is nothing to play with--you know what I'm sayin'?"  ARRGGGHHH!!

 

 

 

Not to stereo type but rappers are good at that.

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On Hell's Kitchen this week I swear a contestant nominated to be eliminated said his team "threw me under the chopping block".

LOL! It's a better place to be than on the chopping block (or under a bus). He should be appreciative.
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A local show, Check Please, reviewing Chicago restaurants, has an opening clip combining guests comments. One woman says "the service was pretty HORRIFIC. "

I keep waiting for a description of what the waiter did to frighten her. Horrific is not the same as horrible.

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And it's "ridiculous," not "rediculous."  I don't even understand where that spelling comes from.

That's another one that makes my head want to explode!

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Could someone tell me when, "You know what I'm sayin'?" became a punctuation mark?  It seems that people are using it at the end of sentences, from rappers to politicians--even people for whom proper English is mandatory for their jobs.  "An Alberta Clipper is rapidly moving across Canada and will affect parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States.  This weather event is nothing to play with--you know what I'm sayin'?"  ARRGGGHHH!!

 

Other ridiculous words that set my teeth on edge are "conversate" and "conversating."  What the fuck does that actually mean?  I'll never forget when someone testified in open court, "And, we started to conversate..."  The judge was so astounded that he abruptly halted the witness' testimony and asked, "Conversate?  Do you actually mean you started to converse or talk?"  The witness had so little self-awareness that he repeated himself!

 

 

"Conversate" is appearing more and more.  It is almost a 100th monkey syndrome taking place. 

 

I have no problem with baby bump and some other new terms; made up words drive me nuts. 

Edited by wings707

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I wish I'd never learned the difference between "less" and "fewer".  Was listening to a very entertaining podcast today and the guy kept saying less when he should have said fewer.

 

It's "less" when referring to something that can't be counted -- less traffic, less daylight - and "fewer" when referring to something that can be counted, fewer people, fewer apples, fewer cars.

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At the end of tonight's episode of My Cat From Hell, Jackson Galaxy referred to a cat's improved behavior as having done a 360. Darn.

If the cat started out crazy, then became calm, and then went back to racing around destroying stuff, that would be a "360."

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Not a grammar mistake, but it bugs me when sports announcers talking about a two-game winning "streak", or when they say "two in a row".  Two of anything is nothing special, even when they're "in a row". 

 

509 is, however, very special.  [smile]

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"Boots on the ground" always reminds me of when my Mom would nag me to pick up my shoes and put them away. When they talk about  "troops on the ground", I get a mental image of everyone laying there unconscious.

Ahem.  "Lying there unconscious."

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I thought loan was a verb, just that "lend" is the past tense of "to loan"?

 

Nope.  They're separate words.  The past tense of the verb "loan" is "loaned."  The past tense of the verb "lend" is "lent."  While they're interchangeable in meaning as verbs (only "loan" can also function as a noun, however), they are not interchangeable as far as their tense structures go.

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What is the correct pronounciation of Literally?  I've seen it pronounced both ways.

Is it  

LIT- TRA- LY   or    LIT- ER- ALLY? 

 

What does it mean anyway?

 

Uneducated weigh in:   Since the word it's an adverb of is literal, I would have to strenuously object (tm Demi Moore) to (the British pronunciation of) lit-tra-lly.   It does sound quite lovely and watercress sandwichy but I gotta vote no. 

 

 

"Conversate" is appearing more and more.  It is almost a 100th monkey syndrome taking place. 

 

I have no problem with baby bump and some other new terms; made up words drive me nuts. 

 

Grammar bumps.  That's what happens when I hear conversate and/or irregardless.  God help whoever is around if they're partners in the same sentence. 

 

A few months ago, someone asked if I were a notary republic.   You guys know me well enough to guess how that ended right?

me:  well, if this office were a sovereign island and like, 90 other notaries lived here, yeah, I'd be a notary republic.  

he:   so, can you notarize this or....?

me: *facepalm* fuck it, gimme the paper.

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Ahem.  "Lying there unconscious."

I could care less if you respond to a post that was posted a month old, but irregardless of that, for all intensive purposes it's like closing the barn door after the chickens have come home to roost. Literally.

Edited by Sandman87
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