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

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Just now on Live With Kelly and Michael, someone named Katie Brown was demonstrating how to make easy Thanksgiving table decorations. Instead of a "strip of muslin" she said to "take a strip of Muslim."

Oy.

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Just now on Live With Kelly and Michael, someone named Katie Brown was demonstrating how to make easy Thanksgiving table decorations. Instead of a "strip of muslin" she said to "take a strip of Muslim."

Oy.

 

Didn't see it, but I'm not surprised.  In our house Katie Brown is simply referred to as "The Hot Mess."

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Somebody please notify me if there's ever a Katie Brown thread.  Her ability to take perfectly nice basics and transform them into trash absolutely fascinates me!

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Tonight on an [as] Family Guy rerun: "Our first stop is a Jewish synagogue" Thank goodness he was specific about it, because it might be embarrassing to accidentally end up at a Shinto, Hindu, or Scientology synagogue.

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Not sure if this qualifies as grammar, but the crawl that my local FOX station put across the screen during Sleepy Hollow last night said an announcement would soon be made about the possible indictment in Ferguson, MI. (MI is the abbreviation for Michigan . . .) Next crawl they did had Missouri spelled out, either because they couldn't figure out what the correct abbreviation was, or thought that audience members wouldn't be able to figure out the MO.

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There's a venue in town that's advertising various events including their December 31st party, and they've provided my first sighting of "bring in the new year". Whenever I hear that I always picture a couple of guys with a hand truck wheeling the new year out onto a stage.

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Not sure if this qualifies as grammar, but the crawl that my local FOX station put across the screen during Sleepy Hollow last night said an announcement would soon be made about the possible indictment in Ferguson, MI. (MI is the abbreviation for Michigan . . .) Next crawl they did had Missouri spelled out, either because they couldn't figure out what the correct abbreviation was, or thought that audience members wouldn't be able to figure out the MO.

 

I see what you did there!

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On this week's Once Upon A Time, Emily DeRaven's character said: A hero has to be willing to sacrifice for the ones they love.

"They????"

"A hero?"

Was the original line "Heroes have to be...?"

Did she read it wrong, or was it written like that?

The character is married to a man who would be guilty of domestic violence, among other things, so maybe she was just too cowed to say: A hero has to be willing to sacrifice for the ones she loves.

ETA: I did read within the last year that somewhere grammarians are considering approving the used of "they" for the singular to make it easier to be gender neutral.

There was an episode of How I Met Your Mother in which Lily writes a letter to Marshall to be read upon her death. Hijinks ensue and he ends up reading it, and all I could think about afterwards was how Lily was writing something to the effect of go find someone else after I'm gone, I hope that person makes you happy, blah blah. But she used "they" like "I hope they can make you happy". And that one sentence was repeated a couple times in the episode. It was really distracting. They. We know Marshall's hetero, why couldn't she write "she"? Or is this in case he's bi? Or if he finds multiple partners?

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Sounds like Marshall needs a harem to be happy. Maybe they should rename it to How I Met Your Mothers.

 

In a similar vein, from a report about an experimental Ebola vaccine on tonight's BBC news on PBS: "The modified (cold) viruses are then injected into the bloodstream. This will sensitize the body's immune system so that they will be able to resist the Ebola virus." They? Who or what is this "they" you speak of? Are we protecting the modified cold viruses from getting sick?

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A good way to side step the improper use of "they" is to not use pronouns at all--or at least sparingly. Some linguistic researcher should determine how often misunderstandings occur because of the use of pronouns. Probably half the editing I do here and when communicating at work is changing pronouns to names to prevent confusion. Maybe we could have peace in the Middle East if pronouns were banned during negotiations.

In this example:

This will sensitize the body's immune system so that they will be able to resist the Ebola virus.

--is "they" the patient or the immune system or did the science writer just not have a good grasp on the science in the original primary research article and so was obfuscating to be sure to at least not say something incorrect? Edited by shapeshifter

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On tonight's news a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless was described as "blessful." So...maybe that's the adjective for someone who's filled up on blessed food? Or blessedly blissful? People were blessing each other a lot, possibly as a result of sneezing?

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I'm watching the Today show this morning and the scroll at the bottom read that Burt Reynolds is auctioning off "momentos."  The news anchor pronounced it the same way. What is wrong with these people who read the news and who should know better?

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I'm watching the Today show this morning and the scroll at the bottom read that Burt Reynolds is auctioning off "momentos." 

 

I first read that as he was auctioning off "Mentos" which would have made a lot more sense than "momentos."

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I'm slightly annoyed at the NFL Shop commercial, where the woman says she can buy NFL gear for the "whole entire" family.  But I like how "Bengal babies" rolls off the tongue, so the ad gets a pass. 

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Maybe because seemingly half this country's sports journalists pronounce Bengals as "bangles."  These are often the same people who speak of Jacksonville's NFL team as the "Jagwires" (instead of the Jaguars).

Edited by Bastet
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"I'm blessed" drives me nuts. I almost snapped when some family members who came through hurricane Katrina relatively unscathed said it was because they were "blessed". I asked if all those who were less fortunate were "unblessed" and was just given a blank stare, as in "well of course".

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ETA: I did read within the last year that somewhere grammarians are considering approving the used of "they" for the singular to make it easier to be gender neutral.

 

For those not keeping score, some of the push is coming from the transgender community.  As much as I dislike "he" being the default pronoun, I flinch every time I see/hear "they" used instead, and am not looking forward to this development.

 

 

 

Maybe because seemingly half this country's sports journalists pronounce Bengals as "bangles." 

 

In Texas, it would be "bingles."  Rhymes with "jingles."

 

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More linguistic slapstick from our local news team:

"Tomorrow night we will have an even more quantity of rain."

"Ticket sales can be purchased at the box office, or at the online web site." Oh good. I was afraid I'd have to buy my "ticket sales" at the offline web site.

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For those not keeping score, some of the push is coming from the transgender community.  As much as I dislike "he" being the default pronoun, I flinch every time I see/hear "they" used instead, and am not looking forward to this development

 

To be fair, I think 'they' has its place. I use it, primarily with my online friends, because there's a couple of cases where I don't know if the person I'm talking to is male or female. And not everyone wants to identify themselves as female in an online situation, where you literally (see what I did there?) don't know who you might be talking to. I mean, okay, blah-blah-PC-cakes, but sometimes erring on the side of caution is fine.

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To be fair, I think 'they' has its place. I use it, primarily with my online friends, because there's a couple of cases where I don't know if the person I'm talking to is male or female.

 

I just rearrange the sentence to not use the pronoun in those cases. (And the fact that split infinitives don't bother me shows that I'm not simply the biggest pedant in the world.)

 

In fact, this was one of the first things I noticed about Facebook--it uses "they" everywhere, like "Bob updated their profile."  It drove me insane, and now that we know that FB knows everything there is to know about its users, it bugs me even more.  In fact, that's probably why it's becoming more accepted--people see it on FB constantly and are getting used to it.  Doesn't make it right, in my book.

 

One thing I have noticed when watching Top Gear U.K. (I'm in the U.S.) is that all three presenters use the plural when referring to companies.  "Jaguar have made a beautiful car this time around."  Over here, it's singular; in fact, Ford's slogan used to be "Ford has a better idea." 

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Haleth, on 01 Dec 2014 - 08:00 AM, said:

"Jagwires" makes me stabby.

There's a radio ad for a local Jaguar dealership and the female announcer says "Jagwire," which makes me stabby as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was watching an old episode of Mad Men, and they pronounced it "jagwire". The British character on the show pronounced it correctly, however.

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My favorite use of "literally" came from a QVC host a few years back.  She stated that some item was "literally flying off the shelves." So did the item grow wings, or did it board an airplane directly from the shelves?

A couple of my pet peeves..."anyways" (no "S" ugh!!!) and "I could care less" (because if you could care less, you somewhat care!).

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I was watching an old episode of Mad Men, and they pronounced it "jagwire". The British character on the show pronounced it correctly, however.

 

So he pronounced it "Jagyoowa"?

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Maybe because seemingly half this country's sports journalists pronounce Bengals as "bangles."  These are often the same people who speak of Jacksonville's NFL team as the "Jagwires" (instead of the Jaguars).

I live in Wisconsin....see that letter "i" there, right after the W? Yet sportscasters all over the country say "Wesconsin." I also hear "Ellenois" a lot. What really torques me is sportscasters doing this on the Big Ten Network.  Hey, how about teaching your on-air staff to pronounce the Big Ten team names correctly?

So he pronounced it "Jagyoowa"?

He actually did.  Though I think he might have thrown a very slight r on the end.

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I'm not sure if this fits here or not.  When tv stations stop fans on the streets to ask questions about their sports teams, and the response is "we" need to do this or "we" played great.  Last time I checked, YOU were not part of the team, YOU do not need to do anything.  That drives me absolutely crazy. 

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I'm not sure if this fits here or not.  When tv stations stop fans on the streets to ask questions about their sports teams, and the response is "we" need to do this or "we" played great.  Last time I checked, YOU were not part of the team, YOU do not need to do anything.  That drives me absolutely crazy. 

This dovetails perfectly with something I noticed tonight in the ad for the Purrfect Arch cat brush for people who are too lazy to brush their cats. At one point the announcer says "If you don't groom your cat, her coat starts to mat. Then when she licks her coat you end up with nasty hairballs." So if you wonder why you've been puking up cat hair, now you know. It's some sort of weird feline Corsican Brothers action.

Edited by Sandman87
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I'm not sure if this fits here or not.  When tv stations stop fans on the streets to ask questions about their sports teams, and the response is "we" need to do this or "we" played great.  Last time I checked, YOU were not part of the team, YOU do not need to do anything.  That drives me absolutely crazy. 

 

Which reminds me of how much I hate it when men refer to their wife's pregnancy as "we're" pregnant. Unless there's been a breakthrough in anatomy I don't think that's physically possible.

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Which reminds me of how much I hate it when men refer to their wife's pregnancy as "we're" pregnant. Unless there's been a breakthrough in anatomy I don't think that's physically possible.

I hate that, too, and I guess the men think it's cute to say that.  It's not. It would make more sense if they said "We're expecting" because that's true--they're both expecting a child.

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This isn't exactly tv related but I detest it when people mean "voilà" and say "wala".

Another pet peeve is spelling on Pinterest.

"Dinning" for "dining"and similar. Some even don't spell the name of the site correctly - "Pintrest".

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This isn't exactly tv related but I detest it when people mean "voilà" and say "wala".

I've even seen it spelled "wala." Oy.

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"I'm blessed" drives me nuts. I almost snapped when some family members who came through hurricane Katrina relatively unscathed said it was because they were "blessed". I asked if all those who were less fortunate were "unblessed" and was just given a blank stare, as in "well of course".

 

 

I hate this too.  It has become a verbal tic.  EVERYONE is "blessed" if something goes right for them.  

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I'm not sure if this fits here or not. When tv stations stop fans on the streets to ask questions about their sports teams, and the response is "we" need to do this or "we" played great. Last time I checked, YOU were not part of the team, YOU do not need to do anything. That drives me absolutely crazy.

I hate this too. It seems to be a sports fan thing. My husband does it, and people will comment on how "you" did when speaking to him about "his" team. One of the trillion reasons I could never be a sports fan.

Edited by Aquarius
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I am a huge fan of baseball and of the Milwaukee Brewers. Yet, while watching the World Series, I started to tell my husband what we, the Kansas City Royals, needed to do to win the game!  I'm an idiot.

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I am a huge fan of baseball and of the Milwaukee Brewers. Yet, while watching the World Series, I started to tell my husband what we, the Kansas City Royals, needed to do to win the game!  I'm an idiot.

 

I'm a baseball fanatic as well and was rooting for the Royals and while I'm not sure I went the "we" route during the Series I can certainly give you a pass on that one!

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I take your point but somehow "They're number one!  They're number one!" just doesn't have the same ring to it...

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Back in the days before remote control, when there was that damned dial, I was always summoned into my mom's room to change the channel. I hated that, but I felt like I was really in charge of the television. (I was in pre-school, and I didn't know any better.) One of our local stations seemed to always have problems transmitting a signal, so an announcer would often interrupt a show with this message: "We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by."

So I would dutifully get up and go *stand by* that bad boy until programming resumed, because that's what I thought he meant. LITERALLY!

 Your use of the phrase "bad boy" (innocently referring to an actual boy) reminds me of how irritating it is when HGTV participants refer to a counter or other object as "that bad boy".

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My favorite use of "literally" came from a QVC host a few years back.  She stated that some item was "literally flying off the shelves."

So wrong and yet so worth the chuckle! And I apologize if I have offended anyone with my use of "so."

...At one point the announcer says "If you don't groom your cat, her coat starts to mat. Then when she licks her coat you end up with nasty hairballs." So if you wonder why you've been puking up cat hair, now you know...

And now I am literally laughing out loud!

...I also hear "Ellenois" a lot....

Is that with a "z" sound on the end? The "s" is silent. I can forgive odd vowel pronunciations because dialects vary, but pronouncing the "s" in Illinois is just wrong.
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So wrong and yet so worth the chuckle! And I apologize if I have offended anyone with my use of "so."And now I am literally laughing out loud!

Is that with a "z" sound on the end? The "s" is silent. I can forgive odd vowel pronunciations because dialects vary, but pronouncing the "s" in Illinois is just wrong.

No, no "s" or "z" sound at the end, just "ell" instead of "ill".  I understand your point about dialects, but is there really a place where sick people say "I feel ell"? I just think if you're an announcer on a network that airs a lot of games played by Illinois and Wisconsin college athletes, you should know how to pronounce the state's name correctly.

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I'm not sure if this fits here or not.  When tv stations stop fans on the streets to ask questions about their sports teams, and the response is "we" need to do this or "we" played great.  Last time I checked, YOU were not part of the team, YOU do not need to do anything.  That drives me absolutely crazy. 

Well, since my team can only win when I wear my jersey and sit in the same place and perform all the same gameday rituals, I feel as if I actually am part of the team.  They are depending on me.

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ETA:  I just read a CNN article and the writer wrote:  vajayjay.  I hate that with a passion.  Where did it start and why?  It's ridiculous.

I'm sure the term has been around for years, but Shonda Rhimes made it famous on "Grey's Anatomy." In the context of the episode, it was hilarious. This is back when Grey's was still good.

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No, no "s" or "z" sound at the end, just "ell" instead of "ill".  I understand your point about dialects, but is there really a place where sick people say "I feel ell"? I just think if you're an announcer on a network that airs a lot of games played by Illinois and Wisconsin college athletes, you should know how to pronounce the state's name correctly.

Yes, but clearly that doesn't seem to matter as much as teeth whitening.

I lived on the border of California and Oregon for 20 years and tried to get my East Coast mother to not pronounce Oregon like Or-a-gone. She finally switched out the "gone" for "gǝn" but in the process she also switched "Or" out for "Are" like the "are" in "you are here." Sigh. She's 86, and I don't live there anymore, and fortunately my daughter is no longer planning to move to Portland, so it doesn't come up in conversation very often. But it still makes me cringe.

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Don't hit me but I say "Are" for Oregon.  It's definitely a northeastern thing with a letter O and R combination such as where I live now, Florida, as I pronounce it Flahrida while those not from the northeast say it like Floor-ida.

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