Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
candall

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

Recommended Posts

And speaking of both books and mispronunciations, in the past week I have heard THREE people on television talk about offering a "pri-mer" (long I) on something.  Yes, it's spelled "primer", but unless you're talking about a coat of paint, it's pronounced "primmer" (short I).

 

And that's my primer on the topic.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

 

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.

 

This use has been around since the 14th century. Acclaimed authors, Shakespeare among them, have used it.

The funny thing is when people try like hell to avoid it and then use gender neutral 'their' right afterwards.

Louisiana State University Registrar:

If a student is not meeting MINIMUM ACADEMIC PROGRESS (off-track) TWO consecutive semesters in the same major, he or she will be required to change their major.

Taken from: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=7487

Share this post


Link to post

I hear "I seen" a little too much both on the news and people in general. It really bugs me. I am in Iowa. I make mistakes as we all do, this just grates.

 

Also, does anyone remember David Letterman's show that was on in the morning?  It was short-lived.  He would have Edmund Newman (hope I got the name right) who was an old school news guy.  He would correct David's mistakes at times.  

 

He was a delight and he would give a news update and then talk a little about word usage or grammar.  

 

I am a little intimidated by posting on this thread.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
He would have Edmund Newman (hope I got the name right) who was an old school news guy.

 

Close...Edwin Newman.  We watched NBC news all the time when I was a kid, so I remember him well.

Share this post


Link to post

I hear "I seen" a little too much both on the news and people in general. It really bugs me. I am in Iowa. I make mistakes as we all do, this just grates....

I expressed this sentiment to my ex on more than one occaison.

 

 

...I am a little intimidated by posting on this thread.

I think we all are, but we can't seem to stop either.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Last night the local news finished off with a story about a snake that was found in a restroom toilet. One of the newscasters commented to another one "That reminds me of the time you found a snake mowing your lawn." Unfortunately, there was no word on why a snake would be mowing a lawn. Must have been a grass snake.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

Last night the local news finished off with a story about a snake that was found in a restroom toilet. One of the newscasters commented to another one "That reminds me of the time you found a snake mowing your lawn." Unfortunately, there was no word on why a snake would be mowing a lawn. Must have been a grass snake.

 

Maybe they couldn't figure out how to work "snaking the toilet" into things before the commercial break.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

And speaking of both books and mispronunciations, in the past week I have heard THREE people on television talk about offering a "pri-mer" (long I) on something.  Yes, it's spelled "primer", but unless you're talking about a coat of paint, it's pronounced "primmer" (short I).

 

And that's my primer on the topic.

I have never in my life heard primer pronounced as "primmer."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

I have never in my life heard primer pronounced as "primmer."

 

I've heard it, but I think it was from a Brit, or maybe an old movie where people spoke Posh.  :-) 

Share this post


Link to post

It's one of those weird English spelling things that actually trips up English speakers.  Primer as in textbook is historically "primmer", but the "primer" pronunciation has become sufficiently commonplace to be accepted.  I tend to think of fusty spinster grammar teachers as insisting on the "correct" pronunciation, but that may be a lingering sour memory of the last grammar teacher I had, who was fusty, spinster-y, and made me dislike grammar, dammit.

Edited by kassygreene
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I have a question for anyone here who is British.  I have a friend visiting me and she pronounces Nicaragua  "nick-er-ag-you-ah."  Is this a common British pronunciation?  She has the particular way of speaking I have heard before, "I am going to have me tea now."  That means dinner but I am referring to the misuse of the pronoun which she does often and I have heard that in British movies.  I hurt me foot, I dropped me coffee etc.  So maybe those with that dialect say Nic-er-ag-you-ah.  I hope someone here knows.  

 

You really cannot generalize the use of words by sections of this country.  I am from the Northeast and pronounce Oregon, Florida, Silicon, Illinois  and most things correctly.  I think it is about education and exposure more than where you are from.  

 

ETA.  Yes they do!  I googled this last week but apparently did not search correctly. 

 

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/pronunciation/british/nicaragua

Edited by wings707

Share this post


Link to post

...You really cannot generalize the use of words by sections of this country.  I am from the Northeast and pronounce Oregon, Florida, Silicon, Illinois  and most things correctly.  I think it is about education and exposure more than where you are from...

And even that doesn't always matter. Peter Sagal, host of NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" comedy news quiz, who also traveled across the country on his motorcycle staring in a historical series, "Constitution USA," for PBS, just pronounced Oregon "Are-uh-gǝn" instead of "Or-uh-gǝn." FWIW, he was born in New Jersey and now lives in Chicago.

Share this post


Link to post

Tonight the BBC news had the following comment about falling oil prices: "The implications are being felt across the glomenobe." How exactly does one feel an implication?

Across the country (flat), around the world (round).

Share this post


Link to post

Tonight the BBC news had the following comment about falling oil prices: "The implications are being felt across the globe." How exactly does one feel an implication?

One of the definitions of "feel" is "to become conscious of" so I don't see anything wrong with the BBC news statement.

I think you feel the impact, or maybe feel the ramifications. I think the BBC mashed up those two words to come up with "implications being felt"

Edited by backformore

Share this post


Link to post

I have a question for anyone here who is British.  I have a friend visiting me and she pronounces Nicaragua  "nick-er-ag-you-ah."  Is this a common British pronunciation?  She has the particular way of speaking I have heard before, "I am going to have me tea now."  That means dinner but I am referring to the misuse of the pronoun which she does often and I have heard that in British movies.  I hurt me foot, I dropped me coffee etc.  So maybe those with that dialect say Nic-er-ag-you-ah.  I hope someone here knows.  

 

You really cannot generalize the use of words by sections of this country.  I am from the Northeast and pronounce Oregon, Florida, Silicon, Illinois  and most things correctly.  I think it is about education and exposure more than where you are from.  

 

ETA.  Yes they do!  I googled this last week but apparently did not search correctly. 

 

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/pronunciation/british/nicaragua

 

Yes to confirm as a resident Brit, I believe we all pronounce it as such, regardless of which part of the country, however, accent may alter it to some degree.

 

I have always used 'Primer' with a long I, I've never heard anyone (even blue blooded types) pronounce it 'Primmer'.

Share this post


Link to post

...I have always used 'Primer" never heard anybody (even blue blooded types) say 'Primmer'.

I don't have a blue blood pedigree, but I do say "primmer" with a short a. However, I do believe primer with a long a is correct too.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't have a blue blood pedigree, but I do say "primmer" with a short a. However, I do believe primer with a long a is correct too.

 

Are you in the UK? If so which region? Because that will be a first for me and I'm intrigued.

Share this post


Link to post

Are you in the UK? If so which region? Because that will be a first for me and I'm intrigued.

Sorry to disappoint, but I've been in the Chicago area since 2001. I did live in the Vancouver Island area in the early '70s, but otherwise mostly Northern California, with the New England area as a small child. It might be my mother's pronunciation--she desperately wanted to be thought of as a "blue blood."

ETA: My sister lives in Ontario, and she might say "primmer" too.

Edited by shapeshifter

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry to disappoint, but I've been in the Chicago area since 2001. I did live in the Vancouver Island area in the early '70s, but otherwise mostly Northern California, with the New England area as a small child. It might be my mother's pronunciation--she desperately wanted to be thought of as a "blue blood."

ETA: My sister lives in Ontario, and she might say "primmer" too.

 

Ah ok, I thought you meant you lived here in the UK. No worries!

Share this post


Link to post

In my own defense, I checked Dictionary.com before I posted about "primer":

 

primer1
[prim-er or, esp. British, prahy-mer]

 

I am neither fusty nor British.  I'm just right, damnit!  So I guess this would be a bad time to bemoan how it is becoming increasingly common to spell canceled with two ls...

Edited by Qoass
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The anchor on the local news tonight did a segment on earthquakes. She made repeated reference to all earthquakes being caused by Tetonic plates. So I guess all earthquakes, everywhere, have something to do with an area in Wyoming.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I want to congratulate Grasie Mercedes who said "forward slash" instead of "back slash" when giving the URL to the site she was shilling on Access Hollywood while I was fixing dinner. Here it is online (about 1.39 minute mark): http://www.accesshollywood.com/myhabit-style-finds_video_2570637

The anchor on the local news tonight did a segment on earthquakes. She made repeated reference to all earthquakes being caused by Tetonic plates. So I guess all earthquakes, everywhere, have something to do with an area in Wyoming.

I wonder if they had to delete a take in which she said, "Titanic plates," after which "Tetonic plates" sounded relatively good.

Share this post


Link to post

Or maybe Teutonic. But no, it's a live broadcast. That's a good thing because otherwise I wouldn't have nearly as many things to post here.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

In the news during a story about a false alarm at a local chemical plant of some sort: "The alarm went off, and the workers immediately evacuated", which makes me think that they're all going to need a change of underwear. Unless the newscaster meant that they evacuated from the site.

No so much a grammar problem as a probable teleprompter screw-up: The local news also informed me today that the Beagle 2 probe, which disappeared during a landing on "Christmas Day, 200", had been found. It's unclear to me whether this news item counts as space exploration or archaeology. Presumably the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus financed the whole thing.

Edited by Sandman87
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Tonight I overheard the phrase "...has the highest per capita population in Europe" during the PBS Newshour. I wish I had been paying attention, because I'd like to know what country has more than one person per person.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
In the news during a story about a false alarm at a local chemical plant of some sort: "The alarm went off, and the workers immediately evacuated", which makes me think that they're all going to need a change of underwear. Unless the newscaster meant that they evacuated from the site.

 

 

That doesn't bother me so much, it seems logical that they would evacuate from the site, this goes under, "they don't need to draw me a picture."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

That doesn't bother me so much, it seems logical that they would evacuate from the site, this goes under, "they don't need to draw me a picture."

Yes, but keep 'em coming, Sandman87. I need the laughs, and your interpretations of what was meant are helping my headache.

Share this post


Link to post

That doesn't bother me so much, it seems logical that they would evacuate from the site, this goes under, "they don't need to draw me a picture."

It's also not as bad as when they talk about (for example) "raising money for breast cancer" or calling someone a "domestic violence advocate."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

It's also not as bad as when they talk about (for example) "raising money for breast cancer" or calling someone a "domestic violence advocate."

By the same token, hearing about a "criminal defense attorney" makes me wonder if they ran out of law abiding defense attorneys.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

In the news during a story about a false alarm at a local chemical plant of some sort: "The alarm went off, and the workers immediately evacuated", which makes me think that they're all going to need a change of underwear. Unless the newscaster meant that they evacuated from the site.

No so much a grammar problem as a probable teleprompter screw-up: The local news also informed me today that the Beagle 2 probe, which disappeared during a landing on "Christmas Day, 200", had been found. It's unclear to me whether this news item counts as space exploration or archaeology. Presumably the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus financed the whole thing.

 

 

Tonight I overheard the phrase "...has the highest per capita population in Europe" during the PBS Newshour. I wish I had been paying attention, because I'd like to know what country has more than one person per person.

 

 

It's also not as bad as when they talk about (for example) "raising money for breast cancer" or calling someone a "domestic violence advocate."

 

 

By the same token, hearing about a "criminal defense attorney" makes me wonder if they ran out of law abiding defense attorneys.

LMBO, those are priceless!

Share this post


Link to post

By the same token, hearing about a "criminal defense attorney" makes me wonder if they ran out of law abiding defense attorneys.

Awww, Sandman, you're slipping! That's already been used on Breaking Bad. But please do report more as you hear them! Edited by shapeshifter
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

It's also not as bad as when they talk about (for example) "raising money for breast cancer" or calling someone a "domestic violence advocate."

 

Maybe they assume that people are intelligent to know what they are talking about, but yes, taken at face value they sound off.

Share this post


Link to post

 

By the same token, hearing about a "criminal defense attorney" makes me wonder if they ran out of law abiding defense attorneys

 

There are other types of defence attorneys besides criminal defence, for example, insurance defence litigators.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This morning on GMA the anchor reported on a "near miss" at JFK airport. This drives me up a wall. How can they not know that a near miss is called a collision? These two planes nearly collided, but they did miss each other. That's called a near collision.

Whew. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This morning on GMA the anchor reported on a "near miss" at JFK airport. This drives me up a wall. How can they not know that a near miss is called a collision? These two planes nearly collided, but they did miss each other. That's called a near collision.

Whew. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

 

George Carlin once remarked on the same thing, SpiritSong. He said, "They shouldn't call it a 'near miss'. They oughta call it a near hit!"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This morning on GMA the anchor reported on a "near miss" at JFK airport. This drives me up a wall. How can they not know that a near miss is called a collision? These two planes nearly collided, but they did miss each other. That's called a near collision.

Whew. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

They both actually make sense: definitions of "near" include both "almost happening" and "nearly not happening", which is why I would just stay away from the phrase entirely. Based on a few different dictionaries, it seems to me that the "narrowly avoided collision" definition of "near miss" is acceptable if not preferred.

Share this post


Link to post

Another gem from the local news: "We can expect areas of morning this weekend." Bad enough that they said it, but it was also up on the screen as part of the weather graphic.

Awww, Sandman, you're slipping! That's already been used on Breaking Bad. But please do report more as you hear them!

Never watched it. Isn't that the movie where Keanu Reeves goes undercover as a surfer?
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I hear "I seen" a little too much both on the news and people in general. It really bugs me. I am in Iowa. I make mistakes as we all do, this just grates.

 

Also, does anyone remember David Letterman's show that was on in the morning?  It was short-lived. 

 

I agree about the increasing prevalence of "I seen."  So is it going to become "accepted" just because it's common?  Please no.

 

Also, in "short-lived," I'm a long I all the way.  It's a lonely existence.  I just avoid saying the word "forte" altogether.

 

 

I've heard ["primmer" for primer], but I think it was from a Brit, or maybe an old movie where people spoke Posh.  :-) 

 

It was pronounced "primmer" by my fourth grade teacher in Texas, where nobody spoke Posh.

 

 

I have a question for anyone here who is British.  I have a friend visiting me and she pronounces Nicaragua  "nick-er-ag-you-ah."  Is this a common British pronunciation? 

 

Upthread, we discussed the pronunciation of "jaguar" and I pointed out that on the British show Top Gear, the presenters all pronounce it jag-yoo-arr, and your pronunciation of Nicaragua fits that.  One good thing about it is that it makes it harder to engage in the clumsy R-rolling that English speakers sometimes try.  I still remember Beavis and Butt-head's hippie teacher rolling the Rs on bunch of Latin American countries--El Salvadorrrrrrrr--and that's been over 20 years.

 

My pet peeve mispronunciation on the TV news is "dais."  Why does everyone pronounce it DIE-iss? 

 

And unfortunately I didn't see it, but a newsreader in India pronounced Chinese president XI JINPING's surname as "Eleven"!  Oops.

 

Oh, which also reminds me of the soft J that people insist on putting in Beijing.  It's a hard J, and the rate of accuracy is about the same as it is for "dais." 

 

Same syndrome drove me crazy when JonBenet Ramsey was in the news (murdered beauty pageant kid in Colorado)--everybody used a soft J, like it was French or something.  Well, everybody except her own parents, that is.  What do they know?

Edited by StatisticalOutlier
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

My pet peeve mispronunciation on the TV news is "dais."  Why does everyone pronounce it DIE-iss?

 

This is the first time I ever heard anyone objecting to that pronunciation.  And then I went to dictionary.com and they say it's day-is.  So consider me surprised, and informed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Me too, Rick Kitchen.

 

Another gem from the local news: "We can expect areas of morning this weekend." Bad enough that they said it, but it was also up on the screen as part of the weather graphic.

 

So funny.  Sandman87, you have a gift for catching these!  Please keep on posting.

 

Oh, which also reminds me of the soft J that people insist on putting in Beijing.  It's a hard J,

 

This also was news to me.  Are you sure there isn't wiggle room by (Chinese or other) dialect or something?

Share this post


Link to post

Can I get a ruling on Daimler?

I always thought it was pronounced Dame-ler because that's the way I first heard it. Maybe in some British period-piece on the teevee? But a few years ago I noticed that all the Americans I hear say "Dime-ler".

Share this post


Link to post
And unfortunately I didn't see it, but a newsreader in India pronounced Chinese president Xi Jinping's surname as "Eleven"!  Oops.

 

That is hilarious.  And Li is Fifty One?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Americans tend to default to i when they see ai.  But "dame-ler" is the German pronunciation, I believe, and also the British...  

 

Just last night a radio news spot about the current measles thing meant to reference 61 cases in however many states - or so I assume. Instead she said cases in 61 states.  And she didn't correct herself.

Edited by kassygreene
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This also was news to me.  Are you sure there isn't wiggle room by (Chinese or other) dialect or something?

 

No wiggle room.

 

I posted based on personal knowledge, and have since done some internetting and was reminded that pinyin, which is the way spoken Chinese is represented in "regular" letters, is based on the sound that's made when words are pronounced.  So J is J.

 

Also, Chinese is a tonal language, in which the same "sound" can mean something different depending on the inflection.  And those tones are pretty hard for non-native speakers to perfect.  One website entry pointed out that if your tone is likely to be off, then it's especially important to be accurate on the consonant and vowel sounds. 

 

Of course, for a word like "Beijing" there's not likely to be a misunderstanding, but at the same time, there's no reason to mispronounce it.  It rhymes with "paging," which we seem to handle okay without going into zhing.

 

 

This is the first time I ever heard anyone objecting to that pronunciation.  And then I went to dictionary.com and they say it's day-is.  So consider me surprised, and informed.

 

But look at the word.  Dais.  There's no way it could be DIE-iss.  Even if the AI is pronounced as a long I, you'd get DICE--there aren't any letters available for a second syllable.

 

I'm incredibly relieved to hear, however, that the dictionary hasn't thrown in the towel on this one.  Which means they don't just roll over based on how common something is because this one is almost always (as in pushing 100%) pronounced inaccurately.  Which makes me even more irritated about some they DO roll over on, citing common usage.

Edited by StatisticalOutlier

Share this post


Link to post

Not clever and not words, but while getting ready for work in the morning I have NPR on, in part to keep track of the time. At least once a week I hear the announcer give the correct minute but the hour is off by one. I guess they are running a recording from the previous hour, since it seems to come at the end of an announcement for some local event?

Share this post


Link to post

Americans tend to default to i when they see ai.  But "dame-ler" is the German pronunciation, I believe, and also the British...  

 

Just last night a radio news spot about the current measles thing meant to reference 61 cases in however many states - or so I assume. Instead she said cases in 61 states.  And she didn't correct herself.

 

No, the German pronunciation of ai is eye.  Daimler is DIMEler.

Share this post


Link to post

Then are we saying Dameler?  I remember when D-ler bought Chrysler that the name became Daimler-Chrysler, and some of the news stories seemed to make an effort to pronounce it in the Euro style.  Now I don't know which it was.  Need caffeine.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×