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

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I refuse to communicate with people who type in Bingo (B4) rather than an actual language.  I also cease communication with anyone who types "lol" to me more than once in one week.  English is a beautiful language, let's all use it properly.

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Apparently it is "no longer unacceptable" to go out in public in your pyjama pants. That doesn't make it right.

I wish we could just have public pajamas and private pajamas--pajamas everywhere all the time! But, of course, I would never wear my private pajamas in public, because then they would not be clean enough to wear to bed.

Here: blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/11/grammar-myths-prepositions and elsewhere you can read about the acceptability of putting a preposition at the end of a sentence.

None of my teachers ever corrected my use of prepositions at the ends of sentences--probably because I did it when it was the most elegant way of conveying the thought. Heh.

I don't believe it was until the first version of Microsoft Word that had the "grammar check" feature became ubiquitous on computers, that the English-speaking (and writing, and typing) world seemed to become obsessed with eliminating all prepositions at the ends of all sentences. I have hopped on this band wagon, but I wish there was no wagon.

Edited for grammar.

Edited by shapeshifter

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My newest pet peeve is newscasters using "ex" instead of "former".  This happens often when someone dies.  I heard one announcer on ESPN say "ex-golfer" Billy Casper died instead of "former golfer".  Was he excommunicated from the PGA?   I heard another announcer talk about coach Dean Smith keeping in touch with his "ex-players".  Unless they were kicked off the team, wouldn't they be "former" players?   Many news anchors use the "ex" term when talking about former presidents.  Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are "former" presidents.  Richard Nixon was an "ex" president.  I just think using "ex" instead of "former" lends a negative connotation to something where there doesn't need to be one.

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Apparently it is "no longer unacceptable" to go out in public in your pyjama pants. That doesn't make it right.

Multiple respected style guides would disagree with you.
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Anyone catch CBS Sunday Morning yesterday?  There was a segment on the importance of proper usage of "who" and "whom" and the presenter actually pronounced "primer" correctly!  It warmed my winter-frozen heart...

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Normally I don't watch the ABC national newscast, but tonight I tuned in just long enough to hear this: "In the west, record high temperatures (are) exasperating the region's drought."

They probably meant "exacerbating" on that one. "Exacerbate" means to make worse, while "exasperate" means to make angry.

Edited by bmasters9

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"Respected"?  By whom?

Here, I googled it for you. I hope the Oxford Dictionary, Chicago Manual of Style, New York Times, and Merriam Webster are "respected" enough.

 

Oxford Dictionaries

Grammar myths #1: is it wrong to end a sentence with a preposition?

 

Ending sentences with prepositions

 

Chicago Manual of Style Questions & Answers: Prepositions, which references CMOS 5.176:

5.176 Ending a sentence with a preposition

The traditional caveat of yesteryear against ending sentences with prepositions is, for most writers, an unnecessary and pedantic restriction. As Winston Churchill famously said, “That is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I shall not put.” A sentence that ends in a preposition may sound more natural than a sentence carefully constructed to avoid a final preposition. Compare, for example, this is the case I told you about with this is the case about which I told you. The “rule” prohibiting terminal prepositions was an ill-founded superstition. Today many grammarians use the dismissive term pied-piping for this phenomenon.

 

 

New York Times

Talk to the Newsroom: Director of Copy Desks

Relevant question:

The Ever-Unpopular Split Infinitive

Q. Why does the New York Times Manual of Style now allow writers to completely and utterly split infinitives?

A. Old myths never die. Among the two oldest and mythiest are that it is improper to end a sentence with a preposition and that it’s grammatically incorrect to split an infinitive.

 

As for prepositions at the end of sentences, Fowler said: “‘A sentence ending in a preposition is an inelegant sentence’ represents what used to be a very general belief, and it is not yet dead.” His advice: “If the final preposition that has naturally presented itself sounds comfortable, keep it; if it does not sound comfortable, still keep it if it has compensating vigour, or when among awkward possibilities it is the least awkward. If the ‘preposition’ is in fact the adverbial participle of a phrasal verb, no choice is open to us; it cannot be wrested from its partner. Not even Dryden could have altered which I will not put up with to up with which I will not put.”

 

 

Merriam Webster - Ask the Editor YouTube video

"Ending a Sentence with a Preposition"

 

P.S. It's also OK to willfully split infinitives.

 

P.P.S. Modern typography uses one space after periods and other punctuation.

 

Thanks. I always appreciate the opportunity to do some research and educate.

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Last night on the 11 o'clock news KPIX 5 in SF ran a short item about England's burial ceremony last week for Richard III. Basic 30-second stuff. At the end the male newscaster -- Brian Hackney, I think --  quickly added totally off-script that if anyone was interested, he wanted to recommend a good book about Richard. "Oooh," I thought. I knew what was coming and I wasn't wrong: The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.

 

It's a compelling narrative with a Princess Bride-type framing device which actually makes history interesting. I found it really damn cool that someone besides me liked it, and liked it well enough to volunteer the information unasked.

 

It's not a grammar or any other kind of offense but I had nowhere else to put this "Well done, dude!"

 

ETA: Well, maybe it could go in Books, but I wanted my TV-watching peeps to see this.

Edited by CoderLady
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Smith, I was asking about "respected" style guides who say it is okay to go out of your house in pyjamas.  No one I respect holds that view.

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"In the west, record high temperatures (are) exasperating the region's drought."

 

That's pretty amusing! And enlightening. I wasn't aware a drought could get frustrated and pissed-off. Learn something new every day...

 

During a recent snowstorm, a local newscaster said the police were asking everyone to stay home, so "if you're out on the road tonight, you better have a compelling reason." Compelling! Such a fancy word sounded so out of place on the local news. But I liked it.

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Here, I googled it for you. I hope the Oxford Dictionary, Chicago Manual of Style, New York Times, and Merriam Webster are "respected" enough.

...I always appreciate the opportunity to do some research and educate.

I suspect SmithW6079 is my online doppleganger.

I almost posted all of that, but then realized:

Smith, I was asking about "respected" style guides who say it is okay to go out of your house in pyjamas.  No one I respect holds that view.

True, but if we live long enough...

I try to sleep in things that could be worn outside--like knit pants.

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Smith, I was asking about "respected" style guides who say it is okay to go out of your house in pyjamas. No one I respect holds that view.

My apologies. I thought you were questioning the ending a sentence with a preposition. I agree about the pajames in public.

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Beautiful? English? I disagree. English is a hot ugly mess of a language, and that's why I love it.

 

English is quite the bastard of a language, with healthy dollops of Latin, French, German, you name it.

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Surely you mean "from which part of the process the arsenic is coming" ????

It is no longer unacceptable to end a sentence with a preposition.

 

 

 

Alas, the end is near, isn't it?

Edited by One More Time

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The language lady on public radio said this week that the misuse of "literally" is becoming accepted, because we all understand that they don't really mean "literally".  I think she's giving the speakers way too much credit. 

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I thought those were synonyms - am I wrong (often the case)?

Merriam-Webster defines "inexplicable" as incapable of being explained, interpreted, or accounted for and lists "unexplainable" as a synonym.

Edited by Moose135
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The language lady on public radio said this week that the misuse of "literally" is becoming accepted, because we all understand that they don't really mean "literally".  I think she's giving the speakers way too much credit. 

So I guess we can now say that literally doesn't literally mean literally.

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I don't think this has mentioned recently - why are people having so much trouble with the difference between myself and me?

 

I heard a judge say something like, "(Name) came out and completely amazed (Name) and myself".

 

Ouch!

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I watched PBS Newshour interview our own Governor "Moonbeam" Brown tonight about the newly announced drought restrictions. In roughly every other sentence he used "desalinization." No! No, you pinhead, there in no "iz" in "desalination."

So I guess we can now say that literally doesn't literally mean literally.

Yes, you could literally say that.
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I don't think this has mentioned recently - why are people having so much trouble with the difference between myself and me?

Oh, no, I posted this recently. Or maybe it was on the Pet Peeves thread.  I call it Middle Management Myself, like having an extra syllable makes you more important.

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Oh, no, I posted this recently. Or maybe it was on the Pet Peeves thread.  I call it Middle Management Myself, like having an extra syllable makes you more important.

Allow myself to introduce...myself.

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Allow myself to introduce...myself.

Funny!  I'm smiling through my tears.

They probably meant "exacerbating" on that one. "Exacerbate" means to make worse, while "exasperate" means to make angry.

I once heard of a job talk where an analyst was talking about an issue that exasperated the problem with the data.  I kept imagining data points on a graph with little frown-y faces.  I don't think the candidate got the job.  Grammar matters, 'yo.

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I kept imagining data points on a graph with little frown-y faces.

 

I may have to use that on my next presentation!

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I wish we could just have public pajamas and private pajamas--pajamas everywhere all the time! But, of course, I would never wear my private pajamas in public, because then they would not be clean enough to wear to bed.

Here: blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/11/grammar-myths-prepositions and elsewhere you can read about the acceptability of putting a preposition at the end of a sentence.

None of my teachers ever corrected my use of prepositions at the ends of sentences--probably because I did it when it was the most elegant way of conveying the thought. Heh.

I don't believe it was until the first version of Microsoft Word that had the "grammar check" feature became ubiquitous on computers, that the English-speaking (and writing, and typing) world seemed to become obsessed with eliminating all prepositions at the ends of all sentences. I have hopped on this band wagon, but I wish there was no wagon.

Edited for grammar.

 

Allow me to edit your edit:  "I wish there were no wagon."  Verbs denoting wishes and commands (as well as "if" clauses describing contrary-to-fact conditions) require the subjunctive mood.  Always.

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Allow me to edit your edit:  "I wish there were no wagon."  Verbs denoting wishes and commands (as well as "if" clauses describing contrary-to-fact conditions) require the subjunctive mood.  Always.

So:

I wish it were possible to edit my post, but, alas, it is too late; the edit icon is no longer visible.

Right?

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You ain't not never gonna edit a post after this much time done passed, and ain't even were a was, nohow.

The co-anchor on the local newscast reported today that a nearby town has reduced its water con-sum-pation by 21%.

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You ain't not never gonna edit a post after this much time done passed, and ain't even were a was, nohow.

I love your correct and authentic use of the triple negative, but I'm not familiar with the vernacular in the second half of the sentence. Edited by shapeshifter

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I love your correct and authentic use of the triple negative, but I'm not familiar with the vernacular in the second half of the sentence.

 

Probably Appalachian. In whatever isolated pockets still exist in Appalachia, they may well still say his'n, her'n, and if'n.

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So:

I wish it were possible to edit my post, but, alas, it is too late; the edit icon is no longer visible.

Right?

 

By George, I think you've got it!  :)

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Not exactly grammar, but I thought I'd share some funny spelling mistakes:  try watching this week's The Voice episodes (Season 8, Eps 14-16) with closed captioning. 

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My grammar pet peeve is the use of "how come" instead of "why." Really, national newscasters and NPR reporters, really?

Since its use is probably not going to cease, this bit from the OED might help you accept it:

...

how come? colloq. (orig. U.S.) phr.: how did (or does) it come about (that)? Cf. come v. 21a.

1848 J. R. Bartlett Dict. Americanisms How-come? rapidly pronounced huc-cum, in Virginia. Doubtless an English phrase, brought over by the original settlers, and propagated even among the negro slaves. The meaning is, How did what you tell me happen? How came it?...

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Since its use is probably not going to cease, this bit from the OED might help you accept it:

How come it won't cease?

See, that's just wrong. I refuse to accept it. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to yell at some kids to get off of my lawn.

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From tonight's news: "Experts say that the less water creates saltier conditions." Less than what?

Also, a talking head referred to someone who "was going postal, literally", so I have to think that the guy had himself mailed somewhere.

Yeah, you tell 'em, you mastermind.

I don't get what's wrong with that one.
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From tonight's news: "Experts say that the less water creates saltier conditions." Less than what?...

And conditions of what? Or was that explained?

...Also, a talking head referred to someone who "was going postal, literally", so I have to think that the guy had himself mailed somewhere...

Hee! Or he covered himself with postage stamps. But I prefer your supposition.
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And conditions of what? Or was that explained?

The San Francisco Bay.

Hee! Or he covered himself with postage stamps.

So going postal would be like going commando, but with stamps? I like it.
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I don't get what's wrong with that one.

 

Perhaps it's that the word is spelled D-E-M-O-G-R-A-P-H-I-C-A-L-L-Y.

Edited by legaleagle53
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And then every time there's a trial, I get to hear some variation of "the suspect pleaded guilty yesterday" rather than "pled guilty." I suppose that if someone cut themselves, we'd hear a report that they bleeded all over the place.

 

I'm late to the party here, but since I work in the court system, I thought I would weigh in on this one.  Both Black's Law Dictionay and Westlaw use "pleaded" as the past tense of "plead"; it is a legitimate legal usage of the word.

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I'm late to the party here, but since I work in the court system, I thought I would weigh in on this one.  Both Black's Law Dictionay and Westlaw use "pleaded" as the past tense of "plead"; it is a legitimate legal usage of the word.

 

Indeed.  "Plead" and "bleed" do not belong to the same verb conjugation (and never did), so there is no reason to assume that their past tenses would be formed the same way.  It's the same reason that "think" and "bring" do NOT form their past tenses in the same way that "sink" and "sing" do (although oddly enough, "ring" never belonged to the same conjugation as "sing" does -- yet by force of analogy, it now forms its past tense in the same way as that verb -- otherwise, it would form its past tense regularly:  "I ringed the bell.").

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Perhaps it's that the word is spelled D-E-M-O-G-R-A-P-H-I-C-A-L-L-Y.

 

But I would assume that issue is on the person who captioned the .gif (I've seen some brutal misspellings on captioned .gifs) or at worst the program itself? 

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I happened to see part of an interview with Blake Lively this evening. She said, "It turned out the whole thing was a rouse" in reference to someone (boyfriend?) pretending something was true, and I don't think it woke her up from a sleep state.

This was right after she compared some awkward body movements she had made to those of a "Nigerian runner." I'm guessing she meant Kenyan.

Hopefully the movie she was hawking targets a not too discriminating audience.

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I hate, hate, hate when people refer to "throwing shade" on someone.  It started with the younger crowd, but now I even hear newscasters saying it. 

Edited by Ohwell
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