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

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Whenever I hear the word "impactful", it makes me grind my teeth.  I heard it on The Voice this week, to describe a performance.  I know, I know.  I am hopelessly outnumbered and old fashioned.  WIth very ground up teeth.

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100% means all of it, everything, as much as possible.  There is no 110%, 150%, or 150,000% .  The range is from 0 to 100.  

On TV, nobody is satisfied with 100% any more. 

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I'd be happy to never again hear the phrase "traveling at a high rate of speed" come out of my TV. Speed is already a rate of distance per time. "Rate of speed" is redundant (like saying "length of distance"), and also implies "rate of speed per something."

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This isn't really grammar so much as it is pronunciation, but I was watching an old episode of L & O the other night, and everyone kept calling one of the suspects 'Re-gyn-a' instead of 'Regina'. Made me crazy.

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This isn't really grammar so much as it is pronunciation, but I was watching an old episode of L & O the other night, and everyone kept calling one of the suspects 'Re-gyn-a' instead of 'Regina'. Made me crazy.

"Re-gyn-a" is the city in Canada, and is also the correct pronunciation of the Latin word for "Queen".

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Nice mugs!

 

I'm guilty of saying I could care less about something even though I know that "couldn't care less" is the grammatically correct version. My way is easier to say.

 

And this seems to be a Christian/religious thing: a TV or radio personality will mention that something is occurring "on tomorrow." WTF?????

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I would like to eliminate the phrase "on accident" from the English language. It's "by accident" and "on purpose." I heard it first on Angel and then again on something recently. Is it yet another stupid California-ism foisted on the rest of us because of TV?

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I would like to eliminate the phrase "on accident" from the English language. It's "by accident" and "on purpose."

 

Are you a fellow Northerner, ABay?  When I first came south, "on accident" struck me as exceedingly odd.  Also, "put it up", as opposed to "put it away", and "love up on", as opposed to ... well, that conversation was with a child, so it was probably something like "petting the dog". 

 

I need the mug that teaches the difference between effect and affect.  It's pretty clear Strunk and White is no longer required reading in high school.

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While we're at it, can we do away with "waiting on line"?  One waits IN line, not ON.

 

I'm also puzzled by the expression "he called out of work."  You are not at work, so you are calling IN to work, to advise that you will not be coming IN to work. 

Edited by Quof
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Only in New York. The rest of the world waits in line.

 

I'm lobbying for widespread usage of "queuing".  It's so civilized.

Edited by Quof
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100% means all of it, everything, as much as possible.  There is no 110%, 150%, or 150,000% .  The range is from 0 to 100.  

On TV, nobody is satisfied with 100% any more. 

 

I have posted this, many times, yelled at the stars (beautiful though)  and beaten the homeless senseless (not really).  I H A T E  this.  It is one of my BIGGEST peeves.. Give me a pool noodle and I will go to town.  And I am serious.  Do not fuck with me on this.  

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Only in New York. The rest of the world waits in line.

 

I'm lobbying for widespread usage of "queuing".  It's so civilized.

 

Someone I knew once said that she took a school trip to England, where they went on tours of museums and such. One of their tour guides was British, and when the students were milling around aimlessly, she told them to 'queue up', only none of them knew what she meant. Finally she told them to form a queue, only to have some of the kids literally trying to form a Q with their arms.

 

True story.

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Only in New York. The rest of the world waits in line.

 

I'm lobbying for widespread usage of "queuing".  It's so civilized.

 

 

HA Ha ha ha ha ha!  Yes.  IN line for me!

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100% means all of it, everything, as much as possible.  There is no 110%, 150%, or 150,000% .  The range is from 0 to 100.  

On TV, nobody is satisfied with 100% any more.

While we're at it, can we do away with "waiting on line"?  One waits IN line, not ON.

 

I wait on line 120% of the time.

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I always thought that the origin story for the newer usage of on line came from the French "en line", which oddly enough translates to the English "in line".  I also thought the usage originated in NYC, among the pretentious people.  I believe my first exposure was a Briscoe/Logan era episode of Law & Order.

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 I need the mug that teaches the difference between effect and affect.  It's pretty clear Strunk and White is no longer required reading in high school.

I need it too. For whatever reason, I cannot keep them straight so normally use synonyms.

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"Re-gyn-a" is the city in Canada, and is also the correct pronunciation of the Latin word for "Queen".

 

Nope.  The Latin (and Italian) word for "Queen" is pronounced "Re-GEE-na".  Actually, in Latin, the "g" is hard, so it is pronounced like the "g" in "girl."  Queen Victoria was just too lazy to use the correct pronunciation.

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Actually, in Latin, the "g" is hard, so it is pronounced like the "g" in "girl." 

Really? In Italian, it's a soft g, pronounced like the letter "J" when followed by an E or I.

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Really? In Italian, it's a soft g, pronounced like the letter "J" when followed by an E or I.

 

I know that, but the soft "g" sound didn't exist in Latin, so that letter was always hard in Latin regardless of what followed it even though it's soft in Italian before E or I.

 

The same rule applies to the letter "c."  Always hard (as in "cat") in Latin regardless of what follows, but soft (as in "chill") in Italian before "e" or "i."

Edited by legaleagle53
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Thanks - I studied Italian, not Latin.

 

I've studied both for nearly 40 years, and it is indeed confusing because I always want to pronounce Latin with an Italian accent (much as I always want to pronounce Ancient/New Testament Greek the same way as Modern Greek).

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I know that, but the soft "g" sound didn't exist in Latin, so that letter was always hard in Latin regardless of what followed it even though it's soft in Italian before E or I.

 

The same rule applies to the letter "c."  Always hard (as in "cat") in Latin regardless of what follows, but soft (as in "chill") in Italian before "e" or "i."

 

And if my memory isn't playing tricks on me after 50 years, the letter "V" in Latin was pronounced like a "W", so "Ave Caesar" (Hail Caesar!) would have been pronounced "AH-way KIY-sar" (long i) with "Caesar" sounding almost exactly like its German equivalent.

 

And the famous "Veni, vidi, vici" would have sounded more like "Weeny, weedy and weaky" according to that superb historical treatise "1066 And All That".

"Julius Cæsar was therefore compelled to invade Britain again the following year (54 B.C., not 56, owing to the peculiar Roman method of counting), and having defeated the Ancient Britons by unfair means, such as battering-rams, tortoises, hippocausts, centipedes, axes and bundles, set the memorable Latin sentence, “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” which the Romans, who were all very well educated, construed correctly.

The Britons, however, who of course still used the old pronunciation, understanding him to have called them “Weeny, Weedy and Weaky,” lost heart and gave up the struggle, thinking that he had already divided them All into Three Parts."

 

; - D

Edited by Hyacinth B
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And the famous "Veni, vidi, vici" would have sounded more like "Weeny, weedy and weaky" according to that superb historical treatise "1066 And All That".

"Julius Cæsar was therefore compelled to invade Britain again the following year (54 B.C., not 56, owing to the peculiar Roman method of counting), and having defeated the Ancient Britons by unfair means, such as battering-rams, tortoises, hippocausts, centipedes, axes and bundles, set the memorable Latin sentence, “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” which the Romans, who were all very well educated, construed correctly.

The Britons, however, who of course still used the old pronunciation, understanding him to have called them “Weeny, Weedy and Weaky,” lost heart and gave up the struggle, thinking that he had already divided them All into Three Parts."

 

; - D

 

The book Southern Ladies and Gentlemen, written by Florence King, had a similar remark about the pronunciation of V, that a professor of Latin she was acquainted with took his pregnant cat to the vet because of a medical problem the animal was having. He pointed at the feline's troubled area and said, "Her wageena is inflamed."

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And if my memory isn't playing tricks on me after 50 years, the letter "V" in Latin was pronounced like a "W", so "Ave Caesar" (Hail Caesar!) would have been pronounced "AH-way KIY-sar" (long i) with "Caesar" sounding almost exactly like its German equivalent.

 

And the famous "Veni, vidi, vici" would have sounded more like "Weeny, weedy and weaky" according to that superb historical treatise "1066 And All That".

"Julius Cæsar was therefore compelled to invade Britain again the following year (54 B.C., not 56, owing to the peculiar Roman method of counting), and having defeated the Ancient Britons by unfair means, such as battering-rams, tortoises, hippocausts, centipedes, axes and bundles, set the memorable Latin sentence, “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” which the Romans, who were all very well educated, construed correctly.

The Britons, however, who of course still used the old pronunciation, understanding him to have called them “Weeny, Weedy and Weaky,” lost heart and gave up the struggle, thinking that he had already divided them All into Three Parts."

 

; - D

I know this applies to "v" and not "r", but all I can hear is it being pronounced in the Impressive Clergyman's voice from the Princess Bride.

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My day job is a mile from my apartment, and my TV is in the kitchen, so I frequently watch a few minutes of whatever is showing while I get lunch.

Frequently I get to see a new recipe or a bit of an old classic show.

But today it was the Donna Dewberry Show. Donna Dewberry is a wannabe, talentless, uneducated Bob Ross. As a professional artist myself for more than 40 years, the composition and technique--or rather, the lack thereof--made me cringe and baffled me. How could she have a TV show? Surely she must have some other quality that warranted it. It wasn't looks, nor personality. Maybe personal fortune?

Maybe if I had watched the entire hour I would have discovered what she had that warranted daytime television broadcast of how to paint an awful picture. However, I had to turn it off after a few minutes, not because of the bad examples of technique, but because in those few minutes she told viewers no less than half a dozen times that the way they too could create the same painting was to move the painting implement "acrossed" the canvas. Or does she spell it "acrost?" There wasn't any captioning.

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I'd never heard of Donna Dewberry, so I Googled her, and she's an older lady from Florida.  'Acrost' may be either regional or just the way people said it when she was growing up. My father, who is in his seventies, has several of those malapropisms that he learned as a kid and never really put aside even when he grew up. My favorite one of them is still 'rottening', which drove my mother absolutely crazy when I was a kid but I thought was hilarious,.

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But your father wasn't on TV. If she hadn't used it over and over and over again, I probably would've overlooked it--or if she had demonstrated any painting skills worth learning.

Edited by shapeshifter

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The question about acrost interested me, so I gave it a thorough googlefication. It's a regional thing from various places throughout the country. According to one page citing the Dictionary of American Regional English, the earliest known example is from the 1700s.

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Donna Dewberry sounds like cable access in days of yore.  And like a porn star name.

Edited by DeLurker
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My day job is a mile from my apartment, and my TV is in the kitchen, so I frequently watch a few minutes of whatever is showing while I get lunch.

Frequently I get to see a new recipe or a bit of an old classic show.

But today it was the Donna Dewberry Show. Donna Dewberry is a wannabe, talentless, uneducated Bob Ross. As a professional artist myself for more than 40 years, the composition and technique--or rather, the lack thereof--made me cringe and baffled me. How could she have a TV show? Surely she must have some other quality that warranted it. It wasn't looks, nor personality. Maybe personal fortune?

Maybe if I had watched the entire hour I would have discovered what she had that warranted daytime television broadcast of how to paint an awful picture. However, I had to turn it off after a few minutes, not because of the bad examples of technique, but because in those few minutes she told viewers no less than half a dozen times that the way they too could create the same painting was to move the painting implement "acrossed" the canvas. Or does she spell it "acrost?" There wasn't any captioning.

 

Oh, thank you for this. The crafting how-to show Knit and Crochet Now! frequently has a guest, Kristin Nicholas, who uses "accrossed" a lot. She's an older woman who has designed some beautiful work but she's dreadful to listen to in her demonstrations because of the "accrossed" and her total inability to keep her explanations brief.

 

I tried some Googling just as Sandman87 did and near as I can tell it's a New England colloquialism which goes with her home base being there.

Edited by CoderLady
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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.

True. You can say the suspect pleaded or pled guilty yesterday. I hate when documents say, "The suspect plead guilty yesterday." That's just wrong, but I see it a lot.

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Someone I knew once said that she took a school trip to England, where they went on tours of museums and such. One of their tour guides was British, and when the students were milling around aimlessly, she told them to 'queue up', only none of them knew what she meant. Finally she told them to form a queue, only to have some of the kids literally trying to form a Q with their arms.

 

True story

 

Ha ha! Even with 110% effort, I could not form a Q with my arms, but it sure gave me the giggles to try.

 

If they had succeeded in forming a queue, would they then be IN queue, ON queue, or just queued up?

 

I think I may have complained before about this, but it's playoff season and I had to mute our teevee last night because I could not hear about the Blackhawks' "compete level" one more time, or listen to the color commentator say "Kane's battle level" again. And for the love of puck, use the friggin' ACTIVE VOICE. "The puck was controlled and the zone exited by Parise, worked along the boards and then covered up and denied by Crawford, it was." Folks, some people might actually be trying to listen to the action and, well, they'd never know that Parise skated the puck and took a shot that the goalie saved. Only Yoda may speak in the passive voice. The force is not with you. Stop it.

 

However, I got curious as to the proper past tense of the word "shit." Did the Wild shit the bed, had they shatted over themselves, did they shitted the bed? FYI, "shat" and "shitted" are both acceptable, according to the Interwebs, which are neeeeever wrong.... ;)

 

 

 

 

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However, I got curious as to the proper past tense of the word "shit." Did the Wild shit the bed, had they shatted over themselves, did they shitted the bed? FYI, "shat" and "shitted" are both acceptable, according to the Interwebs, which are neeeeever wrong.... ;)

Oh, you made me laugh so hard. Thanks for that. I always thought "shit" could be used as both the present and past tenses. No?

 

Last night I was watching the NBA playoffs. The TNT guy said, "The NBA playoffs on TNT is brought to you by..." I immediately complained to my husband about the lack of subject-verb agreement. Then I thought about it. If the actual name of the program is "The NBA Playoffs on TNT," then the "is" would be correct. But it still sounds funny.

Edited by topanga
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Maybe this is grammatically correct, but it seems to be a recent affectation of sports announcers and it's driving me nuts. "A good hitter, is Ryan Braun." "Excellent producer from both sides of the plate, is Chipper Jones."

Did "Chipper Jones is....." become too common??

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A couple of new examples from the local news:

"Baltimore is cleaning up following last week's violent riots." As opposed to peaceful riots?

"The deaths of these officers is a loss they still feel." These people have actual college degrees in journalism, but don't know how to make the verb agree with the subject.

However, I got curious as to the proper past tense of the word "shit." Did the Wild shit the bed, had they shatted over themselves, did they shitted the bed? FYI, "shat" and "shitted" are both acceptable, according to the Interwebs, which are neeeeever wrong.... ;)

One wonders what The Shat thinks about this.

Maybe this is grammatically correct, but it seems to be a recent affectation of sports announcers and it's driving me nuts. "A good hitter, is Ryan Braun." "Excellent producer from both sides of the plate, is Chipper Jones."[

Use the Force, they do! Take remedial English, they should!"
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I know I've bitched about this before but I've seen it so much lately (here, on FB, emails, etc.) that I have to complain again.  Please, please, someone explain to those in the dark that a sentence like "her and Bob went to the store..." is incorrect.  How does this even sound right to those who use it???  Would you say "her went to the store"?  No!

 

Whew, thank you.

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Dear television announcers,

 

It's CHARlize THERon

 

and

 

Ralph LAURen

 

and

 

Cate BLANchett

 

They're already famous so they don't need you to make them sound more exotic by placing the emphasis on the second syllable.

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I know I've bitched about this before but I've seen it so much lately (here, on FB, emails, etc.) that I have to complain again.  Please, please, someone explain to those in the dark that a sentence like "her and Bob went to the store..." is incorrect.  How does this even sound right to those who use it???  Would you say "her went to the store"?  No!

 

Whew, thank you.

One current coworker and one former coworker, both with Masters Degrees in the humanities, frequently use this when speaking. Both are the first in their families to go to college, so I feel a little guilty when I cringe--but I still do.

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I'm not sure if this is grammatically incorrect, but it makes me nuts when supposedly legitimate news shows use slang.

 

This morning, Jennifer Westhoven described the pre-orders of Tesla's home battery to be off the hook.  Granted, Tesla's CEO used the term when discussing the pre-orders, but she didn't indicate she was quoting him.

 

Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't refer to Morning Express with Robin Mease as "legitimate"...

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Very, very disappointing:  Last night on Black-ish, a scripted TV show, one of the characters said, "Sharon and I's wedding."

 

This abomination is all over reality TV, but this is the first time I've noticed it in something with a real script with lines of dialogue assigned to various characters.  I'm all for realistic dialogue, but there just has to be a limit.

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Very, very disappointing:  Last night on Black-ish, a scripted TV show, one of the characters said, "Sharon and I's wedding."

 

This abomination is all over reality TV, but this is the first time I've noticed it in something with a real script with lines of dialogue assigned to various characters.  I'm all for realistic dialogue, but there just has to be a limit.

 

The correct sentence probably sounds too strange for someone not completely grammar-sure. It would be something like "Sharon's and my wedding." But you're right -- it's disappointing that someone who writes scripted dialogue can't be more assertive and confident about using good grammar.

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The correct sentence probably sounds too strange for someone not completely grammar-sure. It would be something like "Sharon's and my wedding."

I'm not great with grammar (I was much better in high school when it was fresh in my mind), nor do I embarrass myself, but that particular type of sentence is one that I always try to find a different way to phrase because both ways sound odd to me.  "Sharon and I's" sounds worse than the correct one (and my instinct always told me it was wrong anyway), so I'd never say it, but even the right way doesn't roll off my tongue easily.

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Oh, you made me laugh so hard. Thanks for that. I always thought "shit" could be used as both the present and past tenses. No?

 

Last night I was watching the NBA playoffs. The TNT guy said, "The NBA playoffs on TNT is brought to you by..." I immediately complained to my husband about the lack of subject-verb agreement. Then I thought about it. If the actual name of the program is "The NBA Playoffs on TNT," then the "is" would be correct. But it still sounds funny.

 

 

I hated the old commercials that said "Certs is a breath mint."

 

Dear television announcers,

 

It's CHARlize THERon

 

and

 

Ralph LAURen

 

and

 

Cate BLANchett

 

They're already famous so they don't need you to make them sound more exotic by placing the emphasis on the second syllable.

 

It's their names, they pronounce them the way they want. And Ralph Lauren's name is Ralph Lifshitz.

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