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

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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?

 

'Shat' was also used in Stephen King's It, when Adult!Beverly goes to see her father and ends up in Mrs. Kersh's apartment instead. When the old lady turns into Pennywise, he/It/whatever tells her as he's chasing her from the house that "I've been here since my father shat me from his asshole!" So there's that.

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"ABC Sports and The Prudential, celebrating 20 years of college football together, presents...The Prudential Halftime Report...brought to you by The Prudential. Come to the companies of The Prudential and build your future on the Rock. Now here's your host: Roger Twibell."

 

The grammar mistake should be easy to see in this Prudential halftime segment opening from a 1990 Colorado/Illinois broadcast (Bob Cruz is the V/O). The halftime segment starts at the 1:21:04 mark, but the closest you can get is the 1:20:53 mark, so go to that timecode (it's part of a sponsor bumper for the game broadcast). 

Edited by bmasters9

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It's their names, they pronounce them the way they want.

Precisely and each of those people chooses to accent the first syllable of their names.  It's the announcers who are getting it wrong.

 

Honestly, if a sports announcer can get Michael Hoomanawanui right, how come the folks at Entertainment Tonight can't handle Lauren?

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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.

I've been complaining about this since the first time I heard it. I swear, it hurts my ears.

" her and I' s relationship" has become so common, I'm afraid people will start to argue that it's correct.

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I overheard a coworker saying how she "maintenanced" a field on our software.  I think my ears bled.  Maintained...

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I've been complaining about this since the first time I heard it. I swear, it hurts my ears.

" her and I' s relationship" has become so common, I'm afraid people will start to argue that it's correct.

 

Jeez. All a person has to do is take the compound thingie apart and test it: "Sharon's wedding" "My wedding" to see how it sounds. In what language does "I's wedding" sound right? Grrr.

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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.

...it's disappointing that someone who writes scripted dialogue can't be more assertive and confident about using good grammar.

I was watching a rerun of Bones and heard the perp say, "Me and her were best friends!" I hear the object form of a pronoun used as a subject and vice versa quite regularly on scripted shows. It always destroys my suspension of disbelief and takes me out of the scene while I ponder: Was the script written that way, or did the actor just interpret it that way, or did the director ask for it to be read that way...? I think it occurs most often on shows that aren't critically acclaimed, so probably nobody involved really cares that much. Maybe I need to use this as a new criteria for eliminating shows from my watch list.

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The daily update from our local news: "The President made the announcement at Nike headquarters." What's wrong with that? Nothing, except that she pronounced "Nike" to rhyme with "bike." Bear in mind that this particular newscaster has been doing news at the station for almost 15 years, and is the station's news director.

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I just read this in The New York Times:

"More uncertain, however, is their risk for direr medical issues."

I always thought it was "more dire," but I guess not.

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Jeez. All a person has to do is take the compound thingie apart and test it: "Sharon's wedding" "My wedding" to see how it sounds. In what language does "I's wedding" sound right? Grrr.

 

That's why i give a teeny bit of a pass to reality TV--I can't really expect them to test this sort of thing as it's coming out of their mouths.  Even though I would, although I'm sure something even more idiotic would pass through my lips at some point if there were a camera staring at me. 

 

But when it's written down, it needs to not happen.  And I thought about whether this line was ad-libbed, but I just don't see how since it was a very basic plot point, and nothing to go off script about. 

 

I still like the show too much to quit watching, but I have had to stop watching Dr. Drew interview the Teen Moms because he says, constantly, "your guys's relationship."  Like, "How is your guys's relationship going?"  What exactly is the possessive there?  Your?  Guys's?  What in the world is wrong with just saying "your"?  "How is your relationship going?"  And I'm generally okay with using "you guys" when it includes girls.  But in this case it's unnecessary AND it makes for tortured English.  Just stop it.

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I still like the show too much to quit watching, but I have had to stop watching Dr. Drew interview the Teen Moms because he says, constantly, "your guys's relationship."  Like, "How is your guys's relationship going?"  What exactly is the possessive there?  Your?  Guys's?  What in the world is wrong with just saying "your"?  "How is your relationship going?"  And I'm generally okay with using "you guys" when it includes girls.  But in this case it's unnecessary AND it makes for tortured English.  Just stop it.

Just be glad he doesn't use "you'uns". 

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Just be glad he doesn't use "you'uns". 

 

You'uns ... that's Pittsburgh-ese ... isn't it?  Haven't heard that in decades.  

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You'uns ... that's Pittsburgh-ese ... isn't it?  Haven't heard that in decades.

I'm from the Pittsburgh area, and we say "yentz," or "yuntz."  I don't live there anymore so I don't say it, but my folks still do.  They still say "pop" for "soda," too.  I love hearing them talk.

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You'uns ... that's Pittsburgh-ese ... isn't it?  Haven't heard that in decades.

I'm from the Pittsburgh area, and we say "yentz," or "yuntz."  I don't live there anymore so I don't say it, but my folks still do.  They still say "pop" for "soda," too.  I love hearing them talk.

Yep. My dad's family is about an hour or so outside of Pittsburgh, so I've heard "you'uns" and "pop" most of my life.

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That's why i give a teeny bit of a pass to reality TV--I can't really expect them to test this sort of thing as it's coming out of their mouths.  Even though I would, although I'm sure something even more idiotic would pass through my lips at some point if there were a camera staring at me. 

 

But when it's written down, it needs to not happen.  And I thought about whether this line was ad-libbed, but I just don't see how since it was a very basic plot point, and nothing to go off script about. 

 

I still like the show too much to quit watching, but I have had to stop watching Dr. Drew interview the Teen Moms because he says, constantly, "your guys's relationship."  Like, "How is your guys's relationship going?"  What exactly is the possessive there?  Your?  Guys's?  What in the world is wrong with just saying "your"?  "How is your relationship going?"  And I'm generally okay with using "you guys" when it includes girls.  But in this case it's unnecessary AND it makes for tortured English.  Just stop it.

 

The problem is that English no longer distinguishes between second person singular and second person plural.  So in order to emphasize plurality, speakers have had to resort to phrases such as "you guys", "y'all," and "you'uns" (which I believe was originally another Southernism; it must have finally made its way north of the Mason-Dixie line).

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Two somewhat similar characters -- Don Draper (Mad Men) and Stannis Baratheon (Game of Thrones) -- were correcting people's grammar on this week's episodes. 

 

 

 

 

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I didn't see Game of Thrones, but Don Draper was so annoyed, I thought he was going to slap that kid upside the head.

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I'm confused by the double negative in "I don't think" when added onto a sentence when "I do think" is clearly meant. Lately, I see and hear this everywhere.

Example: That's not the way to construct a sentence, I don't think.

But you DO think it isn't the way to construct a sentence! Why are you saying "I don't think" when you mean "I think"?! Stop it! Stop it right now, damn it!

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I'm confused by the double negative in "I don't think" when added onto a sentence when "I do think" is clearly meant. Lately, I see and hear this everywhere.

Example: That's not the way to construct a sentence, I don't think.

But you DO think it isn't the way to construct a sentence! Why are you saying "I don't think" when you mean "I think"?! Stop it! Stop it right now, damn it!

But by breaking up the sentence with the comma, "I don't think" doesn't play against "That's not the way", it reinforces it.

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The problem is that English no longer distinguishes between second person singular and second person plural.  So in order to emphasize plurality, speakers have had to resort to phrases such as "you guys", "y'all," and "you'uns" (which I believe was originally another Southernism; it must have finally made its way north of the Mason-Dixie line).

 

I have no problem with "you guys" or "y'all" (as long as it's not spelled ya'll).  It's the tortured possessive that bugs me. 

 

In the case of "y'all," it would be "y'all's," which is awkward when written but sounds fine when spoken.  "How is y'all's relationshipl?"

 

But with "you guys," it's not only awkward but just plain wrong (and incredibly grating) to make it possessive by turning "you" into "your."  "How is your guys's relationship?" is actually asking about the relationship of an unspecified number of guys who belong to the person being addressed, while the speaker is actually asking about the relationship of the person being addressed and his/her partner, or the group of people assembled and their respective partners. 

 

And even if one argued that we all know what he meant so it's fine, it sounds ridiculous.

 

"How is you guys's relationship?" isn't much better, but at least it means what it means to mean:  "You guys--how is your relationship?"

 

But all of this could easily be avoided by just saying, "How is your relationship?" 

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But by breaking up the sentence with the comma, "I don't think" doesn't play against "That's not the way", it reinforces it.

Rather than reinforcing, I see it as a qualifier, similar to "in my opinion," often typed as IMO.

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I didn't see Game of Thrones, but Don Draper was so annoyed, I thought he was going to slap that kid upside the head.

I actually think he was annoyed with the kid because he stole money that Don got blamed & smacked around for. The bad grammar was just a bonus.

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In the season's penultimate episode of CSI Cyber, the ex-husband of the main character is introduced. The ex-wife is a licensed therapist and now head of a team of FBI agents; she is educated, refined in dress and speech. The ex-husband has just a few short scenes, but he uses "I" when he should use "me" and in at least one instance uses the objective form of a pronoun as a subject.

I don't mind this when the character is supposed to be uneducated or from a community of uneducated or perhaps first-generation English speakers--although those situations do not necessarily dictate a person's command of grammar.

But in this setting, where the guy lives in a nice home and was married to an educated woman who likes to work with intelligent people and study the human mind, it was a real disconnect.

Can anyone here tell me if there's an easy way to find out if it's in the script or not?

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In the season's penultimate episode of CSI Cyber

 

 

I thought that was the very best episode this season, too!  Heh.

 

Firstly, hee.

 

Second, that reminds me. Back in 2010, Robert Guza, who used to be the headwriter of General Hospital, wrote a story where one character shot another in the chest, only to then find out that the second character was his long-lost son. (Don't ask) In some interview, he called it "the penultimate, the cosmic guffaw."

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 "The puck was controlled and the zone exited by Parise, worked along the boards and then covered up and denied by Crawford, it was."

When I read this, I thought oh, Parise made a shot & it was saved.  I guess I've been watching hockey announcers too long :)

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Well, another twist on making "you guys" possessive. 

 

There's a show called Tiny House Nation and the host refers to the family, constantly, as "you guys."  Like in every single reference--I don't think I heard a single collective "you."  It's bad enough that I was considering just turning off the show to escape it.

 

But before I could do that, he said "your guys" as the possessive:  "How do you like your guys tiny house?"

 

So it's not the double possessive of Dr. Drew (your guys's), but no less wrong, and equally annoying.

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I have two complaints.  I can't understand why an educated person goes on television and repeatedly says "like" as if it is acceptable. 

 

I don't understand why a person would say "seen" instead of "saw."  They may say,  "I seen the the man rob the store."  How is this possible? Is the word saw in their vocabulary?  I'm far from perfect, but I can't understand making glaring mistakes over and over.  

Edited by SunnyBeBe
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Even worse than the repeated "like" as a filler word is "I'm like" as replacement for "I said" or "I did or "I thought".   

"The boss said he wanted to see and I'm like 'OMG, what did I do?' "

"I looked in the mirror and I'm like 'I look good.' " 

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Even worse than the repeated "like" as a filler word is "I'm like" as replacement for "I said" or "I did or "I thought".   

"The boss said he wanted to see and I'm like 'OMG, what did I do?' "

"I looked in the mirror and I'm like 'I look good.' " 

 

"I'm all"... or "She's all"...

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I have heard goes used in place of said or says in everyday conversation, but was surprised to hear it used in a scripted show. I think it was during a Columbo episode. I'm not sure which bothers me more, the fact that I cannot remember which show I heard this or that I hear this excessively from my teenage daughter and her friends. 

Edited by yourpointis

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ExpEEriment (Stabby Factor: 9)

 

QUEUE-pon (where the hell do you get the "queue" sound from!? It's coupon!)

 

Starting a sentence with the word "so", when a "so" is not warranted. "So I started shopping at Trader Joes."

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QUEUE-pon (where the hell do you get the "queue" sound from!? It's coupon!)

 

I've always pronounced it that way.

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Many people do, but it's from the French, couper, ("to cut" and pronounced coo-pay). I just don't understand where the queue sound came from in the first place.

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Starting a sentence with the word "so", when a "so" is not warranted. "So I started shopping at Trader Joes."

 

Despite hissy fits from helicopter grammarians who incorrectly insist otherwise, beginning a sentence with "and," "but," or "so" is perfectly acceptable in standard colloquial English.  And there you are; I said it.  But I'm not taking it back.  So there!  :-P

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I don't mind that use of "So" either, and frequently use it myself--but I wouldn't in formal writing, or for publication, because it would become dated. Every now and then I see an old book written by an academic who started sentences with "Now." It might have been a conversational style at the time, but it's not anymore and doesn't even make sense.

Whenever anyone complains about "so," I chuckle as I recall an incident when I was working at a Catholic high school. One day after one of the many prescribed prayers, Sr. Helen remarked that was the first time she heard a prayer begin with "So." We all looked up questioningly, and she quoted the student's introduction, "So in the name of the Father and Son and the..."

So, it's not always appropriate to begin a sentence with "So."

;>)

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I really should have posted my gripes in the "peeves" thread, especially since pronunciation isn't a grammar mistake. The "so" business must be a generational  thing. I freely and unabashedly begin sentences with "but" and "and", which, in my youth, was something older people objected to frequently.  But the "so" start is not something I grew up doing and so it sounds like an affectation to my ears.

 

I once worked with a woman who went crazy about the word  "hopefully", insisting people say instead, "I am hopeful", which sounds, in place of "hopefully", a little 19th century to some.  I bet she has given up that fight now.

 

Language evolves. 

 

Erm...

 

So language evolves.

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So I frequently start a story with "so."  ;)

The one that bothers me more is when someone is asked a question and that person begins the answer with "I mean..."  This happens a lot on talk shows.  I mean "I mean" makes sense when one is further explaining what is meant, but jumping to the further explanation before the originally stated thought does not.  

Edited by Haleth
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The "so" business must be a generational  thing. I freely and unabashedly begin sentences with "but" and "and", which, in my youth, was something older people objected to frequently.  But the "so" start is not something I grew up doing and so it sounds like an affectation to my ears.

I think you're right about the "so" business being a generational thing, because I swear I only started hearing it only during the past several years.  The reason I don't like people starting off explanations or answers to questions with "So" is that, more often than not, you know it's going to be condescending.  I start rolling my eyes.

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I think you're right about the "so" business being a generational thing, because I swear I only started hearing it only during the past several years...

I am likely older than all of you, but I work with young people. There might be a geographical component as well. My anecdote above (first time Sr. Helen heard a prayer begin with "So") was from the late 1990s and occurred in Sacramento. Edited by shapeshifter
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I frequently use 'so' as the start of a sentence, and also 'and'. That last part looks weird now that I've typed it. It never occurred to me that it might not be correct until just now.

 

Although speaking of talk shows, the use of the word 'fake' in reality shows has always driven me crazy. I stumbled across a promo for one the other night, and this guy says, "So-And-So is fake, and I can't stand fake people." Barring the possibility that the person in question is a replicant, I'd pretty much guarantee that they are in fact real, so how in the hell does it make sense to call them fake? Ugh.

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Barring the possibility that the person in question is a replicant, I'd pretty much guarantee that they are in fact real, so how in the hell does it make sense to call them fake? Ugh.

 

That's rather like saying "I don't believe in abortion."   What the speaker really means is "I don't agree with abortion."   You can't dispute that it exists.   It's not like disputing whether to believe in Santa Clause. 

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...speaking of talk shows, the use of the word 'fake' in reality shows has always driven me crazy. I stumbled across a promo for one the other night, and this guy says, "So-And-So is fake, and I can't stand fake people." Barring the possibility that the person in question is a replicant, I'd pretty much guarantee that they are in fact real...

LOL! Thank you for brightening up this cold windy day on Lake Michigan!
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Although speaking of talk shows, the use of the word 'fake' in reality shows has always driven me crazy. I stumbled across a promo for one the other night, and this guy says, "So-And-So is fake, and I can't stand fake people." Barring the possibility that the person in question is a replicant, I'd pretty much guarantee that they are in fact real, so how in the hell does it make sense to call them fake? Ugh.

 

You're taking that too literally.  "Fake" as applied to people means "insincere, artificial, or affected."  In other words, it's a figure of speech being used metaphorically only. 

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I think you're right about the "so" business being a generational thing, because I swear I only started hearing it only during the past several years.  The reason I don't like people starting off explanations or answers to questions with "So" is that, more often than not, you know it's going to be condescending.  I start rolling my eyes.

 

I'm probably older than most of the people here, and I start sentences with "so" and I think I have all of my life.  :-/

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I'm probably older than most of the people here, and I start sentences with "so" and I think I have all of my life.  :-/

I'm probably older than you are, and I swear I only started hearing it in the past eight or nine years.  Maybe I had blocked you people out before.  ; )

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I can think of many times in the past when people have started sentences with "so"; but along the lines of "So, where are we going for dinner tonight", or "So how are you doing today?"  where say, it's followed by a question. It's the totally-out-of-the-blue use of "so" ("So I hate cake mixes" ) that is definitely new, in the past five years. 

 

I am hearing it a little less lately, and I have no idea why. Maybe it was a trendy-speech thing, like the vocal fry. 

Edited by Jel
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I want to say that Chandler on Friends started it. A scene where, say, Ross and Rachel had a massive fight, so in an attempt to lighten the mood, Chandler says something like "So....cake mixes, a godsend or an evil to actual baking?"

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I want to say that Chandler on Friends started it. A scene where, say, Ross and Rachel had a massive fight, so in an attempt to lighten the mood, Chandler says something like "So....cake mixes, a godsend or an evil to actual baking?"

I don't recall Chandler saying it a lot, but the first character that came to my mind was Cher from Clueless.  It's about the same time period, though, isn't it? I do it occasionally.

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