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

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15 hours ago, Brookside said:

From CNN "He is accused of being a UK citizen who entered the United States legally when he was a minor in July 2005, but he allegedly failed to leave under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa."

I've read this over a few times and I don't see the error.

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16 hours ago, Brookside said:

From CNN "He is accused of being a UK citizen who entered the United States legally when he was a minor in July 2005, but he allegedly failed to leave under the terms of his nonimmigrant visa."

 

1 hour ago, Milburn Stone said:

I've read this over a few times and I don't see the error.

Perhaps because "allegedly" is a trifle redundant.  There's also a parallelism issue.  The sentence would be better structured if it were "He is accused of being a UK citizen who entered the United States legally as a minor in 2005 and failing to leave under the terms of his non-immigrant visa."

For that matter, it could also be expressed a little more concisely: "Although he entered the United States legally in 2005, he is accused of failing to leave under the terms of his non-immigrant visa."

Edited by legaleagle53
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I laughed at him being "accused of being a UK citizen."  

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On 2/5/2019 at 12:39 PM, ABay said:

I laughed at him being "accused of being a UK citizen."  

 

On 2/5/2019 at 12:44 PM, shapeshifter said:

Ah! That's it!

The horror! LOL. 

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From Facebook:

Quote

Someone posted they had just baked some synonym buns.
I replied, you mean just like grammar used to make?

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Question: when someone says or writes “or so,” such as “A dozen or so people were there,” does that phrase require hyphens anyplace? 

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16 hours ago, topanga said:

Question: when someone says or writes “or so,” such as “A dozen or so people were there,” does that phrase require hyphens anyplace? 

It's something of a judgment call, but I would opt for no hyphens. Here's my logic. Hyphenation makes the phrase feel like it stands in for a specific numeral, when what you intend to be is vague.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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On 1/22/2019 at 8:26 PM, mojito said:

"Who would've thunk it" is just a humorous expression. I mean, I doubt that when an educated person says "thunk", they think they're speaking correct English. Same with when someone uses the word "ain't".  Or "vi-ola" for "voila". I have no problem with people purposely using incorrect English in non-formal situations (including chit-chat between anchors). On the other hand, "He had ate it," and "then I seen him...." violations are not used for chuckles. 

My mom used to say that to be funny.  She also said, "That'll learn ya!"  We loved it.  I remember later on saying those nutty things in front of others and being gleefully corrected (and they wouldn't accept my explanations).  

I am so sick of hearing people starting sentences with the word "so".  It started with comedians as a way to set up a joke but now way too many folks are using it.  

One more pet peeve: people saying, "nuke-u-lar".  Did Jimmy Carter (a nuclear engineer) start that horrid mispronunciation?

Before I sign off, I need to share another spelling (and dramatic pronunciation) for voila: waa-laa.

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1 minute ago, annzeepark914 said:

One more pet peeve: people saying, "nuke-u-lar".  Did Jimmy Carter (a nuclear engineer) start that horrid mispronunciation?

That was the younger Bush.

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Actually, it was Eisenhower.  In his defense, the word was new then (at least as it pertains to bombs).

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One more pet peeve: people saying, "nuke-u-lar".  Did Jimmy Carter (a nuclear engineer) start that horrid mispronunciation?

You are correct about Jimmy Carter's former line of work and his pronunciation of the word. I would guess that it's been mispronounced for as long as the word has been around, so who started it is pretty impossible to know.

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We are all correct. Wikipedia has an entire entry devoted to "Nucular," including "Notable Users":

Quote

"U.S. presidents who have used this pronunciation include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush[11] as well as U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale.[12] In his 2005 book, Going Nucular, linguist Geoffrey Nunberg suggests that the reasons underlying the differing pronunciations of this word may be different from president to president. . . ."

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 8:04 PM, shapeshifter said:

That was the younger Bush.

You mean Bush the Lesser.

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8 hours ago, Brookside said:

You mean Bush the Lesser.

Or, as in my household, Shrub.

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On ‎2‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 5:39 PM, ABay said:

I laughed at him being "accused of being a UK citizen."

Which is ridiculous. We're not citizens, we're subjects.

The one that makes me grind my teeth and spit out my tea (have to observe the national stereotype) is "Very unique". Unique means "Only one"! There can't be very only one! The only acceptable qualifier (that is used) is almost unique.

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32 minutes ago, John Potts said:

Which is ridiculous. We're not citizens, we're subjects.

Not sure if you're being ironic, but my (British) passport says I'm a citizen.

On a different note, does posting on this board make anyone else nervous?

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5 minutes ago, Brookside said:

Not sure if you're being ironic, but my (British) passport says I'm a citizen.

On a different note, does posting on this board make anyone else nervous?

No, why?

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9 minutes ago, Brookside said:

On a different note, does posting on this board make anyone else nervous?

3 minutes ago, Anduin said:

No, why?

Fear of having my grammar and spelling scrutinized by fellow zealots.

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1 hour ago, Brookside said:

Not sure if you're being ironic, but my (British) passport says I'm a citizen

Well, to be technically correct*, citizen means "Man of the city", who is imbued with certain rights, dating back to the Roman Republic and the Greek city states. The fact that people have gotten a little sloppy with usage over the past two millennia or so is no reason not to be pedantic.

In theory, the rights of British people (unlike, say, America or France, where they are enshrined in their constitutions) are contingent on the will of the sovereign (indeed, to pass a law, an Act of Parliament must receive Royal Assent) and could in theory be revoked at any time. While in practice this would lead to the monarch being forced to abdicate and/or the monarchy being abolished entirely doesn't mean that technically all the rights you might think you possess are contingent on the Queen (or King) allowing you them.

* "The best form of correct!" Futurama

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8 hours ago, Brookside said:

Fear of having my grammar and spelling scrutinized by fellow zealots.

I'm not fussed. While we do try to get our words working correctly, everyone screws up from time to time.

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On 3/3/2019 at 4:40 PM, Anduin said:

I'm not fussed. While we do try to get our words working correctly, everyone screws up from time to time.

Yeah, we do. I just hate the passive-aggressive "So sorry, I hate to do this, I'm such a jerk, in case you didn't know, this is really bugging me..." followed by a correction. I don't mind the correction itself. I welcome it, in fact. Just drop the preamble. LOL. 

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My axiom: There are those who understand the difference between the subjective and objective cases, and the difference between singular and plural, and the writing and speech of those who do will always be more clear and precise than of those who don't.

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9 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

My axiom: There are those who understand the difference between the subjective and objective cases, and the difference between singular and plural, and the writing and speech of those who do will always be more clear and precise than of those who don't.

Damn....you were so close:  than that of those who don't.

But then I'm sure I don't understand the difference between subjective and objective cases.  Pretty solid on singular and plural.  Just a B student.

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2 hours ago, meep.meep said:

Damn....you were so close:  than that of those who don't.

But then I'm sure I don't understand the difference between subjective and objective cases.  Pretty solid on singular and plural.  Just a B student.

I don't believe the "that" is necessary in the sentence.

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11 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

I don't believe the "that" is necessary in the sentence.

My decisions to add "that" are based upon whether it contributes to clarity, since often either way is correct.

grammar.jpg

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Forgive me if this has been discussed already, but are "All of a sudden" and "All of the sudden" interchangeable? Or has there been a cultural shift?  I grew up saying "All of a sudden" because that's what the adults around me said. But now I hear the other version constantly almost exclusively. 

Edited by topanga

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7 minutes ago, topanga said:

Forgive me if this has been discussed already, but are "All of a sudden" and "All of the sudden" interchangeable? Or has there been a cultural shift?  I grew up saying "All of a sudden" because that's what the adults around me said. But now I hear the other version constantly almost exclusively. 

Although "all of the sudden" may be "wrong," "all of a sudden" is an idiom, so, IMO, "suddenly" is better than either; if "all of the sudden" becomes the most commonly used phrase, it is de facto acceptable, but "suddenly" is still the best option.

See also (writingexplained.org/all-of-a-sudden-or-all-of-the-sudden):

Quote

All of a sudden is an idiom that functions as an adverb phrase. It has the same meaning as suddenly, which means quickly or unexpectedly. All of a sudden is the correct spelling. All of the sudden is a misspelling of the phrase

Edited by shapeshifter
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On 1/20/2019 at 3:58 PM, rur said:

Psychologically speaking, it's generally taught that the brain doesn't process negative commands. It's been a few years since I taught psych, but I'll try to find something more substantive than my word and post it here. 

***

OK, I did a quick search and found nothing particularly reputable and I don't have any textbooks at home. But I would explain it as the brain can take action on a positive command, but a command to not take an action is harder to process. Nancy Reagan is famously associated with "Just say 'no' to drugs." That's an example of a positive command -- take the action of saying no. Conversely, some of you may remember when Bob Dole was running for President that his people had him try (a very short-lived) anti-drug campaign: "Just don't do it." That's negative --take no action.

(And yes, I'm aware that there were a multitude of ways in which it was negative for him. But I'm trying to keep the response appropriate for this forum, and these example of rhetoric were on TV.)

I took a handful (not nearly enough) golf lessons years ago.  The instructor used this example to explain how to train the brain, enabling me to get the ball over the creek, rather than into the creek.

Tell yourself "I will hit the ball over the creek", rather than "don't hit the ball into the creek".

Good in theory.

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2 hours ago, topanga said:

"All of the sudden"

I have never heard it that way.

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I've never heard "all of the sudden" either.

This morning, the radio DJs made my ears bleed and almost made me wreck my car.  They were talking about the clerk at the 7-11 who caught some kid shoplifting, but the clerk decided to "give he and his brother" the food instead of calling the cops. 

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7 hours ago, Moose135 said:
7 hours ago, Moose135 said:

"All of the sudden" 

I have never heard it that way.

6 hours ago, Browncoat said:

I've never heard "all of the sudden" either.

I have heard it, and so thought it was regional, but, evidently, "not so much" (as they say): motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/all-of-what-sudden/

Regardless, I really like saying (in my head), "Suddenly. . ."

Edited by shapeshifter · Reason: typo
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This is wrong, right?

"An accident involving a pick-up truck versus a deer was reported . . . "

I mean, isn't the driver involved?

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More a spelling thing, but one of my favorite emails came from a headhunter, who informed me that she would defiantly keep my resume' on file...

It was good to know that I had a fighter on my side.

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

This is wrong, right?

"An accident involving a pick-up truck versus a deer was reported . . . "

I mean, isn't the driver involved?

I think it's wrong, but for a different reason. The word "versus" seems mildly redundant, because the word "accident" in the context of a vehicular accident "involving" something already implies a clash of opposing forces. (Even if one of those forces is an immovable object like a lamppost.) If the phrase were simply "An accident involving a pick-up truck and a deer...," it would be every bit as communicative as with the word "versus" in it--hence, choose "and" rather than "versus" for simplicity's sake and to avoid the whiff of redundancy.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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The Calif Highway Patrol website reports collisions using the term "vs." -- e.g., "GRY HON VS BLU TOYT" -- & some announcers on radio & TV just read the item verbatim.

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1 hour ago, Milburn Stone said:
2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

This is wrong, right?

"An accident involving a pick-up truck versus a deer was reported . . . "

I mean, isn't the driver involved?

I think it's wrong, but for a different reason. The word "versus" seems mildly redundant, because the word "accident" in the context of a vehicular accident "involving" something already implies a clash of opposing forces. (Even if one of those forces is an immovable object like a lamppost.) If the phrase were simply "An accident involving a pick-up truck and a deer...," it would be every bit as communicative as with the word "versus" in it--hence, choose "and" rather than "versus" for simplicity's sake and to avoid the whiff of redundancy.

Thank you.
I thought the "versus" was wrong, but was afraid to suggest it because I couldn't say why it would be wrong. 
When I was 5 years old I saw fox in the back yard of our new home. I thought nobody would believe me, so I called out to my parents and older sister to "come see the cat!" 
For almost 60 years my mother would tell the story and make fun of me for thinking it was a cat.
Due to Parkinson's my 90-year-old mother can no longer speak, but I'm still saying (typing) the same kind of things.
Don't worry. My therapist and I are working on it.

Edited by shapeshifter
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This one really did make me laugh ("varies wildly" instead of "varies widely"):
"The truth is that the life of a mattress varies wildly, which depends on how you take care of it, how you sleep on it and how often you rotate it."

Edited by shapeshifter · Reason: Missing end-quote

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15 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

This one really did make me laugh ("varies wildly" instead of "varies widely):
"The truth is that the life of a mattress varies wildly, which depends on how you take care of it, how you sleep on it and how often you rotate it."

Or how many wild things you do on said mattress. 

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A local alternative energy company is advertising that they will "upgrade your entire solar system." Presumably their deluxe package will make Pluto a planet again.

On 4/11/2019 at 5:17 PM, shapeshifter said:

When I was 5 years old I saw fox in the back yard of our new home. I thought nobody would believe me, so I called out to my parents and older sister to "come see the cat!" 

Mom still tells the story about the time I walked into the house holding a snake and saying "look at the daddy worm!"

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30 minutes ago, Sandman87 said:
On 4/11/2019 at 7:17 PM, shapeshifter said:

When I was 5 years old I saw fox in the back yard of our new home. I thought nobody would believe me, so I called out to my parents and older sister to "come see the cat!" 

Mom still tells the story about the time I walked into the house holding a snake and saying "look at the daddy worm!"

Did you know it was a snake? 

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Ok, not grammar but this had me laughing. The local news had a timeline of notable events at Notre Dame and this is how the newsman read them:

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned emperor. (Newsman called him Bonapint.)

1909 Joan of Arc beatified.  (Read Joan of Arc was baptized by Pope Peeus the 10th.) 

Talk about miracles!

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Just now, Haleth said:

Ok, not grammar but this had me laughing. The local news had a timeline of notable events at Notre Dame and this is how the newsman read them:

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned emperor. (Newsman called him Bonapint.)

1909 Joan of Arc beatified.  (Read Joan of Arc was baptized by Pope Peeus the 10th.) 

Talk about miracles!

One of our local talking models newscasters explained how the north belfry (she read as bell-fry) was still standing...

Idiots.  They have one job.

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Local news anchor just said that one of the items rescued from Notre Dame was the crown of thorns worn by Jesus on his crucification.

Edited by Silver Raven
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Just saw - well, heard, I wasn't really watching - a promo on CBS, maybe for BBT.  I think someone there is reading this thread!

Man: I'm literally losing my mind.

Woman: Really?

Man: I just used literally figuratively!

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9 hours ago, Moose135 said:

Just saw - well, heard, I wasn't really watching - a promo on CBS, maybe for BBT.  I think someone there is reading this thread!

Man: I'm literally losing my mind.

Woman: Really?

Man: I just used literally figuratively!

Those were Sheldon and Amy from BBT.

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On 4/11/2019 at 8:16 PM, Browncoat said:

I've never heard "all of the sudden" either.

This morning, the radio DJs made my ears bleed and almost made me wreck my car.  They were talking about the clerk at the 7-11 who caught some kid shoplifting, but the clerk decided to "give he and his brother" the food instead of calling the cops. 

Ohh hell, it's spreading. I've been noticing the subjective I being used in place of the objective me for a while and it's insane. Now this too? 😥

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