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Old 9th Jun 2010, 13:26   #151
Beth
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarie View Post
brings out the inner pedant.
Oh yes, I have one of those! Last year I had to inform my boss of the problem with new 'employee's only' door etchings. And while on vacation recently, things with one of my online suitors turned ugly when we tried to move from the sizzling chat format to email and he was unable to keep it up. I delicately asked if he was struggling with the language and he became very angry. His parting words to me, "I Hate English!!! it kepted me from being a Vet!" make me blush (and chuckle). The inner pedant will try to stretch that short leash, yes. But do we have to let it run wild?

I think when society at any level digs its heel into the dirt and says "This is how it's going to be," that group is immediately on its merry way to irrelevance, a fate much worse than misuse. QES is out the door and halfway down the road! I think this group is motivated by fear, not purely concern about the standards of usage. Their site map, with its 'Rogues' Gallery' and 'Comedy of Errors' would be comical if they weren't so po-faced.

From the 'Comedy of Errors' section

Quote:
This is where QES is in its element. It is not QES's job to invent English words; those that exist are in the Dictionary. It is not up to QES to formulate grammatical rules; they have evolved over many centuries. But when these two aspects are abused, QES exists to draw attention to such errors in an effort to keep popular usage in line with established usage.
Puh-leez. I think this is where fear is in its element.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 14:36   #152
gil
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

I am old. I fulminate briefly at the misuse of English grammar and vocabulary. Such as:
o The new hesitation word 'like'.
o People being 'bored of' rather than 'bored with'
o The misuse of complementary / complimentary
o 'Formally known' (as mentioned above)
o Apostrophe bedlam
o And many, many more

But, on the other hand, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it, though, to my shame, I tend to use it to judge a person's intelligence/education.

I welcome the expanding vocabulary of English.

And I think the reason why more people in this world speak English than French is because the French are so picky about their language. I remember the French Language Police made a French university change one of their websites from English to French. The subject of the website? "French Culture for Foreigners". And there are always numerous silly Francophone examples from Canada.

People all over the world (including in the UK) speak English badly. But instead of wagging a finger at them, most of us try to figure out what they mean. Try speaking bad French in Paris, or pidgin Italian in Rome or bad Swedish in Stockholm. Forget it. Whoever you are speaking to will probably resort to bad English, which both of you understand. Problem solved.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 14:46   #153
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

For my part it's all about comprehension. In spoken conversation I find I don't notice errors of grammer - or sometimes word usage, apart from really glaring malopropisms but with written english it's far easier to spot the mistakes - except, of course, my own glaring spelling errors, which I let slide with gay abandon!

I dislike the fact that I too use 'like' far too much - particularly as I can't really, like, explain why I do.

Other than that I love the way English absorbs and adapts, I also don't mind that words change meaning, that has always been the case I think and it is part of why our language is so vibrant. Aren't the French really struggling at the moment with their rigid rules as they youf corrupt the language right left and centre?
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 15:01   #154
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

I suspect I'm with the majority here: I appreciate good English language, but I don't think it's a hanging offence if it isn't rigidly adhered-to at all times.

That said, I can appreciate how the QES feel. I too know what it's like to despair when someone thinks they are communicating well but are actually mangling the conventions which seem so obvious to many of us. Except I'm thinking of visual communication and design, and today's selected perpetrators of crimes against this wonderful tradition are numpties like the QES. So I guess we all lose out. Hooray!

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Old 9th Jun 2010, 15:30   #155
John Self
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Hey, they actually charge for membership!

And my god, have you seen some of their Rogues' Gallery entries? (Probably not, if you had as much trouble navigating their electronically illiterate website) Here are Julian Fellowes' blunders. I know (mostly) why they say he's wrong, but in the words of Martin Amis, some of their beefs are pretty smallprint.

All in all, I suspect their website is probably as good a timewasting exercise to browse as the Campaign Against Political Correctness one. (Remember that?)
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Old 21st Sep 2011, 12:41   #156
ono no komachi
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

God bless work emails for occasionally providing amusement...

Two lovely instances of the work of the Autocorrect function this morning:

"... for the porpoise of analysis"

"If you need further calcification please do not hesitate to ask."
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Old 23rd Sep 2011, 0:30   #157
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Without the aid of autocorrect, one of my relatives used to say "That's no constellation to me..."
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Old 5th Jan 2012, 21:46   #158
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Here's one that seems to be cropping up with more and more regularity these days - especially amongst politicians here in Ireland, usually while discussing our economic woes:

"There's no silver bullet to fix this" when they obviously mean "magic bullet". For some reason, this drives me crazy and I usually end up shouting at the TV: "It's magic bullet you idiot. Silver bullets are for killing werewolves. Everyone knows that".

What can I say? It keeps me sane.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 1:08   #159
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Quote:
Silver bullets are for killing werewolves. Everyone knows that
The Lone Ranger was a werewolf hunter?


Damn! that actually sounds like a saleable idea....
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 19:34   #160
gil
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

And isn't the economy something like a werewolf? It's OK all month, and then it comes over all hairy and horrible.
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