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Old 8th Jun 2010, 14:15   #141
JunkMonkey
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

I dunno but their website looks bloody awful, like something out of the ark.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 14:28   #142
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

It's a good idea. I just sort of wish somebody else was following through with it.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 15:00   #143
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

My first instinct when I hear about initiatives like this is to think what a bunch of unbearable pedants they must be.

My second is to want to read through every bit of their website looking for errors.
(Nice use of the 'dog's bollocks' punctuation mark in the quote below; personally I would have used a semicolon.)

Quote:
We can raise issues in our journal, QUEST or in our blog pages:- listen to the radio, watch television and read the papers and tell them when they have got it wrong:- form pressure groups (branches of the Society), in the regions and make ourselves known to the Education Authorities, libraries, local newspapers and broadcasters.
And yet, and yet... I am sometimes shocked by the errors I occasionally come across. A recent example was a legal document which had the words 'formally known as' where it should have had 'formerly known as'.

Part of the problem is the gulf between one perspective and the other. On the one hand you have people who feel it is their mission in life to eradicate every misused apostrophe and split infinitive, and on the other, people who don't much care about formalities as long as they feel they are getting their message across.

And of course most of us are at neither extreme, but rather somewhere in the middle.

I think I agree with bill, but I also think it's only the frothing-mouthed linguistic hardliners who are going to care enough to set something like this up.

I think I'm more of a fan of the Plain English Campaign, but their aims are slightly different.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 15:48   #144
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

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Originally Posted by ono no komachi View Post
I think I agree with bill, but I also think it's only the frothing-mouthed linguistic hardliners who are going to care enough to set something like this up.
Of course I meant 'set up something like this'. Ahem.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 15:59   #145
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

The gentleman from the QES academy was on the radio last night. He seemed like quite a nice chap. When asked what his reaction would be to those people who accused him of being pedantic, he said, "well, of course I am".

I rather approved of that.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 16:47   #146
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

There's a butchers' shop near me proudly proclaiming themselves: Proveyers of Fine Quality Meats. I often wonder as I drive past why the sign makers didn't pick up on it, or if it was their mistake, why the butcher didn't...
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 16:55   #147
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

I seem to remember David Mitchell (the comedy writer as opposed to the novelist) saying that he thought sign writers had two levels of service, the expensive one where they would proofread and correct any errors in the text, and the cut-price one where they would produce the sign exactly as written by the clients.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 17:11   #148
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Awful website, and I think I'm somewhere in the middle too - though after hearing the interview on PM last night I've been particularly sensitive to errors today... such as this one, which came in an email to me this morning:

Quote:
As discussed, I would very much welcome the opportunity to have a chat with you in the near future regarding projects, your ideas for taking the team forward and of course handover for you're maternity leave.
Why oh why is that second 'your' a 'you're'?! sigh.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 4:40   #149
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Aha, flushed out the pedants! I actually think it's incredibly vain and silly. Or, to quote Stephen Fry's tweet linking to the Times article, "Of all the foolish, ignorant, pox-ridden, pathetic and tragically misbegotten notions, this one beats them all."

Fry goes on to say,
Quote:
Language is not "in decline". More people write than 100 yrs ago. When was this "golden age?" Never. Total misunderstanding of history.
When I think about English, it's as the language with the greatest capacity to adsorb change, flex its gorgeous sinew in the expansion, and enfold the expression of more people than any other language. Part of that is its ability to suck up phrases and words from other languages, including txt spk, to mish-mash it all and grow ever more beautiful and purposeful. Who's to say exactly how this should happen? Some group of fusty farts who are going to, what was that, "tell them when they have got it wrong?" Fuck me, they're gonna be busy.
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Old 9th Jun 2010, 9:00   #150
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

I don't think many of the 'fusty farts' would argue with Stephen Fry at all. I think they would acknowledge that the English language is far from being in decline but constantly evolving. I just think it's a general frustration at the lack of grammar that is on display everywhere that brings out the inner pedant.
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