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The 7 - One Question... - What's the Worst Abuse of the English Language?
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britishiles
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#21 Posted on 8.11.05 1017.46
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1019.21
I have two...

1. supposebly instead of supposedly

2. irregardless
haz
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#22 Posted on 8.11.05 1042.05
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1049.23
I hate it when people call me a looser....

Mentioned earlier, but loose vs lose bugs the hell out of me.

Acronyms were mentioned earlier too, that is another one that really bugs me. There are far too many acronyms in the world...
2P4E
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#23 Posted on 8.11.05 1049.30
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1052.38
I don't think anyone's mentioned "whose" and "who's" yet.

This is a nice article which raises some more general abuses: How To Write Like a Wanker.
bash91
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#24 Posted on 8.11.05 1104.47
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1104.52
As a sometimes teacher of composition at the college level, I'd agree with about everything said previously in this thread and would like to add a couple more irritants. For me, the affect/effect confusion drives me absolutely buggy, especially when I see students writing about cause and affect. My other major pet peeve is the looks of incredulity I get when I tell my students that the spell check on Word is not omniscient and will not correct all of your errors which means that you have to actually, cue horrified gasping and moans of dismay, proofread.

Some of the spelling errors that would have been caught via proofreading have not only reduced me to tears from laughter but have also been profoundly embarrassing to the student. As an example, one of my former students was giving a speech about President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. One of his slides was meant to be entitled "Bill Clinton's Public Relations Problems". Unfortunately, he omitted an L which gave an entirely new meaning to the slide and reduced the class to tears and pretty much ended his informative speech before it got started.

Tim
KJames199
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#25 Posted on 8.11.05 1249.29
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1250.44
    Originally posted by AWArulz
      Originally posted by KJames199
      L3375p34K 4n|} H4X0R 8ULL5H17.


    I believe I speak for the elderly folks on this board when I say we need a translation.


"Leetspeak and hacker bullshit" - not only does it look stupid, but it actually takes more time to write than the actual words would.

at least txt msgs r fastr so u save time
britishiles
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#26 Posted on 8.11.05 1251.42
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1254.14
    Originally posted by KJames199
      Originally posted by AWArulz
        Originally posted by KJames199
        L3375p34K 4n|} H4X0R 8ULL5H17.


      I believe I speak for the elderly folks on this board when I say we need a translation.


    "Leetspeak and hacker bullshit" - not only does it look stupid, but it actually takes more time to write than the actual words would.

    at least txt msgs r fastr so u save time


Howw about PWNED
KJames199
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#27 Posted on 8.11.05 1253.46
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1255.08
    Originally posted by britishiles
    Howw about PWNED


w00t!
geemoney
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#28 Posted on 8.11.05 1323.11
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1324.04
I hate when people, instead of saying "said," instert the word "go." Never written, just spoken.

For example:

"She was all up in my face, so I go, 'Look bitch, let's start it right now!'"
rinberg
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#29 Posted on 8.11.05 1339.26
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1339.54
This isn't everyday conversation, but here are a couple that I have heard from across the pulpit:

"...and when Jesus spotted the leopards..."

"When you have hardships in your life, it's not God's fart..."

I live for moments like that, when I can raise one eyebrow to my wife and we don't even have to say anything. We just know what the other is thinking.
emma
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#30 Posted on 8.11.05 1350.06
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1350.07
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
      Originally posted by ShotGunShep
      You are all wrong!

      It is by far the use of "they" as a 3rd person singular pronoun.

      Nearly everyone makes this mistake and it is a very hard habit to break.
    I can't tell what you mean - give an example, please.
I believe Shep is referring to this sort of construct:
"I don't remember who the poster was, but they expressed their total disdain for Brock Lesnar in their post."

That's a problematic construct though. I think of that usage as grammar evolution in progress. We certainly all know that the classical grammatical rule is to use "he" & "his" when the gender of the pronoun's reference is unknown. However, that rule has become outdated & socially inappropriate. So the sentence ends up being something like:
"I don't remember who the poster was, but he or she expressed his or her total disdain for Brock Lesnar in the poster's post." (Note that we (!) can't continue to use a pronoun in that third location, since Brock would be the "he" at that point.)

Or, the sentence gets totally garbled around into some intricate passive voice monstrosity in an attempt to avoid the problematic pronouns completely:
"I don't remember who the poster was, but an expression of total disdain for Brock Lesnar was contained in a post by someone."

So, I maintain that "they" in this context is not being used as the plural third person pronoun, but rather in its newly proposed role as the non-gender-specific singular third person pronoun.

Which brings me to my Worst Abuse vote: unnecessary passive voice. :-) This is rampant in technical writing, & especially when the writer is trying to sound authoritative. (Which is not to say that the construction of such sentences might be outside the reach of this author in occasions of deliberate obfuscatory intent.)
spf
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#31 Posted on 8.11.05 1442.05
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1444.46
I found the Christmas gift for everyone who posted in this thread.

Merry Christmas! (foostew.com)
Matt Tracker
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#32 Posted on 8.11.05 1502.58
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1507.15
    Originally posted by spf
    I found the Christmas gift for everyone who posted in this thread.

    Merry Christmas! (foostew.com)


I already gave my wife the Oxford English Dictionary. You know, the one with all the words that you have to read with a magnifying lens.
Wolfram J. Paulovich
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#33 Posted on 8.11.05 1732.13
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1732.33
    Originally posted by emma

    So, I maintain that "they" in this context is not being used as the plural third person pronoun, but rather in its newly proposed role as the non-gender-specific singular third person pronoun.

A lot of grammarians have come around to this compromise, but by no means all of them. Personally, I wish we could just stick to the masculine for all unspecified third-person singulars, but I'm a guy. I can understand how women would be bothered by it, but I'm disppointed at how the outrage over unnecessarily distorting the English language comes nowhere close to equalling the outrage over the use of a masculine word.



    Which brings me to my Worst Abuse vote: unnecessary passive voice. :-) This is rampant in technical writing, & especially when the writer is trying to sound authoritative.

I wrote a whole column about passive voice in wrestling commentary, but it's even worse in sports commentary, especially football. It's twice as bad when combined with the "we cannot make a possessive by adding an apostrophe anymore" phenomenon. "The ball was thrown and was caught by Marvin Harrison, and now the Colts find themselves on the twenty-yard line of the New England Patriots."
RKMtwin
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#34 Posted on 8.11.05 1927.43
Reposted on: 8.11.12 1928.00
I had to jump out of my usually lurking mode to chime in on this thread!

Although it's not the worst abuse of English I've seen, I absolutely loathe seeing the misspelling of "definitely." It's not spelled, nor ever will be spelled "DEFINATELY!" I swear that gets under my skin!

(And by the way, this is the type of thread that makes me very self-conscious about my own use of proper grammar and spelling! )
JayJayDean
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#35 Posted on 8.11.05 2018.04
Reposted on: 8.11.12 2018.30
I'd like to meet someone who uses "ur" as a word, so I can shove an umbrella up their ass and open it.
jfkfc
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#36 Posted on 9.11.05 1027.03
Reposted on: 9.11.12 1029.01
I had someone at work suggest to me "bi-weekly meetings" for something. It irks me that I have to then determine if the person* meant to suggest one meeting every two weeks, or two meetings every one week. The online M-W dictionary (m-w.com) lists both as definitions, so one can never know for sure.

How about "inconceivable!" (geocities.com)

* note the use of "the person" instead of "they", for Shep's sake.
RYDER FAKIN
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#37 Posted on 9.11.05 1105.42
Reposted on: 9.11.12 1106.45
The overuse of the word “fuck”

Telling me the time of day should not take, at the most, more than 1 f-bomb..."It’s fucking four-fucking thirty, motherfucker". No need at all for that. Especially from the females

FLEA
emma
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#38 Posted on 9.11.05 1803.15
Reposted on: 9.11.12 1804.52
    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    The overuse of the word “fuck”

    Telling me the time of day should not take, at the most, more than 1 f-bomb..."It’s fucking four-fucking thirty, motherfucker". No need at all for that. Especially from the females

    FLEA
Ahem. You know what I'm going to say here, right? ;-)

    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    The complete ignorance of the definition "literally."
I just had a phone call from a lifelong friend. We went to the same elementary & high schools, had comparable college educations, & are from pretty equivalent social & familial backgrounds. When (the fuck, for Ryder Fakin) did she start using the word "literally" literally every fifth word!?! Somehow that Saturday Night Live sketch (Wasn't it?) must have implanted itself in her brain so insidiously that the sarcasm of it was lost! (See, TV is evil. That proves it.)
geemoney
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#39 Posted on 9.11.05 1808.23
Reposted on: 9.11.12 1810.02
    Originally posted by emma
    Somehow that Saturday Night Live sketch (Wasn't it?) must have implanted itself in her brain so insidiously

The one I'm thinking of was on MAD TV.
ekedolphin
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#40 Posted on 9.11.05 1943.56
Reposted on: 9.11.12 1947.40
    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    The overuse of the word “fuck”

    Telling me the time of day should not take, at the most, more than 1 f-bomb..."It’s fucking four-fucking thirty, motherfucker". No need at all for that. Especially from the females

    FLEA


I couldn't fuckin' agree more.
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