Thursday, April 27, 2006

Word games

I have been inspired to share with you (the three or so people who read my blog) some of the word blunders I've come across that most make me want to run screaming into traffic.

Now I won't pretend my blog posts aren't full of ridiculous type-os and spelling mistakes. I'm far from perfect. Even as pronunciation goes, I make mistakes. Every time I say "prolly" instead of "probably" I can hear Dave's blood pressure rise and him grind his teeth. That being said, I am annoyed by people who can't pronounce words or who just plain make them up.

It's different when someone's first language isn't English; that I understand completely and indeed have a great deal of sympathy for. English is a very complex language to learn and it's safe to say that their English is likely better than my ability to speak their native tongue. I save my (hidden) venom for abuse of the language for those who should know better.

There is no excuse for native english speakers for a number of words. Use of any of the following should be immediately punishable by a fork to the forehead. Or maybe some other, more rational punishment. I don't know.

  • People who say "nuke-u-ler" instead of nuclear are obviously not rocket scientists to me.
  • Similarly if you call it a "lie-berry" I will quickly conclude that while you've heard about such a place of fancy book-learnin', but haven't been there and wish to make that evident to the whole world.
  • "Overexaggerate" is probably one of the worst. Even hearing this makes my skin crawl. You can exaggerate, but you can't overexaggerate.
  • This one's an isolated one, but a goodie. One time when I asked a woman where she works, she answered a "lodge-is-tis-tics" company. I clarified and realized she meant she worked for a "logistics" company. Let's just hope she understands trucking operations better than her job title. She didn't have many teeth, and that might've been a contributing factor.
  • I think the only one worse than "overexaggerate is "irregardless." As far as I'm concerned if you use that word you should be made to wear a sign that says "Hello! I'm from the shallow end of the gene pool!"
  • There are a few ones that I tend to think are from this area. I overhead a conversation where a woman was describing her fireplace, saying smoke was going up her "chim-LEE." Perhaps she missed that day at school.
  • People who say "fuss-trate" frustrate me.
So, I'll say con-grad-u-lations to anyone who has read this rant. Any others I've forgotten while I get off my soap box?

24 comments:

mama_tulip said...

LMAO. I hate 'irregardless' too. And LIBARY. LOL.

Sara said...

exposable income.

Heather said...

I was totally leaving the law ones out, but exposable income is great.

How 'bout assurety, as in "I'm his assurety." I kinda think that by the time you've signed for someone's bail, the lawyer, the crown, and the JP have said "surety" to you, so you shouldn't be calling it "assurety."

ElaineMI said...

I went to a Catholic school and was always told that February was pronounced Feb-U-ary as the first r was always silent. NOW, they're telling us that February is pronounced Feb-RU-ary and I still can't get the hang of it. And then there is amb-u-lance.

HolyMama! said...

I was SOOO gonna say 'irregardless.' Oh i hate that!!

I don't like it when people refer to Target (the store) as "Targets."

But that's not nearly as bad as irregardless. ACK!

roro said...

Heather - I feel you. My favourite recent word blunder was when a client sent me some copy "for your edification". I looked forward to beind edified by said document, only to discover that what he MEANT was he wanted me to "edit" it and thought "edification" was a fancy business word for editing. I'm trying to think of a way to tell him without making him feel stupid and subsequently "losing my cheque in the mail".

elaine said...

Dollars instead of money. As in, "This is a waste of taxpayers dollars." It's MONEY not dollars!

Impact. "we're not sure what kind of an impact this will have on the stock market." Honestly people, meteorites leave an impact! But you might not be sure what kind of an affect something is going to have on the stock market.

Anonymous said...

I hate 'axed' and 'dest' instead of asked and desk! Go back to kindergarten and learn some pronunciation skills!

But I, too, learned to say Feb-u-ary, which I think is widely acceptable.

Sara said...

Yeah I didn't mean it in a law way...

I meant like this lady on the train who said: "Well gee, my kids are moved out now so I have lots of exposable income!"

Although if we're talking law words, people who say "PRE emptory" when the word it "peremptory".... that one bugs me. I axe them to say peremptory, but irregardless they keep saying pre emptory. you really don't know the impact that is having on me.

OH! The other one that gets me, my mom used it all the time is "aggravating" in place of "annoying". If you're annoyed, say you're annoyed... you don't need to say you're aggravated to sound smarter. Unless you want to say "You're aggravating my annoyance"... which sounds pretentious... but whatever.

Henly said...

"For all intensive purposes" instead of "for all intents and purposes"

People who pronounce schedule with a soft 'sch'.

and of course,
"Dammit, you're in Canada. It's not Zeee.. it's ZED!"

Heather said...

Holymama: I hear target is awesome (we don't have any up here)! The pluralizing isn't confined to Target, because in Windsor people will tell you they work at "Fords" or "Christ-lers."

roro: I find that edit-fication was hilarious, but would still be inclined to want to put a fork in that guy's forehead!

Elaine: Dollars, as you know drives me almost as bonkers as the difference between less and fewer. They are NOT interchangeable!

Anonymous: Axed is one I completely forgot!

Sara: someone told me today their matter was pre-emptory. I'm a bit more forgiving in youth court though.

Henly: Oooh "intensive purposes" and shed-ulle are good ones. Oh, and the ZED thing is becuase it's from the Greek alphabet (Zeta). I'll always say Zed!

ElaineMI said...

Hmmm, I must have really ticked you off. And here I've been trying so hard to be nice.

Heather said...

Elainemi: No, I'm just a bit slow. People who say "am-bue-LANCE" might end up there with me around. :)

scarbie doll said...

"Unorganized" is one that totally gets under my skin. I want to slap people when they say that. Also, when people spell "loose" for "lose". Oh that one makes my teeth itch!

Sara said...

Utilize. That one gets me.

THE WORD IS USE! Utilize it.

Heather said...

Scarbie doll: Unorganized should have definitely made my list.

Sara: Is utilize a Seaforth thing? I'll have to listen for it more often. Don't think we use big words like utilize in the 'shwa.

Anonymous said...

I cringe when I hear "past history". Isn't history the past?

Heather said...

Anonymous: Another good one!

Marla said...

I used to work at a dry cleaner, and a client asked for her raincoat to be "water repelletized". Fifteen years ago, and that's still taking up brain space. GAH!

Heather said...

marla: it's amazing how things like that remain in our brains years later, eh?

Anonymous said...

Heather, for the record, you spelled overheard as overhead. And, you are right; overexaggerate should NOT be used in place of overstate, as most people end up doing. However, an overexaggerater COULD be described as someone who is overstating, to a prolonged and excessive degree. They just keep going on and on with their overstatements, despite countless replies of "all right we get it already" throughout the day. Now, this is obviously not what anyone means when they use the word "overexaggerate". So yes, besides my special case described above, people incorrectly add the "over-" prefix. But, since there is an instance where "overexaggerate" can make logical sense, I cannot consider it an inherently illegal statement. For all practical purposes you would be correct, but just keep that in mind.

Anonymous said...

Sara, the word "utilize" is a synonymn for "use". What logical reason do you have to say that one is better than the other? It is just your opinion. And no you cannot say that "use" just feels right. At least come up with something SORT of logical to back up your emotionally laden statement, like, "its smaller and cuter and people use it more often, making it easier for very young children to understand and write." Or people with comparable intellect. So, obviously then you were just stating your opinion. Just clarifying.

Anonymous said...

So, scarbie doll, I'm curious. What do you utilize in place of "unorganized"? Disorded comes to mind.. except that it's extremely similar, and as so surely must be equally wrong in your eyes. Messy? Aww how cute. Just the right word if you're starring as one of the "plastics" in that Lindsay Lohan movie.

Anonymous said...

What about people who say, "Yeah, I'll take 'a hundert' of 'em." First of all, it's "hunDRED". Second of all, it's "one hundred", not "a hundred". That's like saying "Yeah, I'll take 'a fifty' of them", or "I'll take 'a nine' of them", etc. There will never be a shortage of stupid people in this world.