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Commonly misused words and phrases - Page 2

post #41 of 92
Even dictionary.com does the word dirty.

When giving an example of using it in a sentence, it quotes "He left the waiter a niggardly tip."
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #42 of 92
My favourites are when people say:
- Brought instead of bought and vice versa.
- Generally instead of genuinely and vice versa.
- i.e. instead of e.g. and vice versa.
post #43 of 92
I like i.e. vs. e.g. because I had at least a year of latin. I like how people like to use a proiri in scientific text a lot. To me it has a specific statistical meaning but often authors like to use it to mean "we had information before we got started". Most people do.
post #44 of 92
"I Love You"
post #45 of 92
This morning while watching CBC's coverage of the Beijing olympics I heard the anchor use the word "winningest". I was not eloquent enough to be able to express my disgust in any of the languages I speak.

I first heard this word used by some American TV commentator with respect to some American race-car driver. I remember thinking then that I should forgive this man because he was American and did not know any better; but when I heard it on CBC I had trouble containing myself.

I was told that CBC is modelled after BBC when it comes to grammar and pronunciation. One will never hear such mangling of English on BBC.

Cheers

*Edited for punctuation
post #46 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkingDifferent View Post

"I Love You"

Ahaha
post #47 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post

This morning while watching CBC's coverage of the Beijing olympics I heard the anchor use the word "winningest". I was not eloquent enough to be able to express my disgust in any of the languages I speak.

I first heard this word used by some American TV commentator with respect to some American race-car driver. I remember thinking then that I should forgive this man because he was American and did not know any better; but when I heard it on CBC I had trouble containing myself.

I was told that CBC is modelled after BBC when it comes to grammar and pronunciation. One will never hear such mangling of English on BBC.

Cheers

*Edited for punctuation

There is nothing wrong with winningest. Most winning sounds weird.
post #48 of 92
Do you guys say "take a decision" or "make a decision"?
post #49 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

do you guys say "take a decision" or "make a decision"?

make.
post #50 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post

This morning while watching CBC's coverage of the Beijing olympics I heard the anchor use the word "winningest". ... One will never hear such mangling of English on BBC.

I'm nearly positive I heard that exact word with respect to Michael Phelps on BBC Radio this morning. Sorry.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #51 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post

I'm nearly positive I heard that exact word with respect to Michael Phelps on BBC Radio this morning. Sorry.

If BBC has started to use such terms, it is the beginning of the end

Cheers
post #52 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post

If BBC has started to use such terms, it is the beginning of the end

Cheers

It's the beginning of the end when you punctuate your sentences with emoticons.
post #53 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

It's the beginning of the end when you punctuate your sentences with emoticons.

I don't know what to say other than mea culpa.

Cheers
post #54 of 92
"cut the mustard"

I think it's the bastard cousin of

Cutting muster.

http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/mustard.html


and the funniest mistakes.


"hahah looks like he cut off his nose despite his face" (cutting off ones nose to spite their face)

"french benefits" (Fringe benefits)

'hopefully it will peak your interest" (if that piques your interest)
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #55 of 92
I am obliged to once again pay homage to the greatest malapropism it was ever my privilege to hear, a gaffe so lovely that I have ever since endeavored to use it at every opportunity:

"Monkey up the waters."
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #56 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I am obliged to once again pay homage to the greatest malapropism it was ever my privilege to hear, a gaffe so lovely that I have ever since endeavored to use it at every opportunity:

"Monkey up the waters."

Jesus, Adda. It's not rocket surgery. Don't reinvent the dead horse and go monkeying up the waters.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #57 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Jesus, Adda. It's not rocket surgery. Don't reinvent the dead horse and go monkeying up the waters.

Yes! Yes! It's mucus to my ears!
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #58 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yes! Yes! It's mucus to my ears!

Meh. It's a mute point, irregardless.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #59 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Meh. It's a mute point, irregardless.

You're right, for all intensive purposes. But what are you going to do? It's a doggy dog world.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #60 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yes! Yes! It's mucus to my ears!

There's an old saying in Tennessee I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, fool me once, shame on shame on you. Fool me you can't get fooled again.
post #61 of 92
One people often get wrong is "with a grain of salt" where they try to exaggerate it and say "a big grain of salt". The idiom is saying that all that's needed is a single grain of salt so adding more salt doesn't help emphasize the point. If fact going the other way would be more correct I would think, "you don't need a gain of salt ..."
post #62 of 92
My supervisor was giving a talk where I took notes on every use of the words "literally" and "actually." I lost my notes (a full page that would probably get me fired if it found its way to my boss) but I wil never forget:
"I'm sorry Mrs. Suchandso cannot be here, she is literally under the weather."

I imagine a poor woman burried under rain and snow, but I'm sure that is not what he ment...
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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post #63 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

but I'm sure that is not what he ment...

Ment? Burried? You should type slower or use the backspace key more often like I do

Cheers
post #64 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post

Ment? Burried? You should type slower or use the backspace key more often like I do

Cheers

meant

Thanks. Nothing to do with typing speed or backspacing, though. I seem to lack the ability to see when words are mispelled. Ment looked fine to me. If the spell check software doesn't flag it, my only hope is to have my wife proofread--and that just aint happening with AI posts.

When picking on someone for their use (or misuse) of words, however, I suppose it behooves me to be more careful...

edit: Crap! The spell check does flag "ment." I am out of excuses...
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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post #65 of 92
In building design the landing of the stairwell is intended to be a place of "refuge" for people that cannot get down the stairs. That way they can survive the fire until the firemen can rescue them. In a meeting my wife's boss, an architect, kept referring to it as the place of "refugee". My wife had vision of boat people being housed in stairwells.
post #66 of 92
Begs the question.

I remember learning this for the first time in high school. It means to engage in circular reasoning, or to assume that the conditions are true, as in "He begs the question when he says all politicians are dishonest because to get elected politicians lie."

But recently, I'd say 90% of the times I've seen this phrase used to mean raises the question, as in "Obama's nomination begs the question: Will Americans elect a black president?"

But here's the odd thing: The wrong usage sounds better to me now. It begs the question, it asks the question, it demands the question.
post #67 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Begs the question.

I remember learning this for the first time in high school. It means to engage in circular reasoning, or to assume that the conditions are true, as in "He begs the question when he says all politicians are dishonest because to get elected politicians lie."

But recently, I'd say 90% of the times I've seen this phrase used to mean raises the question, as in "Obama's nomination begs the question: Will Americans elect a black president?"

But here's the odd thing: The wrong usage sounds better to me now. It begs the question, it asks the question, it demands the question.

I was that way about not splitting some infinitives (e.g. "to explain completely"). Now I'm used to it, I suppose.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #68 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

I'm pretty calm. The sarcasm was just for added affect, I'm not actually angry or anything.

I think it's "effect" in this case.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #69 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I was that way about not splitting some infinitives (e.g. "to explain completely"). Now I'm used to it, I suppose.

I always took you for one of those hippie "language is always changing" types.

One that really bugs me no matter how many times I see it is treating data as a singular noun. "The data shows..." or "The data is..." Yech. But I think that's to the point of "acceptable usage" today.
post #70 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I think it's "effect" in this case.

Unless he meant affect.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #71 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I always took you for one of those hippie "language is always changing" types.

I am, for the most part. I like for words to be spelled correctly and for sentences to be punctuated correctly. In other words, while I accept that language is constantly changing, that isn't to say that there aren't any rules and we should just go watermelon sugar all over the place. I think that many times, people simply refuse to learn the rules (e.g. for apostrophes, for commas, for semi-colons), and then some of those people become teachers and tell students that you put a comma where you pause, that no one can remember the rule for the apostrophe, and that semi-colons are simply so complex that they should be avoided at all costs.

I mean, seriously, what is the difference between saying "I don't understand [basic element of English grammar" and saying "I just can't do addition"?

Quote:
One that really bugs me no matter how many times I see it is treating data as a singular noun. "The data shows..." or "The data is..." Yech. But I think that's to the point of "acceptable usage" today.

Yeah. I agree. But we should hold the line, BRussell! Fight the good fight for data and datum alike!!! CONSIDER ALL THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL WHO HAVE BEEN SO OFTEN MISLABELED! THINK OF THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL!
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #72 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Unless he meant affect.

Spot on, Midwinter.
post #73 of 92
One thing that has bothered me is that the use of "they" as a singular pronoun in writing is considered by some as unacceptable. Using gender specific pronouns don't make sense in modern day writing due to the gender neutral language movement, but at the same time, avoiding gender specific terms using combinations like "him or her," "he/she," or "s/he," or pronouns like "one" or "an individual" are awkward and cumbersome. I'm definitely in favor of singular they.
post #74 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

One thing that has bothered me is that the use of "they" as a singular pronoun in writing is considered by some as unacceptable. Using gender specific pronouns doesn't make sense in modern day writing due to the gender neutral language movement, but at the same time, avoiding gender specific terms using combinations like "him or her," "he/she," or "s/he," or pronouns like "one" or "an individual" are awkward and cumbersome. I'm definitely in favor of singular they.

This is just one of those areas where English is weird. I blame the Romans. And the Germans. And the French. And the Norse. Basically, anyone who conquered England at some point. And that's just about everyone.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #75 of 92
I love these threads. Here are a few more:

It's not that good of a product
I wish you would have seen me
We will be taking off momentarily
There are less cars on the road than usual
post #76 of 92
I'm trying to think.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #77 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyb View Post

I love these threads. Here are a few more:

It's not that good of a product
I wish you would have seen me
We will be taking off momentarily
There are less cars on the road than usual

What? I don't get how any of those are misused...?
post #78 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

What? I don't get how any of those are misused...?

It's not an awesome product
I wish you had seen me
We will be taking off soon
There are fewer cars on the road than usual
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #79 of 92
I never got the less/fewer thing.

Same difference, but fewer sounds more refined.

*shrugs*

Also, who knows how to fucking conjugate "lie?"
post #80 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

I never got the less/fewer thing.

Same difference, but fewer sounds more refined.

"Fewer" is for countable things, things that can be considered as a varying number of unit items, e.g. fewer cars, fewer dogs, fewer excuses.

"Less" is for non-integer quantities, things that you would measure not by counting particular items or units but by using a continuous scale, e.g. less water, less time, less patience.

Both words could be used for the same thing depending on whether conceptual individual units are considered or ignored, e.g. less salt vs. fewer grains of salt.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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