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Pet Peeves Options
NickN
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 12:20:03 PM
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We all have pet peeves when it comes to word usage and grammar.

My biggest two are when "historic" is preceded by "an," and when "then" is incorrectly used instead of "than."

What are yours?
MiTziGo
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 12:33:15 PM

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It drives me crazy when people use the wrong their/there/they're!
Their=belonging to them
There=in that location
They're=contraction of "they are"
Rinkusu
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 12:46:29 PM
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People mixing up 'you're' and 'your' is overly annoying. As is 'its' and 'it's'.

Another annoying grammar mistake is when people capitalize the first letter of every word in their sentence. WHAT THE HELL.

But possibly the most annoying grammar mistake is not leaving a space after an ellipsis. JHGSDFHBJTFHDG. GAH.
risadr
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 2:16:16 PM

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NickN wrote:
We all have pet peeves when it comes to word usage and grammar.

My biggest two are when "historic" is preceded by "an," and when "then" is incorrectly used instead of "than."

What are yours?


I think that "an" with "historic" is fairly common, since "an" precedes most other words beginning with "h." I'm not saying that it's correct, or that it's not annoying, just that it's probably fairly common.

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
risadr
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 2:18:36 PM

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My biggest pet peeves are actually punctuation errors. I can't stand when someone uses a semi-colon incorrectly. Same goes for putting commas and periods outside of the quotation marks.

"To, too, and two" also drives me crazy.

I'm also annoyed by improper use of ellipses, though I'm sure that I'm guilty of this particular grammatical sin in my informal writing.

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
Wolfie
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 2:20:30 PM
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MichalG wrote:
It drives me crazy when people use the wrong their/there/they're!
Their=belonging to them
There=in that location
They're=contraction of "they are"


Those mentioned above annoys me to little bits and pieces >,<
risadr
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 2:33:04 PM

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I just thought of another one!

I can't stand it when a person/group of people is referred to as "that," when s/he/they should be referred to as "they," "who/whom," or "s/he." For example:

INCORRECT: "Your best friends are the people that you can count on for anything."
CORRECT: "Your best friends are the people whom you can count on for anything."

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
NicoleR
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 3:13:27 PM

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I can't stand when people use affect/effect improperly. I see it all the time in online and print news articles, which is so annoying! A hint that I tell people to help them remember which is which is that "affect" is an "action", and both start with "a", and an "effect" is an "end result", and both start with "e".
risadr
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 3:52:40 PM

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NicoleR wrote:
I can't stand when people use affect/effect improperly. I see it all the time in online and print news articles, which is so annoying! A hint that I tell people to help them remember which is which is that "affect" is an "action", and both start with "a", and an "effect" is an "end result", and both start with "e".


I feel the exact same way. Another one, like this, that bugs me is when people use sympathy/empathy incorrectly. If you empathize, that means that you've had the same experience. If you sympathize, you can only imagine.

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
risadr
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 3:54:28 PM

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I thought of another pet peeve, and someone please tell me that I'm not alone on this:

The use of "of" where one should say/write "have." Example:

INCORRECT: "He should of gone to the bathroom before we left."
CORRECT: "He should have gone to the bathroom before we left." OR "He should've gone to the bathroom before we left."


On a completely different note, I'm beginning to understand why my friends always called me a "Grammar Nazi" in high school. lol

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
ksr
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 4:02:53 PM
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which word would be right to use 'anyway' or 'anyways'?
Because 'anyways' is very common, but the word 'any', already is plural, isnt it?
wordnerd
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 4:24:54 PM

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I may be wrong, but I can't think of any situation in which "anyways" would ever be correct.

The first peeve that comes to mind is the sloppy use of (or failure to use) apostrophes. I just saw one this morning on a door in a shop marked "Employee's Only." That kind of thing really brings out the cranky English teacher in me!!
Rinkusu
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 4:26:38 PM
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I believe it's 'anyway' but I'm not sure.

Another pet peeve: 'lol'
wordnerd
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 4:27:43 PM

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Actually, my reply above illustrates another of my pet peeves. Argh! I can't believe I wrote it and didn't catch it!! It's the misplaced modifier: the shop was not marked "employee's only;" the door was. Sorry about that!
tfrank
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 5:16:13 PM
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"There's" for "there're," as in "There's lots more of those."

Perhaps people make this mistake because "there's" rolls off the tongue more easily than "there're"? Too bad; "there are" is always acceptable.

I also hate it when people find out what I do and from then on are on the lookout to catch me in a mistake. Yeesh! That peeves me, no doubt.

Ooh, ooh, I thought of two more:

I can't stand to read "which" when the word should be "that." There is a distinction (in American English) between the two for a reason.

I also can't stand to hear pretentious people go on and on about how we Americans have ruined the English language. The pretentious people guilty of this are usually American, and they make fools of themselves by displaying their ignorance. American English has evolved much more slowly than British English, which is why the distinction between "that" and "which" is no longer observed across the pond. It is also much more acceptable in England to use "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun in written English.

I'm not dissing the English; I'm dissing ignorant elitism. (I have a little - but not much - more patience with informed elitism.)

Tamara
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 6:53:27 PM
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NicoleR wrote:
I can't stand when people use affect/effect improperly. I see it all the time in online and print news articles, which is so annoying! A hint that I tell people to help them remember which is which is that "affect" is an "action", and both start with "a", and an "effect" is an "end result", and both start with "e".


i stopped reading the boards to reply because this is the one that drives me so up a wall. I work in the not-for-profit world and can't tell you how many times, I've read published literature from an organization that gets this wrong. Unacceptable!
ajmilner
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 7:28:31 PM
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People misusing "its" and "it's" bothers me.
kaliedel
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 8:02:35 PM

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What bugs me is any situation where "text speak" is used instead of regular words, i.e. "U" rather than "you." I'm not sure how those people will ever be able to type up a good cover letter/resume.
Citiwoman
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2009 11:17:55 PM
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What a great forum! Pet peeves:
- split infinitives
- "I could care less."
- middle-aged businesspeople peppering emails with "LOL" and "OMG."
- people signing cards and invitations (for example) "The Clark's" instead of "The Clarks"
- the word "very"
- sentences that begin with "There is," "It is," or "That is."
- the inclusion of terms like "hit it out of the park" or "thrown under the bus" or "think outside of the box" or "queue it up" in any professional document or marketing piece
Luftmarque
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 2:14:33 AM

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I often see people using the non-word "noone" when they mean "no one." I suppose it's a parallel construction to "someone" and "anyone" but I think most native speakers would pronounce it like "noon." Another one is "loose" used where "lose" is wanted. Of course, there's "choose" which rhymes with "lose" but that's part of English's richness, isn't it?

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
Drew
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 9:41:17 AM
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NickN wrote:
We all have pet peeves when it comes to word usage and grammar.

My biggest two are when "historic" is preceded by "an," and when "then" is incorrectly used instead of "than."

What are yours?


This is a pet peeve of mine also. It was especially annoying in the thick of the presidential election when a lot of television commentators kept referring to the race as such "an historic" election. I think there are probably many people who picked up that habit while watching that coverage.

I've always thought that the rule is you use the word "an" to precede a word that starts with "h" only if the actual "h" sound is silent, like the in word hour.
risadr
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 1:41:12 PM

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Rinkusu wrote:
I believe it's 'anyway' but I'm not sure.

Another pet peeve: 'lol'


"lol" is an acronym for Laughing Out Loud. I don't understand why that would bother someone. I mean, I can see if someone is using it in conversation, as in saying "lol" rather than just laughing, but in informal writing, I find "lol" to be perfectly acceptable.

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
risadr
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 1:47:31 PM

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Drew wrote:
NickN wrote:
We all have pet peeves when it comes to word usage and grammar.

My biggest two are when "historic" is preceded by "an," and when "then" is incorrectly used instead of "than."

What are yours?


This is a pet peeve of mine also. It was especially annoying in the thick of the presidential election when a lot of television commentators kept referring to the race as such "an historic" election. I think there are probably many people who picked up that habit while watching that coverage.

I've always thought that the rule is you use the word "an" to precede a word that starts with "h" only if the actual "h" sound is silent, like the in word hour.


I mentioned this particular pet peeve to my aunt and she informed me that, in school, she was always told that "an" was the proper precedent for "historical." I think that this discrepancy has more to do with the evolution of language than anything, because I was always taught that "historical" should be preceded by "a."

It's like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can't read just yet. "I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
NicoleR
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 2:30:38 PM

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Luftmarque wrote:

I often see people using the non-word "noone" when they mean "no one." I suppose it's a parallel construction to "someone" and "anyone" but I think most native speakers would pronounce it like "noon." Another one is "loose" used where "lose" is wanted. Of course, there's "choose" which rhymes with "lose" but that's part of English's richness, isn't it?


The "loose/lose" thing really gets to me as well. People see these in context all the time, and, if reading them aloud, understand which pronunciation they should be using, so I don't understand how they can write them incorrectly and not notice!
MiTziGo
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 4:44:42 PM

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Also, "irregardless" is not a word people!!!! "Regardless" already means what you want it to mean! Ok, making me even angrier- and this connects to the thread on slang in dictionaries as well- irregardless is now found in the dictionary.

ir·re·gard·less (r-gärdls)
adv. Nonstandard, Regardless.
[Probably blend of irrespective and regardless.]
Usage Note: Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Lawrence
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 10:09:38 AM
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Words ending in 'a' that although they are plurals are treated as singulars. Examples are: strata, data, criteria, media, bacteria and agenda. Not only do all of my examples attract singular verbs but they also attract a terminal 's' when the writer wants a plural.

It may come as a surprise to most that the word 'agenda' is a plural (the singular is agendum). Therefore phrases like 'the agenda is very long' isn't just an error of grammar which could be put right by saying '...the agenda are very long...' it's an error of sense; more correctly we should say '...there are many agenda...' if that's what we mean.

Because the singular is so rarely known, people invent phrases to stand in for it; so instead of the word 'agendum' they use something like 'item on the agenda'. For example, they will say '...the first item on the agenda..' instead of '...the first agendum...'. Worse still they will say '...there is just one item on the agenda...' rather than '...there is just one agendum...'. Why use all those extra words just to produce illogical and verbose nonsense? After all, they wouldn't say 'There is only one coin on my pence' when they mean 'I have only one penny'.
Raparee
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 10:38:33 AM

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A lot of these are similar peeves, but I'm also guilty of some of them. One of my biggest peeves concerns either too much or too little punctuation! Either I face a report full of possessives or none at all and with commas, I swear, why is everyone so deathly afraid of commas? I've gotten to the point I call them commaphobes. And yes, I believe in the Oxford comma wholeheartedly. That extra comma can make all the difference in the sentence, how it is read, and what it means.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of these stem from the fact that education couldn't figure out which way to go! When you're taught something different every year, as I was in high school, you tend to just pick one and stick with it.


A closed mind is like a closed book - nothing can be gained if either remains closed.
Rinkusu
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:06:30 AM
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risadr wrote:
Rinkusu wrote:
I believe it's 'anyway' but I'm not sure.

Another pet peeve: 'lol'


"lol" is an acronym for Laughing Out Loud. I don't understand why that would bother someone. I mean, I can see if someone is using it in conversation, as in saying "lol" rather than just laughing, but in informal writing, I find "lol" to be perfectly acceptable.


I just find it annoying. Maybe it's just "lol"'s ridiculous overuse. I prefer 'haha' over 'lol'.
Betsy D.
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 1:52:44 PM

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I two really barkin' pet peevesShame on you :

Calvary vs. Cavalry - and I hear it even on the news. After wondering where all the editors have gone, I begin lecturing with appropriate gesticulations.

*Calvary* is Jesus on the Cross. *Cavalry* is soldiers on horseback.

and this one:


When I hear it said: "people that" - Correct usage is "people *who*". "That" refers to things; "who" refers to people" (women who, men who...) Now, would it be "group that" or "group who"? Or would either be correct? Anyone know?


[/i]
NickN wrote:
We all have pet peeves when it comes to word usage and grammar. [/i]
My biggest two are when "historic" is preceded by "an," and when "then" is incorrectly used instead of "than."

What are yours?


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain
Betsy D.
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 1:54:27 PM

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Oh yeah - and *that* one is a pet peeve too!

MichalG wrote:
Also, "irregardless" is not a word people!!!! "Regardless" already means what you want it to mean! Ok, making me even angrier- and this connects to the thread on slang in dictionaries as well- irregardless is now found in the dictionary.

ir·re·gard·less (r-gärdls)
adv. Nonstandard, Regardless.
[Probably blend of irrespective and regardless.]
Usage Note: Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain
Betsy D.
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 1:56:42 PM

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Alright, just one more - "heart rendering"... Boo hoo!

No - you *rend* hearts. You "render" fat. Dancing

Although I do get a chuckle at the visual...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain
bewusstlos
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 6:19:10 AM

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Many of the foregoing peeves are my pets, too. I just got an email containing another one:

"The second part of my talk involves development of novel polymeric bi-functional inhibitors based on cell surface receptor and a FDA approved antiviral drug as therapeutic agents against influenza virus."

I would have written the underlined portion as "an FDA-approved". After all, no one is going to read out the full form of FDA, so FDA has a vowel (sound) start, needing "an". The hyphen thing also bugs me. But I'm practically alone about this in my office.

bewusstlos.
tfrank
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 7:29:26 AM
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I'm with you on both counts. I got used to following the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines for hyphenation, which a lot of people find a bit extreme. They're very useful when you're editing large blocks of text, though, in which it's far more likely you'll have at least a few odd word combinations that could lead to misreading. The extra work becomes second nature, and therefore less work in the long run.

catskincatskin
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 12:07:05 PM

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Writing "then" when "than" is meant is definitely my no. 1 pet peeve for written English. For oral English I have two: overcorrecting adverbs (for example: "I feel badly.") and using "I" when the correct word should be "me"--even NPR journalists are starting to use "I" when "me" is correct, so I'm trying relax about it... but it still drives me crazy.
Raparee
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 3:23:50 PM

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Okay, I've got to gripe - "Busted" vs. "Broken." I HATE, HATE, HATE the term "busted." My mother and English teachers would've red-marked that one up one side and down the other had I tried to use that in school (I never did, but still). Unfortunately, at this point, it's such common slang terminology that unless I can find something in the Gregg manual to naysay it, I can't technically change it! I twitch every single time I have to leave it in a report I'm processing. As slang, it's not "technically" wrong, but as far as I'm concerned, it's sure as hell not right, and considering the nature of these reports, you would think they'd want to be more right than wrong.


A closed mind is like a closed book - nothing can be gained if either remains closed.
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