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LiteBrite
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 4:48:18 PM
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wordnerd wrote:
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!!


Ditto that. When exactly did using apostrophes take over for the use of plain old "s" for plurals? Granted, I just put "s" in quotes there to avoid the problem of making a plural for the letter s, something which may or may not involve the use of an apostrophe. *sigh*
Tracey
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:18:57 PM

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How about "I bought it from home" and "I brought it at a shop"
Grrr..

I hate LOL too but I like LMFAO!
Demosth
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009 8:22:52 AM

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For me, it's repetitive sentences or sentences which have similar or the same logic in sequence.

"I opened the door to look outside. Then I looked outside after I opened the door."

I think this occurs when people don't proof-read their work. Or when they weren't really sure about what they wanted to say.
Another irksome example is the infamous two words together:

"I enjoyed enjoyed reading this book."

I really think it's just carelessness in this case. When someone does this, it's probably because they weren't paying attention. Still, I see it often.
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Monday, March 23, 2009 10:02:24 AM
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risadr wrote:
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."


I always liked the John Sayles line: "Friends are people you don't have to explain your jokes to."
Tito
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:14:24 AM

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Hi,
Very interesting discussion.
I'm an intermediate English student.

I have some questions:

Splitting infinitives is a no, no? I had been told otherwise.

an historic is incorrect? but the stress goes on the second sylable, doesn't it? Shouldn't it be a history, an historic?
Betsy D.
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:55:08 AM

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Tito wrote:
Hi,
Very interesting discussion.
I'm an intermediate English student.

I have some questions:

Splitting infinitives is a no, no? I had been told otherwise.

an historic is incorrect? but the stress goes on the second sylable, doesn't it? Shouldn't it be a history, an historic?


"An historic" is also accepted, particularly used in the UK. Correct on that second syllable :)

"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
nick
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:51:14 AM
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Tito wrote:
Hi,
an historic is incorrect? but the stress goes on the second sylable, doesn't it? Shouldn't it be a history, an historic?


I do not think the stress has anything to do with it. The important thing is the first sound (not the letter!) of the word. For example, the brits will pronounce H in "herb", and so will write "a herb" while in the US the H is silent and the first sound is vowel so the people will write "an herb"
Tito
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 1:09:28 PM

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Thank you for the answers.
Sometimes dictionaries and Grammar books do not reflect the actual usage and tend to be misleading.

Quote:
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary ©
Note: An is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound; as, an enemy, an hour. It in also often used before h sounded, when the accent of the word falls on the second syllable; as, an historian, an hyena, an heroic deed. Many writers use a before h in such positions. Anciently an was used before consonants as well as vowels.


I am also puzzled about the splitting infinitives thing.

This is not to let her win.
This is to not let her win.


So the second one is incorrect because of the splitted infinitive? But the meaning seems different.
nxt_annawintour
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 10:20:19 AM

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It's tiny, but I can't stand it:

When people use "alot", not "a lot."

It's a single space that they always forget!
WordLover
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 12:41:48 PM

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It's all about the "sound" of a word when deciding whether or not to use a or an. Think an with vowel sounds only. So, a historic is correct.

This rule applies to American style only.

Barbara
Only in grammar can you be more than perfect. ~William Safire
fred
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 3:17:38 PM

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risadr 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?


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.


What's the rule that forbids "an" before an "h" word?

My poor education taught me that some "h" words require an "an" especially if the h is followed by the letter "i" (speech based).

"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it." Festus
catskincatskin
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2009 5:15:35 PM

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fred wrote:
What's the rule that forbids "an" before an "h" word?

My poor education taught me that some "h" words require an "an" especially if the h is followed by the letter "i" (speech based).


As WordLover wrote, "an" should be used before a word with a vowel sound, regardless of the letter that starts the word. So "an hour" or "an heir" is correct, but not "an home" or "an hit."

I've never heard a rule about "an" being used before words that begin with "hi"--do the people where you live do that?
fred
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2009 10:15:30 AM

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Tracey wrote:
How about "I bought it from home" and "I brought it at a shop"
Grrr..

I hate LOL too but I like LMFAO!


Laugh my f...... a.. o..?
Why would any straight male want to admit they have a F....... A..?

"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it." Festus
Rhondish
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2009 3:39:03 PM
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kaliedel wrote:
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.


Trust me, the above mentioned also use spell check, once and only once, on cover letters and resumes and wonder why they never get an interview!
klee
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2009 4:12:32 PM
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Citiwoman wrote:
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


I see people's names on special plaques on their houses, on their driveways, and on their mailboxes spelled incorrectly, as you mentioned. For example, "The Brown's" instead of "The Browns." I think if people realized how ridiculous this makes them appear to some people, they would be quite embarrassed.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2009 9:17:18 PM

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"The Apostrophe Protection Society would once again like to invite you to submit your own photographic examples of misplaced, omitted or extraneous apostrophes."

The above sentence is from The Apostrophe Protection Society's Web site. http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/examples.htm

I am anxious to find anything to submit now !
prolixitysquared
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2009 9:22:28 PM

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fred wrote:
risadr 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?


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.


What's the rule that forbids "an" before an "h" word?

My poor education taught me that some "h" words require an "an" especially if the h is followed by the letter "i" (speech based).


I think the idea of putting "an" before a word starting with "h" only needs to be used when the pronunciation of the "h" is like a vowel. There are two distinctly different pronunciations with the "h" in "home" in comparison to "hour."

If you said "a hour," at least by ear, you can tell that's not right. But "an hour" flows much more smoothly and without jerking around your senses.

At least to my ears, "historic" needs no "an" but just a simple "a" because the "h" is pronounced more like a consonant and less like a sensitive vowel. "An historic..." just seems excessive to me, but perhaps somewhere back in linguistic history it had a purpose.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2009 9:29:28 PM

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nxt_annawintour wrote:
It's tiny, but I can't stand it:

When people use "alot", not "a lot."

It's a single space that they always forget!


When I see that mistake, I automatically think less of a person's intelligence. I know that everyone, even the smartest of people, make these simple mistakes now and then, especially while in a rush. But this seems like such a simple thing to understand if you know the basic spelling of common words.

I think my judgment has something to do with my one teacher in junior high nailing it into our heads that "a lot" is two words. She may have had a huge poster of the words a lot on the wall as a reminder so we'd never be likely to make the mistake again.

The teacher also mentioned something about how such a simple mistake could cost you a job, at least in terms of a resume or cover letter for your career someday. And this was way back in junior high, so I think she really wanted us to learn the correct method for good so that we wouldn't carry this so often seen and awful mistake into our adult lives. Plus, it's probably better to use a more upper-level synonym for "a lot" and to just skip the simpleton phrasing altogether.

Now that I look back on the situation, the mistake drove her crazy. That's probably partly why she was so big on educating us about it.

mustabir
Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 6:42:41 PM
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These are what mainly irritate me when seeing as written...

Ignoring the punctuation marks
Any kind of abbreviation stuff used in chatting
Capitalizing the words of a whole sentence
Using the two dots in a row (especially instead of ellipsis and comma)
JHerriot25
Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 7:15:43 PM

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I can't stand it when people use the term "fairly unique". Something is either unique or it is not. Nothing can be somewhat unique.
klee
Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2009 4:21:11 PM
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prolixitysquared wrote:
"The Apostrophe Protection Society would once again like to invite you to submit your own photographic examples of misplaced, omitted or extraneous apostrophes."

The above sentence is from The Apostrophe Protection Society's Web site. http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/examples.htm

I am anxious to find anything to submit now !


That is hilarious that there is a society to protect the apostrophe! Love it! I'll have to go on a walk one of these days, and bring my camera along. I'm sure I can supply a few examples.
risadr
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 8:25:29 PM

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It's not so much a grammar issue, as it is a pronunciation one, but I cannot stand when people pronounce nuclear as "nucular" or chipotle as "chipolte." It drives me CRAZY.

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
early_apex
Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 2:44:04 PM

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klee wrote:
prolixitysquared wrote:
"The Apostrophe Protection Society would once again like to invite you to submit your own photographic examples of misplaced, omitted or extraneous apostrophes."

The above sentence is from The Apostrophe Protection Society's Web site. http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/examples.htm

I am anxious to find anything to submit now !


That is hilarious that there is a society to protect the apostrophe! Love it! I'll have to go on a walk one of these days, and bring my camera along. I'm sure I can supply a few examples.


If you find any stray apostrophes on the street, I would love to see a picture!

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
kaliedel
Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 3:19:26 PM

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Tracey wrote:
How about "I bought it from home" and "I brought it at a shop"
Grrr..

I hate LOL too but I like LMFAO!


Guilty as charged - I used to be a victim of the bought vs. brought difference when I was a kid.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:16:51 PM

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Tracey wrote:
How about "I bought it from home" and "I brought it at a shop"
Grrr..

I hate LOL too but I like LMFAO!


I only use "LOL" in this type of instance...

"I actually did that famous 'LOL' thing."

The background info would of course be that I was reacting to something I found funny. I only use it in sentences similar to the one above. I never use the dreadful lingo by itself. That'd be taking it too seriously for its own good and thus giving it more credit than it deserves.

I do think it's funny though to talk aloud, with friends, in this abbreviated speech. It sounds so ridiculous that it is pretty amusing. Today at work, I loudly said, "IDK, MF !" to a co-worker. Ha. I think it's only best appreciated when poked fun of directly. Why use it otherwise ?
risadr
Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2009 6:48:24 PM

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kaliedel wrote:
Tracey wrote:
How about "I bought it from home" and "I brought it at a shop"
Grrr..

I hate LOL too but I like LMFAO!


Guilty as charged - I used to be a victim of the bought vs. brought difference when I was a kid.


When you're a child, it's excusable. As an adult, not so much.

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
Kat
Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2009 7:30:48 PM
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The word "like" when used as follows:

"So I was like, and then she was like and so we were like..."

PLEASE lose the Valley Girl already....
Somebody please make it stop!
Purple Haze
Posted: Monday, June 22, 2009 4:48:46 AM

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Kat wrote:
The word "like" when used as follows:

"So I was like, and then she was like and so we were like..."

PLEASE lose the Valley Girl already....
Somebody please make it stop!


I whole-heartedly agree with you! And when people say "I was like" and "oh my god!" and "you know" all in one sentence, I'm prepared to gag!

You must be the change you wish to see in the world - Gandhi
Luftmarque
Posted: Monday, June 22, 2009 5:17:10 AM

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Tito wrote:
Hi,
Very interesting discussion.
I'm an intermediate English student.

I have some questions:

Splitting infinitives is a no, no? I had been told otherwise.

I'm responding to an older post, but I didn't see anyone else defending split infinitives, so I'll have to do it. Opinions do vary, but the majority of modern grammar books approve of the split infinitive, and I like it very much myself. To consciously avoid using them would be to deny myself the best stylistic choice in some circumstances. (The non-split version of that sentence "To avoid consciously …" doesn't even mean the same thing.) Here's a web page with a reasonable justification The So-Called Split Infinitive.

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
Kat
Posted: Monday, June 22, 2009 8:23:08 AM
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Joseph Glantz wrote:
risadr wrote:
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."


I always liked the John Sayles line: "Friends are people you don't have to explain your jokes to."



Shouldn't the sentence read: "Your best friends are people whom you can count on for anything.", thus, leaving out the extra "the" before people?


alvrez
Posted: Monday, June 22, 2009 10:43:56 AM

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"bring" and "take"

I don't know how many times I hear the Phrase "bring this to _____" indicating motion away from the speaker.
valenarwen
Posted: Monday, June 22, 2009 10:58:09 AM

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risadr wrote:
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



I'm reading "No Country for Old Men" and the author uses the "could of" thing repeatedly. I also have an Irish friend who says it... Weird





"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too" - Voltaire
risadr
Posted: Monday, June 22, 2009 11:56:05 AM

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valenarwen wrote:
risadr wrote:
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



I'm reading "No Country for Old Men" and the author uses the "could of" thing repeatedly. I also have an Irish friend who says it... Weird


Admittedly, I think that the "could/would/should of" confusion comes from the fact that, in regular speech, almost every person uses the contraction 've for have, which I can understand leading to the misunderstanding when spoken. However, I also think that, once taught that should/could/would of is incorrect in grade school, one should be cognizant of what one is writing and NOT write "of" where "have" would be correct.

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
Vayres
Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 7:02:10 PM
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I dislike the use of 'pedestrian' to mean "ordinary or dull..." Walking is an inspiring activity. And I see more cars than people.

On the same note, I greatly disagree with using 'prosaic' to also mean "dull, unimaginative..." It's foolish and pretentious since there is plenty of wonderful thought recorded in prose writing.
Betsy D.
Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:40:10 PM

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risadr wrote:
It's not so much a grammar issue, as it is a pronunciation one, but I cannot stand when people pronounce nuclear as "nucular" or chipotle as "chipolte." It drives me CRAZY.


Yeah, ESPECIALLY when used by an (a FORMER, thankfully) American president.... Of course, he also read books upside down... d'oh!

"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
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