Pet peeve phrases III
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It hurts my ears....
The proper spelling of "should of" is "should've" -- obviously colloquial and needs the quotation marks.
The lying/laying reminds me of another set of words often confused: sit and set. I'm going to sit in the chair. I'm going to set my stack of gold coins on my Louis XIV armoire.
There's five of them, instead of, There're five of them.
Particularly when the same person starts a sentence with "Me and my girlfriend ...."
I have caught my children's elementary school teachers using grammar that I would be embarrassed to use. Why has our society stopped thinking that proper grammar is important?
I hear gross abuse of the most basic grammar from radio announcers, television presenters, teachers, etc...
Many young people, and even people my age (mid-50s), don't even recognise many of the errors as errors.
The other point here is that it would take a very bold secretary to correct a manager's grammar or vocabulary. I once had a manager who always used the expression 'in the thrones of ... ', rather than 'in the throes of ... ' I may have been the only one who noticed, but I wimped out and treated it as a quaint idiosyncracy.
A lot of managers are managers only in the sense that they've managed to avoid being seen to be incompetent! See The Peter Principle!
I think there are quite a few people who think the phrase is "mute point." It's interesting to me how so many people start using phrases when they don't really understand the meanings but just use them because they've heard others say them.
I once had a very menial job and worked with a lovely but poorly educated woman. She told me all about her visit to the "Waldorf Stereo." And "dormant" was "doormat." If I hadn't liked her, I probably would have wanted to laugh, too, but I was just sorry that her life had been so hard and wasn't likely to get any easier.
That manager, on the other hand.... I'm just glad she wasn't my manager.
Where she ordered a Waldorf salad, but unfortunately they'd just run out of Waldorfs ...
I teacher once pointed out to our class that the speaker would have to have been at the site of the event reading for this to be correct.
Some things just stick with you.
That's not true, though...
I suppose that failed at "I teacher" -- something's missing there, and it ain't a mere comma.
(A phrase like "I read where Karl Marx is buried" doesn't necessarily imply you you were standing at his grave with book in hand; although "I read where Karl Marx is buried in Highgate cemetery" (which is presumably the usage 'omboy' is concerned with) might, if you weren't aware of the idiom.)
;-) wink, wink!!
And it should never be used in place of 'which' or 'who' but sadly, due to common usage it is becoming accepted as correct.
You have that the wrong way around. It always has been accepted; it's only recently becoming thought of as wrong. To quote Burchfield's "Fowler":
Down through the centuries, that has often been used with a
human antecedent. Chaucer, Langland, and Wyclif are all cited in the
OED using that in this way, and examples are also given from
writers in each of the later centuries. The 20c. abounds with writers
who keep to the rule that only who is appropriate when the
antecedent is human (whether a specified person or one representative
of a class).
Fowler wisely observed: 'The relations between that,
who, and which, have come to us from our forefathers as
an odd jumble, and plainly show that the language has not been neatly
constructed by a master-builder who could create each part to do the
exact work required of it, neither overlapped nor overlapping; far
from that, its parts have had to grow as they could.' He went on to
stress that not all writers observe the distinction between
restrictive clauses (which he called defining clauses) and
non-restrictive clauses (which he called non-defining clauses): 'The
two kinds of relative clauses, to one of which that and to the
other of which which is appropriate, are the defining and the
non-defining; and if writers would agree to regard that as the
defining relative pronoun, and which as the non-defining, there
would be much gain both in lucidity and in ease. Some there are who
follow this principle now; but it would be idle to pretend that it is
the practice either of most or of the best writers.'
In a single book recently I ran across these mistakes: its/it's, there/their, would of/would've, several words left out, some spelled incorrectly, and the single worst mistake that felt like a punch in the eye: "My body shuttered at the cold wind."
One of my pet peeves is using an adverb as an adjective, or vice versa. For example, "I wash my hair everyday" or "I don't have anymore cereal."
Though sometimes the spell-checker errors can be quite amusing. Another book described the bridge of a small ship as being at its "center of ass"...missing an M! Readers pointed it out in the hardback and I believe it got fixed in the paperback edition.
to rebel against poetic (or "purple") prose
When I was growing up, "purple prose" was the term used to refer to pornographic literature.
You must read some hot and steamy poetry!
I don't think that children are being taught proper grammar in school - I have both a 9 year-old and a 6 year-old boy and it is very interesting to read their teacher's newsletters and to hear their teachers speak.
And I agree with you that the miseducation (ha) starts young. I think there's a general shift toward complacency with error. While idiomatic change is certainly a generational trend (at least since the great vowel shift and the establishment of general English-language grammatical rules), there has always been some sort of standard to which those who call themselves educated and/or worldly strive to achieve and maintain. Not so much it seems any more. The attitude is one of "people know what I mean, what difference does it make?"
The other possibility is that it's an age thing, but now the younger group who tend towards a relaxed view are more 'visible' than they have been before. It will be interesting watching the millennials go through the cycle...
'Should of' instead of 'should have'. (which I see, alarmingly, in some of my student's essays)
'Could of' instead of 'could have'. (which I see, alarmingly, in some of my student's essays)
Kinda instead of 'kind of' (which I see, alarmingly, in some of my student's essays)
"&" instead of 'and'. (which I see, alarmingly, in some of my student's essays)
❤ or * instead of a dot on top of the letter 'i'. (which I see, alarmingly, in some of my student's essays)
I could go on......
I meant to add, that people who abbreviate.......................................
The usage comment in my Merriam-Webster Dictionary 1997 for graduate (vb) is: In the 19th century, the transitive sense (1a) was prescribed; the intransitive (I graduated from college) was condemned. The intransitive prevailed nonetheless, and today it is the sense likely to be prescribed and the newer transitive (sense 1b) the one condemned. All three are standard. The intrasitive is currently the most common, the new transitive the least common.
Sense 1a is for a construction like: Harvard College graduated Robert.
Harvard graduated Robert.
Robert was graduated by Harvard.
Robert graduated from Harvard.
Robert graduated Harvard.
So, we've gone from the college doing the major effort to the student doing the effort.
Tell that to Peter Noone.
Oh, OK - I went back to 39 and saw where it was coming from. Yeah. Ugh.
Pride and Prejudice is a great read!
James Patterson is one of my favorite reads!
I think I'll ask you to lend me some of your gold coins. Can you give me a loan?
Lend is the verb, loan is the noun. That's my pet peeve.
I'll take my grandmother's teaching over what might have been used in popular culture for the last 100 years or so. :)
And the chrysophobes are always going on about how you can't eat gold...
The one I hear a lot is, "m!"
When someone uses that when talking to me I say, "Oh! The thirteenth letter in the alphabet!"
It usually trips them up.
That ubiquitous "you know" is called stumbling, I think. My ex-husband used to say it all the time and it used to drive me crazy.
Along with barefoot shopping, people say "Look" ALL the time when they are answering a question (especially politicians).
...since I have migrated her. (#76)
Since when could you migrate someone else?
I laughed. Obama does that.
I always thought that it would be fun to interview him and start every question with "look".
My fingers always do the reverse... I am apparently unable to type the word "her" ... it always comes out "here" and I have to correct it.
Example (on signs): Buy one, get one "free"
Is it free, or isn't it?
Or this one: "Thank you" for shopping here.
Also, I hate it when people use an apostrophe when a noun is simply plural.
Example: Recycle your bottle's here.
Very often when shop assistants here are telling you the price of the goods you are buying, they will say, "That is XXXeuros. Is that OK?"
I always respond, "No!", and make my face as dead-pan as possible.
The stunned look on their face is priceless.
It's never won me a discount however.
Placeholders don't bother me, usually, but awkward pauses do.
The second is the ubiquitous misplacement of the word "only". Consider these four examples from one of my favorite grammar treatises, Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies by June Casagrande:
Only I have eyes for you (“I’m as good as it gets, Baby”)
I only have eyes for you (“I don’t sell them, pluck them out, or cross them; they merely exist here next to my corneas”)
I have only eyes for you (“So forget my liver or heart”)
I have eyes only for you (“Everyone else grosses me out”)
The third is the inability to determine when to use “I” and “me”. “John gave the slimy newborn dragon to Carpathia and I”. Oy!
I believe it is used in Midlands and perhaps in Yorkshire dialect.
It usually means ʻSomeTHING" (not "somewhat")* So the Standard English (SE) "something" is semantically = to the dialect "summat". (Iʻm American, living in Hawaiʻi, so if youʻre British and familiar with dialect usage, feel free to correct me.)
*Iʻm not sure how you would say the SE "somewhat" in dialect.
We have a dialect, some would say a language, here, Hawaiʻi Creole in which a parallel question comes up. Sometimes the SE word does double duty, having its own dialect meaning OR the SE meaning. E.g., "I like. . ." in Creole means "I want" in SE. But how do you express the SE meaning of "I like"? Possibly just "I like" (understood from the context to have the SE meaning), or possibly by a completely different structure: "I like X" might be
"X is good# fun."
With regard to the dialect equivalent of "somewhat": people who use "summat" in place of "something" probably do not incude "somewhat" in their vocabulary, but express their ideas quite differently. Again I'm reasonably confident I don't use "somewhat" in my everyday conversation and only (rarely) in formal written work. "That man is somewhat annoying" would quite probably be said as "that man is ****ing annoying me"!
I used to live in Bristol, and Rowling (who in her childhood lived just outside Bristol) would have been familiar enough with the West Country use of 'summat'* to put it regularly in Hagrid's speech.
As far as I'm aware it's common through a vast swathe of England (and probably South Wales too), including Yorkshire and Cumbria. Whether or not this is a recent (ie 20th century) development, due to broadcast media, I don't know (I suspect not), but it's certainly regarded by bourgeois standards as 'common'.
* Or 'summut' or 'summit'--the last syllable is frequently a schwa sound, though rather broader in the West Country, approaching 'summaht'. (In my experience, at least!)
In Glasgow, they say 'sutums'.
Wits the mattur wae hur? (What is wrong with her?)
A dunno. A hink sutums up.( I don't know. I think something is wrong.)
I can see how 'something(s)' could conceivably mutate to 'sutum(s)' (ct 'nuttin' for 'nothing'). But 'summat'?
"Somewhat" is a word that would have been used by the English middle and uppper classes and would not necessarily be a word that would be in common usage in areas where "summit" would be in common usage.
I would question the etymology of Wiktionary in this case.
The Oxford Dictionary of Enlish defines "Summat" as N. English non-standard form of "something".
I find it interesting that formerly 'something' could also be used as we now use 'somewhat' -- for example Hamlet's statement that "the proverb is something musty". Is that sense still current anywhere in Britain?
It's not summat special, like.
'appy New Year, All!
I agree its quite commonly spoken ... but it shouldn't be written.
If people are starting to use it in writing then it will be as irksome as someone writing things like:
"There's three of them; There's thousands of them; There's delays; etc..."
My pet peeve is the number of people using the singular when the plural is required. I cringe everytime I hear it on the radio and I am starting to see it more frequently in writing. A really worrying point is that many people don't realise they've made the mistake. :-(
Anyway, a new year to fight the good fight. Onwards and upwards.
Happy New Year - May 2012 be great for you and yours.
As an aside, and apropos your comment, the Oxford Compact English Dicinary states that they are synonymous; I mean, upward and upwards are both valid words meaning the same thing; not that upwards is the same as onwards; or upward the same as onward. ;-)
The shorter version is commoner, except in cases of the following type... From the tenth century onwards (Fowler 1st Ed.)
'Besides' or 'beside'? An acquaintance I knew in the 60s wouldn't accept 'beside' in a sentence where clearly a preposition was required, and insisted on changing it to the adverb 'besides', which changed the meaning of the sentence entirely in a way that rendered it nonsensical.
Without casting any aspersions, he happened to be American, and I'm guessing this must be a common confusion Stateside, and not one I'd come across in the UK (which doesn't mean to say it doesn't occur here).
After your responses, and fearing I was losing my marbles, I did a quick google (no double entendre intended) and actually find that it's not that uncommon a confusion:
http://www.usingenglish.com/articles/beside-besides.html and http://www.ehow.com/how_2155593_use-beside-besides-correctly.html are typical, while http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/Beside.htm is helpful in giving some historical perspective. For example, it quotes Bryan A. Garner Garner's Modern American Usage (OUP 2009) who opines:
"While the two words were once used interchangeably, beside has been reserved as the preposition and besides as the adverb since the late 18th century. But they are still confounded."
One of the issues I have is the confusion between spoken language and written language. Conversation can cope with some small confusions because they can be immediately clarified and can cope with elision for the sake of speed and ease of pronunciation, however the written word is required to be clear and unambiguous.
As I see it, people are slipshod when writing quickly a memo here and there. Even though writers know better, they sometimes overlook the obvious, especially in other cases: there/their or too/to. Because they unconsciously move so quickly through the written text, I believe that these noticeable mistakes happen all to common.
They are not interchangeable. Journalists don't know that the word persuade exists at all and it is creeping into books. By common useage it will become correct but it grates every time I hear or read it.
One word may sound less awkward in particular instances, but they are interchangeable in usage, if not exact meaning.
ETA: "here" = US
I'll have to adjust my prejudices based on objective empirical data ;(
loads of "convinced to"s in the american COCA though.
"Here, here!" when someone means "Hear, hear!"
Another MAJOR pet peeve (and I've met less than a handful of people who get this right):
It's the 1990s, people, not the 1990's. (unless you mean "belonging to the year 1990") and CDs not CD's (unless you mean "belonging to the CD"). I've never understood why everyone has such a hard time understanding the difference.
Whenever I read "1960's greatest hits" I assume they mean (as the grammar suggests) "songs released in the (single) year 1960" but, of course, what they mean is "songs released in the whole decade of the 1960s". *sigh* For the love of Jesus, just leave out the apostrophe when you mean the decade.
speak "Farsi" irritates me. True, thatʻs what the Iranians themselves call it, but theyʻre usually speaking it and
not English. The correct word for the language, IN ENGLISH, is "Persian". ("Iranian" is used only for nationality and ethnicity, nt language.)
Do we have to say (when weʻre speaking English), that the Japanese speak "Nihon-go", the French "francais", and the Germans "Deutsch"? Or
can we say that they speak Japanese, French, and
I would recommend that everyone reads Eats, Shoots and Leaves which, for those who have not come across it, refers to pandas.
I admit I sometimes use the apostrophe for a decade (and sometimes not), but its misuse is probably the single most annoying and easily remedied mistake of all!
objection to "Persian" is that it "colonialist" --harking back to a period when Iran, though never a colony, was
under heavy British and other Western (later U. S.) influence in its foreign policy. Iraq, formulated as a nation state only in the 1930s, was in the same situation. Strangely, I read that Al Qaedaʻs movement
(of Iraqis and foreigners v s. the U S. has the English name
"Iraq in Mesopotamia"(!) "Mesopotamia" (Greek for ʻBetween Rivers") is the equivalent of "Persia", being of the para-colonial era, changed to "Iraq" when the country became a nation state. I donʻt see why they would revive this name, unless their usage stems from some
reluctance to recognize the present Shiʻa gov ernment of
Iraq. (It had always been a predominantly Sunni (though secular) government up through the time of Saddam Hussein.
"Persian" iin English, and similar adjectives in other Western languages, curiously, originated as a variant OF "Farsi". Fars was a province in Western Iran, the
part best known to the Greeks, so the national name
in Greek (and Latin) became ʻPersai", with a small change of vowel. And with P in lieu of F, which is a common variation in Indo-European languages. Where one language has F, another is likely to have P, and vice-versa. Thus "hilFe"
in German and "helP" in Dutch and English.
* Turin, Italy was the home of the Summer Olympics, but it was advertised as being in Torino (which is the local name in Italian). Part of that was the decision of English speakers at American networks, though, IIRC. (I'll note that this is stepping in the middle of a local cultural war, too; in the traditional local tongue, Piedmontese, it's Turin.)
I agree. How dare foreigners decide for themselves what name their country should be known as. We, of course, stick to Ceylon and Siam. What a nerve those countries have to decide on Sri Lanka and Thailand.
134 and 136, those apostrophes are not grocer's apostrophes. Plurals of numbers and abbreviations take an apostrophe before the s presumably to distinguish that s from a part of the singular expression. This comes directly from a grade school text book and teacher; I associate it with the room in which I attended part of fourth and all of sixth grade.
Eliminating this apostrophe and the serial comma seems to arise from secretarial laziness and be propagated first in their manuals.
Sorry about that - maybe it is a seniors' moment.
I'll have to dig out Eats, Shoots and Leaves to get Lynne Truss' spin on apostrophes.
I realise that things are done differently in USA but it would be interesting to get some other people's opinion on this subject.
But basically an apostrophe indicates a dropped letter as in "Henry VIII's wives" is a contraction of "Henry VIII his wives", hence its use as an indication of possession. Except in the case of the possessive its since it's is a contraction of it is.
Interesting stuff ...
No more correct than Germans referring to their language as Deutsch. If they're speaking German, they're no doubt right; if they're speaking English, they're just wrong.
Certainly, when I was there I never heard any Iranians referring to their language as Persian. My OED describes Farsi as 'The modern Persian language, the official language of Iran'.
If you google "Persian not Farsi", you'll find many Iranians begging you not to call their language "Farsi".
And yet if we dictated to them what our country or language should be known as in their languages, we'd be accused of imperialism. Calling our language αγγλικός? How dare they? We would much prefer they call it εγγλις and will have our academies and such declare that to be the official word for English in Greek; who cares what actual Greek speakers use?
#143: Eliminating this apostrophe and the serial comma seems to arise from secretarial laziness and be propagated first in their manuals.
I'd be interested in some evidence. I don't know about that apostrophe, but I would wager money that there never has been any consistency on the serial comma.
#146: Personally, as an example of an American, I would not used the apostrophe after abbreviations and have probably been inconsistent about the use of 's after a decade. I don't really understand the reasoning espoused in 143; in STAVKAs, there's no question in my mind that the s is a plural, even if you're not hip to Soviet acronyms.
And at this point, Farsi has become not-a-word to my eyes... ghahh.
149 et al.> Actually, the problem arises, to my eyes, with things that _could_ be mistaken for words. Of course, I can't come up with any at the moment... but that's why I'm personally inconsistent about 's. 90% of the time, I skip the apostrophe on things like DVDs, but every once in a while I run across something where I write it with just an s and it looks _wrong_. So then I stick in the apostrophe - it still looks wrong, but at least I (and, I hope, my audience) can tell that I meant it as a plural on the word. Hmmm, acronyms that end in S, maybe? BTW, American, but (see above "diplomat's daughter"), taught when young by more British teachers than American.
part best known to the Greeks, so the national name
in Greek (and Latin) became ʻPersai", with a small change of vowel. And with P in lieu of F, which is a common variation in Indo-European languages. Where one language has F, another is likely to have P, and vice-versa. Thus "hilFe"
in German and "helP" in Dutch and English.
We-ell. Both Fars and Persia come from Old Persian Parsa - the Greeks didn't substitute P for F, the Iranians eventually changed the other way. And the name of the part didn't become the name for the whole because it was the bit best known to Greeks (that would have been Susiana) but because the Achaemenid dynasty came from there.
Oh, and of course, Fars still is a province in western Iran. (Looks sort of central on a modern map but that's because much of the eastern bits of historical Iran is in the modern states of Afghanistan and Pakistan.)
The same is true of the possessive apostrophe. In Old English the possessive or genitive case ending was often -es, where the vowel was pronounced. The possessive apostrophe is simply an indication that the "e" has been omitted, principally because we don't pronounce the vowel in Modern English.
(By the way, I don't believe that "apostrophe s" is a shortening of "his" (as in "Billy Bones his locker" in Treasure Island) because this doesn't work if the owner is female. I suspect it's a folk explanation or, more likely, antiquarian speculation surviving as folk etymology.)
2. I wonder if the modern naming of Iran is an attempt to claim hegemony over the region. Iranian is an ethno-linguistic term, an umbrella word for different groups of historical peoples (Persians, Medes, Sarmations, Parthians, Scythians etc) and cognate with the (originally apolitical) word "Aryan". Persia, with its fluctuating borders over time, must have originally been dominated by the original ethnic group we call Persians.
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Parsi religion in the context of the Farsi/Persian discussion. (There, I've mentioned it now.) This is the name given in India in historical times to the religion of Zoroastrians who had migrated to India, and thence elsewhere. Probably the most famous Parsi is Freddie Mercury, born in Zanzibar and raised in India before moving to Britain.
Do you have a citation? I'm skeptical that in the wild and wooly, unregulated history of English that this was once universally mandated but now is not.
there was good reason for it (for example clarifying compound serial items.
Wikipedia points out that both
They went to Oregon with Betty, a maid, and a cook.
They went to Oregon with Betty, a maid and a cook.
are ambiguous. With the serial comma, it could be three people, or the maid Betty and a cook. Without the serial comma could have three people, or Betty who's both a maid and a cook.
Not true. The Oxford dictionary suggests The general rule is that you should not use an apostrophe to form the plurals of nouns, abbreviations, or dates made up of numbers
See link: http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/apostrophe
I think that's correct. For example, you should never use an apostrophe in the plural of numbers unless there's a chance of misunderstanding. E.g. "There were a lot of 0's scribbled in his notebook" - you use an apostrophe because otherwise it might look like the capital letter "O" - so there could be some confusion as to whether he's scribbling Os (letter O) or zeros in the notebook.
I think that's the only exception to the rule, though.
Yes, I agree. As an extreme example I can't help thinking that 1960's' or 1960's's albums, in the sense of "albums issued in the nineteen-sixties", looks anything but unwieldy and somehow wrong.
If there was a hierarchy I would imagine it could look something like this:
1960 (sing), the year
1960s (pl), the decade
1960's (sing possessive), as in "1960's outstanding album"
1960s' (pl possessive), as in "the 1960s' outstanding album was Let It Bleed" (no, this is an example, not a statement of fact).
Of course, you could circumvent all this palaver by either spelling it out ("sixty / sixties / sixty's / sixties'") or using the date as an adjective.
In your example, I would spell it out as 'zero' or 'nought' to avoid any real confusion ("there were a lot of noughts scribbled in his notebook"). I disagree, I wouldn't think that was an exception to the rule.
In the case of writing figures of small denomination in text (as opposed to in maths) I always spell it out, leaving larger numbers in figures ("At sixes and sevens", "there were about 25 or 30 warships on the horizon").
I side with the 's only for possession, never for plural.
I'm conviced of these matters and will never be pesuaded otherwise.
I suspect the 'Myanmar' nonsense passed most people by - and I've seen indications that Burma is now back to calling their enlightened domain just that. Who (apart from regretful British Imperialists) kept track of all the new African country names? For instance, 'What was the original name given to Namibia?', and (What is Southern Rhodesia called now? would get blank stares in any popular TV quiz!
And how many UK citizens call Wales 'Cymru', even when it's part of the Union.
I suspect we're just going to have to live with the language chaos!
How do people in Britain refer to the Republic of Ireland these days? There used to be quite a few who would call it Eire. I presume this has died out in recent years.
BTW does "Dorset" in your username relate to your abode? I visited Dorset on a Geological field trip in 1976. It's a beautiful place. We even found a dead body.
"dub" seems like a natural shortening though. a VW car is a "vee-dub", or just a "dub".
I live on the Costa del Dorset, yes - although I hope to be taking a break during the period of what Will Self calls 'The East London Festival of Running and Jumping'. If he gets locked up for the non-PC crime of hating sport and other drug-taking pursuits, then I hope to be locked up with him ...
With regard to the body you found, I hope you left it where it is. A few of us are trying to stimulate the thriller genre in this area.
For the rest of us who live this side of "the Pond" here is a link: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/columnists/will-self/will-self-london-think...
Enjoy the games. It will be an exciting time to be in London.
We had to tell the police about the body. It was still warm. The unfortunate lady had fallen from the top of a 150' cliff. Sad case.
I hope you don't get locked up, and remember to keep your head down lest it be hit by one of those ground to air missiles.
When I first read about the installation of these weapons I wondered about the thought given to the debris falling on the city.
Have fun. (A flackjacket and helmet might prove useful.)
Please forgive me if I intrude with a bit of pedantry. The word is 'flak', not 'flack'. It is a German acronym for 'fliegerabwehrkanone' which translates as ‘pilot-defence-gun’. No doubt Roberta Flack is suitably thrilled at the increasing usage of her name in this context, but some of us are trying to 'shoot down' this mistaken usage.
Given the flight exclusion zones that will be in operation, anything falling on London (100 miles from me in Weymouth) will most likely be a misthrown javelin!
I'm getting fed up with reading "meh" in book reviews on LibraryThing and elsewhere. It adequately conveys what the reviewer feels about a book, but as an intelligent critique or justification of opinion held it leaves a lot to be desired. It's just lazy. As with the description "boring", all it does is reflect on the writer, not the book. The Simpsons have a lot to answer for.
If I were one of those reviewers I would worry about being trapped in an upward spiral of book quality and that as time progresses I would be afraid that I will end up reading increasingly amazing books and at some point I will not be able to cope and my mind will explode with the amazingness of the book I'm reading.
What a way to go!
I don't think it matters when they read the best/worst book ever, or within what timeframe, what's important is, as you say, that they explain why they think that.
That is, of course, if they want to communicate or have a conversation with the person reading the review. If someone just writes "Meh" for Great Expectations, say, then that tells me nothing about the book, just that the 'reviewer' can't string a sentence together, let alone give Dickens the great communicator due consideration.
Mind you, it's only slightly less grating as an absolute judgement than "Awesome!"
With some relief I find I have only used it as a tag and any book so tagged carries a review that explains how it was earned.
That's true, I did forget. And if they don't care, well I don't suppose I should either.
They can't all be ... can they?
e.g., that your product costs
"$ 2 0!! (and up)"* when the normal price is $60 or $70 -- if in the past year you did sell ONE (probably a defective
one) for $20. In many jurisdictions this makes you
immune to "False advertising" charges.
*with the "and up" in very small print.)
One that always makes me stumble is, "texting".
I suppose I'm just getting old. I'm ageifying.
What does get me is the shortening of words, like "tots adorbs" (totally adorable), and "faboo". I will use them sarcastically in a playful conversation with a friend, but I hear them in everyday speech among grown people (strangers even!) and I cringe.
'Ageing' would do; I think the noun came first. I suspect a large number of verbs in English began as nouns, so I have no problem with the examples in #186. I do, however, object to nouns derived from verbs becoming verbs again, only longer.
I enjoyed the book enormously but intend to re-read it with a dictionary to find out which are real words and which ones he has adjusted simply for the fun of it.
One I see alot that bugs me...
'Alot' as one word bugs very very much; yes, I know it's been around for a long time, and I regularly use such compacted words as 'already' and 'moreorless' and 'notwithstanding' so why am I fussing, but 'alot' just feels wrong to me. A deputy head of my acquaintance used it a lot in pupil reports, and my teeth have suffered a lot of attrition as a result.
"Alot" bugs me too! I've never seen "moreorless" as one word like that, though. I can't even stand to look at it-- my eyes!
But, since online dictionaries claim not to recognise it and it's not in a couple of reference books I've checked up on, I shall cease to use it henceforth!
I thought "meh" was a Yiddish interjection — in use long before Bart Simpson was a doodle on Matt Groening's scratch paper. But the Wikipedia article (of course there's a Wikipedia article) introduces doubts.
the Wikipedia article (of course there's a Wikipedia article) introduces doubts
All Wikipedia articles introduce doubt.