Skip to main content

le mot injuste

being someone who likes her words, i have a hard problem stomaching ones that are consistently abused/ misused. language is such a wonderful development for humans, it bothers me to no end when people can't be bothered to learn the one that they've grown up with. many people can speak grammatically in many languages. mastering one, at least to the extent where one can avoid some truly hideous mistakes, should not be that much of a challenge. i'm far from perfect in my english, but i like to think that i make an effort and that i at least try to avoid some of the more obvious mistakes.

everyone has their own pet peeves in this regard. here are a few of mine:

"impactful": it's bad enough that i have to listen to people (generally people employed in the area of sales) use the word "impact" as a verb ("this will impact our finances"), but now that bastardisation has been extended to create "impactful". people who use this, almost always business-brainwashed idiots with money on their minds and brown on their noses, make me want to connect something impactful with their smug faces.

"irregardless": i'm including this one for my parents, both of whom were driven nuts. i'm glad to say that people use this one less, because it's become the poster child for bad vocabulary. if you do hear it, though, particularly in a situation where the person is mid-rant about something, try interjecting and asking that person how "irregardless" differs from "regardless". throws off their whole rhythm.

"very unique": people who know me have actually heard me scream over this one. it's my ultimate linguistic hot point. something can't be very unique. unique is singular. "uni"= one. something is either unique or it isn't, end of story. i get particularly frustrated with this one because it is so widespread. almost everyone misuses the word. in fact, you almost never hear it used properly.

"obligated": a little bit of a weird one, because it's actually a word, but an irish friend of mine, in possession of a doctoral degree (meaning that i assume he's thought about words and how to use them) once said something to me that makes a lot of sense. "obligated" is a useless word. it's an elongation of a perfectly serviceable english word- "obliged". ever since that point was made to me, i've been unable to get the word "obligated" out of my mouth. although perfectly correct, it seems unnecessarily cumbersome.

Comments

Aaron Fenwick said…
Not to mention the verbing of random nouns. Even the word "verbing" is guilty of that concept...
Richo said…
I'm with you completely on this. In fact, my hatred of laziness when it comes to using English extends to the written form being heavily dependent on text-spiel and fucking emoticons! Beyond that, one of my personal peeves is hearing the words "revert" and "back" together. I even heard the latter in a BBC drama serial recently, which says quite a lot about where everything's heading in itself...

As with your own admission, I'm far from perfect with English, but I like to feel I at least attempt to make an effort with it.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: the war at home

what's worse than being sent off to war when you're barely old enough to order a drink in a bar? making it home only to get poisoned by the government that sent you there. 
although it's certainly not a secret, i don't find that the opiate/ opioid crisis happening in america gets nearly the attention it deserves. at least, what attention it gets just seems to repeat "thousands of people are dying, it's terrible", without ever explaining how things got to the state they are now. there's mention of heroin becoming cheaper, of shameful over-prescriptions and dumping of pills in poorly regulated states/ counties, etc. but too much of the media coverage seems content to say that there's a problem and leave it at that.

one of the things that might be hindering debate is that a very big problem likely has a lot of different causes, which means that it's important to break it down into smaller problems to deal with it. and one of those problems conne…

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

digging for [audio] treasure

my computer tells me that i need to cut down the amount of music stored on my overstuffed hard drive. my ears tell me that that would deprive me of some wonderful listening experiences. 
halifax, nova scotia was not the easiest place to find out about music with limited appeal. it was a very music-centred city, to be sure, but, being smaller, things like noise, industrial, and experimental music struggled to gain a foothold, even as the alternative rock scene exploded in the early nineties. i was lucky enough to have some friends who were happy to share music that they loved, but i knew that there were lots of things that i was missing out on.

with the dawn of the internet, and various types of music sharing, i found myself able to discover bands that i'd heard about, but never managed to track down, from the days of underground cassette culture. and, to my surprise and elation, many of them do very much live up to what i'd imagined from reading descriptions of them in catalo…