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?

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.

making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…