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What's Your Grammatical Pet Peeve?(39 posts)

What's Your Grammatical Pet Peeve?jose_Tex_mex
Jul 24, 2002 12:07 PM
Moving from politics, religion, and science I thought a little language topic would be nice.

Perhaps, I am just a geek. However, it really irks me sometimes when I see certain grammatical mistakes. Below is mine. What's yours?

Also, I figure I/we just might learn a little syntax :-)
allot vs a lotjose_Tex_mex
Jul 24, 2002 12:11 PM
I think if you use the two words "a lot" you are almost never wrong. I always see people saying "allot of people were at the race this weekend." "Allot" means to assign as a share or portion and not a large group of.

Maybe I am just being picky.
how bouts alotta and acoupla?Kristin
Jul 25, 2002 3:54 AM
In additon to: sorta, kinda, gotta, mosta, and so on... My only gramatical pet peeve is that I screw up alot! ;-)
Abundant adverbs.Alex-in-Evanston
Jul 24, 2002 12:31 PM
Hallmark of the weak writer. I don't like superlatives either.

Alex
just one?DougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 12:40 PM
"in order to..." The "in order" part is completely unnecessary.

No comma after "Inc." or in dates, such as "on July 23, 2001, ..."

"Affect" and "effect." Seems simple to me.

Yes, "that" and "which."

Split infinitives, unless it reads really awkwardly.

Unnecessary words.

Saying "myself" where "me" works. "The sprint was contested by Mike and myself." argh!

Saying "certainly" or "absolutely" all the time where a simple "yes" would suffice.

Not really grammar, but pronunciation: Pronouncing "etc." as "ek cetera."

Lawyers who excessively use Latin where simple English works well: "The contract terms, inter alia, are..." instead if simply writing "among others."

Confusing "take" and "bring." If you are at home, you are taking your lunch to work. If you are at work, you are going to bring your lunch the next day.

Indiscriminately using pronouns, which makes a statement ambiguous. Use the name again to make things clear.

Using "they" to refer to a corporation or one person.

My worst, makes my head hurt, grammatical mess is: "Weather-wise, it will be hot today." This "-wise" construction is really horrid and a poor excuse for not thinking clearly. I want to say, "grammar-wise, you don't know how to speak English."

Note: All my errors can be attributed to bad typing. :-)

Doug
"me" and "myself"Fr Ted Crilly
Jul 25, 2002 7:43 AM
I was always taught to use "myself" rather than "me" in a sentence such as "The sprint was contested by Mike and myself". Using "me" would have earned me a correction from my English teacher. That was British English however. Maybe there are a lot more differences between British & American English than I initially thought.

In American English are the words "of" and "off" pronounced differently? I have always pronounced them the same, but I was told recently that "of" was pronounced more like "ov" might be. I thought this guy was winding me up.
"me" and "myself"DougSloan
Jul 25, 2002 9:13 AM
Hmm, I was never taught that. I think some people do it because they don't know whether to say "I" or "me", so they say "myself" and avoid the problem. It's that old objective/subjective case problem.

I say "of" as "ov", and "off" as "oph". I think that's standard here.

Doug
irregardless, i like to put dates with commas, myself. (nm)JS Haiku Shop
Jul 26, 2002 12:36 PM
misuse of the subjunctivemr_spin
Jul 24, 2002 12:57 PM
Just kidding, although clearly few people know the rules.

Wrong: If I was ...
Right: If I were ...

Anyway, many grammatical issues drive me nuts, but it's spelling that threatens my sanity.

The one that get me the most is lose vs. loose. There is the verb "to lose" and there is the verb "to loosen," but there is no verb "to loose." Or there shouldn't be. I guess it could be a stylistic (read: pretentious) way of indicating that something was released, such as "He loosed the leash, and the dog ran free."

On this forum there are a lot of things that pass spell check but aren't right. Can you spot the errors?

I road two hours today, but almost crashed because my breaks failed.
typing too fastDougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 1:03 PM
Some people just type too fast and don't spend the time to proofread here. I'm guilty of that. I usually catch it right after it posts permanently.

Others, however, don't even begin to try.

Doug
Simple things bog me down,TJeanloz
Jul 24, 2002 1:17 PM
I'm willing to let most grammatical errors slide, but the ones with no effort put in drive me nuts. Those would be the sentances with neither punctuation, nor capital letters.

they drive me nuts i just want to write back and ask them if they know where the period and shift keys are
It's PEDAL, not PEDDLE!I Love Shimano
Jul 25, 2002 12:34 AM
that's "sentEnces"

not "sentAnces"

;)
hmm--hoo, wood; tipe^ with know! capitols' or< punctuation?!.}ColnagoFE
Jul 25, 2002 6:56 AM
i tend to do lowercase for bulletin boards because it's faster!

and believe it or knot i are an englesh majer!!!
some, maybemr_spin
Jul 24, 2002 1:39 PM
I see far too much poor spelling for it all to be typos. When I see the same word misspelled the same way multiple times in the same post, it's not a typo.

I'm pushing 40, and I notice that many people in their early 30s and younger can't spell very well at all. My theory is that these people don't read very much if at all, and therefore don't see how words are spelled. Instead, they spell according to how the word sounds, such as "Beloki could loose the race, which would effect his standing."
Ooo, I have anotherKristin
Jul 25, 2002 7:30 AM
It is very, very frustrating to read posts by people who are very eager in their use of the word very! How very annonying is that? Actually, I'm trying to overcome wordiness myself. Words like very, like, actually, tyipically are utilized far too often.
Ooo, I have anotherDougSloan
Jul 25, 2002 9:15 AM
I clerked for a federal judge who believed in brevity. He would review my drafts and strike out every word that did not change the meaning. It's amazing how much shorter something can be and still retain all the meaning. Might lose some flavor, though.

Doug
Rule of good poetryLen J
Jul 25, 2002 10:34 AM
Remove all extranious words, whatever is left is usually on point.

Len
"For Free"jose_Tex_mex
Jul 24, 2002 1:40 PM
Here's one I argued over for a long time with a Professor. Saying "for" is redundant as something free suggests it is for nothing. For example, how much did you pay for the car - nothing it was free.

Later the Professor brought me in an article from the New York Times tracing the term "for free" back to a Yiddish Idiom.

It's just wordy with for...
You guys must be dry heaving in disgust...empacher6seat
Jul 24, 2002 1:42 PM
after reading my posts!
re: What's Your Grammatical Pet Peeve?The Walrus
Jul 24, 2002 1:43 PM
Actually, I find most postings on this board refreshingly well-written; I just spent a grim half-hour on another cycling board that seems to be visited mainly by candidates for a Jerry Springer episode, and it's a relief to return to RBR. I think Doug nailed most of my favorite irritants. FWIW, I would add trendy usage (or misusage) of the language, e.g., "growing (one's) business", as if business is some sort of root vegetable. "Impacting on", as opposed to "affecting", is another one that never fails to make me cringe.
There, they're, their; your, you're...4bykn
Jul 24, 2002 2:11 PM
While I'm not a noted grammarian (is that a word?), it bugs me to no end when people use the wrong there/your.
re: What's Your Grammatical Pet Peeve?kilimanjaro
Jul 24, 2002 3:02 PM
Sportcasters using the adding ism, as "Kobe Bryant's atheleticism."

Another word often used that drives me crazy is "physicality"
Like, you know (nm)bikedodger
Jul 24, 2002 3:04 PM
Using an apostrophe to make a pluraljtolleson
Jul 24, 2002 4:32 PM
and it is becoming so widespread that even preprinted banners in commercial settings have it! Argh!

All Trek's on sale on Tuesday's!
WhateverAllisonHayes
Jul 24, 2002 4:46 PM
b Did you know that, even though we may often say, "It's me" the grammatically correct way is "It's I."

b fewer/less

i Use fewer with objects that can be counted one-by-one. I have fewer coins than you.

i Use less with qualities or quantities that cannot be individually counted. You have less money than me.

b who/whom

i WHO equals SHE, and WHOM equals HER. The one that does the action (the subject) is who. The one that gets something done to it (the object) is WHOM.

b using "that" when referring to a person:

i "The person that won the race," should be "The person who won the race."

b that/which:

i "That" is only used to introduce a restrictive (or defining) relative clause, "which" identifies the person or thing being talked about.

b between/among

i Between is with two people or things. Among is used when discussing three or more people or things.

b gone/went

i Gone is the past participle of to go. Used as the verb of a sentence, it must always be preceded by an auxiliary verb such as has, have, had, is, am, are, was, were, be, or one of their contractions.

i Went is the past tense of to go. It never takes an auxiliary verb

b assume/presume

i Assume basically means "to take up or on oneself," "to suppose or take for granted," "to pretend," or "to be taken up."

i Presume, although related to to assume, has the sense of doing it beforehand. It means "to dare or venture without prior knowledge," "to assume as believable without direct proof," "to take as a premise, subject to further proof," or "to behave arrogantly or overconfidently."

b sensual/sensuous

i Sensual means "physical, gratifying the body or its senses." Sensuous means "appealing to the senses, especially by beauty or flavor."

b "because of" should be "due to" Because should be used alone

i He won because he was more determined. He lost due to an injury.

b For fun on using adjectives, read George Orwell's, "Politics and the English language"
http://eserver.org/langs/politics-english-language.txt
"Access" used as a verb. Grrrrrrrrr. (nm)Eager Beagle
Jul 25, 2002 12:21 AM
not really a mistake but I hate seeing breathe spelled breath-nmColnagoFE
Jul 25, 2002 6:52 AM
What is your grammatical shortfall?Kristin
Jul 25, 2002 7:40 AM
Is that shortfall or short fall? Hmmm.
Anywho. I would say my greatest shortfall
is excessive wordiness. Wordiness?
Is that right? Or... Is that correct?
What is your grammatical shortfall?mr_spin
Jul 25, 2002 4:06 PM
Excessive wordiness is not really a shortfall. It's just your style. That's something that often gets lost among all the rules and recommendations. I tend to write conversationally, as if I were talking instead of writing. That doesn't necessarily mean I talk this way, but I always try to avoid a formal tone. I end up breaking a few rules and "recommended" style tips along the way, but I don't care.

I prefer writing in the passive tense sometimes, instead of active. And I like to start sentences with conjunctions for effect. Fragments, too. The grammar checker in Microsoft Word hates my stuff, but most people who read my stuff enjoy it.

In college I once wrote a paper for a history class in which the first line read "Midnight. Andersen Air Force Base, Guam." I went on to describe a B-52 mission over Vietnam, in sort of a terse, high-drama style. I didn't write the whole paper that way, just the first page or two. This literally stunned the professor when I handed it in, because history papers were supposed to be dull and formal. The professor absolutely loved it. He passed it around and showed it to other professors. I ended up winning a $250 prize for that paper!

These days I only write technical design documents, but I still try to make them readable. There are few things worse than reading terrible and almost unreadable design docs. It's truly painful.
yer not lion about that are you?AllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 7:09 AM
hey, nice job and kudos to your creativity.

(and, we need more people who can make technical documents more readable - that is an art in itself!)
Perhaps the most common mistake . . . .phacops rana
Jul 25, 2002 4:01 PM
is what gets me the most, that being verb/subject agreement. It doesn't help when our fearless leader is one of the worst offenders. Perhaps he should institute a National Verb/Subject Agreement Day.

Also, Mr. Spin has identified my other peeve: the proper use of the subjunctive is becoming a rarer sight now as the tyranny of the indicative takes over slowly but surely.
apostrophes. fav subj line: 'your an idiot'. how perfect!?! (nm)JS Haiku Shop
Jul 26, 2002 12:29 PM
and another, spelling "judgment" as "judgement" nmDougSloan
Jul 29, 2002 9:03 AM
In the UK...Eager Beagle
Jul 30, 2002 12:36 AM
Judges hand down a judgment, having used their judgement.
Those Brits don't know how to speak proper English nmDougSloan
Jul 30, 2002 6:21 AM
Seems to be trueEager Beagle
Jul 30, 2002 9:00 AM
which I suppose is why half of it's still in Latin.
patria est communis omnium parens nmDougSloan
Jul 30, 2002 9:45 AM
Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur.Eager Beagle
Jul 31, 2002 2:33 AM
Oh and cave canem :-)
Loose vs lose! Who spells loser as looser???!!!! nmAegis_guy
Aug 6, 2002 9:38 AM