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#515: Running Off at the Keyboard 2

Monday, October 17, 2011

It is no secret I enjoy words and often find phrases we use funny, contradicting, imprecise...you get the picture -- they make me ask, "Huh?"

Here is part of a current radio ad: "If you owe the IRS over $20,000 or more..." Wait, isn't "over $20,000" the same as "or more"?

Or this one from a weight loss clinic: "You'll lose up to 2 to 5 pounds a week..." Hmm, seems to me that "up to" 5 pounds includes "up to" 2 pounds. Duh.

That's as bad as "each and every." Wait, if we have "each" person, thing, etc., don't we have "every" one and vice-versa?

Recently on a pro wrestling show (yes, I watch), one wrestler was trying to get back to his feet. The announcer proclaimed the wrestler "was attempting to regain his vertical base." Wouldn't it have been as easy to say he was trying to get back on his feet? Duh, again.

Another business has opened nearby with huge banners across the front of the store promoting that "We match all competitor's prices." So what is my incentive to go to that store when a competitor's is closer?

I continually read posts of people who want to "loose" weight instead of "losing" it. Then there are those people who do not know the difference between "your" and "you're" or "to" and "too." Simple things we all should have learned (not learnt) in basic English classes.

One writer asked if he doubled spaces between sentences then doubled a second time between paragraphs if he was "quadrupling." Let's see, double equals two, doubling twice equals four and quadruple means four so, yes. Double duh.

There have also been posts where people try to explain that something didn't bother them by writing that the thing/event/person didn't "phase" them instead of "faze" them. "Phase" is a stage of life, etc., while "faze" is to be disturbed by. dictionary.reference.com
is a good reference site.

Have you, like, you know, listened to, like, some of the, like, pro athletes and, you know, others, whose opinions are, like, so, you know what I be sayin', valued? Say what? With all their money wouldn't you think they could afford English tutors to teach them what they apparently did not learn in school?

At a recent city board meeting a member replied to another member's request for information by saying, she "would have to dialogue with the appropriate people in order to frame a response." Wouldn't it have been easier to say, "I'll look into that for you and see if I can find an answer." But, "dialogue with." emoticon emoticon Seriously now.

Last week, a woman at an adjacent table in a restaurant asked the server for soup and a grilled cheese sandwich by asking, "Those will be served hot, won't they?" The waitress looked at her and calmly replied, "Unless you'd rather have them cold." The woman shook her head and mumbled, "No, hot would be better."

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Argh! 'Loose' for 'lose' is one o'my peeves too. And where does it come from?!? I can understand (don't like it, but can understand it) the apostrophe confusion, after a fashion, and in the public eye it sometimes seems it's wrong as often as not (no pun intended). But - 'loosing weight'? How do people come up with that one?

    Curious in the UK
    p.s. I thought I was the only one who ran off at the keyboard, lol...
    3439 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/14/2011 6:38:20 AM

    You sound like an old English teacher! I have the same pet peeves when it comes to businesses, posters, etc. There is a business in town called Tattoo's. Tattoo's what? I want to get a can of spray paint and cancel that apostrophe.

    3455 days ago
    Hmmm, not a single one of each of those individual items bother me!
    Double negatives, now that is annoying!

    3456 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4243811
    I find it annoying as well in these situations. It is very humorous to hear you say it. :)
    3465 days ago
    I dislike sayings like "it is what it is" etc......what else could it be??

    Wendy emoticon
    3465 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/19/2011 9:35:41 AM
  • BOVEY63
    You are so right Lou. I often wonder where some people received their education - English and spelling were required at my school. I also had a grandmother who was very strict when it came to proper grammar. I am very thankful for her persistence.

    3466 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11035818
    I don't like the young people using the word prego for pregnant. It just doesn't sound good to me. That is one of my pet peeves. LOL

    As far as good grammar, I know I butcher the English language , so who am I to talk. LOL I grew up listening to southern slang and Motown jib that my teachers couldn't beat out of me. LOL
    3466 days ago
  • SUSAN134
    Loved this! You have nailed some of my favorite peeves regarding the use of the English
    language! Thank you!
    3466 days ago
    LOL I so hear you, my friend! My favorite of the day is: I know. Right? Well, if you know for certain, why are you asking someone if you are right? It 's a phrase SO overused that it gives new meaning to ad nauseum.

    I was raised in Catholic schools, for which I am very grateful. The nuns who taught us accepted nothing less than proper English and spelling, the rules for which were worked into our very beings by constant reinforcement. Turning in a world geography or biology report that contained grammatical errors would have garnered the same low grade as one that did not meet the subject matter's requirements. I think that kind of consistency is missing in the education system today. That makes me sad.
    3466 days ago
    emoticon These are some of my pet peeves as well! When did it become common to see "it's" for "its"?!! Drives me insane...wait, I'm already there...never mind! emoticon
    3466 days ago
  • CHARMIN944
    My pet peeve is when young people use the word "conversate" instead of "converse". It's gotten to the point that slang is so acceptable that it's in the dictionary.
    3466 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    emoticon Thanks for the laugh! The your and you're getting mixed up really bothers me, too. Guess everybody can't be as smart as we are! haha emoticon
    3466 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6400103
    i am guilty of grammar mistakes..but english is not my first language.. so iam excused right? haha
    3467 days ago
  • MISSLISA1973
    Totally! emoticon
    3467 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    Are you sure you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried?
    3467 days ago
  • ERIKO1908
    Was I the phase??? That feels like something I would do...if it were I, I apologize...profusely!!! :) Thanks for the laughs!! I'm so with you on all of these...
    3467 days ago

    You touched on one of my pet peeves! To and too, your and you're. I know a teacher who gets those wrong! YIKES! What do the parents of his kids think?

    Me thinks ther is 2 much txting goin' on 2 b precise w/gramer anymor!
    emoticon emoticon
    3467 days ago
    I wisht everbody wer as prefect as I is. (Sorry, Lou, but you asked for it!) LOL

    Grammar was one of my hardest subjects (as you no doubt have already noticed), but sometimes my teeth get set on edge when I hear or read some things.

    Thanks again for another wonderful blog. You've tickled plenty of funny bones with it.
    3467 days ago
    I wouldn't have gotten faze either. I struggle with s and apostrophe s. Always have.

    Thanks for the chuckle.
    3467 days ago
    Lou, you really gave me a smile. You sound just like Mickey Rooney! I have a thing for wanting to say things correctly, yet I seem to slip every now and then. I would have gotten phase and faze wrong! I doubt I'll ever forget it now! Thanks for an entertaining, fun, and educational blog! I enjoyed it! emoticon emoticon
    3467 days ago
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