Author Topic: The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)  (Read 49577 times)

fern hill

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« on: August 16, 2006, 06:53:01 PM »
OK, I realize that some battles are lost already. But I didn't think that misplaced 'only' was one of them. In this bloody book I'm proofreading, there is one every 10-15 pages. Arggggghhhh. I am only the proofreader, but damn I want to change them.

brebis noire

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2006, 07:19:50 PM »
You are the only proofreader?

 :duck

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2006, 08:05:56 PM »
Confusing fewer and less.

'lance

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2006, 08:19:10 PM »
When it comes to grammar -- or at least punctuation -- no-one's more peevish than a peeved Bob the Angry Flower.

skdadl

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2006, 05:14:55 AM »
fern hill, there was a discussion recently on an editors' listserv about the losing battle with careful placement of "only." Well: some people thought of it as a losing battle, but there are dominant voices arguing that language changes anyway and that regretting changes of usage is for pedants running on unscientific fetishes from the C19 yadda yadda yadda. That argument makes me tired, but it is advanced, as I say, by dominant voices.

I find that I often misplace my own "only"s when I'm writing fast, catch them only on rereading. (See: I first wrote "only catch.") But if I see 'em, I fix 'em.

My contribution here: confusing adverse and averse.  I now see that in print so often that I have to stop and reason the confusion through m'self.

fern hill

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2006, 10:17:14 AM »
Mostly I agree with the people who say that language changes and that rabbiting on about proper or correct usage is pedantic and useless.

I love language, well, English. I love its magpie-ness, its amazing size, its idiocies.

English is capable of great precision. I don't know another language well enough to compare (somebody?), but think of its moods and tenses, dependent and independent clauses, huge vocabulary, incredibly flexible sentence structure. . .

The proper placement of 'only' in a sentence is one of these devices that increase precision. It is not difficult, it is logical, and it is extremely helpful to the reader. Properly done, it sharpens the sentence up. Improperly done, it drives me batty.

Caissa

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2006, 01:34:16 PM »
Mrs. C hates the expression "At the end of the day" when one is not speaking of the end of a particular day.

Mandos

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2006, 01:47:16 PM »
For all intensive purposes

Caissa

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2006, 01:48:41 PM »
My personal dislike is "proactive". Active is a perfectly acceptable word.

Nikita

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2006, 02:01:35 PM »
Me too!  "Proactive" wrankles me.  

I will admit that I play fast and loose with grammar (and speeling too, I suppose) mostly because I don't know any better.  I've never been able to sit through a grammar class.  I get annoyed with the usuals though:  you're and your; then and than; two, to, and too; "I before E except after C" and so on ad nauseum.  I read a lot of correspondence in my current job, and I'm always amazed at how often educated, intelligent people mix this stuff up.  It only takes one little mistake for an otherwise articulate letter to get tossed into the nuisance folder.

Sleeping Sun

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2006, 02:05:58 PM »
Anytime I hear someone say "irregardless", and I sadly hear it too often, I have to stop myself from asking them if they have any idea what they've just said.

And I'm an Engineer, so my grammar/vocabulary is teh suck at the best of times.

ed:  I can't spell, either.

lagatta

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2006, 03:02:04 PM »
Proactive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proactive has become a cliché, alas, but if you look at its original, very precise meaning, it is a most useful word.

Like "the end of the day", the bottom line, unless one is actually writing about accounting.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

kuri

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2006, 03:22:33 PM »
I like to consider myself the anti-pedant.

However, one phrase I detest: "moving forward". Where? Why? It's just assumed to be an automatic positive.

skdadl

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2006, 03:27:57 PM »
Isn't "Moving on ..." a teddibly British way of implying that the current discussion has gone on quite long enough, has perhaps even become a little embarrassing, and we can't have that sort of thing?   :wink:

'lance

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2006, 06:25:27 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
Isn't "Moving on ..." a teddibly British way of implying that the current discussion has gone on quite long enough, has perhaps even become a little embarrassing, and we can't have that sort of thing?   :wink:


Or "Yes, thank you, 'lance..."

 

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