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Language fails that make you angry

by KingNothing
Tags: angry, fails, language
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Fredrik
#199
Nov20-12, 07:06 PM
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Quote Quote by Andre View Post
In that same ballpark is "calories". Food of such and such calories. 200 calories is bad 100 calories is better.

But it's not calories, it's kilo calories.
This isn't entirely true. There are two kinds of calories, "gram calories" and "kilogram calories". The former is the energy it takes to heat 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celcius. The latter is the energy it takes to heat 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celcius. Since "kilo" also means 1000, what one person calls "100 calories" can be "100 kilocalories" to another, because the first person means "100 kilogram calories", and the second person means "100000 gram calories". So they can actually both be right, because the same name is used for two different units.
Fredrik
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Nov20-12, 07:17 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
True, the correct saying is "I couldn't care less". It's a put down meaning "I don't give a damn."

The mistaken "i could care less" isn't a put down, it means "I do care" and it's just people hearing and repeating the correct phrase wrong.
I think Curious meant that some people are saying it wrong on purpose.

We have a few phrases like that in Sweden. One phrase that was popular about 15 years ago is "hur bra är det på en skala?" which translates to "how good is that on a scale?". When I first heard it, I thought the people saying it had to be complete idiots. Obviously, you have to specify the scale, like "how good is that on a scale from 1 to 10?". But I soon discovered that people who use this phrase understand this. They think it's funny precisely because it doesn't make sense.

Of course, there's an important difference between this and "I could care less". The difference is that no one really uses the logically correct question.
Fredrik
#201
Nov20-12, 07:24 PM
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Quote Quote by WannabeNewton View Post
This one is so pervasive and it absolutely drives me insane: the use of your instead of you're when appropriate.
People don't seem to realize that most of these errors are typos, not evidence of poor grammar. The words that are the biggest problem for me are "its" and "it's". I understand these words perfectly, and yet, every time I need to type one of them, there's a 50% probability that I'll end up typing "its", and a 50% probability that I'll end up typing "it's". My brain imagines the sound of the word, and then my fingers type one of the words that sound like that, before I have even realized what I'm doing.

There is however no excuse for "should of" instead of "should've" or (better) "should have".
vela
#202
Nov20-12, 07:42 PM
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Quote Quote by Fredrik View Post
I think Curious meant that some people are saying it wrong on purpose.
Some people might, but in my experience, most people say "could care less" because they don't know any better. As far as the claim of irony goes, it just doesn't work.

Quote Quote by Fredrik View Post
People don't seem to realize that most of these errors are typos, not evidence of poor grammar.
Perhaps for you they're typos, but I think for most, the error stems from ignorance. If they were simply typos, I doubt the use of it's to mean its would be so prevalent.
Evo
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Nov20-12, 08:55 PM
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Quote Quote by vela View Post
Some people might, but in my experience, most people say "could care less" because they don't know any better. As far as the claim of irony goes, it just doesn't work.
Anyone that says "could care less" on purpose, knowing it's wrong (are there really any?) don't realize what they're actually saying. There is no irony, it's just plain wrong and so makes the speaker sound silly.
Andre
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Nov21-12, 02:15 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
"I don't give a damn."
Not a single damn was recieved by anybody that day.
FreeMitya
#205
Nov21-12, 02:42 AM
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-None of them "are" and neither of them "are". "None" literally means "not one" and "neither" means "not the one nor the other". My friends laughed at me for saying this. Luckily, I had my OED in my backpack and got the last laugh.

-After getting into the habit of not ending sentences with prepositions, people doing the opposite has started to annoy me. People mixing up pronouns gets on my nerves as well. However, doing these when speaking is more excusable than doing them when writing.

-Using words incorrectly, obviously.

Our beautiful language is precious and needs to be defended!
Jimmy Snyder
#206
Nov21-12, 03:50 AM
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Frankly my dear, I could care less.
Fredrik
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Nov21-12, 04:26 AM
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Quote Quote by FreeMitya View Post
-After getting into the habit of not ending sentences with prepositions,
Why? Just to irritate people?
FreeMitya
#208
Nov21-12, 04:33 AM
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Quote Quote by Fredrik View Post
Why? Just to irritate people?
I'm a perfectionist. To me, rules are rules, and I will follow them to the best of my ability. Note that I usually won't obnoxiously correct someone unless I'm deliberately trying to irritate a family member or a close friend. It is just a fairly minor annoyance.
turbo
#209
Nov21-12, 05:52 AM
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I get peeved when people can't manage to use "less" and "fewer" correctly. It's not rocket-surgery! This is a common error in our local newspaper, so apparently the editors haven't a clue.
ImaLooser
#210
Nov21-12, 06:00 AM
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I read a history book that mentioned "they were loosing the battle."
ImaLooser
#211
Nov21-12, 06:31 AM
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Quote Quote by turbo View Post

Every Christmas season, I have to bite my tongue when Pollack's jewelry commercials come on the air. The owner pronounces it "joolery" and he insists on making his own commercials.
Do Detroit ads still talk about "lugjury" cars? Spewacious.
Jimmy Snyder
#212
Nov21-12, 06:35 AM
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Quote Quote by ImaLooser View Post
I read a history book that mentioned "they were loosing the battle."
It seems to have affected you very deeply.
russ_watters
#213
Nov21-12, 07:10 AM
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Quote Quote by Fredrik View Post
People don't seem to realize that most of these errors are typos, not evidence of poor grammar.
I doubt it. I don't think I have ever seen any variant other than "your" used incorrectly. I'm pretty sure that means "your" is substituted for all similar uses.
Andre
#214
Nov21-12, 07:17 AM
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My pants are looser too.
Curious3141
#215
Nov21-12, 07:55 AM
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You may disagree, but that source you sited is hardly what I would call authoritative.

First of all, the quote from the American Heritage Dictionary (which is the only part of that page that I would pay heed to) did not decry the use of "could care less". It merely stated that the two versions are being used more or less equally. Hardly a denouncement. Stating that they are antonyms (when taken literally) is neither here nor there. At no point was the use of "could care less" explicitly discouraged.

Furthermore, that guy himself is confused. This part in bold, for instance :

“I could care less” just isn’t logically ironic. The people speaking feel irony, but their words don’t convey it. “I’d buy those jeans” could be ironic if you really meant the opposite: you wouldn’t buy those jeans if they were the last pair in the world. But “I could care less” isn’t used to imply its opposite: that you care more. Thus it is not ironic.
is just plain muddled nonsense. The literal opposite of "I could care less" is not "I could care more" but "I couldn't care less". That perfectly fits what he seems to consider to be acceptable as irony.

The rest of the article pretty much just states an opinion (about the impact of the alternative phrasing). Opinions don't mean squat (by which, of course, I ironically intended to mean that they *do* mean squat).

One of the linked references is far more even-handed in its treatment: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ico1.htm This paragraph pretty much sums up all that need be said on the subject:

In these cases people have tried to apply logic, and it has failed them. Attempts to be logical about I could care less also fail. Taken literally, if one could care less, then one must care at least a little, which is obviously the opposite of what is meant. It is so clearly logical nonsense that to condemn it for being so (as some commentators have done) misses the point. The intent is obviously sarcastic — the speaker is really saying, “As if there was something in the world that I care less about”.
There may be aspects to language that we personally object to, but the fact remains that English is a living, thriving language that is constantly evolving. We get to split infinitives and use "who" and "whom" interchangeably in speech - things that would've blanched the faces of the literati barely a century ago. Heck, I don't like the American spelling of many words (which makes it especially ironic that I'm defending an idiosyncrasy of American origin here), but I accept that these spellings have become mainstream.
Jimmy Snyder
#216
Nov21-12, 08:05 AM
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Quote Quote by Curious3141 View Post
The literal opposite of "I could care less" is not "I could care more" but "I couldn't care less".
No. The literal opposite of "I could care less" is "I could not care less".


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