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Language fails that make you angry

  1. Dec 4, 2011 #1
    These are the misuses of our language that REALLY bug me:

    - Misusing "literally". People say things like "I literally have a million things to do."
    --- No, you do not.
    --- To deal with these people, I usually say things like "I hear you, I figuratively have a project due Wednesday", or "I figuratively have to go to the bathroom."

    - Borrow vs Lend.
    - Pronouncing 'etc.' "Eck-Cetera". I absolutely despise this and all who do this. I have noticed that 100% of the human resources staff at my place of work does this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2011 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    You're a little high strung, aren't you. :rofl:
  4. Dec 4, 2011 #3
    Reminds me of this:

  5. Dec 4, 2011 #4

    Ben Niehoff

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    Using "fail" in the sense used in this thread title is a major one.

    The correct word is "failure".
  6. Dec 4, 2011 #5
    expresso instead of espresso
  7. Dec 4, 2011 #6


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    This thread has flustrated me.
  8. Dec 4, 2011 #7
    A "little" high strung?
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  9. Dec 4, 2011 #8


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    less vs. fewer drives me up the wall.

    It's "More movie, _FEWER_ commercials", TNT.
  10. Dec 4, 2011 #9


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    "I could care less" which really means "I couldn't care less."

    "Like" instead of "say", as in "He was like, 'I gotta go to class next period.'"
  11. Dec 4, 2011 #10


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    The post could also be "Language fails that make you mad" as in crazy?
  12. Dec 4, 2011 #11
    Yeah, how do you explain that to a foreigner trying to learn English?
  13. Dec 4, 2011 #12


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    Bwuhahaha! Oh yeah!

    What is the correct way to say it? "Et-setera"?
  14. Dec 4, 2011 #13
    Actually, this raises an interesting point. In linguistics, there is an ongoing debate beteen descriptivists and prescrpitivsts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_prescription

    Language constantly evolves. For example, there is little doubt that the english of Shakespeare's time is very different from modern english. Of course there was never a point at which group of people to decided to "update" the language. This occurred via small and gradual changes.
    As words take on new meanings or uses, more and more people understand what is meant by the new usage or word. At what point does that new usage become an "official" part of the language?

    I would argue that "fail" and "literally" are different cases. "Fail" is a specific extension of the word, making "fail" usable as a noun with specific syntax. The new meaning flows from the previous meaning. In the case of "literally" someone is using the implied literal meaning of the word as a form of hyperbole, while actually using the word to mean its opposite. This is different, because it's not a particularly coherent use of language. In other words, unlike "fail" the meaning is not clear, and it reduces rather then enhances the range of possible lingual expression.
  15. Dec 4, 2011 #14
    For all intensive purposes.

    lolspeak in general. omg wtf ur lmao derp etc >.>
  16. Dec 4, 2011 #15


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  17. Dec 4, 2011 #16


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    "all intensive purposes" is a great one!

    I once heard a mom say about her son's bad behavior, "I'm going to nip that in the butt before it gets out of hand!"
  18. Dec 4, 2011 #17
    "they were loosing the battle." I literally read that in a book ("The Hinge Factor").
  19. Dec 4, 2011 #18


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    "I seen him at the pool." :grit teeth:

    In a myriad of ways. : vision fading:
  20. Dec 4, 2011 #19


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    When people hyper-correct and use I instead of me.

    "The dog followed Sandra and I around the house."

    lie vs. lay - almost no one seems to get this one right, so I think it's a lost cause.
  21. Dec 4, 2011 #20
    That one bothers me as well. Who would say, "The dog followed I around the house?"

    Where are you at? *cringe*

    One should never end a sentence with the word at. :P
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