• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Tim Cooke
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Bear Bibeault
Sheriffs:
  • Knute Snortum
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Moores
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Ron McLeod
  • Piet Souris
  • Ganesh Patekar
Bartenders:
  • Tim Holloway
  • Carey Brown
  • salvin francis

For language prudes only - What words drive you nuts?

 
Bartender
Posts: 10777
71
Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a spinoff from 'What words can be prepended with "un"...', where the discussion drifted (mostly my fault) after the word "irregardless" - one of my all-time 'pet peeve' words - appeared in a post.

So, what words, double-talk, management-speak, politically correct mumbo-jumbo, or just plain misuse of our great language - or indeed any other - get your goat?

I've given you one, and here's another to kick you off:
  • "Impact" used as a verb rather than a noun - along with all its 'participles', like "impacting" and "impacted".

  • The only thing I ask is that if your choice isn't obvious, explain why it makes your blood boil.

    Winston
     
    Marshal
    Posts: 65457
    248
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Disinterested when you mean uninterested.
    Self‑harm, weight‑bear, etc., as verbs. It is all right to talk about self‑harming behaviour or a weight‑bearing pillar, but the verb phrases are harm oneself or bear weight.
     
    lowercase baba
    Posts: 12760
    51
    Chrome Java Linux
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:

  • "Impact" used as a verb rather than a noun - along with all its 'participles', like "impacting" and "impacted".


  • I got as far as the subject in the list of topics, and thought "I have to post "impact" as mine..." only to see you beat me to it.
     
    Bartender
    Posts: 598
    26
    Oracle Notepad Linux
    • Likes 4
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Methodology: when they mean method. Methodology is the study of methods. When someone says they're going to use a different methodology, i wonder: really?! you're going to find a new way to study the current method(s) in place. That's soooo meta.

    Literally: I literally explode when some literally uses literally, and literally misapplies it as an expletive, literally.

    References as a verb. You refer to a reference. Outside of programming, reference is not a verb. (Though, dictionaries have recently added it, aggravating me further.)

    Can instead of may. It's quite common now, but the annoyance builds up little by little and now and then i will erupt via a joke.

    Right instead of correct. Correct is a clear and correct word in so many scenarios; the rite to write right, is a right that would rightly be righted.

    Apology instead of sorry. I'm sorry for the confusion, let me apologize. Sorry means to feel bad. To apologize is to explain, whether or not you feel bad. Saying "I'm sorry" is not an apology, it is an expression of sorrow. "I didn't meant o hurt you", is an apology, not an expression of sorrow. (Ironically, "I'm so sorry you got hurt" is an apology, not an expression of sorrow, per se. "I made a mistake." can be either, though not both (simultaneously).) Of course, asking forgiveness is yet another thing.
     
    Marshal
    Posts: 67280
    170
    Mac Mac OS X IntelliJ IDE jQuery Java
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Dialog as a verb ("Let's dialog on that.")

    The oh-so-trendy "bone broth" to replace the perfectly good word "stock".



     
    fred rosenberger
    lowercase baba
    Posts: 12760
    51
    Chrome Java Linux
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    itch instead of scratch.

    If you have an itch, you can then scratch it. but you never itch your mosquito bite.
     
    Brian Tkatch
    Bartender
    Posts: 598
    26
    Oracle Notepad Linux
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    fred rosenberger wrote:If you have an itch, you can then scratch it. but you never itch your mosquito bite.



    Personally, i scratch it until it bleeds, than squeeze out the juice, and feel so much better.

     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Brian Tkatch wrote:Methodology: when they mean method.


    Abso-bloody-lutely. Wish I could give you a cow for that, but it's not really fair in threads like this (at least I don't think it is). So assume my tick is 10 of 'em.

    Literally: I literally explode when some literally uses literally, and literally misapplies it as an expletive, literally.


    Actually, you could say the same thing about 'actually'.

    We Brits do love our "noise" words.

    Apology instead of sorry.


    Hmmm. Not so sure about that one, and I suspect your classical history is coming to the fore again, as in "apology" meaning "defense or justfication", but it clearly also means an expression of regret, which may or may not include a reason, as in the fabled:
      We apologise to passengers waiting at platform 3....

    Great list though.

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Bear Bibeault wrote:The oh-so-trendy "bone broth" to replace the perfectly good word "stock".


    Never heard that one before.

    However, I'm darn sure my mum didn't have a "Bone broth pot" on the stove.

    Winston

    Keep 'em coming everyone.
     
    Ranch Hand
    Posts: 385
    6
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Your -> 90% of the time it is used the person actually meant "You're".

    Teamwork -> A word that Project Managers love, and I loathe Project Managers.
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Ahmed Bin S wrote:Your -> 90% of the time it is used the person actually meant "You're".


    Very true, but I often make that mistake when I type without thinking; I suspect because I'm more "oral" than "visual" (no jokes please).

    Teamwork -> A word that Project Managers love, and I loathe Project Managers.


    Oh YES. Good old "teamwork". Consider my tick a cow.

    Winston
     
    Brian Tkatch
    Bartender
    Posts: 598
    26
    Oracle Notepad Linux
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:

    Brian Tkatch wrote:Methodology: when they mean method.


    Wish I could give you a cow for that, but it's not really fair in threads like this (at least I don't think it is). So assume my tick is 10 of 'em.


    Heh, thank you. According to the Cow FAQ, "Cows are stronger indicators of quality posts." Much as i love the cows ($100 is a bit too expensive for me ), i think you mean a hearty thumbs up,

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:

    Brian Tkatch wrote:Literally: I literally explode when some literally uses literally, and literally misapplies it as an expletive, literally.


    Actually, you could say the same thing about 'actually'.


    Except, actually, the last literally, literally.

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:

    Apology instead of sorry.


    Hmmm. Not so sure about that one, and I suspect your classical history is coming to the fore again, as in "apology" meaning "defense or justfication", but it clearly also means an expression of regret, which may or may not include a reason, including the fabled
      We apologise to passengers waiting at platform 3....


    It's not just me! apology vs sorry

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:Great list though.


    Thank you for the kind words.
     
    Bartender
    Posts: 4568
    9
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    There's one phrase that doesn't annoy me, but I can't help notice whenever it's used. Because it is almost always misused.

    "Come to fruition"

    Fruition is a process. So this is exactly the same mistake as "rise to a crescendo" (the crescendo is the rise, not what it's rising to). It should be "Come to fruit".
     
    Brian Tkatch
    Bartender
    Posts: 598
    26
    Oracle Notepad Linux
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Matthew Brown wrote:There's one phrase that doesn't annoy me, but I can't help notice whenever it's used. Because it is almost always misused.



    In my brother's class, the teacher announced that "I is" was not a correct formation. So, true to himself, he asked the teacher, "I is a word, is it not?" If there were only a choir signing in the background, it could have been a beautiful thing coming to fruition while rising to a crescendo in the background.
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Matthew Brown wrote:"Come to fruition".


    Never thought about it much, but you're (@Ahmed: note) absolutely right.

    What would your preference be? "Blossom" and "flower" seem a bit...er...flowery.

    Winston
     
    Brian Tkatch
    Bartender
    Posts: 598
    26
    Oracle Notepad Linux
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:Never thought about it much, but you're (@Ahmed: note) absolutely right.



    Correct! Correct! Correct! Grr...
     
    Saloon Keeper
    Posts: 10534
    224
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    In Dutch, many people say enigste when they mean enige (only). IF enigste was indeed a Dutch word, it would mean as much as onliest.

    They also say overnieuw, instead of opnieuw or over (both mean 'over' as in the phrase "Do it over").
     
    Bartender
    Posts: 21003
    128
    Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Maybe I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but the one that sets me off fastest is probably "disrespect" used as a verb. I view it with contempt. I hold it in low regard. I dismiss it out of hand.

    Probably because "disrespect" sounds too much like "respect" is a natural state, instead of something to be earned.

    Runner-up is "pro-active", because 9 times out of 10, it's an excuse for adding hyperbole to the perfectly good word "active". And the 10th time, it means "anticipate".


    Back in the 90s people drove me mad because suddenly there was only one affirmative word: "Absolutely". Again, it's over the top, and it displaced a whole raft of similar words, thereby impoverishing speech. I affirmatively, positively, certainly, unquestionably, definitely, unmistakably, without a doubt, indisputably held the word "absolutely in just about as much regard as I would an impacted wisdom tooth.
     
    Sheriff
    Posts: 24635
    56
    Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    "Forward planning". Is there also "backward planning" or "sideways planning"? What other kind of planning is this phrase supposed to exclude?
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Stephan van Hulst wrote:In Dutch, many people say enigste when they mean enige (only). IF enigste was indeed a Dutch word, it would mean as much as onliest.


    Sorry, but I had to give a cow for our first non-English contribution.

    Having lived in Belgium for 11 years, I have come across overnieuw, but wasn't aware of the difference with opnieuw.
    Bloody foreigners eh?

    And enigste - why would you add to a word that already exists? Emphasis, perhaps? Like "the one and only"?

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Tim Holloway wrote:Maybe I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but the one that sets me off fastest is probably "disrespect" used as a verb.


    Oh, another virtual cow.

    So you're dissing 'disrespect' then? Ah'm wiv ya man, 100%. Verb or noun. Innit.

    That said: can you think of another verb that means "not respect"? Or a better prefix?

    I think the reason we dislike it has far more to do with the way the word 'respect' is being negated.
    'Disrespect' suggests an offence taken that was not necessarily intended; so if ever there was a "fighting" word, then this is it, And in that context, maybe you could classify it as a very clever word indeed.

    I view it with contempt. I hold it in low regard. I dismiss it out of hand.


    Yup, that about covers it.

    Winston
     
    Paul Clapham
    Sheriff
    Posts: 24635
    56
    Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Ahmed Bin S wrote:Teamwork -> A word that Project Managers love, and I loathe Project Managers.



    Project management -- fertile ground for finding those words!

    For example there's "synergy" which usually shows up in the plural form. I remember the company I was working for was acquired and when I read the takeover press release and saw the word "synergies" my heart sank. Sure enough the company which had acquired us went straight into bankruptcy and it took us two or three years to get out of that mess.
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Paul Clapham wrote:"Forward planning".


    Dunno about you, but how far forward do you plan for? Me: anything more than a few days does my head in. Agreed, it sounds silly, but if it's for anything more than a month or so then doesn't "forward planning" sound better than "prescience" or "punt" or "divining"?

    But I'm with you. It should be called Forecasting: "Profits light to variable, with squally dividends".

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Paul Clapham wrote:For example there's "synergy"...


    OHH, another virtual cow.

    Does anyone know what that means (singular or plural)?

    Winston
     
    Brian Tkatch
    Bartender
    Posts: 598
    26
    Oracle Notepad Linux
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:Does anyone know what that means (singular or plural)?


    Together with all the words in the sentence, it can be powerful and motivating.
     
    Paul Clapham
    Sheriff
    Posts: 24635
    56
    Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:

    Paul Clapham wrote:For example there's "synergy"...



    Does anyone know what that means (singular or plural)?



    Pretty clearly from Greek roots meaning "work together". So far so good; the problem arises when you apply the idea to two organizations in which the individuals have no reason to work together and every reason to defend their silos via turf wars and other forms of foot-dragging.
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Brian Tkatch wrote:Together with all the words in the sentence, it can be powerful and motivating.


    Maybe for you, but for most of us it's an indistinct word meaning "energy between two or more objects" (none of which are actually defined), used by salesmen and course instructors that engenders an immediate cerebral response toward Snoresville, Arizona - sometimes for several hours.

    Winston

    [Edit] Paul gave a much better explanation than me; but I stand by the users and reaction.
     
    Brian Tkatch
    Bartender
    Posts: 598
    26
    Oracle Notepad Linux
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Paul Clapham wrote:the problem arises when you apply the idea to two organizations in which the individuals have no reason to work together and every reason to defend their silos via turf wars and other forms of foot-dragging.


    And for that explanation, you deserve the Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Brian Tkatch wrote:And for that explanation, you deserve the Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.


    OK, but let's not get too sidetracked. This is a quest for "words that drive you nuts".

    Or grammar, or PC-crap, or double-talk, or, or, or (see OP) ...

    Winston
     
    Stephan van Hulst
    Saloon Keeper
    Posts: 10534
    224
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:Sorry, but I had to give a cow for our first non-English contribution.


    Thanks Winston

    Having lived in Belgium for 11 years, I have come across overnieuw, but wasn't aware of the difference with opnieuw.


    I'm not sure about Belgian Dutch, but in Netherlands Dutch (Dutch Dutch?) overnieuw is not a correct word. It's either over, or opnieuw.

    And enigste - why would you add to a word that already exists? Emphasis, perhaps? Like "the one and only"?


    It's just a common mistake. People hear it at a young age and are rarely corrected.
     
    Tim Holloway
    Bartender
    Posts: 21003
    128
    Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    "Synergy" is a perfectly cromulent word. It means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Where it got tainted was when some twit coined the babbleterm "leveraging our synergies". And may Chthulhu help, me, I've actually worked for a place where they had the temerity to use that term. And just to make it more annoying, it's prone to pop out after mergers and acquisitions where a lot of the "leveraging" consists of "rightsizing".

    But I disdain those who think "disrespect" is a verb.
     
    Stephan van Hulst
    Saloon Keeper
    Posts: 10534
    224
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Another one: People say "Hij is langer dan mij" ("He is taller than me") instead of "Hij is langer dan ik" ("He is taller than I am").

    In Dutch, the former is definitely incorrect. I'm actually not sure about the English "He is taller than me", because I read it so often.

    Similarly, I'm not sure about the English "Jessica and me are going out", which I hear a lot, but in Dutch the only correct thing to say would translate to "Jessica and I are going out".
     
    Tim Holloway
    Bartender
    Posts: 21003
    128
    Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    As they say, "'Ain't' ain't good English", but you'll hear it used a lot.

    "He is taller than I" is grammatical. And if you say it instead of "He is taller than me", people will think you're putting on airs.

    The reason, I think is that "I" is sonically unpleasant compared to "me" in such context. And languages are notorious for irregularities because the purely logical choice based on consistent rules would either sound funny, be difficult to produce, or would be unconsciously morphed when spoken in conversation.
     
    Brian Tkatch
    Bartender
    Posts: 598
    26
    Oracle Notepad Linux
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Tim Holloway wrote:As they say, "'Ain't' ain't good English", but you'll hear it used a lot.

    "He is taller than I" is grammatical. And if you say it instead of "He is taller than me", people will think you're putting on airs.

    The reason, I think is that "I" is sonically unpleasant compared to "me" in such context. And languages are notorious for irregularities because the purely logical choice based on consistent rules would either sound funny, be difficult to produce, or would be unconsciously morphed when spoken in conversation.



    The reason is because it is missing the word "am," which is supposedly implied, but not understood by the majority of people, hence causing them to pause, think, and then hate you for making them do so.
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Tim Holloway wrote:"Synergy" is a perfectly cromulent word. It means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


    Wow. A sentence with the word "cromulent" in it - and used recursively no less,
    Please assume that my tick means 3 virtual cows.

    Where it got tainted was when some twit coined the babbleterm "leveraging our synergies"


    No, I fear you may have simply had a bad introduction. I actually had someone explain what he thought it meant to me; and it was so complicated that I thought (for probably the first time in my career):
    'You know what? I know more than this dipstick'.

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
    Bartender
    Posts: 10777
    71
    Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Stephan van Hulst wrote:In Dutch, the former is definitely incorrect. I'm actually not sure about the English "He is taller than me", because I read it so often.


    Theoretically not - and certainly not when I was growing up (60-70's) - but I have to admit, "me" does sound better.

    What can I say? At least I know it's wrong.

    Winston
     
    Ahmed Bin S
    Ranch Hand
    Posts: 385
    6
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Winston Gutkowski wrote:
    Never thought about it much, but you're (@Ahmed: note) absolutely right.



    Good, good!

    Another word I hate is "meeting" - had way too many of those in my last workplace where clueless Project Managers tried to justify their high salaries by calling endless meetings so they could try and appear important.
     
    Brian Tkatch
    Bartender
    Posts: 598
    26
    Oracle Notepad Linux
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Ahmed Bin S wrote:Another word I hate is "meeting" - had way too many of those in my last workplace where clueless Project Managers tried to justify their high salaries by calling endless meetings so they could try and appear important.



    Meeting wasn't meeting your expectations?
     
    Paul Clapham
    Sheriff
    Posts: 24635
    56
    Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
    • Likes 5
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Ahmed Bin S wrote:Another word I hate is "meeting" - had way too many of those in my last workplace where clueless Project Managers tried to justify their high salaries by calling endless meetings so they could try and appear important.



    Off topic: once we had the consultants in at my workplace. Of course their e-mails always had six lines of legal stuff at the end, including the phrase "You may not take any action based on the contents of this message."

    So when they e-mailed me and told me there was a meeting, of course I didn't go. Then when they noticed I wasn't there, they called me in my office.

    Me: "Do you want me to come to the meeting?"

    Them: "Yes."

    Me: "Okay, I'll be right there."

    After this happened a few times they asked me what was up and I told them.

    Them: "But why didn't you tell us that?"

    Me: "I couldn't, that would have been taking an action based on the contents of the message."

    Pretty soon I noticed that the legal stuff at the end of each of their e-mails had changed.
     
    Campbell Ritchie
    Marshal
    Posts: 65457
    248
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Brian Tkatch wrote:. . . It's not just me! apology vs sorry . . .

    I am afraid the two hits I read disagreed with each other, and neither supports you against Winston.
     
    Don't mess with me you fool! I'm cooking with gas! Here, read this tiny ad:
    Java file APIs (DOC, XLS, PDF, and many more)
    https://products.aspose.com/total/java
    • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic
    Boost this thread!