• 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?

 
Sheriff
Posts: 24633
56
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Campbell Ritchie wrote:When I was at school, the English master said that Joseph Conrad spoke correct English because he didn't learn it as a first language. Where was Conrad from?



He was Polish. But I don't understand your English master's remark. For example I didn't learn French as a first language but it surely doesn't follow that I speak correct French.
 
Paul Clapham
Sheriff
Posts: 24633
56
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I always feel somewhat irritated when I hear people use the word "sorted" to mean "solved" or "fixed" in terms of some problem. But I suspect that's because it's mostly a British usage and since I lived there for the first six years of my life, it should be familiar to me. But it isn't. So possibly it's a usage which didn't exist sixty years ago.
 
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 10506
224
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I suppose it has to do with chaos. A problem represents chaos, and solving it means order. Kinda like sorting something.
 
Paul Clapham
Sheriff
Posts: 24633
56
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, I suppose... The usage I'm familiar with in that context is "sorted out" rather than just "sorted".

Although when I went back to Britain, the "jacket potato" was a new concept to me, but it isn't new to Britain as evidenced by its presence on the Titanic's menu back in 1912.
 
Stephan van Hulst
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 10506
224
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jacket potato, good memories ^^

I'm from South Africa, so that might explain why it's familiar to me.
 
Bartender
Posts: 10777
71
Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

fred rosenberger wrote:I'm on a call where they've used the word "impactful" many times.


I'm generally against capital punishment, but there are a few exceptions...

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:He was Polish. But I don't understand your English master's remark. For example I didn't learn French as a first language but it surely doesn't follow that I speak correct French.


I think perhaps it's a central European thing - maybe because many of them grow up speaking two or three languages as a matter of course. My dad had a Hungarian friend who also came over during WWII and ended up "more English than the English", right down to wearing a deerstalker - and, like my dad, was also very fond of correcting other people's English.

I think I've inherited his "ear", and although my German is far from fluent, I reckon my accent's pretty good.

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:I'm from South Africa, so that might explain why it's familiar to me.


IMO, South Africa's finest culinary export is biltong. Never was a huge fan of jacket potatoes.

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:I always feel somewhat irritated when I hear people use the word "sorted" to mean "solved" or "fixed" in terms of some problem. ... possibly it's a usage which didn't exist sixty years ago.


Don't know, but I know you hear it a lot "dahn sahf"; sometimes just as a single word. Personally, I quite like it - maybe because it reminds me of home.

Winston
 
Stephan van Hulst
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 10506
224
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Winston Gutkowski wrote:IMO, South Africa's finest culinary export is biltong. Never was a huge fan of jacket potatoes.


Biltong is great, but in my opinion, droëwors is the best! Pronounced DROO'wuh WORS, with slightly rolling R.
 
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender
Posts: 10777
71
Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A couple more to get us back on track:

Using "less" when you mean "fewer" - that's a big Stephen Fry peeve.

"Must of" instead of "must have".

Winston
 
Stephan van Hulst
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 10506
224
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That includes "Could of" and "Would of".

I have one friend who insists on writing "I use to" instead of "I used to".

That reminds me of internet lingo in general. Not considering the folks who write in l33t, it bugs me when people write in full sentences but replace "you" with "u" and "through" with "thru".

I also hate hate hate the... ahem... word, "bae".
 
Bartender
Posts: 598
26
Oracle Notepad Linux
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've heard "near miss" bothers some. Without the hyphen, it means a hit, rather than a "near" (type or style of) miss.
"I could care less" is similar, and has been around for a long time. Showing up not too long after "i couldn't care less" became popular.
Neither of these bother me, as i'd much rather make fun of them.

 
Marshal
Posts: 4662
301
IntelliJ IDE Clojure Java
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Like it bugs me when people like say 'like' all the time for no good grammatical reason. "I'm literally so, like, bored" she said. Is that some kind of neurological state approximating boredom but not actual boredom?

Which reminds me of another one "literally". I think that one's been covered already, but "I'm so like bored, I'm literally about to die". Are you really? Really? No, I thought not.
 
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender
Posts: 10777
71
Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tim Cooke wrote:Like it bugs me when people like say 'like' all the time for no good grammatical reason.


There are tons of "noise" words like that, including "well", "just", and "kind/sort of"; and I remember reading a very good justification for them as taking the place of a pause, and so improving flow. It was a while ago though, so I'm damned if I can remember where.

Winston
 
Brian Tkatch
Bartender
Posts: 598
26
Oracle Notepad Linux
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Winston Gutkowski wrote:

Tim Cooke wrote:Like it bugs me when people like say 'like' all the time for no good grammatical reason.


There are tons of "noise" words like that


I consider them buffer underruns.
 
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:I also hate hate hate the... ahem... word, "bae".


Had to look that one up. You certainly wouldn't want to use it in Denmark.

Winston
 
Marshal
Posts: 65396
248
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So did I and got a perfectly respectable English word as its translation. What is wrong about the stern end of a ship, I cannot understand.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 385
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Clapham wrote:I always feel somewhat irritated when I hear people use the word "sorted" to mean "solved" or "fixed" in terms of some problem. But I suspect that's because it's mostly a British usage and since I lived there for the first six years of my life, it should be familiar to me. But it isn't. So possibly it's a usage which didn't exist sixty years ago.



A Brit!!! Which part of Britain are you from?

"Sorted" is used a lot amongst the working class over here. My parents came to the UK and settled on a Council Estate, which is where I was raised, so I am used to hearing it, the thing is, a lot of working class people (at least in London and the South East) drop the t from words - so alright becomes "alrigh", Saturday becomes "Sa-urday" and sorted becomes "sor-ed"!
 
Ahmed Bin S
Ranch Hand
Posts: 385
6
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Winston Gutkowski wrote:
"Must of" instead of "must have".



"Yea your write, there cat must of run away" - I have actually seen sentences similar to this one where the erroneous words almost outnumber/outnumber the correct words!
 
Paul Clapham
Sheriff
Posts: 24633
56
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Winston Gutkowski wrote:Using "less" when you mean "fewer" - that's a big Stephen Fry peeve.



Yeah, I notice a lot of people who say things like "That car costs less than 5,000 dollars" when clearly "dollar" is a count noun and not a mass noun and hence it should be "That car costs fewer than 5,000 dollars".
 
Paul Clapham
Sheriff
Posts: 24633
56
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Winston Gutkowski wrote:"Must of" instead of "must have".



But you're misspelling that. It is spelled "Must've". A perfectly good contraction.
 
Campbell Ritchie
Marshal
Posts: 65396
248
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Clapham wrote:. . . "dollar" is a count noun and not a mass noun . . .

But $5000 is an amount of money and money is usually a mass noun so less would be appropriate.
 
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender
Posts: 10777
71
Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Clapham wrote:Yeah, I notice a lot of people who say things like "That car costs less than 5,000 dollars" when clearly "dollar" is a count noun and not a mass noun and hence it should be "That car costs fewer than 5,000 dollars".


Nice try Machiavelli, but it don't wash.

According to the OED blog:

"in sentences and phrases with ‘than’, you should use less with numbers when they are on their own[...]and when talking about distance, time, ages, and sums of money:
But hold on, I hear you say – the measurements (years, miles, dollars, etc.) are in the plural, so why isn’t fewer the correct choice? Not so! We use less in such cases because we’re actually still referring to total amounts (of time, money, distance, etc.) rather than individual units."

And a few of their example are:
√ Companies less than five years old are the ones creating new jobs.
√ Per capita income is reckoned to be less than 50 dollars per year.
√ Heath Square is less than four miles from Dublin city centre.

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:But you're misspelling that. It is spelled "Must've". A perfectly good contraction.


I totally agree; it's simply phonetic spelling. You'd be amazed how many people write it though - and even mix it with things like "may have", so they clearly know how modal verbs work.

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:

Paul Clapham wrote:But you're misspelling that. It is spelled "Must've". A perfectly good contraction.


I totally agree; it's simply phonetic spelling.


I would of said phony-etic. (Yes, i know.)
 
Marshal
Posts: 7078
491
Mac OS X VI Editor BSD Linux
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Even tho I'm not english and my English is not fluent too, I quite often hear people saying: no worry instead of don't worry, while they actually having in mind to say no worries most likely.
That is probably a problem of non native speakers, however, when I took an exam of my native language, in fact I got the least mark out of all, and it is common in our country (Lithuania), as it is quite difficult to grasp all language quirks.

Is it similar scenario in other countries, that native language exams are being awarded marked with least marks?
 
Brian Tkatch
Bartender
Posts: 598
26
Oracle Notepad Linux
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Liutauras Vilda wrote:Even tho I'm not english and my English is not fluent too, I quite often hear people saying: no worry instead of don't worry, while they actually having in mind to say no worries most likely.



"Don't worry" is a command to the other person, "No worries" is a statement. Many people prefer the latter because it is different, or because they do not want to refer to the other person directly. The same is true with "(T)hanx" instead of "Thank you." "(T)hanx" is different from "Thanks," (the former is a less formal "thank you;" the latter is just a plural and rarely used, as "gratitude" is generally preferred) though this board unfortunately disagrees, calling "(T)hanx" a "silly abbreviation" and refusing to allow it to be posted.
 
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender
Posts: 10777
71
Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Liutauras Vilda wrote:Even tho I'm not english and my English is not fluent too, I quite often hear people saying: no worry instead of don't worry, while they actually having in mind to say no worries most likely.


You're absolutely right; however, if you bandy "no worries" around too much, people might think you learned your English in Australia.

That is probably a problem of non native speakers, however, when I took an exam of my native language, in fact I got the least mark out of all, and it is common in our country (Lithuania), as it is quite difficult to grasp all language quirks.
Is it similar scenario in other countries, that native language exams are being awarded marked with least marks?


I suspect so. I'm ashamed to say that I failed my English 'O' Level. My mum (an English teacher) was absolutely mortified, and insisted that I re-take it.

I passed it the 2nd time around, but still only got a grade 5; so I'm well aware about people in glass houses...

Winston
 
Brian Tkatch
Bartender
Posts: 598
26
Oracle Notepad Linux
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Innocent/innocence when meaning ignorant/ignorance.
 
Paul Clapham
Sheriff
Posts: 24633
56
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Winston Gutkowski wrote:According to the OED blog:



I see the blog writer approves of "10 items or less" in the supermarket, which is almost always what you see the gripers complaining about.
 
Bartender
Posts: 20982
128
Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Clapham wrote:

Winston Gutkowski wrote:According to the OED blog:



I see the blog writer approves of "10 items or less" in the supermarket, which is almost always what you see the gripers complaining about.



10 items or less than 10 items.

Or in geek terms:

if items <= 10 then throw

Some meditations on forte/forté:

I used the word to mean "strength" or "something I speak loudly (confidently) on, which is a fairly accurate carryover from the Italian word. and I usually stress both syllables evenly. The accent affectation, I think comes partly because accents made words look "foreign" before umlauts becäme the fad. Partly because in English we've been waging war against final "e"s for a thousand years. The "natural" pronunciation in English of "forte" would thus be "fort" or "fortə" - fort-uh, but I, at least, say "fort'-ay'" and there's often an upswing in pitch to go with it.

Then again, us "mericans likes our spellin' simple without all that icing on things, so we jest figgure that anythin' with a accent* must be furrin'.

===
* pronounced "ay-uk-sent".
 
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:in English we've been waging war against final "e"s for a thousand years.


Forsooth! Explain thyself. What makest thou sayeth that?

Tim Holloway wrote:us "mericans likes our spellin' simple without all that icing on things, so we jest figgure that anythin' with a accent* must be furrin'.


Some history might disagree with that notion. Though, my 1928 Funk & Wagnall's Desk Dictionary has many simpler spellings.

I have noticed though, that English, when borrowing words from other languages, tends to keep the original spelling as much as possible, and then pronounce them English-like. For example, pronouncing Russia as rusha. Though, French seems to be an exception, likely because it make them (feel that they) sound cultured. I agree, it makes them sound quite cheesy.
 
Tim Holloway
Bartender
Posts: 20982
128
Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Geoff C. wrote:
Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, ...



One thing I've noticed is that Americans tend to pronounce/spell foreign words more like their original native language, whereas English Anglicise them. You can see it in how many syllables we use respectively to pronounce "jaguar" or "Nicaragua".

But we really are uncomfortable with all those embellishments to the Latin alphabet that are so popular in the Old World. Excepting Quebec and Brazil, the Americas generally get by with letters that are either unadorned, or at most have acute accent marks. And in cases of Spanish, we've been known to be pretty sloppy about carrying them over into English writing. Any actual phonetic values are more or less accidental.
 
Tim Holloway
Bartender
Posts: 20982
128
Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another thing to think about:

The phrase "That's all sorted, then" is used meaning "problem solved". But, as we all know, both professionally and in everyday life, sorting is merely the prelude!
 
Paul Clapham
Sheriff
Posts: 24633
56
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I find myself somewhat disturbed by people who say "If I would have known that I would have brought a cake" where I would say "If I had known that I would have brought a cake". But it's an extremely common figure of speech -- just start typing "If I would have" into the search box in your browser and see what drops down as potential search terms.

I'm just imagining Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof singing "If I would have been a rich man".
 
Winston Gutkowski
Bartender
Posts: 10777
71
Hibernate Eclipse IDE Ubuntu
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Clapham wrote:I find myself somewhat disturbed by people who say "If I would have known that I would have brought a cake".


Yes. It's also the kind of mistake that French people tend to make because they use the past perfect in speech far more than we do.

FYI, another tense that has practically disappeared from English is the subjunctive. In English it sounds very stuffy or archaic:
Thanks be to God.
I recommend that he be fired.
but it's still a major part of everyday French and German.

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

Brian Tkatch wrote:Some history might disagree with that notion.


Good old Noah. All part of the same trend that has you write your dates as month/day/year, drive on the wrong side of the road and turn your light switches upside-down, no doubt.
Didn't know about the White/Red Sox though.

Winston
 
Stephan van Hulst
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 10506
224
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tim Holloway wrote:But we really are uncomfortable with all those embellishments to the Latin alphabet that are so popular in the Old World. Excepting Quebec and Brazil, the Americas generally get by with letters that are either unadorned, or at most have acute accent marks. And in cases of Spanish, we've been known to be pretty sloppy about carrying them over into English writing. Any actual phonetic values are more or less accidental.



I think that's because there is a much weaker link between English writing and speech in the first place. In most European languages, you can look at the word and you know how to pronounce it, even if you haven't seen it before. With English it's a lot harder. One of the well known examples is "Tough" vs "Though" and "Through".
 
Tim Holloway
Bartender
Posts: 20982
128
Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Stephan van Hulst wrote:

Tim Holloway wrote:But we really are uncomfortable with all those embellishments to the Latin alphabet that are so popular in the Old World. Excepting Quebec and Brazil, the Americas generally get by with letters that are either unadorned, or at most have acute accent marks. And in cases of Spanish, we've been known to be pretty sloppy about carrying them over into English writing. Any actual phonetic values are more or less accidental.



I think that's because there is a much weaker link between English writing and speech in the first place. In most European languages, you can look at the word and you know how to pronounce it, even if you haven't seen it before. With English it's a lot harder. One of the well known examples is "Tough" vs "Though" and "Through".



That's what you get when you start out speaking one family of languages (germanic), get invaded and ruled by a bunch speaking another language (french), then go stomping off around the world stealing words from the natives right and left. It's a wonder we can spell at all!
 
Whatever you say buddy! And I believe this tiny ad too:
create, convert, edit or print DOC and DOCX in Java
https://products.aspose.com/words/java
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!