More words I hate

It’s time for another edition of Words I hate, with the implicit invitation of readers to share words (or phrases) that they find repugnant. I have but two today:

1.) Relatable. Yes, this is in some dictionaries, but it really grates on me for reasons I can’t understand. Perhaps it’s because HuffPo, my bête noire, uses it so frequently, as in the following article (click on screenshot).

2.) Word.  And here I mean the use of this word in a single sentence, as in this entry from the Urban Dictionary:

But I often see an individual using it to praise themselves, meaning “What I just said was awesome, and pay attention to it.” For example, to put a number of things that irritate me in a single sentence, “Beyoncé’s new album from Coachella just dropped, and it’s awesome. Word.”

Have at it. After all, the purpose of this post is to blow off steam. And if you want to say something like “Languages evolves, and this is fine,” please refrain.

330 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Word. As it were.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Relatable.

  2. Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Languages evolve, and this is fine.

    Just joking!

    ‘Problematic’ grates on me, not in itself but in its overuse by woke folk to show their dislike of something. Example: ‘Wow, Richard Dawkins is SO problematic.’ ‘Game of Thrones’s depiction of women is SO problematic.’ Ugh.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      “Problematize” is even worse.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Oh god! I hate that word and hear it too often from the mouths of my lecturers. ‘Let’s try and problematize Henry James’s portrayal of women in “The Turn of the Screw”’.

        Give me strength!

        • merilee
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          Thank gawd I’d never heard that one until now. Now I’ll hear it everywhere. Thanks a bunch🤓

        • Filippo
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          I gather that if one is not part of the solutionizing one is part of the problematizing.

          • merilee
            Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            🤯

        • Posted April 21, 2019 at 1:39 am | Permalink

          That makes it sound like they are saying “there isn’t a problem but let’s see what we can do to make it into a problem.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Running for the airsickness bag!

      • Curt Nelson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        But it’s good to see the word problem at all, instead of issue all the time. I have a problem with issue.

        • Rita Prangle
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

          Also “concern”.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:01 am | Permalink

      Another weasel word – ‘inappropriate’.

      Inappropriate just means unsuitable in the circumstances. Wearing a top hat while swimming would be inappropriate. Playing a hymn tune at a children’s party would be inappropriate. It does NOT mean bad, offensive or malicious. (At least it didn’t till the mealy-mouthed PC nazis started using it as a euphemism).

      cr

      • Filippo
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        The use of the word “inappropriate” is pervasive in K-12 (at least public) education, when it comes to what language the pedagogical powers that be deem “appropriate” for teachers to use when admonishing juvenile human primates – er, uh, Ah mean angelic students – for their foul language and behavior.

        (The other day I observed a male juvenile human primate exclaim that another primate was physically “ugly.” I duly jotted down the comment on the form this “troubled” student brought to class on a clipboard. It was all I could do to refrain from exclaiming how sweet he was to say that, or asking him if he ever looked in a mirror, or if he could keep an unbroken mirror at home. Or how often he took a bath.)

  3. Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I very much dislike it when someone who barely knows me calls me “buddy.”

    • DrBrydon
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      OK, pal. I won’t do that.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Doc! 🙂

        • merilee
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          What’s up?

          Btw, has anyone ever called his/her doctor Doc? I never have.

          • GBJames
            Posted April 18, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            I called my major professor in grad school “Doc”. My grandfather was also known as “Doc”. He was a small town veterinarian.

            • Filippo
              Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

              Was he perchance also a cowboy poet a la Baxter Black? 😉

          • Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            Doc was a continuation of labels that annoy us. The only person I have ever called Doc was the 100+ year old pediatrician in Boulder who happened to be from my home town in Indiana, and who 1000’s of families in Boulder greeted as Doc Mauer.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        🙂

        But I fully agree about “buddy” from a stranger. Very patronizing — wittingly (worse) or not.

        I also don’t like it when a stranger or acquaintance calls me by a nickname, which, though common for a person with my first name, is only used towards me by my mother.

        I am careful to find out:
        – How does one properly pronounce someone’s name
        – How do they they prefer to be addressed (I often ask directly)

        And then I strictly address them the way they prefer to be addressed.

        • Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          You reminded me of another peeve – people using the diminutive of a name. Even if it it not intended, it comes across as condescending. Besides, I’m over 70!! 🙂 One exception – Dougie Buckets when I sink a few 3 pointers.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      How ya feel about “Sport,” “Chief,” “Ace,” “Mack,” and “Big Guy”? 🙂

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        About the same, boss 🙂

        • Rita Prangle
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:01 am | Permalink

          Around here, it is common for cashiers to call the customer “Hon” or “Sweetie”. They think it’s friendly, I find it condescending. Sometimes I tell them I would rather not be called “honey, or whatever term they’ve just used. But, it’s a losing battle. And, even more irritating is when a salesperson, usually a young man, calls me “young lady” (I’m 74). I generally say something along the lines of “I think we both know I’m not a young lady, and I don’t feel flattered to be called young lady, thanks.”

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:38 am | Permalink

            Rita. You are too kind to men who call you, a 74 yr old, a “young lady.” You don’t seem to realise the power of being 74 & female! The next time it happens kick the bloke in the balls or tell him to feck off. Dye your hair some crazy old lady colour [if you want], wear what you want, do what you want – what’s the point of being 74 if you don’t let it all hang out?

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Let’s not forget the PCC favorite: “Dude”.

        • Dave Burnley
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          It’s cool, mate!

      • Filippo
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        As opposed to “Brau” or “Dawg” (as I have been so addressed by juvenile male human primates)? Also, “Slick.”

    • Posted April 19, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      I hate when a stranger calls me “boss.” I also have a inexplicable disdain for the word “empower.”

  4. Simon Hayward
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I have less issues with new words than with the misuse of existing ones. If we say gender when we mean sex, or disinterested when we mean uninterested (to take two common misappropriations) what are we supposed to say when we want to mean gender or disinterested in a sentence?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Neologisms will either persist in the language or fade depending on their usefulness, but the misuse of existing words and phrases only subtracts. The classic example, of course, is “begs the question”, but that ship has sailed and isn’t coming back. Even to point out its nearly universal misuse is to be branded a pedant. And so the meaning of a phrase describing an important and common logical fallacy is obliterated.

      PCC and everyone else are still entitled to be annoyed by trivialities. 🙂

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I still point out when “beg the question” is misused. Fight to the death!

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          I don’t even use that because I don’t think I really understand it and it’s used in such narrow ways really.

          • Stephen Barnard
            Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            It USED to mean assuming the truth of an argument or proposition to be proved, without arguing it — fairly abstruse and not something that comes up in day-to-day conversation or among talking heads on cable news.

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          Don’t you get shit for that?

          I’ve long ago stopped criticizing people’s speech in meaning or grammar, with one exception — my daughter. She loves the game.

        • Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          I do too. Furthermore, if people think of the more correct phrase, “It beggars the question”, there’d be less inclination to misuse it.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      “Fewer” issues!

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Touché!

      • Simon Hayward
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        indeed

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Oh you are so headed for a muphrys encounter with that hybris!

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        🙂

        If you can count ’em …

    • Robert Bray
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      No doubt others have mentioned this previously and I missed the posts. Why make a verb out of the noun ‘reference’ when ‘refers to’ has served the English language perfectly well for centuries?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Because people don’t like prepositions.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        I fight this battle as best I can in my reports at work.

        Refer is the verb. Reference is the noun.

        But this is a losing battle.

        Engineers are not known for their writing ability. I am generally the most sought after reviewer of reports in whatever organization I am part of. Not that I’m a great or always-correct writer. But I care. And I read more books per year than the average ‘Murican reads in a lifetime.

  5. DrBrydon
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Have we mentioned the term “bougie”, a corruption of bourgeois? My daughter said that recently, and I almost went off.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Never heard that one. I would assume they were referring to a clump of dried nose mucus!

      • Simon Hayward
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        I made the same assumption

      • DrBrydon
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        It ook me a moment at the time. It’s pronounced Boo-zhi, from that and the context, I gussed what it was.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Tell her to get down like Kool & the Gang and “Jungle bougie”.

      • merilee
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Say what you will about 70s disco, it was fun and didn’t take itself too seriously, unlike a lot of current “music”.

    • chris moffatt
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Well if we must use foreign words “bougie” is not derived from bourgeois; it is the french word for “spark plug”

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        😜 My favourite French word for something, and it is apropos of Easter, “peep hole”: Judas. I learned it when I read it on a peep hole package (in Canada our packaging is bilingual for those who don’t know).

        • merilee
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          Peep hole package???

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            Yep. A package that contained a peep hole to install into the door.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

              Selling empty space is good business – no manufacturing overheads

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

                Yeah, I thought the terminology amusing as well but it’s funnier to sell a Judas.

              • merilee
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

                Especially surrounded by a s**tload of bubblewrap. (Both my 3-yr.-old granddaughters prefer bubblewrap to almost anything that comes wrapped therein.)

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

                So does my dog who, upon hearing a package being opened, comes ripping out of nowhere to snatch the wrap out of your hand.

              • merilee
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

                Does she snap it with her teeth?

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

                Rips if apart

              • merilee
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

                Does it make popping sound?

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

                Nope. She doesn’t know how to do it.

            • merilee
              Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

              ✔️
              Nothing to do with Easter Peeps…

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Bougie is indeed French for spark plug & candle & tampon & other vaguely tubular items, but that certainly doesn’t mean the Afro-American* bougie, boujie, boujee etc, derives from it.

        * The word appears to have gained popularity via an awful hip-hop lyric

  6. Mike Anderson
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Using “Word” as a complete statement is intellectual laziness. The proper expression is “Word to your mother.”

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Back in the 90s, I worked in an IT department that was transitioning everyone from Word Perfect to Word. There was a lot of anger and rebellion over it….people had a very strong affection for WP. So, we thought we would just tell everyone it was WP but it was more hip now and just called “Word”.

      • merilee
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        LOL

  7. Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Pulcritude. It’s such an ugly word.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      It’s one of those words that mean the opposite of how it sounds….like universal suffrage.

      • grasshopper
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        And people who misuse “fulsome” should be in a jail somewhere. Listening to Johnny Cash.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          I’m going to play dumb when they say that again. I’ll say, “isn’t fulsome a prison Johnny Cash sung at?”

          • grasshopper
            Posted April 18, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            🙂

      • Filippo
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        “Suffrage,” as in “suffer,” as in “Suffer [put up with, tolerate] the little children [pests] to come unto me.” As if the XY phenotype was having to put up with a lot of suffering to tolerate allowing the XX phenotype the right to vote. The XX phenotype should assign to the XY the privilege of the pain of childbirth, allowing the XY’s to undertake their fair share of suffering.

  8. Charlie
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I would like to advocate for a change in the meaning of the word “malinger”. It *should* mean, “to lurk about with ill intent”, instead of “to feign illness to get out of work”.

    I want this change because it seems (superficially at least) to better match its roots: mal = bad, linger = to stay in a place longer than necessary. Plus, I often want to humorously use this term on my students when I find them in a lab at odd hours of the day or night.

    This change would be analogous to one that has already happened to “nonplussed”, which officially means to be so surprised as to be rendered speechless or uncertain as to how to act. I rarely see it used this way any more. Instead, even news organizations use it to mean its opposite: Imperturbable in the face of a dramatic event. It seems we needed a word with this meaning, nonplussed sounded like it fit the bill, and now this is how it is mostly used.

    So, let’s change the meaning of malinger!

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      What single word synonym would you use to take up the duties of “malinger” [feign illness]? Small point: Your analysis of the roots is wrong – it comes from the French malingrer it seems which is “to suffer”, which in turn is said to be a mash up of mingre “sickly, miserable” and malade “ill”.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      The malady of “malinger” is going to linger.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        While “malingering” is lingering, have a laugh at this:

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          Haha. At least his pained expression is convincing.

  9. Michael Fisher
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I, personally
    Obamacare
    Ironically [when it isn’t ironic]
    Awesome
    My bad
    No worries
    There you go [table service]

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      I love no worries. I use it all the time (instead of “no problem”, “you’re welcome”), after absorbing it traveling around Australia, NZ, and Ireland.

      Curious why you find it irritating (of course this is all just personal taste).

      I also often say “cheers” for thanks.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        “No worries”: To me it closes off an interaction somewhat while there are warmer, more thoughtful or wittier replies that open up conversational possibilities.

        Depending on my relationship to the other party I might say “it was a pleasure”, “the pleasure’s mine”, “you deserve it!”, “it was fun to do” – what you never say of course is “it’s my job.”

        Even when it’s an impersonal interaction with a stranger there’s usually a more interesting response that shows one has been paying attention to events or to the personality of the other person:

        “Thank you so much for fixing that, I was worried I’d miss Downton Abbey, Fox News, or x”
        Replying with “no worries” is safe, but there’s warmer or wittier & more attentive replies that can raise the game. Get them to laugh for example.

        “No worries” is dull.

        • Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          Oh, yes, regarding personal interactions, I make a point of thanking people and with specifics.

          As I read from some one, some time: No one hears their name or “thank you” enough.

          I tend to put it (thanks) in writing (email) and cc the person’s boss. This works wonders for collegial teamwork.

        • Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          …”there’re warmer or wittier & more attentive replies” … (ducking) 🙂

      • darrelle
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        I like Awesome, My Bad and No Worries.

        I’m bad. I’m nation-wide.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          Yes, a lot of people like those phrases to death – here, there & everywhere. 🙂

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          It’s always nice to kick up your “awesome” with “awesome sauce”. Or, as Jerry would like, “to up your ‘awesome’ game and rock ‘awesome sauce'”.

          • darrelle
            Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

            LOL

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        “No worries” is great, as long as it’s followed by “, mate”. 🙂

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        I say “no worries” as well. Usually in response to someone apologizing for something. As a Canadian, I find I have to say “no worries” a lot because Canadians apologize a lot.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:18 am | Permalink

          I say ‘no worries’. It’s a convenient way of winding down a conversation after you’ve given someone a hand with something. Gets around the potentially awkward moment when they’re wondering how to say thanks in an appropriate fashion.

          cr

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Relating to table service how about “I’ll grab you a table”.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        LOL – Pizza Hut informal. I’d rather go somewhere with more of a ceremonial flourish [without fake accents etc though] & damn the cost.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          “Pizza Hut Informal” sounds like a horrid dress code – the one where you wear cargo shorts, flip flops, and a shirt from your gym work out two days ago that you just pulled out of your gym bag.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

            Cargo shorts – the death of ‘cool’ or the Wetherspoons customer look [cheap beer & grub pub chain] over here. Even the retired, stick legged geezers wear them now.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:28 am | Permalink

              I wear cargo shorts all the time, with sandals or bare feet. Can’t be arsed with trousers. Invariably, if the trouser waist is right, the leg length is wrong. With shorts, the length doesn’t matter. So long as they’ve got plenty of pockets. And trousers look odd with sandals and positively weird with bare feet.

              Don’t give a stuff about ‘cool’.

              cr

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

                You’ve almost perfected “Pizza Hut Casual™”

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted April 20, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

                Well my present shorts wot I am wearing right now are camouflage pattern, and have eight pockets (I really like that. Can’t have too many pockets). They go nicely with my sandals (which have camouflage-pattern Velcro straps) and my ‘Aussie hat’ also in camouflage. Altogether they make me 70% invisible 😎

                cr

              • merilee
                Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

                Guess you need camo tata on your legs?

    • Antonia Clark
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Enjoy! (table service)

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Aaaagh!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:14 am | Permalink

      Oh, yes, ‘awesome’. I’ve ranted before about this.

      Nothing wrong with ‘awesome’ in it’s original meaning of awe-inspiring.

      But – “Would you like sugar in your coffee?” – “That’d be awesome”. NO IT F*&&^%$%G WOULDN’T.

      Usually mispronounced ‘ossum’. The opposite is presumably ‘offal’.

      cr

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:22 am | Permalink

        Oh, and I loathe ‘my bad’. Your bad – WHAT? ‘Bad’ is an adjective, ffs.

        I suppose the apt response to ‘My bad’ is “Your grammar certainly is”.

        Oh, and I loathe, detest and deplore ‘Word.’ Another crime against grammar.

        cr

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I dislike “relatable,” too; it ranks (and rankles) right there with “concerning” for me.

    “Word,” I’ve got no problem with, except it hasn’t been hip or cool since before the heyday of Vanilla Ice. 🙂

  11. Frank Bath
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    ‘Guys’ when used to include females in a mixed gender group. Grrr!

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes, bad behavior!

    • davelenny
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Yet, 25 years ago in my last job in an English-speaking environment, ‘guys’ was often used by several female staff when addressing a majority female department. I strongly doubt that they were subservient to any patriarchy.

      My peeves include:
      1) ‘Speaking for a friend’ tagged on to internet comments;
      2) ‘we’ used in variations of ‘How are we feeling/going this morning?’

      • merilee
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        That “we” can be so patronizing, though my very nice female vet uses it when referring to my dog or cats. Hate it when waitstaff use it. “Guys” doesn’t bother me.

    • Filippo
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Concur. Though I gather that at U.S. Marine Corps basic training, the drill instructors over the years have enthusiastically addressed their male charges as “ladies.”

  12. Posted April 18, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I believe obstruction has changed in meaning, possibly having become meaningless.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Could you please provide examples? (Seriously: I haven’t noticed this.)

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Funny…

      • Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:00 am | Permalink

        “There was no obstruction of justice”.

        • Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          That’s a good example; and obviously timely and humorous as well.

          I think that may be an legal term (phrase) of art.

          The charge for obstructing justice.

  13. mikeb
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    “Relatable” used in my writing class as a student comment on another student’s writing MAKES ME CRAZY. It’s a non-response. “I find this story really relatable.” YEP, THE STUDENT FKG TOLD IT ALL RIGHT.

    That and “flows.” “The story really flows.”

    Like shit down your leg.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      That’s because it’s an abstraction that has nothing behind it…ie: an abstraction of nothing. I find this all the time when you ask people stuff even at work – you have to keep asking what they mean by that until you get any substance. I think it’s just a way for them to say something to look smart and engaged when they don’t really know how to articulate what they want to tell you.

  14. Heike
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    REDACTED for censored.

  15. docbill1351
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I like “Word!” because it makes you sound fleek, lit and woke.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Your lack of Oxford comma disturbs me.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Hmm, don’t be such a grammar alt-righter. (Trying to modernise the terminology here…)

      • Filippo
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Does there exist a Cambridge semi-colon?

    • merilee
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Fleek?

  16. GBJames
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoy the Canadian maritime use of “buddy” in the third person. As a substitute for “the guy”. Example: Buddy went to the shop and got a beer.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      I hear “dude” used the same way, also without a the definite article “the.” (“Dude split before the cops arrived.”)

    • merilee
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Me, too, re: 3rd person “buddy”.

  17. Ken Pidcock
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure this comes up often, but using jealous when you mean envious. Like saying that you’re jealous of this or that celebrity. I imagine they’d be surprised to know that seeing as you don’t even know them.

  18. Alan Clark
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Societal. What’s wrong with social?

    Doable. it may be a valid word but I much prefer possible.

    • Filippo
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Societology – a new academic field?

      Hmm, I wonder – of what would “societal media” consist?

  19. pablo
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Even though I loathe Trump, I hate it when he is referred to as Drumpf. I’m not a Christian but I hate it when Jesus is referred to as Jebus. There’s a self satisfied “Ha! Take that!” implied. They think they’re being clever when they’re being the opposite.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      I concur. John Oliver always does this kind of thing — making fun of “foreign” names and “foreign” accents. It’s only funny if you’re an ignoramus who’s never tried to speak another language.

      And if we want to laugh about national stereotypes, how about starting with stuck up poms who think there’s something inherently funny in the fact that languages other than English exist.

      (In other news, one German name that is kinda interesting is the original form of Boeing — here in Germany it’s spelled Böing. I still find that kinda funny, just because it would have been a much better name for a company that makes engine parts!)

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I’ve used it a lot; but I have moved away from it.

      I still happily use:

      Drumpfenführer
      Drumpfenreich

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        I just go with assface. Problem is I know so many assfaces it’s hard to know who I’m talking about until I provide enough information in my story for context.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        Love it!

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Trump’s German ancestors were named Drumpf, and Jesus real name is Yeshua.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        Can you imagine “DRUMPF” all over his buildings?!

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

          How about “Individual 1”?

        • Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          How about prisoner serial number 1234456? 🙂

          • Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            Henceforth he shall be the individual known as MUD.

  20. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    As long as we’re airing usage beefs, I’ve got a couple questions:

    Has the distinction between “like” and “as” disappeared? (“Like” is a preposition; “as,” a conjunction, introducing a clause. Thus, “I complain in comments like this” but “I hate ‘relatable,’ just as Jerry hates it”.) I try to observe the distinction, at least in formal writing, but more and more I see writers, even educated and otherwise articulate writers, using “like” where “as” would ordinarily be considered appropriate.

    How about “if” and “whether”? “If” is conditional (“If the cold front comes through, it will snow”/”If he shows up, we’ll go to the party”). “Whether” indicates an alternative (“I don’t know whether she’s going”). I often see (and sometimes find myself using) “if” where “whether” would be considered appropriate. The rule of thumb I try to go with is, if you could add “or not,” go with “whether.”

    • JezGrove
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      A good rule of thumb! You’re also right about slippage regarding “as” and “like”. When it comes to another use of “like”, I hate the whole “he was like” to mean “he said” habit.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        I have a habit of saying things like, “he was all like….” if I’m telling a story to friends informally. I think it makes my stories mildly more amusing though because they are peppered with colourful, sweary language.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      “Has the distinction between ‘like’ and ‘as’ disappeared?”

      Yes, Ken, that distinction has been long lost. I believe the loss can be traced back to Shakespeare’s “Like You As it.” 😊

      • Kenneth Kukec
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Damn Elizabethans!

        I had the blame tracing back only so far as to Winstons — you know, the ones that “taste good like a cigarette should.”

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        That’s funny!

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        “has been long lost” — like Love’s Labour’s?

        • merilee
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

          I always think there should not be an apostrophe in Labour’s, but of course there is.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I attended Catholic high school and this comment takes me way back to Sr. Lenore’s English class. For the life of me, I could not manage to distinguish between “like” and “as” and “as if”.

      To compound the matter, it was the age of the Beats and pseudo-Beats, so a “like” was frequently used as a linguistic filler and appended to the beginning of sentences as in “Like, dude…”

      I wanted to be hip and I’d picked up that locution (along with a pair of bongo drums).

      I hated to be called on in class because of
      my profound linguistic deficiency in that regard, especially because when I was nervous (and being called on in class made me very unsure of myself), I would invariably start a sentence with “like” as well as misusing the word within a sentence. This exasperated Sr Lenore to no end, and it went on for the entire semester. In time it became an occasion for much mirth The rest of the class would laugh and so would I, and even Sr. Lenore. I played the court jester quite well — what else to do but laugh at oneself. Needless to say, I was not her best student; in fact, I was at the bottom of the class.

      I still confuse them because the habit is deeply ingrained. I have, though, managed to banish the Beatnik filler “like” from my word-hoard.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        “I wanted to be hip and I’d picked up that locution (along with a pair of bongo drums).”

        Dig it: Maynard G. Krebs, linguist. 🙂

        • grasshopper
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          WORK!

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:35 am | Permalink

          During roughly the same years that “The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis” aired on television, bringing sanitized, Hollywood beatnik-lite to the nation, down at Venice Beach, CA, the real beats ruled at the Gas House https://www.kcet.org/history-society/the-gas-house-beatniks-vs-neatniks-and-the-battle-for-venice-beachs-soul. A fascinating bit of local color.

          One evening during the summer before I went to college, I donned my black turtleneck, might even have had a beret that I was too chicken to actually wear,took my bongos, boarded a city bus and went down to the Gas House in Venice. I tried to pretend I was hip, though “hip” was “hep” then. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing — should I start playing my bongos, get up and declaim free form poetry ex tempore? The denizens of the Gas House knew I wasn’t authentic and ignored me; and I found the place, not exciting but depressing, dreary and grubby. That marked the end of my beatnik infatuation, and I gravitated toward the Continental enfants-terribles

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:39 am | Permalink

            Black shades were also de rigueur.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted April 19, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            … “hip” was “hep” then.

            Dave Frishberg knows where you’re comin’ from, Jenny:

            • merilee
              Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

              Sounds kinda like Mose Allison, whom I loved.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

                Check out my theme song, Frishberg’s “My Attorney Bernie.” 🙂

              • merilee
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

                Do you hand the song out to new clients on a thumb drive (or are those now obsolete)?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Like as not, it has.

  21. mfdempsey1946
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Adjectives: “comedic” for “comic”.

    What’s next, “tragedic” for “tragic”?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Been lucky I guess, in that I’ve yet to encounter “tragedic” (and wouldn’t know how to pronounce it if I did). 🙂

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        But what about strategic? 🙂

        • Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Yes — ‘stragic’ would be more economical!

  22. Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    What gets my goat is people saying someone is “flaunting the law” when they mean the opposite — flouting the law.

  23. Stephen Barnard
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    If you object to a word like “relatable” (which I’m not crazy about, either) then I think it’s incumbent on you to suggest a synonym in current use. I can’t think of one with the precise meaning. Can you?

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      “easily understood by all” maybe? Not an easy concept to convey in a single word. Relatable seems clunky.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Personable? Empathic? Simpatico?

      One of the problems with “relatable” is the uncertainty of what it is supposed to mean — is it “capable of being related to”?

  24. JezGrove
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    My main gripe is more with the lazy ubiquity of certain phrases than with the words themselves. Current examples include describing a default option as a “go to” and tagging “going forward” onto a sentence that is clearly about the future anyway.

  25. Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    A related gripe, or perhaps “grype,” of mine is when people naming a company change the spelling of a common word when the alternate spelling is not a pun and has no effect on the sound–as in “Grypmat: the world’s best non-slip tool tray.” This not only serves no purpose but makes the name of the company harder to find in a search. Drive me crazy.

    • Mickey Mortimer
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      That serves the very obvious purpose of making that company the only Google result. Also, Gripmat was already an existing and different product (for card games) for years before Grypmat was announced (for tools).

  26. darrelle
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    A word I love but that most probably do not know because my kids invented it when they were about 1-1/2 years old, butched. They would use this word in play and when telling on each other and we couldn’t figure it out at first.

    Finally we were able to figure out that they had a children’s book about different occupations. There would be a picture and the name of the profession. One was a butcher. The picture showed a butcher in the midst of chopping a piece of meat, arm raised. They took the noun and using a common convention for turning a noun into a verb they created “butched.” Typical usage would be, “He butched me!”

    A lovely example of the astounding ability of kids to learn language that Steven Pinker wrote about in The Language Instinct. I used to have so much fun giving the twins a new word and then sitting back and watching them test the shit out of it to figure out how to use it.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      🙂

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      OMG I love that! I think I want to use it. I never was particularly creative at making my own words – just stringing existing ones together to amuse myself and others. I recently read a hilarious list floating around the internet about sayings kids came up with. One was “I have cow-like reflexes”. I am waiting to use that one.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        That list sounds wonderful. Can you please give the link?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          I think it was this one.

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            Thanks.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Kids Say the Darnedest Things !

        Old but still funny.

      • darrelle
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        According to the Pinker kids are much better at it (making up words) than we adults are. I’m a bit jealous of that!

    • Paul S
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Banished from my sister Terry’s room as it was her territory, I claimed my room as my paulitory.
      I also thought pitch, as in pitch black, meant extreme. Naturally there was pitch blue, pitch red…..
      Nearly sixty and she still reminds of my youthful predilections. Sometimes words can haunt you. 🙂

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        You’d have learned your lesson about “pitch” had you ever had to put a fresh coat of tar on the roof above the territory and paulitory. 🙂

      • darrelle
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        “Paulitory” is . . ., dare I say it(?), awesome. Makes perfect sense. I’d be proud of that one.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Great story.

      My son as a young boy had overheard us discussing someone going bankrupt and tried to re-tell the story using words that made sense to him – ‘bank-robbed’.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Perfect!

      • darrelle
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        LOL. Accidentally right on the money.

  27. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Fulsome. I find this is in the culture of higher ed. “We need to have a fulsome conversation”.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Ugh, when used in that manner!

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Anyone who says that should be sent to Folsom.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Haha. It takes a lot for me not to groan audibly. It’s horrible to see it written in documents.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Being made to do hard time for a simple usage error seems like fulsome punishment.

  28. Amyt
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Table service “Are WE ready to order?” One of these days I’m going to reply “I wasn’t aware that you were joining us”. Won’t do it as serving tables is a low wage, mostly thankless job. I know. Did it for many years for $1 an hour with many folks leaving $0 tip. Because of this I’m a big tipper.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Or: How’r we doin’?????

      Don;t include yourself in my group!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        You need to respond that way from now on. “Don’t include yourself in the group, Karen, I’m out with my WIFE!”.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          When the Bill comes you could try “Karen, thank you so much – I make your 1/3 to be $27.54, or do you get a staff discount that needs to be applied to your part of the bill?”

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I never was a waiter; but my wife was. I honestly feel it is better to give than to receive. We are big tippers.

      Drives my skinflint brothers crazy!

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      If I ever go berserk in public, it will probably be the next time a server says “How are those first few bites”.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Yes! I am heartily sick of that one.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        I hope that if you do, there is biting involved. I expect to read a headline, “Man goes Bessel in restaurant. Bites server.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:45 am | Permalink

        Waiter: Enjoy!
        Me (mentally): Do I have to?

        cr

      • Filippo
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Respectfully request that you consider that servers (servants, serfs, wage slaves) are put upon by management (and CEO’s and self-absorbed, manual labor-averse capitalist investors), all in the service of profit maximization/investor return, to utter such irritating locutions.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

  29. Roger
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Stat. As in, nurse get me a thermometer, stat. Stat sounds like a hip-cool abbreviation of “statue”, and it sounds like everyone wants nurses to get thermometer statues all the time.

    • Neil
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I know ‘stat’ comes from the Latin ‘statim’ but it does seem unnecessary.

      Doctor: Get the crash team nurse.
      Nurse: Well she didn’t say stat so I’ll take my time.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Get me my copy of Dictionary of Latin Phrases, stat!

  30. Neil
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Languages evolve, so do pathogens.

    When the wife and I go out for a meal what really winds us both up is being adressed as ‘guys’.
    I am not a guy I am a grumpy middle-aged man and so is my wife(well near enough).

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      A wait staff related one that I hear and hate is “are you still working on that”. If I consider it “work” to eat their food I’m not coming back.

      And while I’m at it why the heck do they think it’s OK to clear plates when half the people are still eating?

      And why are they pouring out wine that I’m paying for, beyond the first glass.

      Mutter

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        And if you’re working on something, why are you paying them & not the other way around?

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Yes, clearing any plate before all are finished is bad form.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Everyone here complaining about waiters should come to Germany. Waiters are unbelievably well mannered here. Even the kids working in Burger King are more polite than Australian and English waiters!

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          I’ve always found Germans to be exceedingly polite compared to the English speaking world. People laugh when I say this but it’s really been my experience that Germans are polite and thoughtful.

        • Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Yes! And the French, in my experience.

          Really, almost everywhere in western Europe. I think because it is viewed as an honorable profession in Europe, not bottom of the barrel, as it often seems to be viewed (here) in the US.

    • merilee
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Must say I don’t like “the” wife…

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        I took “the wife” out for a test drive once, way back in ye olden times fight after I first got married. A feminist friend who overheard it pulled me aside by the sleeve and explained to knock that crap off.

        Haven’t used it since, except when talking with that same feminist friend, with a wink, as an inside joke between us.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          “right” not “fight”

        • merilee
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

          You got told🤓

      • Neil
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        My sincere apologies.

        • merilee
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          You’re forgiven🤓

  31. trj
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    All this commentary, and not a single nomination of “you know”. There’s still nothing more ubiquitous. Has everybody just given up, and accepted this criminal bit of verbal diarrhea as normal? Have you all stopped noticing?

    If I already know, why are you telling me again?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      I hate that I say that. I’ve picked up all these bad habits from other people. I am trying to stop all verbal diarrhoea, especially when presenting. I heard myself say “I’m gonna kinda” and almost died.

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        I’ve worked very hard to completely eliminate the “uhs” and “ers”, the verbal punctuation one does when collecting one’s thoughts.

        I always thought it sounded ridiculous and I’ve made myself just be silent in those moments.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          I, too, have worked hard to get rid of those filler words and sub-lexical exhalations, and I continue to work on that. It’s too easy for me to be influenced by the linguistic environment I find myself in – even passive listening on the radio.

          I find it interesting that different languages have a particular repetoire of words and sounds to accomplish this. Many Arabic speakers use the Arabic equivalent of “you know.” I notice many Israeli speakers, especially men, preface responses with a kind of schwa that’s drawn out and slightly nasal. I wonder what fillers speakers of other languages use.

          • Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

            One thing that struck me very strongly when I first traveled to Europe (back in the Pleistocene), was the way my friends and relatives there (everywhere, really, but especially in Scandinavia) made acknowledgement of having hear me.

            You know, in the US, most people will punctuate what the other person is saying with something like, “uh-huh”, or “hmmm?”

            In Scandinavia (and elsewhere) the response was a sudden intake of breath. Kind of like what I expect in a startle reaction. I thought I was frightening them for a while! 🙂

            • Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

              having heard me …

            • merilee
              Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

              I have seen that in Scandahoovian films and tv shows. Kinda cool once you get used to it.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

                My Mum from Co. Mayo & two of her three siblings did the sharp intake of breath acknowledgement too – perhaps there’s a connection via the Norse. I have a great affinity for the Scandi appreciation of rugged landscape, cold, winds & long dark evenings of games, stories & music.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

                and the aunts loved the old gossip about those not present. For them a pot of tea & the subtle unpicking of the neighbours was an evening [or even a whole day] well spent.

              • merilee
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

                Of course the tea! I get such a kick out of whatever the circumstances in British shows (murder, love, mahem, whatevs) someone always immediately puts/pops the kettle on🤓

  32. Jenny Haniver
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I am bothered by the mispronunciation of the French word voilà (spelled here with an accent grave, which may not survive posting). In current American usage it seems to be pronounced “walla”; not always but increasingly. “Walla” sounds like “Wallah!” which I know as an Arabic exclamation.

    There’s also a very annoying commercial I hear on the radio, at the end of which, a young woman exclaims “Yamonos!” I can find no meaning for this word, either in Spanish or English. I suspect it’s a mispronunciation of the Spanish “Vamonos” “let’s go.” But I’m not sure.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Or as a friend of mine used to say, “Viola!” [pronounced like the string instrument], and then sotto voce “an instrument slightly larger than a violin …” with a smile on his face.

      🙂

      I find I cannot pronounce foreign words, especially: French, German, Spanish, Italian, in the ‘Murican mispronounced way anymore. (E.g. Bon Ami cleanser). My language reflex (French word: French pronunciation) is too strong now. I get funny looks …

      • Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Another was, “Wow, you are SO … fisticated!” 🙂

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          And that’s English, fer cryin’ out loud!

          • Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

            He was totally tongue in cheek, of course.

      • Filippo
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        Do you mean “Suh-Wave and Dee Boner”?

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      I think they’re saying in Spanish “Call us!”, i.e. “Llamanos!” (sorry, I don’t kknow how to insert the leading upside-down exclamation point). The double Ls are pronounced like a Y.

      • Filippo
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        IIRC, in Argentina, “llorar” (“to cry”) is pronounced “Jor-rar.”

        • Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          LL is pronounced differently in different Spanish speaking countries. Castilians generally pronounce it as a Y. So pollo (for chicken) is pronounced poyo.

          • merilee
            Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, polyo or poyo. And yo (I) can be yo or jo. And Spanish speakers can pronounce you as jew, not to mention putting an E in front of anytging b3ginning with an S. My Salvadoran sister-in-law calls my brother Esteve.

            • Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

              And one of my favourite dishes is paella (paeya).

              • merilee
                Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

                When I visited Venezuela in the early 70s, before it had fallen apart, I always got a kick out of the giant billboards advertising Pollo Kentucky Chicken. A little redundant methinks, but then here in Canada stuff is often advertised with the brand-name in the middle, the English modifier first, and the French one after.

          • Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            To me, it sounds more like a zh than a j

  33. Pat
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    The word that grates me most is women using the word “hubby” to talk about their husband. Not sure how common it is in America but where I come from, women use this at the work place when talking about their spouses or even when introducing them as in “Hi, meet my hubby xxxx.” Just how annoying that is, is hard to express.

    • Filippo
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      As opposed to “wifey”? Or “my Old Lady’? (Which I suspect is restricted to south of the Mason-Dixon line and east of the Mississippi River)?

  34. W.T. Effingham
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I tend to take terms I read in the Urban dictionary with a grain of salt, in rural dictionaries with a grain of pepper, and suburban dictionaries with a shot of bourbon or two…thereby causing a surplus of suburban dictionaries and a shortage of bourbon in my home.😾

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      I take things I read in the urban dictionary with a slice of avocado toast and a man bun.

      • merilee
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Lol. And argh, man buns🙀 unless you’re really really really “hot”.

  35. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I can see the difference when “relatable” is used in the headline. I felt a wave of revulsion. So I think it’s context dependent.

    “Word” – I would point out that I think it is used in a comical or silly sense now, joking around having been brought to the common parlance by Vanilla Ice. So in using the term, people I think ( I hope) are poking fun at Vanilla Ice.

    Also, “word” is used in the theme song of otherwise good children’s tv show “Word Girl” that shows the meaning of interesting words. Don’t ask me how I know that.

    • Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

      Remember the Word Bird?

      • peepuk
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

        Bird is the word.

        “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WNrx2jq184”

  36. Keith
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I hear “amazeballs” once in a while. For those times when “amazing” just isn’t good enough.
    I think it’s used by the same type of people who say “beautimus.”

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Awesome sauce!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      I like saying amazeballs at work because it sounds marginally puerile and dirty. People react with excitement and embarrassment when I say it.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      Those are emphatics. To my ear, they’re amusing, could easily be overdone, and will likely fade.

    • Filippo
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Re: “beauteous maximus.”

  37. gracelouise
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Swum is a word. That always gets me.

    Swum

    🙄

    Put it in the wordspeak dictionary…

  38. murali
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Big Bang
    invite (for invitation)
    quote (for quotation)
    impact (as a verb)
    believe (as in ‘do you believe in evolution’)

  39. grasshopper
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I never use the “favorites” folder in any software. I would if it was called “transitorily important”.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      +1 Same here.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:08 am | Permalink

        + another

        Also ‘My Documents’, ‘My Pictures’ etc (as preordained by Microsoft) at a time when it was being impressed upon us serfs that ‘our’ computers belonged to the company and the IT Manager’s policies would be strictly enforced.

        cr

  40. Posted April 18, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Here’s one which doiesn’t bother so much as amuse me — mispronouncing of the German word Putsch. Hitch used to do this and I’ve heard others too. In fact it is related to and pronounced like the English ‘push’ only with a ‘t’ in it. But they always try to use some exotic pronunciation turn it into ‘pooch’.

    So Hitler’s 1925 Beer-hall Putsch gets turned into the “beer-hall pooch”, which makes it sound like a friendly old labrador.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      I hate hearing dank uh Shane for danke schön.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Takes a putz to turn putsch into pooch. 🙂

    • Filippo
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Not that this was unique to Hitch, but, he occasionally used the word – if I HEARD it correctly “qui(p?)-zot-tic.” Re: “Don Quixote”)

      Whither the apparent “z” in the pronunciation, inasmuch as “Quixote” is not pronounced with a “z” sound – Don Quip – zot – ic? (At least I’ve never heard it so pronounced.)

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        It is difficult to clearly split kwik-sotic in the flow of speaking because one has to abruptly change tongue position at the end of “kwik” to be able to bowl an accurate “sotic” with an “s” beginning. As a Brit at least it’s much easier to say “kwik-zotic” or “kwiks-zotic” or “kwiks-sotic”.

        As Hitchens drank his stresses & pronunciation changed*, but I doubt he’d let a stray “p” wander into “quixotic”

        * His evening chat, 7pm to 8.30pm, on stage with Tim Rutton discussing God Is Not Great is particularly fine as Hitch is already well oiled before the start & I think the innocent bottle he keeps swigging contained fire water – he’s thoroughly glazed & slurring by the end. [LA Public Library, 2007, ALOUD series of talks]

        THE VIDEO Also apropos nowt – note 1:08:00 when one of the GWOT loons who followed him around gets the chance to ask a question [or rather preach]

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Brits have a custom of refusing to even make an attempt at pronouncing a foreign word or name in the manner of the foreign language, instead substituting an often brutal Anglicized version.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            True

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            That’s ok; we Yanks make little effort to pronounce English words English-like. 🙂

  41. Vaal
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    On point!

    I haaaaaaate that phrase!!!

    “That meal was on point!”

    “The service was on point!”

    “That concert was on point!”

    Aaagh! What does it even mean? It seems entirely empty of description. But it seems the younger generation can’t stop using this phrase. (Particularly ubiquitous on Yelp reviews – “Burger was on point!”)

    • merilee
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Only makes sense in ballet, in toe shoes.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Or soldiers, on patrol.

        • merilee
          Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, I guess so.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Those examples are objectionable to me because of their trivial contexts, but the phrase “on point” has weight.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        It’s used as a term of art in the law, as in “that opinion is on point” — meaning that it addresses the same issue as the case under consideration.

  42. Matthew North
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I grit my teeth when I hear…

    “Problematic”

    “My bad”

    When someone says,“OMG” instead of just saying,”Oh my god.”.

    Or when people, particularly young people, continually pepper their conversation with, “like”.

    I could go on and on.

    • trj
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      I couldn’t arouse any interest in “you know”, so I suppose we have to accept it now as Standard English. Your meaningless “like” is closely allied, and may also have achieved Standard status.

      Keep your eyes on the rapidly rising universality of the I’m-afraid-to-actually-say-it modifiers, the inappropriate “sort-ofs”, “kindas”, &c., spatchcocked in everywhere.

      I fairly recently heard the apex idiocy of this type on the wireless. I logged the item, but can’t re-find it on short notice. The speaker referred to some person as being “sort-of dead”.

      • amyt
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        “You know”, especially on the radio.
        I reply: “If I know, then why are you telling me?”

      • Filippo
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        I’m hearing “sort-of” and “kind-of” more and more, especially on NPR. Makes me wonder if 2 + 2 is “kind of” 4.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:12 am | Permalink

      ‘Oh my god’ niggles me too. Especially when faux-emphasised as ‘Oh. My. God.’

      Watch any Youboob video of a crash at an air show and you can guarantee that somebody in the background will be saying “Oh. My. God. Oh. My. God. Oh. My. God” on autorepeat.

      cr

      • Filippo
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Certainly noticed it from 9/11/2001 video.

  43. Doug
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Lately I hear a lot of adults saying “Me and him went there.” One person who said this is a teacher.

    • merilee
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      🤯

    • Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      That’s like fingernails on the chalkboard for me. I still correct people when I can but often to no avail.

  44. Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    I hate when people ‘pour over’ documents when they mean to ‘pore over’ them… what a mess that must make!

    • merilee
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      Especially if it’s coffee or red wine. I had my will re-done a couple of years ago and the lawyer sneezed all over the 10 pages or so which I had to sign and initial. I got the first (nasty) cold I’d had in about 10 years right before having to drive across the country. When I got back I asked her if she was trying to kill me and if she had written herself into my will.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Biological weapon.

        • merilee
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          Yup!

  45. Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    And if you want to say something like “Languages evolves, and this is fine,” please refrain.

    One component of evolution is natural selection, which acts to cull the variations and mutations that aren’t any good.

    Languages do evolve but without the people who try to enforce the rules, they would quickly become unfit for purpose.

    • murali
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      It is true that language evolves. However, it does not mean that we have to like the silly words that people utilize 🙂

  46. Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    My nomination today is “utilise”. Why utilise three letters when seven will do?

    Also “burglarise”. “my house was burglarised last night” What? It was turned into a burglar?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      “Utilize” makes sense, I think, when an item is being put to other than its usual and intended use (as in “I utilized the screwdriver to pry open the door”), but it’s utilized ( 🙂 ) way too often as a fancy-pants synonym for “use” — a frequent problem with words that end in “ize”.

      • merilee
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        I would just USE the screwdriver to pry open the door.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          Sure, you could utilize “use” in such circumstances, but then you’d lose the subtle distinction created by using “utilize.” 🙂

          Of such subtle distinctions, are careful and congenial prose often made.

          • merilee
            Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            Aaarrggh. I might utilize said screwdriver to (subtly (split infinitive duly noted)) screw said congenial commentor’s mouth shut🤓

          • Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            I think the difference, if it exists is far to subtle for most people to notice. The only place where I see “utilise” utilised is in business and technical documents where the authors are probably under the impression that “utilise sound s more “professional”.

            Nobody says “utilise” in every day speech.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

              Yeah, except that I think “utilize” is used too often in everyday speech by those aiming for a false elegance.

              I reserve “utilize” for those rare occasions when it may not be clear from context alone that something it being put to other than its intended us.

    • Stephen Wilson
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      I suppose “burgled” would be correct but sounds funny.

      • merilee
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        I have heard burgled.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        “Burgled” sounds normal to these Brit ears.

      • Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        “burgle” is standard British English. If you use “burglarise*” that immediately marks you out as being from across the pond.

        *I should sell it with a “z” given that it is an Americanism, instead of an “s”, but I can’t be bothered to fight auto-correct. I guess that means that it is a real word in British English.

  47. Stephen Barnard
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    When someone escapes from prison they’re invariably called an escapee. Shouldn’t they be called an escaper? The prison guards are the escapees.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Which brings me to my disdain of the word, “mentee”. It’s mentor and protégé not mentor and mentee.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        “Mentee” is horrible – didn’t know it existed until now

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          Yes and people use it a lot. I always envision a manatee when I hear it. I think they think that mentee sounds less pretentious than protégé but to me it sounds wrong and silly.

      • merilee
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Mint tea, anyone?

      • Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        I propose mentor and mental.

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        “Mentee” is just awful, but at least it’s grammatical, unlike “escapee”.

  48. Stephen Wilson
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    People do and say all sorts of things to appear “cool” but often look stupid doing so. Herd mentality?

  49. Stephen Barnard
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m annoyed when African Americans refer to other black people as “brother”, implicitly excluding other races, especially whites. I’m also annoyed when (typically feminist) women refer to other women as “sister”. Those usages strike me as racist and sexist, respectively.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      I adopt the Three Stooges’ use as in “keep walkin’ sister”.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      I don’t find that too bothersome but I find it creepy when unions use it because it seems like subtle cult-like behaviour.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      I hear white guys refer to each other as “brother” fairly often (and occasionally use it myself), but generally in a jocular sense.

      It was in common usage during the counterculture days, but I think it dates back to the Great Depression era and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime”.

  50. Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Full-throated….

    Beats me but when I hear this phrase, Linda Lovelace always pops into my head.

  51. merilee
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    @Ken, I trust you didn’t take my snarky comment about “use” seriously🙀

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 19, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Of course not. 🙂

      I occasionally (or perhaps more than occasionally) dish it; I damn well can (and better be able to) take it. 🙂

      That I’ve got thin skin should be the least of your worries, Merilee.

      • merilee
        Posted April 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        I figured as much Ken. That I got no smart-ass in return worried me for an instant.🤓

  52. Josh Lincoln
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I am not fond of people using “notate” when they mean “note”.

    • merilee
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Me, neither.

      “Anyways” with an s is another peeve.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        I feel the same was about “alls,” as in “alls I want to do …”

        I went out with a woman once who used it; there was no second date. I mean, much as I hate to come off as some kind of elitist prick, I couldn’t risk having to hear it a second time, ya know? 🙂

        • merilee
          Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          ‘Twould be a deal-breaker for me, too🙀

          Alls I really wanna dooooo🎶


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