Category Archives: grammar and language

San Francisco promotes use of criminal-justice euphemisms—in a ludicrous way

How far can the sanitizing of language go in the name of social justice? Well, sometimes the sanitizing is salubrious, but often it’s not. From the San Francisco Chronicle (click on screenshot) we have a particularly ludicrous example: changing the words used to characterize offenders in the criminal justice system. These guidelines were just adopted […]

Words and phrases I hate

The list keeps growing so fast that I can barely contain my bile.  Here are a few stinkers that have bothered me lately. (And of course, add your own in the comments.) All examples come from that bastion of grammatical degeneracy: HuffPost. 1.) “noms” for nominations. This is one of those “look cool” truncations like […]

Words and phrases I hate

The list of words that I find myself hating is growing by leaps and bounds as I move closer to extinction. I’ll just put four here, but I now have three times that many. Click on any headline below (all from PuffHo), to go to the article. “tone-deaf”  This is invariably directed by members of […]

Colorado State University walks back its language guide’s advice not to say “America” and “Americans”

A few days ago I reported on Colorado State University’s (CSU’s) “Inclusive Language Guide”, which apparently did not constitute official university policy but was still a rather draconian attempt to force language into a Woke Procrustean bed. As the guide’s introduction said: What this document is: This is a living resource compiled by the Inclusive […]

More words and phrases I hate

It’s that time of year when the heat makes one splenetic, ready to denounce phrases used by the young, woke, or “with-it”.  Here are a few of my most despiséd terms, and of course you’re welcome to add yours. It’s time for the Daily Two Minutes of Hate! 1.) “Back in the day”.  Of course […]

The most repugnant headline ever

It’s from HuffPo, of course, and I count 4.5 repellent words or phrases in the  two headlines below. If you click on the screenshot, you’ll see another stinker in the second-page headline: Apparently this is the way HuffPost thinks its readers talk, and perhaps they do. And of course it’s about a tweet: that’s all […]

More words I hate

It’s time for another installment of “words and phrases that repel me”. Today we have four, and I’ll use as examples my favorite website to hate, HuffPost. (Click on screenshots to see the shameful usage.) 1.) Impactful.  I’m not even going to look this up to see it’s a word; it probably is in the […]

Grammatical annoyances of the week

This one I heard two days ago on NPR; I can’t remember the exact word in quotes, but the announcer’s sentence went something like this: “The evidence, quote, unquote.” If you’re going to use verbal air quotes, please place them properly. In this case it’s, “The quote evidence, unquote.” Is that so hard? And I hate […]

More words I abhor

I’m starting to realize that neologisms in popular culture often spread not because they are more pleasing to the ear or more expressive, but because the speaker sounds “cool”—is that word still used?—when using the latest argot. One I’ve seen all over the place lately, perhaps because of the success of the “Crazy Rich Asians” […]

Sign errors of the day

This sign, photographed by reader Will, has one apostrophe error and a completely obscure description of a tap. Will noted this when he sent it to me: This is a sad sign of our times in several respects, I think. (Photographed today in the rest room of a fish & chip shop in Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk, […]