Thursday, February 25, 2010

Linguistic Pet Peeves - What Are Yours?

Today in St. Peters, MO: Mostly sunny, high 35 degrees. Lovely weather for today's field trip.

Almost all of my writing friends and critique group members know about my pet peeves. One is the overuse of the word "albiet," which to me sounds stuffy, especially when used in dialogue.

My biggest pet peeve is the use of the adverb "gingerly." I don't know why this word bothers me, but it does. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I listened to an oral essay on NPR by a linquist with the same pet peeve.

I tried unsuccessfully to download the NPR video, so here's a link to the written essay.

'Equation,' 'Gingerly' and Other Linguistic Pet Peeves' is narrated by Geoff Nunberg, an adjunct full professor at University of California, Berkeley's School of Information, and the author of The Years of Talking Dangerously.

What about you? What are your linguistic pet peeves?

12 comments:

  1. I hate hearing "like" overused, like you know, like it really, really, like drives me crazy!!!!

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  2. The one that comes immediately to mind is "irregardless"!! It's supposed to not even be a word, but it can be found in many dictionaries! Arrggggghhhh!!!

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  3. Hi Pat,
    Like I like agree with like totally.
    Donna

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  4. Hi Becky,
    That's another good one.
    Donna

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  5. It drive's me crazy when writer's make plural's into possessive's!!! I think it's because spell checks don't know how to catch it. And "gingerly" makes me giggle. I think it's because I imagine it in a really bad romance novel, as in, "She gingery reached for his manly whisker's."

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  6. OMG Tammy, you are too funny! You included so much in your comment...but I hate to point out, that you misspelled "gingerly" ! Oops!

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  7. Hi Tammy, Pat and Becky,
    Like, I like totally know what you all like mean. Its so like so true that its like a writers's worstest nightmare when plural's and possessives's get mixed up like that. Irregardless of the grammer (or spelling) rule's someone's alway's breaking those, even like when they do it gingerly.
    Donna

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  8. I'm so basic...
    your and you're
    their, there, and they're
    its and it's
    and my new favorite... "anyways" is not a word :)

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  9. Hi Jules,

    Those are all good ones. Another is confusing our and are.

    In yesterday's church bulletin there was an article that metioned "are students" rather than "our students." The sad thing is the article was bragging about the school because of the top awards some students won in a regional math competition. Maybe next year they should bone up on English?

    Donna

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  10. Oops, Becky...you're right!!! I guess that'll teach me to complain about other people's mistakes, huh?! ;-}

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  11. Hmmm, all good choices. Here's one from my teaching days:

    Kids saying "brang" for the past tense of bring...I used to make kids write "brang is not a word" 25 times whenever I heard it. Kids would just gasp whenever it slipped out ("Oh, you done it now. You know Mizz Hall gonna make you write that sentence. I had to pick my battles.)

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  12. Hi Cathy,
    Love it!
    Another is misuse of "me" for "I" and "was" for "were" and "don't" for "doesn't." (Me and Charlie was gonna go to the tavern then we realized it don't open till 9 a.m.)

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