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Language Pet Peeves

In general, I try to be understanding of people. I know that not everyone is like me. It’s what makes the world cool. It’s what makes wacky sitcoms possible. But it’s also what makes me want to bite through a friggin plank of wood almost every darn day.

I’m not a grammar freak. I know as well as the next person that most of the rules of grammar are just arbitrary demands based on old forgotten language roots and concepts nobody cares about, and that change happens and happens necessarily. The English language changes every day, for better and worse. Everyone butchers the language; the Americans, even the British. But I’ve noticed in the past few months a few trends that the world can go without, and should go without, or I may be forced to just tear every last loving hair from my head in frustration.

Language Peeve number 1: Americans using the word “bloody” in any sense that isn’t describing their horribly gory broadcast media.

Example: An American person is assigned a piece of homework and exclaims, “not another bloody essay!”

Most likely to commit this in my experience: pretentious jerks.

British: a bloody stupid movie. – – – – American: a stupid, bloody movie.

Seriously, Americans. It’s not our slang. You don’t hear the British wandering around talking about how delicious their cookies are, do you? Biscuits are flaky golden gravy vehicles, stepping out to smoke a fag means committing a hate crime, and bloody means covered in blood. I know it’s cool when Harry Potter says it, but it just makes you sound mentally stunted: not cool, not smart, and assuredly not British.

Language Pet Peeve number 2: Drop the Extra Word

Example: “Where are you at?” or “You have got to be kidding!”

And everyone does it. Come on. It’s an entire extra word! What happened to the modern society I love? The one that will cut every corner, spare themselves every bit of extra work? And a whole extra word? At? Where are you at? I hear this almost every day! It’s not necessary! “Where are you” means the same thing and sounds better!

“You have got to be kidding”? You must be joking! Not to mention “got” is like the vestigial tail of the English language anyway: completely worthless in almost every situation. Think about it.

“I got a new bike,” or “I bought a new bike.” Check that out. It even sounds the same.
“I gotta go now,” or instead, “I must go.” Cheaper, quicker, easier!

I don’t know if finals week is getting me down, if stress at work is frazzling me out, but the next time I hear my professor from New York mention another bloody event in her life, I’m going to eat my notebook.

7 Responses to “Language Pet Peeves”

  1. on 15 Nov 2007 at 10:21 pm GOD

    the UK and US are to diffrent places so get over it. and an extra word…i dont need it

  2. on 15 Nov 2007 at 10:31 pm SPIIDERWEBâ„¢

    I expect you’ll get a deluge of comments, but here’s mine.

    “That”. Its a word almost never required.

    “I realize that its not a necessary word”.

    “I realize its not a necessary word”.

    Drives me CRAZY.

  3. on 15 Nov 2007 at 10:41 pm SPIIDERWEBâ„¢

    Sorry, but you opened the door.

    “It was me who told him to go”. Instead of.

    “It was I who told him to go”.

    “If it was up to me, he would be out of here”. Instead of.

    “If it were up to me, he would be out of here”.

    Have no idea if my punctuation is correct, but I don’t worry about such things.

  4. on 16 Nov 2007 at 9:02 am Finicky Penguin

    Me are bloody impressed. Where you got the idea at?

    :) Seriously, though, I AM a grammar freak.

  5. on 16 Nov 2007 at 9:13 pm mishele

    Ah, I may be in love! Someone else that is driven crazy by bad language use! Thank you for bringing up this subject!

    My pet peeve is the old standard of using verbs as nouns. No, you did NOT “conference” with him, you conferred with him. Talk about making language unnecessarily obsfucating!

    I still wince at the its-it’s confusion, but it’s not worth my high blood pressure.

    People that are too lazy to correct their spellcheck and leave things like “wretched” instead of “retched” earn my scorn.

    If anyone wants their ideas to be taken seriously, he’d better use proper English.

  6. on 19 Nov 2007 at 11:37 am Jacques

    Well, first it seems that you’re contradicting yourself quite a bit from your opening paragraph to your central thesis, but that’s your prerogative, it’s your bloody blog after all.

    Second, the use of foreign expressions is a natural form of language evolution, especially in this internet age. And, the brits most certainly do adopt Americanisms, indeed it is something of a passion for Brits.

    Finally, in the spirit of your post, what drives me bonkers is the American habit of dropping the adverbial ending, you know dropping the ‘ly’ off the adverb. I can’t think of any specific examples off the top of my head, but the usage is becoming more and more common it seems. Something like, “He ran quickly” becomes “He ran quick”. Drives me right bloody barkers.

  7. on 03 Aug 2009 at 8:23 pm Mark Pennington

    Think you’ve heard ’em all? Check out these Top 40 Vocabulary Pet Peeves, but warning… you may cringe on a few that you have misused.

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