Monday, 21 June 2010

Wordy annoyances

'Snuck' is not a word. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SNUCK. It is sneaked. For that matter, 'drug' is just something you take when you have a headache. You were not 'drug' out of bed, or 'drug' to the shops - you were dragged.

The contraction of you and are, commonly misspelled as your'e, is actually you're. The apostrophe goes where the missing letter is, and the missing letters is 'a'.

'Know' is the verb form of knowledge, it describes things you are sure of. 'No' is just a negative.

Do you know the most misspelled word in the English language? It's definitely. I've seen 'definetly', 'definitly', 'definately', and even 'defiantly'. At least they're creative.

Please stop leaving the phrase 'give or take a few' unfinished.

"I ate five doughnuts yesterday, give or take" is not correct. It's give or take a few, or give or take a couple, or give or take one. You can't just go around saying 'give' or 'take', you have to be giving or taking something.

Why yes, it's Monday morning, and no, I'm not happy about it.

And I really did eat five doughnuts yesterday... give or take a few.


Mel said...


I like this rant very much. I have also heard something recently which has made me very cross. People seem to have invented two ridiculous words, 'anywhen' and 'somewhen'. These are not words and using them makes you sound stupid. I wish people would stop doing it.

I hope you enjoyed the doughnuts.


Livy said...

Anywhen and somewhen?

ICK! x

Becca said...

I am not trying to loose weight, nor will I be pleased to find that my clothes are lose.

Other pet peeves include "I could care less" and especially "could of".

Mel - I'm not 100% sure regarding somewhen. I agree that it sounds a bit bumpkin-like, but it's in Merriam-Webster and the OED. It's not a recent thing, either - Hardy used the word in Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

Mel said...

What the hell?! It certainly doesn't sound like a real word! How about anywhen? Is that an actual word too or just a strange adaptation of somewhen?

Another thing I have heard a few times which can't be correct (please don't let it be, I will cry...) is 'I led down' as in, what you would do when tired. Anyone else heard this?

Becca said...

Please don't cry! You're absolutely right on the 'led down' front. Grammar Girl (whom I love - she's clever without being judgemental, and it's so difficult to discuss grammar without sounding condescending!) did an article on the correct use of 'lay' and 'lie' -

So, you'd say "I lay down" or "I laid my fork down". No leading necessary ;)

Anywhen gets the same treatment as somewhen, I'm afraid - it's regional and archaic, but still technically ok.

Yvonne - Mad Hatter Bride said...

Hee hee.. what about 'literally'? could it be the most over used and misused words of the English language?

One of my favourtie Frasier scenes is when the caller complains about his mother 'literally' hanging around the house all day:

'I'm sorry Doug, can we just go back a second? You said your mother literally hangs around the house. Well, I suppose it's a pet peeve of mine but I suppose what you mean is that she figuratively "hangs around" the house. To literally hang around the house you'd have to be a bat or spider monkey.'

Mel said...

Becca, thanks for the link to the Grammar Girl website, I've never heard of it before but the article on 'lay' and 'lie' was really good. My grammar is generally not brilliant but I do find it really frustrating when people say things which just don't make any sense and then don't even understand (or care) why it's wrong. Double negatives also make me cross.

Yvonne, yes, I think 'literally' could well be one of the most misused words of the English language, good use of a scene from Frasier too!

Livy - what have you started?!

ladyfriend said... this rant, too.

Yvonne MH - love that Frasier scene! Too true, the word 'literally' is way overused. As is the word, 'like' of course as a pre-cursor to most descriptions these days.

My pet peeve I keep hearing that sets my teeth on edge and hackles rising? "Anyhoo..." It is NOT anyhoo you bloody idiot, no such word. Try "anyhow".

And don't get me started on people who baby-fy their language. "Ickle" being the worst offender...

Becca said...

Yvonne - Jamie Redknapp is one of the worst people for the misuse of literally. There's a Facebook group dedicated to ridiculous things that he has said!

Mel - I'm just the same - I make plenty of mistakes and really don't know where/how I should be using quotation marks, but it's just the "what on earth do you think that you just said?" quality that bugs me.

Ladyfriend - I think that "anyhoo" is reserved for people who wear comedy ties to show how wacky they are ;) "Me? I'm too kerrazy for standard language!"

My weird thing that I know really doesn't matter but really irks me anyway - not every shop is named after its owner. There is no Mr Tesco or Mr Asda, so you are not going to Tesco's or Asda's. You may hear "Tesco's" on the advert, but that's when they're saying "Tesco is trying to reduce waste", or "Tesco's own-brand products".

Oh, and text speak. Most people who use it are too young to remember phones that didn't have predictive text, so there's no excuse!

I'm not usually this grumpy, honestly. Ok, well maybe I am. I'm just delighted to discuss grammar online in a friendly atmosphere!

Usually you have to be careful mentioning the g-word, as people can get very prickly! I read a blog recently where a commenter (not me!) gently pointed out a grammatical error in one of the posts, and the original writer just wouldn't let it go for days. Scary!

Livy said...

You're right Mel, what have I started? I go out for a meeting for *literally* an hour (couldn't resist - sorry!) and find full on grammer talk!

Which I love!

Becca - totally agree with 'could of' - HAVE HAVE HAVE. Of isn't even the same type of word!

In fact, I agree with every point!

My biggest ever grammer hate is where people decide to put apostrophes. Honestly, it is not that hard! And yes, I am the girl who has been known to go into HMV and correct their sign which states,

'Many CD's half price'


Also, I heard someone say 'do you got' the other day.

As in, 'Do you got crisps?'

Pretty sure he meant 'Do you have' or 'Have you got'. xxx

Mahj said...

Heehee, this has brightened up my Monday and also reminded me that a girl I work with, instead of saying 'oh my god' says 'OMG'. She actually spells the letters out...I want to smack her over the head with my keyboard sometimes. x

ladyfriend said...

Just thought, another pet gripe, usually heard in any coffee shop you care to think of: "Can I get a double shot latte?" I want to take the offender aside and ask them, "surely you mean to say CAN I HAVE??" The march of America and it's skewing of our English language. Grrr...

Sheppitsgal said...

Hi - I know this is late, but I'm just catching up on your archives.

My pet peeve - adding a 'k' to the end of a word, e.g. somethinK, anythinK. It's a G (for gggrrr).


p.s. nice blog - will comment more once caught up.