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Really irritating expressions

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Maria Mac
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#61 Post by Maria Mac » April 5th, 2008, 11:06 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

lewist wrote: However, I stand by what I said about intelligibility and the media. There does seem to be an assumption that anything from SW England will be readily understood and that accents from other places will need subtitles. Witness a recent documentary about youth in housing estates where the Glasgow lads got subtitled (despite being quite clear) and the youth of London did not. We all pay the same licence fee; what about equal treatment?
I agree, Lewis. I know that not everyone understand can everything Londoners say - including me and I am one! I hate strong London accents more than any other. My kids' accents aren't strong but my husband has had trouble understanding them on occasion whereas I still have trouble understanding Glaswegians - probably including those you might think are quite clear.

Alan C. wrote:It'll be a cold day in hell when................................ :puzzled:
I don't think I've heard this one before but now that I have I will doubtless hear it time and time again until it drives me up the wall.

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Ninny
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#62 Post by Ninny » April 6th, 2008, 10:03 am

"It never did me any harm" (justification for belting children).

Nick
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#63 Post by Nick » April 6th, 2008, 10:55 am

Lewist! I quite agree with you about apostrophes! They are known as the 'greengrocer's apostrophe', (was it Lynn Truss's idea?) as you will so often see veg labelled 'carrot's', lettuce's, sprout's, etc.

What upsets me is that it clearly denotes a lack of education. Surely there is somewhere in a school career of maybe 14 years where is could be squeezed into the timetable? It is wrong to let kids leave school without being able to cope with apostrophes, as it labels them, sometimes unfairly, as ignorant. (Likewise 'etc'., misspelt as 'ect'. ) When I was in junior school, my parents complained to my teacher that she didn't correct my spelling. Nor was I taught the parts of speech, or indeed much grammar at all. The teacher's reasoning was that to do so would stifle my creativity. Hmmm. I don't really buy that one. Waddya think? In practice any spelling ability I may possess comes from reading so much that if I misspell a word, it just looks wrong. Sometimes I can see it is wrong without knowing quite how to spell it correctly.

Of course, the written language develops and changes. I can see errors in what I have just written, missing commas, for example, but I hope that they have not clouded my meaning. Pedantry is something up with which one should not have to put. :D

A fascinating book on language is Bill Bryson's Made in America, about the development of language in the USA. It sounds very dry, but I found it fascinating, as it follows the path of US history, and how it spawned new words to suit new circumstances. Buy it!

Back to irritating expressions: how about 'faith communities'? As I've said before, I loathe the way 'community' is used, and to lump people together by virtue of largely inherited ignorance and think it something wonderful infuriates me! :angry:

Maria Mac
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#64 Post by Maria Mac » April 6th, 2008, 11:57 am

Emma W wrote: It's not an alternative. It's just the correct spelling. My Chambers has "terrestrial" only and so do all my other dictionaries (Collins, OED, Longmans, Reader's Digest). "Terrestial" is just plain wrong!

Mind you, you got me doubting for a moment there ... :D

Emma
Interesting one. The overwhelming weight of evidence favours terrestrial. When I typed terrestial into google I got

Did you mean: terrestrial?


but the reverse didn't happen.

I did find this at http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary
Dictionary » T » Terrestrial
Terrestrial

terrestrial

(Science: ecology) Of or on the ground, of the habitat of a plant, on land as opposed to in water, or on the ground as opposed to on another plant.



Dictionary » T » Terrestial
Terrestial

Pertaining to dry land.

?
which adds to the confusion, AFAIC.

Maria Mac
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#65 Post by Maria Mac » April 6th, 2008, 12:11 pm

Nick wrote:Lewist! I quite agree with you about apostrophes! They are known as the 'greengrocer's apostrophe', (was it Lynn Truss's idea?) as you will so often see veg labelled 'carrot's', lettuce's, sprout's, etc.

What upsets me is that it clearly denotes a lack of education. Surely there is somewhere in a school career of maybe 14 years where is could be squeezed into the timetable? It is wrong to let kids leave school without being able to cope with apostrophes, as it labels them, sometimes unfairly, as ignorant. (Likewise 'etc'., misspelt as 'ect'. )


The grocer's apostrophe is an abomination. It's bad enough seeing it in hand written notices such as a grocer might write but these days it is frequently missed by proof readers and ends up in print. That said, I know I am guilty of them and usually in online fora such as this one. I'm a very fast typist and when I'm typing my thoughts almost as fast as they're happening, I make silly errors as does anyone else. But I just can't understand why I would put in an apostrophe where none is required. Sometimes I read back on an earlier post and am amazed to see a grocer's apostrophe there. For this reason I am more forgiving of others when I see they've made the same error in the same medium. For notices that are going in a shop window or to be printed, however, there is no excuse.
When I was in junior school, my parents complained to my teacher that she didn't correct my spelling. Nor was I taught the parts of speech, or indeed much grammar at all. The teacher's reasoning was that to do so would stifle my creativity. Hmmm. I don't really buy that one. Waddya think? In practice any spelling ability I may possess comes from reading so much that if I misspell a word, it just looks wrong. Sometimes I can see it is wrong without knowing quite how to spell it correctly.
I think it is ridiculous that your spelling wasn't corrected. Mine was. I also remember being taught a very limited amount about parts of speech and punctuation and I very much regret that I wasn't taught much more. It's harder to learn these things as an adult and when I was teaching English to foreigners, I recall literally having to learn some aspects of grammar in my breaks so that I could confidently walk into the classroom and teach it as if I were a....um...native speaker.

Nick
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#66 Post by Nick » April 7th, 2008, 12:23 am

For notices that are going in a shop window or to be printed, however, there is no excuse.
Agreed, Maria! Absolutely none!

How about "sandwiche's" :laughter:

Another personal dislike of mine, though not necessarily wrong, is the phrase "got married". Ugh! It's such an ugly expression. How about "we married" or even "we were married". Won't that do?

Occam
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#67 Post by Occam » April 7th, 2008, 12:49 am

I just finished reading the above posts, and I am depressed. I knew that English was being destroyed in the U.S.A., but, please, not in the U.K. :boohoo:

I was, however, delighted to see the sign, "ten items or fewer", in a local supermarket.

I grit my teeth when someone says, "I like vanilla better than chocolate". I''s "more" damn it, not "better".

Quite a few years ago I was unsuccessful when I tried to get a salesman at my company who would say (showing his self-judged superior wit), "What can I do you for?" to think of what he was really saying to his customers.

Occam

Ted Harvey
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#68 Post by Ted Harvey » April 7th, 2008, 1:20 pm

Jaybird, I think you ruined what was for me a fairly enjoyably robust run-through of a thread for me when you posted:

When I called this thread, "really irritating expressions" I was thinking of overused, misused or just silly words and phrases - not for people to have at go at others who happen to enunciate words differently from/to/than how they themselves do.

If you find yourself having to subsequently remonstrate with some of us and clarify your intentions for us in what we took to be a fun thread, maybe next time it would be best to make the intentions clearer at the outset. Incidentally, I didn’t (I think) describe anyone’s accents as irritating; although I think Emma did raise the possibility of some accents being irritating. I did post about South East of England people who who pronounce a specific word in a specific way. Phew! I really didn’t know we were being so precious about it all… so just a few final points on what seems to be an unravelling thread:

Maria: Thank you for pointing out that everyone has an accent, although that is not factually accurate - but anyway perhaps that’s why I only referred to “very noticeable (sic) accents” (and in a particular context)?

And on your, “You've probably heard the same presenters from the South East talking about the Iraq war from time to time.”, my impressions tend to be formed from something a bit more substantial than a few presenters on a particular topic.

I suppose I should say thanks for the ticking offs on my sloppy writing - but my similar postings won’t get any better, because the need for pristine accuracy with playful online posting on what seemed to be a fun thread is not something that consumes my waking moments. Given my challenges in this area that’s just as well.

Jaybird: I, with a thick West of Scotland accent, think it is you who is ‘on dangerous grounds’ if you assert that I, “criticise people of an entire region for having 'sloppy enunciation'”. I did no such thing.

Frankly jaybird, I’m annoyed at you implying I’m using this board to ‘have a go’ at anyone on the basis of their accent.

Sorry I dropped in on this one, and if I’m not holding or defending opinions that some folks seem to be willing onto me, but that I did not hold or express. Gosh, I could end up as another one here that is made “feel really small; almost less of a man fewer brain cells than I thought”.

MedMae
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#69 Post by MedMae » April 7th, 2008, 2:09 pm

I would like to point out that that spelling and grammar is more difficult for some pople that others.(i.e. Dyslexic people like myself and other similar disordfers.)

However back to the topic. Very much a rant. Not directed at anyone or intended to be offensive. These things just irritate me.

[/Rant on]

The word "Dyslexic" is infuriating :angry: . It is the name for a disorder which affects peoples ability to spell, especially when words are not spelt phonetically. The way it is spelt has no resemblace to the way in which is pronounced. Thanks to you bastards who came up with the name.

Next text speak (Otherwise known as txt spk)
A E I O U Vowels. Use them! And U is a letter, you is a word. Not difficult to determine the difference. I could go on...

[/Rant off]

There are others but I will stick with them because my rant tank has run dry for now.

And just because I feel like it heres a skipping pengiun :penguin:
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

Nick
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#70 Post by Nick » April 7th, 2008, 4:46 pm

*adopt vacant telephonist voice*

"Bear with me........"


Image

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#71 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » April 7th, 2008, 5:42 pm

And that reminds me ...

*adopts slimy door-to-door salesperson's voice*

"Don't worry. I'm not selling anything ..."

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Alan H
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#72 Post by Alan H » April 8th, 2008, 12:12 am

MedMae wrote:There are others but I will stick with them because my rant tank has run dry for now.
Where do you get refills and can I get some?

The announcement on the local trains:
Please mind the step when alighting from this train.
Surely I board a train and I alight a train; I do not alight from a train? Which is correct? Is it the same as ascending and descending a hill [---][/---] you don't ascend up a hill nor descend down it?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Jaybird
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#73 Post by Jaybird » April 8th, 2008, 12:17 am

Sorry, Ted, but I don't think the thread title could have been any clearer - an 'expression' is a word or phrase, is it not? It isn't about the pronounciation of a single word. I shouldn't have needed to clarify my intentions but I did so because I was afraid your post may have caused offence when you accused people of having 'sloppy enunciation'. That may be fun for you, but how do you think it might feel to be on the receiving end of that kind of criticism? People have a choice over what they say; they don't necessarily have a choice over how they say it. I don't know why you would suggest it isn't the case that everyone has accents - of course they do. Whether they are 'noticeable' or not is a subjective matter. By noticeable you may have meant 'strong' or 'heavy' but that isn't what you said.

Finally, you seem to have misunderstood the very valid point Maria made about the pronounciation of the word 'war' and to have ignored Emma's question entirely. And nobody "ticked you off" about sloppiness in writing!

Jaybird
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#74 Post by Jaybird » April 8th, 2008, 12:20 am

Alan H wrote:Surely I board a train and I alight a train; I do not alight from a train? Which is correct? Is it the same as ascending and descending a hill [---][/---] you don't ascend up a hill nor descend down it?
'Alighting from' sounds wrong to me but it's OK to 'alight at' a particular location, meaning to get off the train there.

"Passengers visiting Madame Tussauds and the Planetarium should alight here".

Occam
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#75 Post by Occam » April 8th, 2008, 1:11 am

I have an old file of twenty rules of grammar. It's quite clever. If I can find it, I'll post it in the humor section.

Occam

MedMae
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#76 Post by MedMae » April 8th, 2008, 8:58 am

Alan H wrote:
Where do you get refills and can I get some?
Not sure how my rant tank fills up but it definitely has something to do with idiots. My rant tank certainly gets more full when ever I have to deal with an idiot. (Idiot here being defined mostly as thoughtless people or the willfully ignorant.)
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#77 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » April 8th, 2008, 9:09 am

Alan H wrote:Surely I board a train and I alight a train; I do not alight from a train? Which is correct? Is it the same as ascending and descending a hill [---][/---] you don't ascend up a hill nor descend down it?
According to the OED, 'to alight' on its own means to spring, or jump lightly. It requires an 'on' when used to mean 'land lightly on' (as in, 'A flock of goldfinches alights on the blossom-covered branches of the apple tree'; or 'Her inquisitive gaze alighted on the vicar's face') and a 'from' when used to mean 'to dismount from [a horse]' or 'to descend from [a conveyance]': 'The victors from their lofty steeds alight' (Dryden, 1699); 'Station-masters assist him to alight from carriages' (Dickens, 1857).

Redundant prepositions can be irritating, though. I've found several examples, apart from your 'ascend up' and 'descend down', and I know I'm guilty of quite a few of them: 'follow after', 'file away', 'retreat back', 'return back', 'revert back', 'melt down', 'reduce down', 'enter in(to)', 'seal off', 'continue on', 'empty out', 'separate out', 'permeate through', 'combine together', 'connect together', 'join together', 'mix together', 'connect up', 'count up', 'divide up', 'open up', 'polish up', 'face up to' ...

There must be more.

Emma

Nick
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#78 Post by Nick » April 8th, 2008, 10:04 am

Emma, your adjudication please:

"Meet up with"

Is it right, wrong, ugly or is it just me? :shrug:

Nick
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#79 Post by Nick » April 8th, 2008, 10:11 am

Alan!!

You had to go and mention trains!!

I am not a customer of the train company :angry:

I am a customer of my baker,

a client of my solicitor,

and a passenger on the railway network.


Nor am I a customer of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs; I'm a victim.

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jaywhat
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#80 Post by jaywhat » April 8th, 2008, 10:53 am

according to Chambers
Meet up (with) means
to meet by chance or arrangement

Meet with means
to come to or upon, esp unexpectedly;
to meet or come together with, usu a purpose (US);
to undergo, chance to experience;
to obviate (as an objection) (Bacon)

Don't even ask!

As for alight, thanks Emma, I have been searching through the Short er Oxford and found it followed by prepositions like from. I have never heard, 'alight the train' so perhaps it is a regional thing.

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Really irritating expressions

#81 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » April 8th, 2008, 11:32 am

Nick wrote:Emma, your adjudication please: "Meet up with"
Is it right, wrong, ugly or is it just me? :shrug:
Ah! Good question. On the face of it, it sounds like another case of redundant prepositions. But it isn't. Because 'meet up' is a phrasal verb. A slightly different meaning is conveyed when you add the prepositions. I was surprised, though, to read that 'meet up' means to meet by chance or by arrangement (my Collins Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs agrees with Chambers on this). I'd have said that it was only the latter. To me, 'When I went to Newcastle last week I met up with my friends Ewan and Liz' implies that you had arranged to meet your friends, whereas 'When I went up to Newcastle last week I met my friends Ewan and Liz' allows for the possibility that you simply bumped into them in the street. It seems I'm wrong. But how else can you meet someone, other than by chance or by arrangement? :puzzled:

Anyway, I should also delete 'face up to' from my list above, because it's also a phrasal verb, with a different meaning from 'face' on its own. If you face a difficult situation, you're simply confronting it. If you face up to it you're also dealing with it. Similarly, 'file away', 'melt down', 'enter into', 'seal off', 'count up', 'divide up' and 'open up' are all phrasal verbs, with specific meanings, used in specific contexts. However, the prepositions are no doubt sometimes used in contexts where they are redundant. The same thing probably applies to 'meet up with'. I still think that if you use 'meet up with' to indicate a chance encounter rather than an arranged one, you don't need the 'up with'! But I clearly haven't got to grips with this one. From my fuzzy perspective, I'd say: sometimes right, sometimes wrong, and quite possibly ugly [---][/---] although that might just be you. :wink:

Emma

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