Today in pet peeves

Why can’t we all just get along? Getting along would be so much easier if you simply used the correct words to describe your item, issue, appliance, whatever. I’m a pretty laid-back person (why is my husband laughing?) and can let a lot of things slide (no, seriously, stop laughing!), but while you may think you’ve gotten away with your misuse of the English language, I’m secretly ridiculing you in my head. If you happen to be on television (I feel like sportscasters are the worst culprits), I’m ridiculing you out loud.grammar

Seriously, folks, that appliance in your closet is a water heater. If it were a “hot water heater,” as you insist on calling it, it would be pretty useless, wouldn’t it? I mean, if the water’s already hot, it doesn’t need to be heated.

Since it’s very cold back home – in the single to low double-digits for the past few weeks – I’ve heard a few people mention that their pipes are frozen. Which totally sucks. I have some trouble feeling sympathy, however, when they announce they need to “unthaw” said pipes. Um, Mother Nature already did that. If you want the pipes to be functional, you might want to consider thawing them. Unthaw=unfreeze. Neither is a Thing.

This one has picked up steam in the past few years. I have no idea where it came from, or why so many otherwise intelligent people have picked up on it: “also too.” You know those words mean the same thing, right? It’s rather like a double negative – if you use them both, they cancel each other out.

Sell and sale have also been used in interesting ways. I’ve only noticed in the past three or four years (since more people are using Facebook, maybe?) that these have been misused, but what interests me even more is when each is used in place of the other. “I have a book for sell, how much do you think I should sale it for?” Must. Stop. Grinding. Teeth.grammar3

Hubby and I often use this one ironically. Made popular by people who make up words and use them on television, but not remotely correct: agreeance. “We’re all in agreeance on this issue.” The word is agreement. “We’re all in agreement,” or “we all agree.” Rule of thumb: if it sounds silly, try again.

I could go on all day, but you’ve already stopped reading, so what would be the point? I’d like to leave you with this: “You’ve got another thing coming.” In the mail, or will it be hand-delivered? The proper phrasing is “You’ve got another think coming.” I know think sounds silly, but let’s use it in a sentence. “If you think you’re leaving the house in that skirt,Β  you’ve got another think coming!” As in, “think again.” Let’s try it this way: “If you think you’re leaving the house in that skirt, you’ve got another thing coming!” What other thing? Another skirt?Β Is there a monster on its way to our house? No. Think.

Honorable mentions:

Alot: Thanks alot, Merriam-Webster. Just because a bunch of people misspell a lot (and do so frequently) doesn’t mean you should put it in the dictionary!grammar2

Everyday: Makeup is an everyday item that I use every day.

Free gift: What gift isn’t free?

First annual: I like the optimism, but no. If it’s only happened once, it’s not annual.

Irregardless: Save yourself a syllable and say “regardless!”

Funner, funnest: more fun, most fun.

Ensure/insure: Ensure = make sure. Insure = what you do to a car, so if you get into an accident, the insurance company will pay for a portion of the repair costs.

Mute/moot: “It’s a mute point.” No, it’s not. It’s a moot point. Say it with me: moooo (like what the cow says) t. Moot.

Coach up: So, coach? Coach especially emphatically?

Incidences: (I think you mean incidents).

Expresso, expecially, excape. Say it with me: Essssss. Esssss.grammar4

Acrossed (or is it spelled acrost?): There’s no T in across.

Adverse/averse: A bad thing happened; there were adverse consequences. I don’t like bees; I’m averse to the pain of being stung.

What grammar/language/punctuation/spelling errors drive you bonkers? There are so many I’ve left out, I’m sure you have some thoughts, so, spill! (seriously, did she just write “spill?”).

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12 thoughts on “Today in pet peeves

  1. Aaaaaaagggghhh! Acrost! *killing me* I live in central PA and it is the land of quirky idioms that make me insane. For example, they will leave out the verb “to be” in a sentence. As in, “Hey, honey, could you call the mechanic? My brakes are squeaking, I think they need checked.” or “Please only send me the requested information, because I don’t want spammed.” Or! Imagine that you drive a truck, professionally. You wouldn’t say you’re a truck driver, and you wouldn’t say that you drive a truck. Nooooo. You “drive truck”. Sigh.

    On a less local level, “I could care less” makes me twitchy. So you have NOT reached the bottom of your depths of caring? You still have room for more? Because if you have indeed hit the end of your caring rope, then you couldn’t care less. Words have meanings.

    • Where would Shakespeare have been without “to be”? I’m going to have to practice leaving small, unimportant words out of my sentences, so I might join the “in” crowd.

      “I could care less” nearly made the list. Could you? Congratulations! Maybe people should add a mental “any” when they’re saying it. “I could care any less,” or “I couldn’t care any less.” Think that would help? I don’t either.

  2. Hubby got a letter yesterday from a well-known national organization. Emblazoned across the front were the words “Your Invited.” What, exactly, were they trying to tell him? I can tell you I would be much less inclined to join said organization if I received that letter! My biggest spelling pet peeve remains the improper use of apostrophes to represent plurals. If you have sons and they do something great, you would tell your friend by saying the boys did it, not the boy’s did it.

    • What an awesome invitation! I hope your going! Or, in what I hope is the case here, I hope your joining AARP. πŸ˜‰
      My company recently sent a newsletter to people who are pretty important to our operation that stated subscribers who need to go “further” than XX miles … Heaven forbid you let someone else read something before you send it out to thousands.

  3. My most worst ones (kidding! kidding! don’t hit me!) are the misuse of “s/he and I” and “her/him and me”. I remember hearing someone really mangle it up in the possessive — “His and I’s [something-or-other]…”

    Also: Mother-in-laws/law’s rather than Mothers/’s-in-law, etc. rrrrrrrr

    (And, ummmm, “agreeance” is an archaic word, but it is indeed a word, and “we are in agreeance” is correct. Sorry.)

    • Shouldn’t that be “more worse”? πŸ˜‰ His and I’s is awesome. I’ll have to work that into a conversation one day. I agree with mother-in-laws, as well. Just. No.

      Ack! Agreeance is a word? That’s horrifying, and so wrong. I’ll stop using it at once. Now you’re going to tell me decider is a word, too.

  4. Glad you ask πŸ™‚

    One of my main pet peeves (and there are a few) is ‘reverse back’. I’m not sure if you say that in the US but people use it all the time in the UK. When someone uses this expression as in “he reversed his car back” I always want to say “reversing is going back so do you mean he moved forward?”

    The other one that I’ve sen a bit in writing is the use of effect instead of affect – “I was effected by those images” instead of “I was affected…” or “those images had an effect on me”.

    Hopefully I don’t do too many blunders myself! Ah and this is another one to vs too like in “It’s to late”.

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