The thread on word usage that grates like blackboard fingernails...

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al-Qa'bong
The thread on word usage that grates like blackboard fingernails...

 

al-Qa'bong

...or is that "greats"?

Over on [url=http://enmasse.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9345&start=100]EnMasse[/url] I noted a hockey writer who, in Gallivanian fashion, makes a habit of butchering the English language:

quote:

This isn't really about the Leafs, but one scribe (that's a sports clichй, folks) who writes on the Leafs keeps getting away with penalties against his language, and should be suspended or something.

Fer example:

Quote:
"When Martin Brodeur's NHL career is done and there's a little corner of the Hockey Hall of Fame set up in his honour, it's doubtful many of the 2007-08 Maple Leafs will saunter over to Yonge and Front to pay it [url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2008/03/05/4913011-sun.html...."

Whaddya mean, "heed?" They should go over to the corner and pay attention to it? That's not the right word. Do you mean "homage" perhaps?

Here's another:

Quote:
"It's all over [url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2008/03/09/4953016-sun.html... the crying"

Good gravy. Is this guy a dependant of Richard Sheridan?


I see Terry Koshan is up to his usual standards, as I came across
[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2008/05/22/5637421-sun.html... today:

quote:

Kris Newbury has been the Marlies' best forward as a whole through the post-season, though he will have to [b]reign[/b] in his emotions if he hopes to one day stick full-time in the NHL.

Are all the good editors taken?

[ 23 May 2008: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Anything by Rosie Dimano.

[ 22 May 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

al-Qa'bong

Sorry, Cueb, but I changed the thread title from "writing" to "word usage," to accomodate more sports media.

Someone worse than Terry Koshan is TSN's Pierre McGuire. After listening to him for a game, one feels the need to take English off the rack/waterboard and nurse it back to health.

Earlier in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs I heard him repeatedly say that shooters had to "elevate" the puck past the goalies. We used to say "raise" when I was kid.

His best comment this spring was his criticism of a coach, who McGuire said had to "activate his game in terms of his thought process," which I believe means "think."

[ 01 June 2008: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I hate the profligacy of sports announcers in their usage of the word "tremendous." Players, shots, plays, hits--they're all "tremendous."

al-Qa'bong

Polly-Anna Spumonti just finished talking about regulating "natural" medications with Tony Clement on [i]The Current[/i] this morning.

I can't believe this guy could convince people to vote for him, given how he mangles language.

I heard him use the phrase, "heart and stroke disease" (who has ever suffered from "stroke disease"?) as well as saying that he's concerned about regulating medications because at some point in the future he will be "a consumer of health."

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

"Consumer of health." Awesome.

martin dufresne

Isn't this thread kind of... dare I utter the word... normative? Would the world split open if we were to acknowledge and propagate more freedom and levity in word usage? It seems to me that fingers are being wagged at outsiders in the world of linguistic correctness: Francophones, sportscasters, less-than-competent politicians...
In fact, csuch lapses can be revealing, creative, subversive... not to mention highly funny in the right lips.

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

RosaL

On the other hand, linguistic norms are invaluable if you wish to think (and communicate) clearly.

ETA: your post is itself normative.

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]

RosaL

mistake

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yours is even more normative! Hah! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]Yours is even more normative! Hah! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

No it's not [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

(In any case, I can make normative statements without being inconsistent.)

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

How dare you accuse me of being normative, when I accuse everybody else?

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]How dare you accuse me of being normative, when I accuse everybody else?[/b]

Ha! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

martin dufresne

Rosa L:

quote:

your post is itself normative.

How so? Do you feel that to point out and resist norm-setting (if you agree that this is what I was doing) is being normative? If so, is every statement, in your eyes?

al-Qa'bong

quote:


Isn't this thread kind of... dare I utter the word... normative?


Nah; it's formative, bordering on stormative.

quote:

Would the world split open if we were to acknowledge and propagate more freedom and levity in word usage?

No; but why don't you give it a shot anyway?

quote:

It seems to me that fingers are being wagged at outsiders in the world of linguistic correctness: Francophones, sportscasters, less-than-competent politicians...

Francophones?

You'll notice that the speaker in every example I mentioned is someone presumed to have some expertise in his field, as well as being a professional communicator. Cabinet ministers, paid writers and broadcasters really shouldn't be considered "outsiders" when we think of their linguistic performance.

al-Qa'bong

While it's not as bad as fingernails across a blackboard, I find the use of "disinterested," which means one has no stake in the issue, instead of "uninterested," which means one doesn't care, to be mildly irritating.

The headline on yesterday's Saskatoon [i]Star Phoenix[/i] proudly hollered, "There's More of Us."

Yep, and we's feelin' mighty crowded in these here parts now.

I wouldn't wrap fish with that "newspaper." Doing so would be an insult to the memory of the poor departed fish.

[ 27 June 2008: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b]Rosa L: How so? Do you feel that to point out and resist norm-setting (if you agree that this is what I was doing) is being normative? If so, is every statement, in your eyes?[/b]

Yes to the first. No to the second (e.g., "I like apples").

ETA: It's not a question of having norms or not having them. It's a question of what norms you have.

[ 27 June 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]

al-Qa'bong

quote:


If so, is every statement, in your eyes?

If so, is every statement, in your eyes what?

Sentence fragments sound like someone rubbing two pieces of styrofoam together.

al-Qa'bong

While its use isn't really grating, I've noticed in the last couple of years that "thug" gets tossed around quite a bit, especially on these progressive boards. Sure, it's a fine word, but how did it become so popular?

There used to be a rap group called "Bone Thugs." Did they start this?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Well in BC the Campbell government when it was decimating progressive programs looked out at a massive protest on the lawns of the legislature and said that they were meaningless because the people were just union thugs. Shortly after that one of the most popular buttons on peoples lapels was simply.

I'm a Union Thug, or just

Union Thug

Caissa

Ms. C. hates the expression "At the end of the day,..."

al-Qa'bong

quote:


I'm a Union Thug

That's like "boss," which never seems to be used in public discourse unless it's preceded by "union."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Union Boss is my least favourite term. Union thug on the other hand is a moniker that I would wear proudly because it shows I fight back.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
[b]While its use isn't really grating, I've noticed in the last couple of years that "thug" gets tossed around quite a bit, especially on these progressive boards. Sure, it's a fine word, but how did it become so popular?

There used to be a rap group called "Bone Thugs." Did they start this?[/b]


I find it very grating, and think is is a weasel word, covertly used by some, and I started observing its increasing usage in about 2002 and 2003. It is a word derived from the Thuggees of India.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Caissa:
[b]Ms. C. hates the expression "At the end of the day,..."[/b]

Oh, I hate that one, too!

There was a "Pearls Before Swine" cartoon about that phrase. Can't find it, unfortunately -- Rat takes a bat to somebody who uses the phrase, claiming to be taking out people who say it one at a time. I love that strip.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Some dolt responded to an interviewer's questions last night at the DNC with a "you know" every seond or third word. Geez, that's a moronic expression, you know? [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

al-Qa'bong

Actually, yeah, I like, agree. Fer sure.

I wouldn't call it an expression though; it's more like a verbal tic...uuuhhh, to use up space and time while talking and not saying anything.

I'd say there's also an element of insecurity involved, which makes it similar to uptalking.

Polly B Polly B's picture

My kids (and all their friends) have taken to using "epic" as in those pants are totally epic!! Oh that haircut is totally epic!!

Drives me crazy.

Unionist

I think your post is like totally lyric!

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b]In fact, csuch lapses can be revealing, creative, subversive... not to mention highly funny in the right lips.[/b]

I think you should rain in your parade before it marches too far.

ETA: I'm a union thug, and I carry that label with pride!

[img]http://images.cafepress.com/product/14557776v3_240x240_Front.jpg[/img]

[ 27 August 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]I think you should rain in your parade before it marches too far.[/b]

Tee Hee!

Sadly, there are many who would "correct" your sentence by changing rain to "reign". That really "grates like blackboard fingernails"!

The correct word is of course "rein".

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by M. Spector:
[b]The correct word is of course "rein".[/b]

Doesn't it amount to the same thing, for all intensive purposes?

Maysie Maysie's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]

Doesn't it amount to the same thing, for all intensive purposes?[/b]


Argh!! That's one of mine!!! [b]Intents And! Intents And!![/b]

unionist I curse you! May all your picket lines be rained and hailed on and may all your bagels be from [b]Toronto[/b]! Round bread for you!! That'll learn ya!

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by bigcitygal:
[b]
May all your picket lines be rained and hailed on and may all your bagels be from [b]Toronto[/b]! Round bread for you!! That'll learn ya![/b]

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

You really know how to dump on all that is most precious!

Well, buy hooker, buy crook, I'll Juan up you yet!

ETA: In all seriousness, though, I meant to respond:

I could care less!

[ 27 August 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Who made you Judge Judy and executioner?

Unionist

I'd say that's a mute point.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Irregardless, you have gone to far. Your wrong!

Unionist

You're taking way too much for granite.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

There are way too many pre-madonnas on this board for my taste.

al-Qa'bong

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]You're taking way too much for granite.[/b]

A student of mine once wrote that in a paper.

Unionist

I hope you didn't come down too hard on them.

al-Qa'bong

No, but I kind of chuckled...at each and every one of them.

It's Me D

quote:


You're taking way too much for granite.

I like it. There are a number of ways this actually could make sense as written though I'm quite confident that none of them was the student's intent. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

WendyL

A bit off topic...I love when people don't hear something correctly and mutate the words -- you know, like song lyrics and the likes. I do this all the time. It gives me great giggles when I figure it all out or it gets pointed out to me. When my smelliest girl was wee, a cough syrup commercial on tv, which said "stops coughs dead" was heard and repeated as "stops cops dead" -- much better ad copy I thought. Oh, and Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was Jesus Christ of Ladder Day Sinks. I still love them!

[img]http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/BigTopMoist.gif[/img]

[ 28 August 2008: Message edited by: WendyL ]

martin dufresne

Wendy, do you know the [url=http://www.kissthisguy.com/]Archive of Mis-Heard Lyrics[/url] - one of the funniest sites on the Web. Features classics such as "Excuse me while I kiss this guy" and "Might as well face it you're a dick with a glove"...

al-Qa'bong

quote:


Originally posted by It's Me D:
[b]

I like it. There are a number of ways this actually could make sense as written though I'm quite confident that none of them was the student's intent. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]


I dug around and found exactly what the student wrote:

"Civil engineers are also responsible for the products in which we take for granite everyday."

He's probably out there designing bridges or water treatment plants as we speak.

Actually, he was a nice guy, and this quote was one of the best bits in a stack of reports I had to mark that year. Two of his classmates copied their reports off the internet, which led to a whole lotta meetings with students, deans, disciplinary boards, etc., etc.

I wrote about this episode on babble back in 2002.

[ 28 August 2008: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]

WendyL

Thanks Martin. Now I have to find more time on my computer!

It's Me D

quote:


"Civil engineers are also responsible for the products in which we take for granite everyday."

Well the scenarios I was thinking were along the lines of,

1) A homeowner is purchasing a load of stone to construct a rock garden and is busily filling the back of his pickup when the owner of the establishment says to the fellow, "You're taking way to much for granite." The implication being that if the homeowner intends to use granite in some capacity in his project, he doesn't need so much as he is intent on loading into his truck.

2) Same scenario, only after loading the materials the customer is being charged by an employee who quotes a price that appears to high, the customer might reply, "You're taking way to much for granite." The implication being that the employee has quoted an incorrect and overly high price for granite.

Etc...

I enjoyed that anyway.

Anyway I cannot make up a scenario to excuse the phrase "the products in which we take for granite everyday." [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

Maysie Maysie's picture

All this talk of construction and granite and bad puns has made my mind jostle loose this old joke. I'll keep it as brief as possible.

A family is watching as a construction crew sets a new sidewalk in front of their house. The crew leaves for the day, the parents get distracted, and the kids wander outside and start walking in the new wet sidewalk, writing their names in it, generally making a mess. Both parents dash out and start yelling at the kids to stop, at which point a passerby says, "How can you yell at them like that? Don't you love your children?". One of the parents turns and says "In the abstract, yes. But not in the concrete."

Michelle

Argh argh argh argh!

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