While I’m Being Peevish

7 11 2010

Y’all know I’m a jerk, right?

Okay, I’m not. Usually. I am, however, rather rigid when it comes to certain things, like, say, grammar.

Full disclosure: I’m not perfect. (I know! Can you believe it?) If you come to me tomorrow and say, “You claim to be all high-and-mighty miss fabulous grammar, but you said this the other day…” I will punch you in the head.

Go ahead. Try me.

Also, if you read this and think I’m picking on you…I’m not. These items come from a variety of sources. If, however, you realize you use all of these phrases, you need serious grammar rehabilitation.

Without further ado:

Stop Making My Brain Explode: My Short (and Random) List of Grammar Nit-Picks

  • Oh, hey! I didn’t even have that on my list – it’s not “without further adieu.” I know you want to be all Frenchified and stuff, but it’s ado, meaning “without further fuss.”
  • While I’m discussing French, let’s talk about the word voila. It’s not walla, wallah, or viola. It’s voila. When you remove the lid to a dish with a flourish and say, “Voila!” I know you want me to behold the majesty of your culinary efforts.
  • Men do not have a prostrate gland. They have a prostate gland. As entertained as I am when I hear the phrase, “He had his prostrate removed,” I’m pretty sure that’s not medically possible.
  • Do you need to call for backup? Summon the cavalry, not the Calvary. Trust me on this one.
  • Stop using the word supposably. Yes, technically it’s a real word, meaning “capable of being supposed,” but let’s be honest—you really meant to say supposedly.
  • Irregardless is a stupid, made-up word. Just say regardless.
  • My son has motor tics. He does not, as the nurse wrote on his diagnosis form, have ticks. Big difference.
  • I worked with an incredibly intelligent woman who used the phrase “might could” on a regular basis. It made me want to cry for her. The phrase “I might could come over” makes me die a little inside.  “I might come over” or “I could come over.” I know it’s a regional thing, but “might could” just makes you sound uneducated.

I have approximately 50 billion more grammar pet peeves, but I’ll stop there. I’m guessing a few of you have something to add, so feel free to chime in with things that annoy you.

Just don’t disagree with me. I’ll go all Word Girl on you. Minus the monkey, of course. Who has the money to buy a monkey these days?

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25 responses

26 11 2010
Molly

I adore this post. I was talking to a guy who wanted to go on a date. He wished me a happy thanks giving.

ACK!

Also viola drives me NUTS. NUTS I tell you!

15 11 2010
Clark

One of my personal favorite “grammarisms” to despise is the improper use of “unique.” Unique, by definition, means “one of a kind. There are no shades of uniqueness. No one is VERY unique.

After 20 years of teaching high school English, I could fill a book with peeves. Another favorite is the use of the non-word “unthaw,” as in what a cook must do with a frozen turkey before roasting it. Delightful ironies make me smile.

10 11 2010
zstitches

Also, irregardsome and irregardous.

10 11 2010
Jenny

You just made me die a little inside. Also? Dibs on irregardfully.

10 11 2010
zstitches

After reading that Grammar Girl link, I’m coining a new word: irregardful.

10 11 2010
Karla

I have personaly said, “used to could”. Whoops! But on a lighter note, there was a cherry stand off of the highway that read, “Where closed”. I wish I took a picture!

10 11 2010
Erika Hill

Also, posts (and comments) like this make me think of this:
http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/05/12/99-grammar/

9 11 2010
Julie

I hate it when people want you to put your John Henry on something when it should really be your John Hancock! Did you know that people have been saying that wrong for so long that it’s legit now?! I don’t think they should have caved on that one. The web says it has to do with something completely different and that it has to do with being a western/cowboy thing but I disagree. It bugs me!

9 11 2010
Stacey

I have all of those same grammar pet peeves. Also, “fixing to”. “I’m fixing to go to the store.” UGH. A part of me dies every time I hear that, and down here in FL I hear it a lot! You’re not fixing to go to the store. You’re going to the store; or you’re getting ready to go to the store. There is no “fixing” involved in going to the store.

I received a wedding invitation in the mail that said (in great big letters) Your Invited!

My brain exploded.

8 11 2010
rachel

mwahahahahaha, he ate his own pee!!!
oh jenny, your grammar peeves are just one of the reasons i love you. one of my least favorites is when people say “acrosst.” it’s across, people. NO T NECESSARY! or “ath-a-lete.” gah! and nothing makes you sound stupider than blatantly incorrect verb tenses, like “i seen him,” or “we was.”

8 11 2010
Erika Hill

For an entertaining read about irregardless:
http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/irregardless.aspx

I just recently had a student type in a reading response “Hopefully, when and if I eat my pees I will grow from the experience.” (referring to the idea that sometimes we have to do things that might not be enjoyable that are nevertheless good for us).

All I have to say is, “Ew.”

8 11 2010
Peter

Unfortunately, some of these errors can regularly be found on newspaper websites. One that I’ve seen lately, multiple times, is the improper use of reins and reigns. For example: “The Republicans are set to take the reigns of Congress in January.” Or, “It’s time to reign in federal spending.” NO! Homophones are not interchangeable! And these examples are indeed from newspapers, not tea party placards.

Another misuse you’ve harped on before: literally. “I literally died.” “Well, may I call you Lazarus?”

When I was in the BYU marching band, we had a page of music full of little pep songs to be played in between downs during the football games. One of them was labeled “Light Calvary.” It made me laugh every time.

8 11 2010
Stefani

I have a lot of the same pet peeves you do. My big one is “right quick”. Used in this way, “I’ll be over right quick.” Instead of saying, “I’ll come over right now” or I’ll come quickly.”
Another one is unthaw. . .for example, “Will you unthaw the meat?” Really….do you want me to thaw it, or unthaw (don’t thaw it).
Let’s see.. .oh and “don’t be” in place of doesn’t or isn’t.
I could probably write a really long post, but those are probably my biggest peeves.

8 11 2010
Aimee

Oh yes, and my all time favorite pet peeve?

“Where’s it at?”

8 11 2010
Aimee

No, no! Don’t stop!! 🙂

How about “I seen him the other day” or “So, I says…”! Or what about the very popular “these ones here”, or “those ones there”.

My list could also go on, and on, and on.

8 11 2010
Jennifer aka: @NowSeriouslyKid

Oooo. Used to could. That’s a good one!

8 11 2010
hairyshoefairy

YES! I have many of the same pet peeves!

“Might could” makes me insane. I heard that a lot in my home town along with “We was” as in “We was going to the store” or “We was walking.” No, no, no! Were!!

Another things I’ve seen a lot online is “alot” and “apart.” Hyperbole and a Half did a funny post about alot a while ago but I’d love to see one on apart. Apart is a word but I always see it used incorrectly. “I’m so grateful to be apart of this organization.” Are you really happy to be separated from said organization or are you happy to be part of it? I’m a tad confused. Okay, not really, I’m just being patronizing because it bugs me.

8 11 2010
danessa

What about Used to could? Or Should do? Or maybe even Almost just. Or my all time un-favorite “I could care less.” Could you? Really? As for ME I COULDN”T are less. BUt you know…that’s just me.

8 11 2010
La Yen

IrregardlessLY.

8 11 2010
Steve

Jenn, the mistakes I make in writing my comments are due to bad typing, not bad grammer *LOL* And being Canadian, I probably hate French words and phrases combined in an English sentence worse than you do.

8 11 2010
talesofmy30s

We are grammar peevish twins. Voila, especially, annoys me because I played the viola in middle school. 😉

8 11 2010
Jennifer aka: @NowSeriouslyKid

It’s so nice to hear someone say it. I am living in the south. These common mistakes drive me crazy! You nailed all the ones I think of.
I cringe when I think of my children going to school here because even teachers talk like that!

8 11 2010
zstitches

Well, technically most of these are lexicographical errors rather than grammatical errors–right? 😉

“Might could” is kind of charming to me, maybe because I’ve spent lots of time on a sewing forum with a bunch of nice Southerners in the last several years.

I started collecting others’ verbal transgressions a couple of years ago, so now I usually get happy rather than annoyed when I run across really egregious ones. I’ve collected most of the ones you listed (except Calvary–I love that one) and many, many more:

http://myimaginaryblog.wordpress.com/malaprops/

8 11 2010
HexingThoughts

Yeah. Let’s not discuss the last time I dealt with people with horrible grammar. I’m pretty sure the court records are still sealed.

And? If you want a monkey, I can totally hook you up with a few stuffed ones. (Last girlfriend had an odd sense of humor. Or didn’t have the slightest clue. Depends on how you look at it.)

8 11 2010
andygirl

YES YES YES! I am so with you, sista! voila is a big one for me. ado/adieu is too. hell, all of those!

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