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Old 09-22-2008, 09:39 AM   #41
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"USAGE Both inflammable and flammable mean 'easily set on fire.' The opposite is nonflammable. Where there is a danger that inflammable could be understood to mean its opposite, that is, 'not easily set on fire,' flammable should be used to avoid confusion. Inflammable is usually used figuratively or in nontechnical contexts ( : his inflammable temper)."

--From my 'puter's built-in dictionary. BTW "'puter annoys me but I'm getting into it.

Who in the world would waste any brain cells or time on figuring the difference between flammable and inflammable? I thought the in in inflammable was meant to be an intensifier, as in "watch out, it might explode."

Yes, language us a dangerous thing, the last frontier.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:46 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
It's not a pet peeve, it's more of an entertainment. "Let me axe you a question."
73454SS HAS TO HAVE a bunch of these....... "Let me axe you a question as yo sitting at yo dex, what my notes be"? Whuh??
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:48 AM   #43
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One mnemonic trick for those might be to think that "a" comes before "e", and something has to "affect" before an "effect" is produced..
ahhh, thanks - now that mnemonic might actually help me. Most of the other rules just would not stick. Hmm, I wonder whether this shortcoming has effected me? Or would it be affecting me at the time? Maybe it has had no effect? And would it only have an impact if it distrcted me and I drove off the road?


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I don't think all neologisms are bad.. I really liked GWB's "misunderestimate". Sometimes more/new words are better because they express some small difference that just wasn't possible to express with only "misunderstand" or "underestimate".
That's a pretty clever one, ummm, assuming it was done on purpose. No I won't speculate on that one....

Another one I found (hey, even ties into the Palin thread for you - 'stop photo-shopping my head on bikini babes!), googling a bit - fauxtography . I like that!

One I came across years ago, and really liked was the word 'clevver'. It was used to describe something that was overly clever, to the point that the cleverness took over the usefulness of what was originally clever about it. The best example I can think of is all those auto-correct things in MS Word. It *is* a clever idea, but in practice it seems to take over and do things unexpectedly, and not what you intended. A bit too 'clevver' for me.



re: irregardless

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When I see (or hear) that abomination, my brain turns off and I stop reading (or listening). It's a double negative.
me too. Another one like that is inflammable - ahhh, but here is an explanation:

Quote:
Visitors to the Apostrophe Forum have been addressing this problem of flammable and inflammable materials. Richard Tinsley did some investigating and found the following satisfactory explanation at the Word Detective site:


Previous Columns/Posted 12/03/98

Blame it on Latin and its tricky prefixes. In the beginning, there was "inflammable," a perfectly nice English word based on the Latin "inflammare," meaning "to kindle," from "in" (in) plus "flamma" (flame). "Inflammable" became standard English in the 16th century. So far, so good.

Comes the 19th century, and some well-meaning soul dreamt up the word "flammable," basing it on a slightly different Latin word, "flammare," meaning "to set on fire." There was nothing terribly wrong with "flammable," but it never really caught on. After all, we already had "inflammable," so "flammable" pretty much died out in the 1800's.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #44
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Last Wednesday I heard a bartender say that she was studying zoology in college. That is, Zoo - ology. She couldn't pronounce the name of her major. I have heard it pronounced this way many times.

There's even a book related to this:

Amazon.com: There Is No Zoo in Zoology: And Other Beastly Mispronunciations: Charles Harrington Elster: Books
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:42 AM   #45
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I love languages, and don't mind other people being pedants or being a pedant myself at times.

Harley hates the exchange of "exasperate" for "exacerbate".

Recently I've seen the classic "Marshall Law", and this new one: "X will be the deathnail of Z". I thought that was quite inventive!

What are your pet peeves?

What funny errors have you seen or heard?
Let's start a collection...
If you like this kind of stuff, you'll love the Eggcorn database:

The Eggcorn Database

The site describes itself as "...devoted to collecting the kind of unusual English spellings that have come to be called eggcorns. " Eggcorn is a mispelling of acorn. It's run by an academic and all the entries are accompanied by appropriate citations.

Some (not necessarily the best) examples are the following:

+ Self-phone (e.g., the iPhone)

+ Wreckless (is a wreckless driver a good driver or a bad driver?)

The usage "X will be the deathnail of Z" is an example of a snowclone containing a eggcorn. There's also a snowclone database, but I'll let you google it.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:58 AM   #46
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The classics:
your/you're
there/their/they're
its/it's

One I didn't see is then/than. This one makes me wonder if some people are aware that the word "than" exists.
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:12 AM   #47
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In a slightly different vein, I am mourning the loss of the adverbial form from modern American English. Apple's motto of "Think different" is the most prominent example I can think of. I always want it to be "Think differently".

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Old 09-22-2008, 11:18 AM   #48
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In a slightly different vein, I am mourning the loss of the adverbial form from modern American English. Apple's motto of "Think different" is the most prominent example I can think of. I always want it to be "Think differently".

2Cor521
Steve Jobs is the one quoted as saying, "people don't read anymore." His target buyers won't mind a thinkin' different. Yikes, I'm a typin' this on a MacBook.
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:23 AM   #49
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"My bad" drives me crazy. Where the heck did that come from anyway?

My father in-law refers to my hosta plants as 'hospice'. Cracks me up !

- John
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:25 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Last Wednesday I heard a bartender say that she was studying zoology in college. That is, Zoo - ology. She couldn't pronounce the name of her major. I have heard it pronounced this way many times.

There's even a book related to this:

Amazon.com: There Is No Zoo in Zoology: And Other Beastly Mispronunciations: Charles Harrington Elster: Books
I had a friend who studied zoology, that is the only reason I can pronounce it correctly.

So, so you pronounce flaccid as flaksid?
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:42 AM   #51
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I had a friend who studied zoology, that is the only reason I can pronounce it correctly.

So, so you pronounce flaccid as flaksid?
-
Never had a problem with the pronunciation of zoology as one of my first jobs was in a zoology dept. But it haunts me because sometimes when I'm really tired and go to pick up the phone, I almost say, "zoology."

Isn't flaxseed a cure for flaksid?
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:46 AM   #52
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My favorite was an old boss whose lawn mower would run fast and slow - he described it as running erotically.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:19 PM   #53
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travelover, that is hysterical!

Just came across the reign/rein pair, as in "reign in spending.."

Dudester, thanks for that link to the great "eggcorn" site; it's joining my bookmark list, and I am going to try and contribute "deathknell"=>"deathnail".

Another one of my pedantic grammar fetishes is an old-fashioned love for semi-colons and hyphens. Years ago I would get into arguments with tech copywriters* who insisted on describing their "real time customer based high throughput" thingamabob. There were longer examples.. just looked like disjointed strings of nouns and adjectives to me, and hard to parse. (What's a time-customer? What's a customer-based-high?) I think commas are also under-rated.

*another I saw today: "copywright"
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:33 PM   #54
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Last Wednesday I heard a bartender say that she was studying zoology in college. That is, Zoo - ology. She couldn't pronounce the name of her major. I have heard it pronounced this way many times.
Since it was a bartender, perhaps you misheard (yes, I had to look that up!), and she was saying "zymurgy" - the science of fermentation. Several of the CA state schools have zymurgy programs.


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Old 09-22-2008, 12:35 PM   #55
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Several years ago I was reading a newspaper article, and ran across: 'perineal garden'.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:43 PM   #56
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Several years ago I was reading a newspaper article, and ran across: 'perineal garden'.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:59 PM   #57
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... I hate you
ya, ain't i a bitch?

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I keep seeing "its" in place of "it's" (in emails, etc.) - it drives me crazy.
never mind when i do it: its just a typo.

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One mnemonic trick for those might be to think that "a" comes before "e"
but i thought it was "i" before "e".
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:22 PM   #58
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ya, ain't i a bitch?



never mind when i do it: its just a typo.



but i thought it was "i" before "e".

"I" before "E"
Except after "C"
And when sounded as "A"
(As in neighbor and weigh)
Neither
Leisure
Foreigner
Seize
Weird
Height
-----------------------------
The stuff one remembers.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:47 PM   #59
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we always said "in the neighborly weigh". which explains why i always mispelled way. come to think of it. i mispell misspell quite a bit too. what aardvark invented this language anyway?

everyone here has a right & left ear, but nobody here has an aardvark.

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Old 09-22-2008, 02:00 PM   #60
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One of my favorite eggcorns is "Silicone Valley." It leads to all kinds of questions:

1) Is Silicone Valley in Southern California rather than the Bay Area?

2) What does Silicone Valley look like?

Years ago, I used to see lots of references to this geographical location but haven't seen too many lately.
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