May 31st, 2008

More Snobbiness, More Grammar

***Updated to share this cute comic (one of my favorites!) that Shauna sent by email (click on image to see it larger).

I am not alone! I heard from more than a few of you after my last post about grammar and proper word usage, and so I thought maybe it would be fun to share some of our pet peeves here.

It’s a rainy Saturday, there’s nothing else to do, and we all might learn something new anyway. Let’s be language snobs. What mistakes bug you when you see them? The word “infer” when a writer really means “imply”? Mispronunciation of “mischievous”?

To get us started, I’ll share this one that makes me laugh and want to bang my head against the wall every time I hear it — misuse of the word “literally.” As in “When I told him the news, he literally blew up in my face.” Really? Wow.

[tags]mispronunciations, grammar mistakes[/tags]

111 comments to More Snobbiness, More Grammar

  • Felicia

    The consistent use of the word “presently,” [which means “in a bit; pretty soon; coming up…” ] instead of the words “at present,” [which mean “now; at the present time” ]drives me up a wall. NB: definitions above are not from a dictionary; they are mine, but I do know they are correct in this particular case.

    I could go on and on… but, I shan’t. You can thank me later. Or at present. As you wish.

  • RRT and Dora, thank you!!!

    I personally dislike “Eye-wrack,” “Eye-ran” and other mispronunciations of country names. Somehow we never manage to mispronounce the names of countries friendly to ours, do we?

  • Stephanie said she hated when midwestern people leave out the “to be” as in “that needs washed”. I’m a midwesterner and I’ve NEVER heard anything like that but I’ve heard “that needs a good wash” or “that needs washing” or “that needs a good washing”. Are any of those wrongly worded? Anyway, MY pet peeves are the misspelling mistakes: their vs they’re vs there + your vs you’re.

    Prounounciations that bug me are:
    or putting “r”s where they don’t belong like in the words wash (woRsh) or toilet (TORLET).

  • This is also a bit off-topic, but one of the ministries at a former parish of ours was “small faith groups.” I could never figure out whether the groups were for people with little faith, or for people who wanted their faith reduced, or what.

    It just killed me. (Literally.)

  • I haven’t read through all of the comments, but it drives me nuts when people misuse the words “effect” and “affect.” Or uses the wrong spelling/meaning of a word in a common phrase, such as using “strikes a cord” rather than the correct “strikes a chord” or the incorrect use of lose/loose, through/thru/threw, than/then, etc.

    I also can’t stand “The reason for this is because,” which one finds often in term papers . . .

    Thanks and have a great day!


  • Julie

    My biggest pet peeve is the misuse of adverbs. Someone who writes to us quite often uses “real” when she really means “very”. “That was real tasty.” I want to write back and tell her not to be afraid of the adverb. She does it EVERY SINGLE TIME. You would think she might use “very” occassionally for variety, but alas, no. My other peeve is the use of “ironical”. Is that even a word? Isn’t it just “ironic”? I think I will have to look that one up…

  • karen g.

    Really? It’s not “sherbert”?

    I’m getting an education here!

    I think if I started saying “sherbet”, people would start correcting me!

  • Mary Beth

    Since most of my favorites have been taken, I’ll post this one.

    The correct spelling is “Down syndrome.”

    NOT Down’s syndrome, or Downs syndrome.

    It also drives me crazy when a child is referred to as a “Downs” or “Downs child.”

    In general not using people first language regarding persons with disabilities is just insulting.

  • Aubrey

    Or “cerebal” palsy instead of CerebRal palsy?

  • Two more that I just saw today, I had to come back and write another comment . . .

    “Keep your eyes pealed”


    “Across the bored”

    Of course, asking if one is “board” is also like fingernails on a chalkboard! 🙂

    Have a great day!

  • Kristy

    1) I hate is when people end their sentences with the word “with”. example: Want to go with? With WHAT, WHO/WHOM…! Seriously, would it kill them to finish a sentence?
    2) I know it’s a dilect thing but the word Finance has a long I in it! Turn the volume up, go to and have the program pronounce it for you.

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