Maybe you all have, and I'm just slow, but it really annoys me to read an article, or hear a newscast, or read a story where ordinary words are misused. My three most annoying examples are - flaunt for flout, as in "He flaunts the law," when what is meant is "He flouts the law."

Then there's "diffuse" for "defuse" ("He diffused the bomb;" interesting way to get one through a wall, I guess).

And, finally, on a story about a revolutionary war hero, the, ahem!, reporter had the man's family standing around the grave, and referred to them as his "ancestors."

Perhaps I am just too curmudgeonly, but it seems to me that if one's words are going into a public venue, one might take a bit of care to ascertain the proper word.

Views: 72

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

My father complains about that phenomenon frequently. It's likely that the writers, and very possibly their editors, don't know the difference, if they're under a certain age. Some bright boys somewhere decided teaching proper language usage was unnecessary because kids would learn it from listening to their parents. Uh, right. It's scary when a high school senior tells you that she's taking grammar as an elective course in her final year of school, because she never had it during the previous eleven years. From what I've been reading recently, teaching grammar was highly discouraged from sometime in the eighties until just recently.

To all the teachers out there, this is not a swipe at you. My sister teaches middle school English, and my Dad's a professor at the university. You're doing what you can with a highly unreasonable system.
Mine is oriented VS orientated. That one drives me up the WALL!!!!!!
I consulted the big blonde monkey over this one, and we both grew up believing the difference between the two to be the difference between American English (ted) and UK English (tated). My little red 'Write Right!' book and my 'A-Z of English grammar and usage' fail to even mention it. I remain confused, as I gather that nowadays things are less clear cut, yet the OED gives page space to both versions without pointing an incorrect finger at either... Help! What do other people (either side of the pond) use?
OH YES.. And it is used so often isn't it..

My pet peeve isn't so much mis-used as mis-pronounced.
Could someone please tell the President of the United States that there is only one U in nuclear?
So many people say it that way, too.
My parents came up with "disirregardless" in protest.
Yeah ... My favorite. A few local traffic-casters talk about the interlude of the beltway, when they mean "inner loop."

I believe that, in general, education is not what it once was. The 8th grade education of a generation before mine is better than the highschool education of the generation after mine. Being a child of the 60s, I think I fall in the cracks.
Interlude of The Beltway. Isn't that Stravinsky?
I thought it was Rachmaninoff.
"Some bright boys somewhere decided teaching proper language usage was unnecessary because kids would learn it from listening to their parents. Uh, right. It's scary when a high school senior tells you that she's taking grammar as an elective course in her final year of school, because she never had it during the previous eleven years. From what I've been reading recently, teaching grammar was highly discouraged from sometime in the eighties until just recently."

Pepper is right. One of the things actually adopted as an educational philosophy was inventive spelling as well. I blame inventive spelling and laziness for the rise in textspeak. Granted, it wouldn't have caught on to the level it has without cell phones, but I've been on forums where people use it in posting, and in some cases they're people who don't have cell phones.

Irregardless. Yeah, I've been victim to that one. But here's the real question - it is how people talk sometimes. It may be grammatically wrong, but if it's dialogue-appropriate an author has a real dilemma on their hands.
You're about the dialogue matters, of course. Where I come from ("from where I come?"), we have a good many informal modes of speaking (we talk Southern, y'all), and I agree that a character needs to be written true to herself. That doesn't bother me, I've done it myself. It's the apparent decay of proper usage where proper usage is what is called for that is annoying. I guess the reporters, both print and broadcast, bother me the most about it.
We recently had the announcement of the News Photographers Association awards.
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/208597

I am pointing it out because of one mention, for Student Photographer of the Year, with the award going to a student from Loyalist College.

I attended the print journalism program at Loyalist, and we worked side by side with the photojocks. My photography teacher was always trying to recruit me to switch sides. We all worked together on the newspaper, and it was shocking. A good number of the photography students could not write to save their behind. Typo-laden. Words missing. Incoherent. Disorganized.

But we were all told the same thing. Even a passing level of writing would get them a job ahead of us, because of their photography skills. Now, I've worked as a pro photographer (although admittedly not for ages and haven't used more than a cheap digitial that was melted in a fire Evil Kev took it into once. Not terribly reassuring when something inside firefighter turnout gear can warp, and that's all that's protecting your spouse on a call) but my love was always the writing.

In terms of journalism, however, print can't compete with photo. That's why you see such shoddy articles, at least in this country.
This one bugs me, too, Jim.

RSS

CrimeSpace Google Search

© 2019   Created by Daniel Hatadi.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service