Ponder this:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why not just wipe out half the alphabet and mix up the remaining letters like Scrabble tiles and make up words out of those?

No one who reads this blog would be in danger of suffering my ire over this, but there are people who think that adverse means the same as averse, e.g. "I would not be adverse to holding a special meeting." Apparently those people don't know that those are two different words. It's one of those errors that I so want to correct, but if I did, I just know the speaker would say, "Well! You knew what I meant!" 
Oh, well then . . . if that's the qualification, just feel free to point to the sky while you exclaim that your car has a flat tire. It makes as much sense. 

A planning board granted approval to a project, noting that a certain feature needed to be similar to the same feature at an existing business. When the store was built and the project was finished, the board members were outraged that the feature in question was not exactly like the pre-existing site. They didn't know that similar and identical mean different things.

Back in the days of June as Church Lady, I was acquainted with a prissy little woman who consistently said "pacific" when she meant "specific." For a long time I thought she had a speech impediment but she would correct other people when they said, "specific." 
"The minister gave specific dates as options for the..."
"Oh," she'd interrupt, "Yes, yes, he mentioned some dates pacifically."

I know, I know. These are small small sins and it is small, small of me to be so bothered, but there it is. 


DJan said...

I am a stickler for words, too. I get all bent out of shape when people use words incorrectly. I wrote a post about it here. Enjoy!

georgia little pea said...

I don't have a very extensive vocabulary and had to google the difference between adverse and averse. I think I would have used them correctly but who knows? LOL.

esbboston said...

I am so looking forward to using 'pacifically' correctly in a scent ends. I have done a few things with the Pacific Ocean, so I will be able to say something like "This reminds me Pacifically of the north shore of Oahu." ... of course they they won't notice that I spoke with an uppercase P.

Recycled Cottage & Garden said...

I'm with you. I can't always tell you why it should be one word and not another, but somewhere in my brain I know it.
Just as a giggle for you, my Dad can't say atmosphere...he says atlasphere. Gives it a whole mew meaning, I get visions of a flat earth:-)

Rubye Jack said...

I don't think it is that big of a deal, but I always appreciate it when people correct me when I use a word wrong. Or is it wrongly? :)

I used to always say irregardless until a friend told me there is no such word. However, I suppose because of its common use, it is now in dictionaries. Sometimes it doesn't matter but other times, like with the use of similar for identical, it can make a huge difference.

Saku said...

My pet peeve is well and good. When someone tells me they've "done good" I tend to ask what good deed they did.

Another non-word that seems to be used a lot is funner. It's like nails on a chalkboard for me.

Linda Myers said...

I published a book in December. There were a few things I wanted to change, so I paid to have a "re-tech" done. I made 172 changes!

Now I'd be proud for any word stickler to read it.

I get it!

"Artic", "relator", "nucular". Aargh!

Carolynn Anctil said...

I'm always correcting The Frenchman's choice of words, pronunciation and grammar. It drives him nuts.

The Frenchman doesn't do this, but one of my favourites is saying you're going to take something out of the freezer and unthaw it.

June said...

DJan, I read your post and I investigated the book. At first I thought I'd really enjoy it and then concluded that it would make me tear out my hair in great hanks.

Georgia, thank you. When unsure, Google (or the old fashioned dictionary) is our friend.

esbboston, again to you I say: Hah! Well done.

Lady Hawthorne, good to see you! Oh, your poor dad. I wonder how many times in his life people have corrected him. I had a friend whose mother could not say Worcestershire, so she would ask people to pass the W sauce.

Rubye, I wish these things didn't get under my skin so much. But if it weren't this, it would be something else, I suppose. Since you're asking, I believe you would "use a word wrongly." That sounds a little unbalanced though...I think I'd just say incorrectly and be finished with it. :-)

Eileen, funner??? Are those people serious, or are they joking? Argh!

Linda, next time you write a book feel free to email it to me for proofreading. I'd be happy to accept a check for finding things that jump out at me with no effort on my part.

Carolynn, what is it with "unthaw" recently?

Tracy said...

Oh my gosh, you sound like me...that internal voice speaks so often when well-meaning people use words they have no idea about; it makes me furious!
Words are important to me so it is a definite pet-peeve of mine...you go girl!

Barb said...

I have a friend who mispronounces all the time, but we actually love her for it. Of course, she' never dream of correcting anyone else.

Hilary said...

I'm amused by how many folks who write really well still use "and I" when "and me" is correct - as in "They came over to see Djan and I?" It seems they feel "and I" just sounds more sophisticated. But it's wrong.

I'm bothered less by hearing it in conversation than I am by reading it in newspapers and magazine, or on TV. If media uses an editor before publishing/broadcasting, there's no excuse for shoddy grammar.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

I just love this post June - ready to tear your hair out????
We have a Prime Minister who when addressing the Nation says "gunna go to..." and "Par-tic-ily" and "welll, I dunno".
I have been correcting my mother for over 45 years that it's a "similar thing" and not a "simular thing" and my very dear friend gets lots of frights and is always on the verge of a "colonary" or "somethink". Have a wonderful week June. :)

Tom said...

I feel your pain. I'm a stickler for the word presently, which a lot of people use as a synonym for currently -- but it really means in the near future.

Ah, the narcissism of small differences!

Friko said...

June, dear June, don't get me started!

As a foreign English speaker I am the most pedantic stickler for correct grammar and the right word in the right place there is.

People hate me for it.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Having lived abroad since my early twenties , first in Spain and then in Holland , I've had the chance to mangle three languages .
There are a few things that make me wince when I hear them , "and I" instead of "and me" being one of them .... but on the whole I'm just so delighted to be communicating with people that the finer points don't worry me ( or , I hope , my listeners !) too much .

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, my -- another word nerd like me! I just grind my teeth a lot...

Joe Todd said...

June that was a swimming post LOL Love ya Joe Todd

Beth Camp said...

Oh, June, be pesky. I did a review for another writer, comments on pacing, character, conflict, etc. and he wrote back, thanking me for pointing out the missing commas, as if learning how to use an introductory comma were a special gift. Aaargh! Though I am guilty of saying 'down the shore' (among a few others) because the syntax reminds me of people I love.

Murr Brewster said...

I just got in a big tussle with some writers over the meanings of "ambiguous" and "ambivalent," and after all was said and done, I was of two minds about the whole thing.

I'm a terrible stickler myself. But I rarely correct people because every few years someone points out I used a word wrong. The latest one of those was "enormity."

Now I stick to fuming about spell-check typos in the newspaper. My favorite? "The earth spinning on its access." Oh yes.

Freda said...

I am still finding words I muddle up....... so guess I might be one of the annoying ones. I promise to try harder.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Hello June, I'm really just calling by to say hello, and hoping all is well for you in your part of the world. I would have emailed, but I couldn't find an address on your blog :)
Fond wishes, Rose

Jaliya said...

First thing I thought of was a 'Psych 101' teacher I had in the late 70s ... She'd use the word 'orgasm' instead of 'organism' -- One memorable line: "The average human orgasm lives for about 72 years." WHOA!!


Cathy at PotterJotter said...

I'm with you all the way ... but have given up caring as much as you do because it will beat us in the end! I read this week : "I am losing patients" when what they meant was "I am losing patience". Scarey! Very scarey! XCathy

Rose ~ from Oz said...

June, I miss your posts......I'm hoping you're well and OK?
Fond wishes

English Rider said...

Don't be going "nucular" on us now:)