Tuesday, November 15, 2005

English Pet Peeves (ongoing)

  • You don't "peek" your interest, you pique it.
  • It's not your want to do something, it's your wont to do it.
  • "Irregardless" is not a word, regardless of how much you want it to be.
  • "An historical" is bad English (or, according to certain style guides, archaic and affected). If there's an initial 'h' pronounced, you use a.
  • Speakers imply, listeners infer.
  • Flammable and inflammable mean the same damn thing. (Why is that?)
  • The singular of data is datum. 'Data' is PLURAL.
  • You're not phased by something (unless you're in STAR TREK), you're fazed by it. Or unfazed. Pick your poison.
  • As was pointed out in the comments, "I could care less" when what is meant is "I couldn't care less".
  • My own inability to get comma usage correct. *growls*
  • Apostrophe usage: You don't use them to make things plural (unless it's a lowercase letter), for crying out loud! This one really bothers me, so it's going to get extra space. I just read somewhere online: "Have you gotten your's yet?" GAH!


Anonymous Galen said...

Actually, apparently "an" when the word begins with H and is followed by a vowel is correct, so it's "an historic" and so forth.

Perhaps you Americans use different rules than the English, but those are the rules are per the English Language.

October 25, 2005 12:02 PM

Anonymous Galen said...

...other than that, though, you are correct ;)

October 25, 2005 12:04 PM

Blogger Fogger said...

Well, the rules I'm quoting come from places like The Chicago Manual of Style and the University of Rochester's Guide to Editorial Style for Print and Electronic Publications.

However, apparently there's a difference between British and American usage. Since I live in America, I will stay with what we use while acknowledging that it's not that way on the other side of the pond. ;)

October 25, 2005 12:25 PM

Anonymous pedantique said...

*ahem* data, in fact, ARE plural...

October 27, 2005 9:48 AM

Blogger Fogger said...

Ooh, excellent point, and one that I missed. (Isn't it terrible when you're not even correct about the things that bother you?)

Of course, after looking it up in Merriam-Webster, it seems that data can be both a plural noun AND an abstract mass noun. So both "data are" and "data is" are correct. Datum is still correct for a single piece of information, though. I think. ;)

October 27, 2005 10:03 AM

Blogger Fogger said...

Actually, the more I think about my original statement, the more I think I was correct in saying that data is plural. Meaning, of course, that the word "data" is plural. Feel free to correct me, though...

October 27, 2005 10:11 AM

Anonymous pedantique said...

Actually that occurred to me too, but I think in that case the word would need to be in inverted commas to denote that you were talking about the word rather than the data themselves... as you have done in your reply! Interesting about Merriam-Webster, I wonder if it's another American/English usage thingy.

Ultimately, though, I'm right with you on the pet peeves, so hurrah for you. Living up to my name much?!

October 28, 2005 6:58 AM

Blogger Moi ;) said...

How about SIKE!!! (Psyche! with or without the e, I believe.)

I haven't read any of your previous EPP posts yet, but the one that gets me the most is when people say they COULD care less. I want to ask them - How Much Less????

October 31, 2005 7:08 PM


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