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www.goodeatsfanpage.com • View topic - QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

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QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby Chef Mongo » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:35 am

Those of you who are friends of mine on FB are by now probably sick to death of hearing about today being Take Back Grammar Day. However, over the years I've noticed that this bunch tends to be FAR above the norm in terms of writing ability. So I ask: What's your grammar pet peeve? What common (or uncommon) error sets your teeth on edge?
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby thatchairlady » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:55 am

I'm FAR from being the "grammar police". Not like fingernails down the blackboard, but use of who/that bugs me a bit!?! It's the car THAT hit me & the guy WHO was driving it. Not even totally sure if it's a mistake, but I always thought "that" went with things and "who" went with people. I've been working as a teacher assistant with spec. ed. HS kids since March. The classroom teacher has students use as much technology as possible... ipads, internet, email. At least once a week, she has them compose an email either to her or to parents about something that's going on in class. She insists they use FULL sentences, no abbreviations, and proper punctuation.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby Jules » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:47 am

Grammar is one thing, but idioms ............ I find it FAR easier to seriously consider discussion points, ponder debates and rebuttals, or be moved by what has moved the writer if idioms are being used correctly. The minute I read “doggie dog world” or “for all intensive purposes” or “the point is mute”, you no longer have ANY credibility with me.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby new cook » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:16 am

thatchairlady wrote:I'm FAR from being the "grammar police". Not like fingernails down the blackboard, but use of who/that bugs me a bit!?! It's the car THAT hit me & the guy WHO was driving it. Not even totally sure if it's a mistake, but I always thought "that" went with things and "who" went with people. I've been working as a teacher assistant with spec. ed. HS kids since March. The classroom teacher has students use as much technology as possible... ipads, internet, email. At least once a week, she has them compose an email either to her or to parents about something that's going on in class. She insists they use FULL sentences, no abbreviations, and proper punctuation.

You are right about the use of "that" vs "who." I see it all the time, and it bugs me, too. What a good teacher you're assisting! More teachers should be so demanding of their students. Learning to write properly will help them in life in so many ways.

As for my biggest pet peeve, I have two:

1) The misuse of pronouns still drives me nuts, especially when the rule is so simple: If it's improper to say "Her went out last night" then it's also improper to say "Her and I went out last night."

2) I've recently noticed that more and more people don't know when to use the article "an." They say "a incident" instead of "an incident." THAT is nails on a blackboard to me. "An" is the article that precedes a word beginning with a vowel or the sound of a vowel.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby ABwannabe » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:58 am

I don't know many of the "rules" of grammar (is my participle dangling? That just sounds naughty.) However, some things bug me:

1. Mis-used idioms, as mentioned above
2. "I feel" when the writer really means "I think" or "I believe".
3. Mis-use of "y'all" (spelling *and* incorrect application)

I think there are few others that just kind of bother me, but those are the ones that I will almost always notice and cringe.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby okbye » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:18 pm

I was annoyed the first day, lol, I'm against the whole concept. I don't have grammar pet peeves, I am not the overlord of how other people speak and write. I am also accustomed to speaking with people who do not speak English as a first language and have long been immune to very messy English usage. Plus the older I get my spelling is completely falling apart, if not for spell check and google correcting me I would mostly be screwed, so I have no room to judge anyway.

One of the funniest things in the world to me is someone complaining about someone else's language in a post that has an error, and it happens all the time. Man I hate superior people and so does the universe because it makes sure that happens.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby thatchairlady » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:25 pm

Whn I taught GED classes at night, would give hand-outs on certain topics just as "an"FYI. Usually the 100 most commonly mispelled/misspleed words & 100 most frequently misused words/phrases. Often students didn't have any idea they were using the wrong word/phrase or just misusing it.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby Gipper » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:34 pm

What annoys me is that the English language lacks a pronoun for one person of indeterminate gender. Consider the following example:

"If a student is going to miss a class, [pronoun] should e-mail the professor in advance."

Now, there are a few things we can do with that, but they all have shortcomings.

1. We can simply keep writing "the student." That's annoying; it's why pronouns exist.
2. We can use the male singular "he" or the female singular "she." That's inaccurate--what if we've picked the wrong gender?
3. We can use the construct "he or she." While accurate, it's no shorter than writing "the student" again, so why bother?
4. We can use the plural "they." That's also inaccurate since there's a quantity disagreement between noun and pronoun.
5. We can use "it." I don't know how many people would like to be called an "it" but I'm not one of them.

What's the answer? Of the five options, I think the fourth is the most palatable. After all, anyone reading or hearing the sentence would know that "they" does actually mean one person; it conveys a sense of knowable but unknown gender that "it" doesn't do, while avoiding using a potentially incorrect gender description that using either of "he" or "she" creates, and while actually shortening the sentence unlike actually writing out the noun again or using the awkward sounding "he or she." I think that, sooner rather than later, "they" will be considered grammatically correct in such a situation.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby chefshawn » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:49 pm

Gipper, the pre-PC answer to your question, I believe, was "he," as the standard unknown personal pronoun, like in Latin languages, where most words have male and female versions, and unknowns leaned towrd the dominant male. That was before all the easily-offended lobby groups began yelling louder than the street-corner evangelists.

For me, I'm not too picky about others' grammer. I know I have problems of my own, and I can never really get the full hang of it in regards to apostrophies, and I'm far too shy to attempt proper usage of semicolons.

My pet peeves as far as language go lie in misquotes. If you're going to use an obscure quote, or even a popular one, from classic/cult tv or cinema, then DAMMIT, GET IT RIGHT! Look it up again if you have to! If I have to correct one more ignorant whipper snapper on Monty Python's bridge scene or black knight scene, THERE WILL BE BLOOD!

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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby Zaklog the Great » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:11 pm

The mistake that makes my teeth grate faster than any other (note: it does not make my teeth "great," I fear I will always be consigned to dental mediocrity) is the use of "unnecessary" quotation marks. That is, people using quotation marks for emphasis (instead of, for instance, underlining or italics). This is especially troubling because, besides indicating someone else's words, the next use of quotation marks is to indicate irony (that is, we're calling it this, but it isn't really). For instance, if I said my mother was a great cook, you might want to try my mom's cooking. If I said my mom was a great cook, you'd probably be more interested. However, if I said my mom was a "great" cook, you'd be a little cautious when sitting down for dinner.

There's an entire blog of examples, some of them downright weird: http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/.

chefshawn wrote:That was before all the easily-offended lobby groups began yelling louder than the street-corner evangelists.


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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby new cook » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:41 pm

Gipper, I agree with you that using the gender-neutral "they" is the best solution for the English language. Apparently such usage has become common enough that it is now included in the Oxford English dictionary:

The Oxford English Dictionary wrote:Definition of they
pronoun
[third person plural]

1 used to refer to two or more people or things previously mentioned or easily identified:
the two men could get life sentences if they are convicted
people in general:
the rest, as they say, is history
informal a group of people in authority regarded collectively:
they cut my water off
2 [singular] used to refer to a person of unspecified sex:
ask someone if they could help

Origin:
Middle English: from Old Norse their, nominative plural masculine of sá; related to them and their, also to that and the

1 The word they (with its counterparts THEM, THEIR, and THEMSELVES) as a singular pronoun to refer to a person of unspecified sex has been used since at least the 16th century. In the late 20th century, as the traditional use of he to refer to a person of either sex came under scrutiny on the grounds of sexism, this use of they has become more common. It is now generally accepted in contexts where it follows an indefinite pronoun such as anyone, no one, someone, or a person: anyone can join if they are a resident; each to their own. In other contexts, coming after singular nouns, the use of they is now common, although less widely accepted, especially in formal contexts. Sentences such as ask a friend if they could help are still criticized for being ungrammatical. Nevertheless, in view of the growing acceptance of they and its obvious practical advantages, they is used in this dictionary in many cases where he would have been used formerly. See also HE (USAGE) and SHE. 2 Don’t confuse their, they’re, and there. Their is a possessive pronoun: I like their new car. They’re is a contraction of ‘they are’: they’re parking the car. There is an adverb meaning ‘at that place’: park the car over there.


http://oxforddictionaries.com/definitio ... =us&q=They
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby tj » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:52 pm

BIG PEEVE: Those who make verbs to agree with the subjects of prepositional phrases. "The gorgeous spray of roses are the gift of the family of the deceased." I see this and hear it all the time in the news media. cringe
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby n8urebabe » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:43 pm

I have a tendency to ignore errors and just read what I believe was intended. That becomes more difficult when something is full of errors but I try. I have been known to mutter when someone misuses good/well in a sentence. I try to do it quietly unless it's one of my children. :)
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby Butterbean » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:13 pm

Gonna, wanna, hafta, woulda, coulda. I talk that way, but it bugs me to see them in print (although I'm probably guilty of writing that way on occasion, too). I know it will get worse as texting shortcuts make their way into everyday language.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby chefshawn » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:09 am

My wife had a particularly strict English teacher in high school, so now I get to hear her "call out" every grammatical opps that anyone says. The OFFENDER can't hear it, nonono, that would be a form of confrontation. Instead, I get to hear it.

Same thing on bike trails. She scoffs at everyone that doesn't wear a helmet, and gives an annoying "well, at LEAST they've got a halmet on!" to everyone that does...every...single...person.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby Kamidanshir » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:34 am

Mistakes from genuine ignorance don't bother me so much these days, although as okbye pointed out, it's quite funny when they occur in a post correcting someone else's error. Intentional cutesy-folksy misspellings (e.g., mater, sammich, etc.) are grating, but I've learned to let that one go too after so long spent here. I would say years on the internet have made me much less of a pedant on matters of grammar and spelling, as much for my santity's sake as out of compassion for others.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby beenie » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:25 pm

Superfluous apostrophe's. ;)
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby thatchairlady » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:12 am

On spell check!?! At a previous job, sop was to run any memo past somebody else in our small department. Everybody was cmfortable with getting input from others. I sent a copy of an email that was gonna go to EVERYBODY at the small business college where I was working. It was about how all students assigned to us (who all needed remediation in math and/or reading/writing) would be tested and computer would be assigning tutorials on the computer to beef up their skills. Sent it to my supervisor for her to look over and almost had to pick her up off the FLOOR!! Instead of assigning... it came out ASS SIGNING!!

Also got a very flashy mailer from a local ski shop telling me about an upcoming summer sale. Professionally done card came as a result of being on mailing list. Said the private sale would be on a certain date, but the PUBIC one would be on another date!
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby carla » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:29 pm

Kamidanshir wrote:Mistakes from genuine ignorance don't bother me so much these days, although as okbye pointed out, it's quite funny when they occur in a post correcting someone else's error. Intentional cutesy-folksy misspellings (e.g., mater, sammich, etc.) are grating,...


:shock: :oops: :cry: I. Am. Mortified.
At least I haven't done it in a long time. Thanks for your compassion, Kam. :)
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby Kamidanshir » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:23 pm

carla wrote:
Kamidanshir wrote:Mistakes from genuine ignorance don't bother me so much these days, although as okbye pointed out, it's quite funny when they occur in a post correcting someone else's error. Intentional cutesy-folksy misspellings (e.g., mater, sammich, etc.) are grating,...


:shock: :oops: :cry: I. Am. Mortified.
At least I haven't done it in a long time. Thanks for your compassion, Kam. :)


Aw, Carla, I wasn't trying to pick on anybody; I shouldn't have included examples. I'm sorry, truly.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby carla » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:08 pm

^ NO problem, Kam! It IS funny. Easy to hear from you. The "crying" emoticon was really too much on my part, I was somewhat kidding.
I'll say I have a SCREAMING BUTTLOAD of mortification. :lol: (Did Holly come up with that? Anyone remember who did? It is disgusting, huh.)

Just remember, in a contraction, the apostrophe takes the place of the removed letter.
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Re: QOTD 8/27: Grammatically speaking ...

Postby Myrealana » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:14 am

Kamidanshir wrote:Mistakes from genuine ignorance don't bother me so much these days, although as okbye pointed out, it's quite funny when they occur in a post correcting someone else's error. Intentional cutesy-folksy misspellings (e.g., mater, sammich, etc.) are grating, but I've learned to let that one go too after so long spent here. I would say years on the internet have made me much less of a pedant on matters of grammar and spelling, as much for my santity's sake as out of compassion for others.

Oh this.

So very much this.

For the last five years, I've been working almost exclusively with people from Europe, most of whom speak English as a second language. I've come to gloss over poorly constructed sentences in emails, use of the word "rapport" to mean "report" and oddly abbreviated words. Whatever their English errors may be, they're 1000 times better than my efforts in Norwegian or Polish.

But when a perfectly intelligent American native English speaker decides to talk like a five-year-old, I want to scream.

I love my husband to pieces and he is a wonderful, wonderful man with few faults. One of those few, however is that when I announce I am making spaghetti, he will always pop back with "You're making skabetti?"

No. I am not making "skabetti." I am making spaghetti. You are a 42-year-old man. Speak like one! ARGH!
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