Remember the “FBI: Female Body Inspector” T-shirts? I first saw one in the 1980s, and I know they were still for sale in the late 1990s (edit: and they are still for sale). That’s not what I’m talking about; it’s just a sexist joke on a shirt. I’m talking about when an abbreviation already exists[…]
Words that used to have multiple meaning but now just have one, or words that used to have a neutral connotation but now are inextricably tied to the negative connotation — these irritate me mainly because most of us have, at best, a tenuous grasp of the language, and it doesn’t help that words keep[…]
“Kiddos” has been around for a while. The Oxford English Dictionary (here) and other online resources say it’s just an informal “friendly or slightly condescending form of address”. I’m fine with that definition. My complaint is about when parents use the term for their children: “Here’s a picture of the kiddos”, they’ll say with a[…]
As noted in my previous entry, Time Magazine recently used a couple of ambiguous terms to describe 48 states in the United States of America. They’re not alone in this; it’s fairly common. The term Contiguous United States refers to the 48 states that are all accessible to each other without taking to the air[…]
I’ve you’ve watched or listened to a sports event broadcast lately, you’ve heard at least one of the commentators say “out of” when they meant “from”. It’s getting worse, and it bugs the hell out of me. “James Johnson, the quarterback, is out of Billings, Montana”, they’ll say. I’ve got news for them. Unless the[…]
Yes, I’ve been watching too many episodes of ‘House Hunters’. But it bugs me when people say “price point” when they mean price range, or simply price.
Today’s English (and, I assume, other languages) is peppered with old words that have been given new meaning, either by marketing campaigns or by the news media. Sometimes the new meanings come from the slang of youth, song writers, or authors. I’m not sure how or when “piracy” took on its new meaning, but I[…]
One of my many pet peeves is shortened words. Well, words or phrases that are shortened poorly. For example, cellular telephone has been shortened to cell in the U.S. Fortunately, many people actually say phone, which is much better. Why? Phone already means telephone. Cell, on the other hand, never meant telephone. It referred to[…]