Verily I Say Unto Thee... archive
Category : Words That Bug Me

Words That Bug Me: Doubled-Up Abbreviations

Categories: Words That Bug Me
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2014.07.09

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 Bug Me: Changing Definitions

Categories: Words That Bug Me
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2014.02.17

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[…]

Words That Bug Me: ‘Kiddos’

Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2013.12.10

“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[…]

Words That Bug Me: Continental U.S.

Categories: Words That Bug Me
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Published on: 2013.01.09

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[…]

Words That Bug Me: “Out Of” In Sports

Categories: Sports, Words That Bug Me
Comments: 4 Comments
Published on: 2012.12.29

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[…]

Words That Bug Me: ‘Price Point’

Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2012.08.12

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.

Words That Bug Me: Piracy

Categories: Words That Bug Me
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: 2012.05.26

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[…]

Words That Bug Me: Poorly Shortened Words

Comments: 5 Comments
Published on: 2012.05.26

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[…]

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