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January 31, 2006 02:14 PM

Broken: Textual annoyances

Rant mode on...

Some things that irritate me when I read them in news articles, blog posts, and other textual media:

• "jaw-dropping" and variations thereof - "This music is jaw-droppingly good." No, your jaw didn't drop. You mean it's very good. Say so (or find some less tired cliche to help).

• "wait for it" - "The movie was, wait for it, King Kong." As though writing that phrase makes you extra witty - get it? You're making the reader literally wait for the end of the sentence, since they have to read your annoying phrase first. (BTW, misuse of "literally" is also annoying.)

• "some" in amounts - "There are some 300 houses in that neighborhood." As though you don't know whether it's more, less, equal to that number, and "about" is just too declasse - maybe "some" will sound academic and extra-smart!

(Yes, these are just irritating to me, not necessarily to anyone else... no need for a long discussion in the comments section about whether it's technically broken. But please let me know what other textual annoyances are your pet peeves.)

(Rant mode off.)


When people use "about" and "approximately" for exact numbers. It's about 175, not about 183, or about quarter after 4, not 4:13.

Any scandal becoming "whatevergate."

Misuse of the word "literally." It is not used for emphasis. It means "actually." So, someone did not literally blow up at you unless they actually exploded in your direction.

And the king of all annoyances: 's does not make a word plural.

Posted by: Steve J at January 31, 2006 02:44 PM

When advertisements (tv or print) use the phrase "exactly the same" or (even worse) "exact same." As in: "You get the exact same medications you'd get from your vet, for a fraction of the cost!"

Neither the word "exact" nor the word "same" are qualitative terms. Something is either exact or it's not. It's either the same or it's not. You cannot have something be more than the same. Therefore, the phrase "exactly the same" is an annoying redundancy. And in the case of "exact same," it is also grammatically incorrect.

Posted by: Shannon at January 31, 2006 02:54 PM

Labelling items as All New is irritating as hell. Like in commercials, "An All New Episode of ER You Don't Want To Miss!" You mean it's not partially new? Or mostly new? All New, huh, that's the Most Unique thing I've ever heard.

Posted by: Ron Mexico at January 31, 2006 03:05 PM

"I could care less."

Posted by: fluffy at January 31, 2006 03:11 PM

Steve J has already hit on some of my literary annoyances. (whatevergate...GRRRR!) How about the 'Stormwatch' headlines on the news anytime there is a slight mist in the air. (especially in Los Angeles) There should be a minimum amt. of precipitation before it is called a storm.

Posted by: Steve at January 31, 2006 03:19 PM

The bottom line is, at the end of the day, you should avoid cliches like the plague. Also, eschew obfuscation, and never use a preposition to end a sentence with.

Posted by: E.T. at January 31, 2006 03:42 PM

How about the use of "begs the question"?

The pond's lack of aquatic life begs the question as to whether it could sustain life at all.

No it doesn't damn it!

Posted by: beckett at January 31, 2006 03:43 PM

Why do people ask the questions "Can I tell you something?" or "Can I ask you ...? right before they tell you/ ask you anyway.

Especially this: Ever call an office, if the operator answers he/she usually says "May I tell Mr Boss who is calling?" The correct response is either 'yes' or 'no', either way does not transfer any useful information. People, please just ask the real question and get to the point.

Posted by: Steve h at January 31, 2006 03:55 PM

Finding something so funny that you "spit coffee on your screen/keyboard". I bet you didn't.

Posted by: James Kew at January 31, 2006 03:55 PM

use of the word "collective" when talking about a population in order to sound wittier.

example: When they heard the news, the collective jaws of the Americans dropped.

(to also pick on the jaw-dropping comment)...

Posted by: didactylos at January 31, 2006 03:58 PM

Can I tell you something? I literally hate it when people use about 513 different cliches that mean - wait for it - exactly the same thing! It just makes my jaw drop about 14 times whenever I read it.

Posted by: Sorry, but I had to... at January 31, 2006 04:08 PM



i had an elementary school teacher who specifically advised against "heartwarming"

Posted by: lk at January 31, 2006 04:15 PM

I have gotten so tired of hearing "Can I ask you a question?" that my automatic answer is "You just did."

It actually works! After two or three times, people stop asking permission to ask!

Posted by: cmadler at January 31, 2006 04:20 PM

"I could care less." (fluffy)

The phrase is *supposed* to be "I *couldn't* care less," but apparently that extra syllable is just too much for people.

That said, I agree with you (about that particular annoyance, I mean).

Posted by: Isaac at January 31, 2006 04:49 PM

Yes, I know, that's why it annoys me. I mean, I could stand to care less about a lot of things that I'm too overly-passionate about.

Posted by: fluffy at January 31, 2006 04:51 PM

I think "I could care less" is supposed to be sarcasm a la "yeah, right" and "wow, that's amazing."

Posted by: Evan at January 31, 2006 06:12 PM

I hate it when people say,

"I'm not going to lie..."

I.E., "I'm not going to lie but Bob is ugly"

Great! You aren't going to lie! It isn't very relevant though.

That's like saying, "I'm not going fart, but I ate a banana."

It would make more sense if the "but" wasn't there, for instance, "I'm not going to fart, I ate banana"

Posted by: T-1000 at January 31, 2006 06:56 PM

This post is jaw-droppingly good. I bet some 300 people will comment on it. I bet that this, wait for it, will be literally the best comment ever

Posted by: john russell at January 31, 2006 07:22 PM

"Two-thousand and six." It's two-thousand six folks. No and.

Posted by: Poor_Statue at January 31, 2006 07:25 PM

"The space shuttle is taller than three football fields placed end-to-end."


a) "Football field" isn't a unit of measurement.

b) If it *was*, do you mean "US Football" or "Soccer?"

c) If you mean "US Football", do you count the end-zones or not? (Counting the end-zones gives a radically different result!)

If you mean 100 yards, *SAY 100 YARDS!*

Posted by: James Schend at January 31, 2006 07:41 PM

How about 'rate of speed'. You here many official sounding people who want to sound even more legitimate say "He was traveling at a high rate of speed". However speed is by definition a rate of distance over time!!

Posted by: Pollypop at January 31, 2006 07:43 PM

Ooooh.. where to start?

"I could care less" is an interesting North American English varation on the British English "I couldn't care less". There has been much debate over the (grammatical) legitimacy of it in various style guides. Some assume that one elides "As if" to the front of it, or similar techniques. cf the UK English "It's the least I could (can) do" (I don't know how prevalent this is in North American English)-- thanks, but would you care to do more than your least?

Now, some of my own hates:

95% fat-free. (i.e. 5% fat.)

Sufficient (enough)

Paradigm (thought, or method, or... something)

Methodology (method)

Decimate (reduce, usually used in contexts where the reduction is more than a tenth)

Quantum to mean "a lot" (a quantum leap is the smallest possible leap, not the largest)

"Percentage" or "fraction" to be inferred as a *large* percentage or fraction.

110 (120, etc) %.

The passive tense.

"Fun for all the family"

"Uses only limited by your [i.e. our] imagination"

Use of the adverb for the adjective ("The boy done good", "they boy did well"). But this is perfectly good US/Canadian English, but is now becoming common in British English. It isn't slovenly, so is probably a real change in accepted UK English grammar-- which is OK.

"Fantastic" in its literal sense (mostly used by book reviewers).

"his/her; s/he", or "they" in the singular (recast the sentence).

"Divers" (many).

OK enough for one post.

Posted by: Simon Trew at January 31, 2006 07:52 PM

I was looking for an example of misusage in the phrase "anything but", which taken word for word would mean, "this and this and this, but definitely not that", and found numerous misusages on Google News.

"Rainy season appears to be anything but" (headline of a real article) but what? Dry? windy? explosive? Those headlines are anything but witty.

Posted by: zero??? at January 31, 2006 07:53 PM

Shannon-- Exact(ly) (the) same. It is redundant if you think that "the same" means "the same in all regards"-- cf "similar" (which, historically, means "the same"). "Exactly" is indeed redundant but emphasis is hardly a new thing. Double positives are no more wrong than double negatives, surely?


Posted by: Simon Trew at January 31, 2006 08:03 PM

I think that people use football fields as measurement because some people (like me) can't visualise 100 yards.

"Interesting" trivia: In Mexico people use the phrase "me vale", which translates to "it's worth something to me" when they don't care. Suspiciously similar to "I could care less"

Posted by: zero??? at January 31, 2006 08:05 PM


"Two thousand six". That's just your way of saying it. I don't think you could argue one way or the other that it was the "right" way to say it (as if the right way to say anything was anybody's business but the person saying it). I would say "and", and I could certainly give you the syntax for how *I* put numbers into words (I have replaced my desktop clock with one of my own design that tells me "It's nearly ten to four"), but they probably wouldn't match yours. Your grammar is as good as mine, but no better or worse.

Posted by: Simon Trew at January 31, 2006 08:10 PM

Beckett-- what do object to here? That the pond, being declared inanimate, cannot possibly beg anything? If so, this is not far from the "hopefully" argument" (The sun will shine tomorrow, hopefully"); if not, we must assume an elision.

Posted by: beckett at January 31, 2006 08:14 PM

Pollypop-- I was going to disagree with you, but literally you are correct. The rate of speed is acceleration (i.e. length over square seconds). I'd be annoyed if I were pulled over for having a "high rate of speed" when I'd braked sharply.


Posted by: Simon Trew at January 31, 2006 08:21 PM

I think that the use of "Quantum" in "Quantum leap" comes from the fact that quanta are descrete levels of energy. Therefore, a "Quantum Leap" would be a step to the next level.

Posted by: I feel not named. at January 31, 2006 08:22 PM

My physics teacher years ago said two thousand six is 2006, while two thousand and six is 2000.6 and several of my math teachers agreed. Also, I hate football, so any measurement using football fields as a guide annoys me. My Dad comes unglued whenever he hears "I could care less" and immediately rants that it's "I couldn't care less". I'm sure that comes unglued is on someones list too. I agree with all the peeves everyone's mentioned, but my biggest one is people who don't know the difference between 2, two, to, and too. I realize our public school system isn't the greatest, but there has to be a limit. Also hate abbreviations such as nite, lite, xtreme, and other slang that reinforces the worlds opinion that we are all idiots.

Posted by: Paul at January 31, 2006 08:26 PM

You could argue that it's six and ten thousand, or two-and-forty. (Actually, that's the way people used to say it)

Posted by: Random Frequent Flyer at January 31, 2006 08:29 PM

Zero???-- "x seems to be anything but"

Well, anything but x. This is just elision: "The appaently sober poster was anything but [sober]"; "The forecast storm was anthing but [a storm]", etc. Nothing wrong with that.


Posted by: Simon Trew at January 31, 2006 08:40 PM

"New and improved."

It can't be both.

Posted by: RK at January 31, 2006 08:49 PM

Oops, Paul, you dropped an apostrophe on "world's opinion". Will you vote for my Ban the Apostrophe campaign?!

It doesn't really matter if people spell "two" as "to" or "too" or even "2" if they know what it means. We know what it means in speech, when they sound (roughly) the same, so why should it matter in writing? Only that in writing we do not have the advantage to clarify our meaning face-to-face, and so must make special care to make our meaning clear the first time.

Webster was the man to blame for taking all the 'u's out of American English (in words like 'colo[ur]'), as well as advovating many other American English grammatical forms as opposed to the British [i.e. London Upper Class] English -- truly he put American English on the map, and to a degree fossilised it there too, not that anyone of his compatriots paid any attention (may they increase!) So "Lite", "Xtreme" are no worse or better than "color", "liter" etc; or of course many other mangled transliterations from other languages (e.g. "barley sugar").


Posted by: Simon Trew at January 31, 2006 08:52 PM

I feel not named-- Yes, you have a valid point there. But I think usually it is intended to mean "an enormous leap" rather than "the smallest possible". "We have made a quantum leap in quality etc etc". Oh, how good of you-- it's the least you could do.

Which reminds me. Ultimate. Very rarely is. "Our ultimate product just got better."

Posted by: Simon Trew at January 31, 2006 09:00 PM

One phrase I hate the most:

"Best. Post. Ever." Shut up!

One word I despise:



Posted by: Faolan at January 31, 2006 09:19 PM

I forgot to add these two:

"Tell us how you really feel!" Didn't I just do that, idiot?

"Remind me not to get on your bad side! LOL!" With that comment? Too late. You're already there.

Posted by: Faolan at January 31, 2006 09:21 PM

In addition to everything said before besides football measurement and "two thousand and six", I hate it when products are intentionally misspelled for some reason, ie. storage bins labelled "Bilt Tuff"; "Kidz Bop"; etc....

Posted by: Serpent_Guard at January 31, 2006 09:27 PM

"Beg the question" refers to a specific logical fallacy. (See It does not mean "prompts the question".

Posted by: Lomedhi at January 31, 2006 09:47 PM

I hate apostrophes used to pluralize, quotation marks used to emphasize, "your" instead of "you're", "alot" instead of "a lot", and I agree wholeheartedly with most of the others already mentioned.

Posted by: Lomedhi at January 31, 2006 09:52 PM

Oh, and confusion of "its" and "it's". That one really burns me.

Posted by: Lomedhi at January 31, 2006 09:56 PM

I'm an ex-librarian, and people would FREQUENTLY come up to the reference desk and announce (not ask), "I'm looking for a book!" *silence* After awhile, I started replying, "Well, you've come to the right place. Were you looking for a specific book?"

Posted by: canarynoir at January 31, 2006 10:58 PM

Two verbal annoyances I hate:

When people say "it's so [something] it's not funny (anymore)". Wasn't it not funny to begin with? How can something be "not funny anymore" if it was never funny?

When people say "thingy" when they forget what they are trying to say. "I ... thingied ... yesterday" or "I was at the ... umm... thingy.".

Posted by: dfmchfhf at January 31, 2006 11:03 PM

"irregardless", which does not exist in the dictionary but which people keep insisting on using to mean plain "regardless"

Posted by: Alden Bates at January 31, 2006 11:44 PM

I can't believe no one has mentioned the overuse of 'no offence' yet. As in, "No offence, but you are ugly, moronic, and appear to be lacking in hygiene."

Posted by: gmangw at January 31, 2006 11:53 PM

Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't it "I couldn't care less"? because that would make a lot more sense than "I could care less".


Posted by: Ian at February 1, 2006 01:02 AM

you can be so mean qmanqw, but good thing you didn't mean any offence!

Posted by: I'm so funny at February 1, 2006 03:51 AM

I get frustrated when I hear the following words at work because they always mean a layoff, but no one wants to say the "l" word:

right-size (who made up this joke?)


Posted by: Katie at February 1, 2006 07:29 AM

Good discussion.

It seems that loose and loosing in place of lose and losing is gaining ground. Pretty soon it will eclipse irregardless.

Posted by: Mark0 at February 1, 2006 08:24 AM

Forgetting the apostrophy when indicating the possesive.

Dogs (plural)

Dog's (possesive)

Dogs' (plural possesive)

Posted by: Sean P at February 1, 2006 10:43 AM

Regarding "the least I could do", one of my favorite lines in MASH uses this.

Hawkeye, Hot Lips and Klinger are in a jeep driving somewhere. The tire goes flat. Hot Lips and Klinger are going to change the tire in order to protect surgeon Hawkeye's hands. They get out of the jeep and begin to work. Hawkeye is still in the jeep.

Hot Lips: "The very least you could do is get out of the jeep!"

Hawkeye: "Well, never let it be said that I didn't do the very least I could do."

Posted by: Ellen at February 1, 2006 11:08 AM

I kind of like the word "blogosphere" because when I hear it, I picture this Epcot-like floating sphere, probably hidden in a swamp somewhere like the Legion of Doom's old headquarters, containing all the bloggers on the net who are constantly slapping each other on the back for being so witty and edgy.

And it makes me happy that they're so happy feeding off each other's snark energy, and it means we're just one rocket launcher away from saving the world from them ...

Posted by: Jake at February 1, 2006 11:12 AM

How about "Department of Redundancy Department"?

Posted by: Jordan at February 1, 2006 11:28 AM

Can I type one of my peeves? I literally hate the fact that people are starting to collectively almost always use the word "GUESSTIMATE". That is nOt a word that makes any sense! It's a guess OR an estimate. They mean practically the same thing. Sure, estimate for business purposes may refer to naming an actual price on something, but still....

Posted by: Gator at February 1, 2006 11:38 AM

i hate it when people forget to punctuate or capitalize in weblogs and emails

"OR WHEN THEY DO ALL SORTS OF THINGS FOR EMPHASIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Posted by: Tic at February 1, 2006 11:45 AM


If the press is going to latch on to some "visualizable" measurement to use in news releases, they should at least find one that doesn't have two possible values. A football field WITH end-zones is 20 yards longer than one without. That's a huge difference! And the people who use "football field" as a measurement never clarify whether end-zones are included or not.

Anyway, why don't they just say 300 yards, and then YOU, in YOUR OWN PERSONAL BRAIN, can say, "hm, 300 yards... that's like 3 football fields!" Then you'd have your visualizable measurement, and it would spare the rest of us (who just want to know how tall/long it is) the idiocy.

Oops, I just typed in all-caps for emphasis.

Posted by: James Schend at February 1, 2006 12:04 PM

Truthiness rules.

I hate "there" instead of "their" when writing, and when speaking don't add an "s" to every verb or say "ast" instead of "ask".

Posted by: JAC at February 1, 2006 12:52 PM

Using a forum about broken products to tell everyone how much of a cry baby you are about something entirely different.

Go to hell.

Posted by: Ridiculous post, moron! at February 1, 2006 02:04 PM

You know what annoys me? : ATM machine and PIN number...

I went to the "Automated Teller Machine" Machine and typed in my "Personal Identification Number" Number...


Posted by: robert stuart at February 1, 2006 02:06 PM

Well, now that we're all here, where are all the idiots that say and write these awful things?

Posted by: dan at February 1, 2006 02:21 PM

He are my faves ;-)

Swapped words

• hone not home, to sharpen

• jibe not jive, to fit

• flesh out not flush out, to enlarge upon

• corrupted not corrupt, to be ruined (e.g., corrupted file)

• renowned not reknown, famous

• touch base not touch bases, to make contact with

• oblivious OF not oblivious TO, unaware

Misused words

• to she and I ("me" isn't a dirty word!)

• comprised of (never, never, never!)

• feel badly (what, your fingers don't work?)

• center around should be center on (like a circle)

• provide with xyz should be provide xyz (means give)

• guest for guests (one s is not enough)

• noone for no one (Peter is not a nobody)

• re-occur for recur (hyper-correcting again)

• any plural formed by an apostrophe (ignorant)

Mispronounced Words

• realtor not realator

• jewelry not jewlery

• nuclear not nucular

Posted by: dan at February 1, 2006 02:34 PM

Actually, let me tell you something. It literally kills me when people speak better or worse than I do. Seriously, do me a favor, don't even go there. That is so not funny. You'll have to move up a steep learning curve* to keep up with me, but it's all good.

* "You almost never move up a learning curve, only down. And the steeper the curve, the easier the learning.",11280,61762,00.html

Posted by: Another Bob at February 1, 2006 02:48 PM

-Using "it's" as the possessive form of "it".

-Using "your" to mean "You are".

-The acronyms "Rofl" and "lmao".

Posted by: ______ at February 1, 2006 02:58 PM

this whole discussion is mute...

- j

Posted by: jefe at February 1, 2006 03:38 PM

Britney Spears.

Posted by: Boris die Spinne at February 1, 2006 04:44 PM

Similar to "Can I tell you something?" - 'I got to tell you, blah blah blah' (or 'I gotta tell ya...'). Don't just tell me that you have to tell me something, JUST TELL ME!

Posted by: John Bedard at February 1, 2006 04:51 PM

Oooo, just thought of another one. Using "automagically" instead of "automatically."

Posted by: John Bedard at February 1, 2006 04:55 PM

Automagically? Never heard that one.

Posted by: Jim at February 1, 2006 05:27 PM

I've always hated these:

"ok, people - focus." - (when speaking to a group)


"like" - As in "This is, like, totally annoying."

"yo" - I have a name; please use it. Thank you.

"Whatever" - Just say what you mean already.

Posted by: Chaos at February 1, 2006 05:42 PM

To Beckett (the dopelganger):

Your interpreetation of my example is odd at best. "Begs the question" is a term used in formal logic (related to circular logic). It does not mean "encourages one to ask the question."

That the crime rate is still rising begs the question as to whether the increased police presence is worth the expenditure. WRONG

Stating that elephants are large because they grow to enormous size is more akin to begging the question. (Though, not being a logician, I am not positive the example is quite apt.)

Posted by: beckett at February 1, 2006 06:16 PM

These binoculars are so powerful you can see 20 miles.

With my eyes and no binoculars I can see the moon.

Posted by: Dennis at February 1, 2006 07:46 PM

OOh, I like this topic. My personal pet peeve is the cholesterol medicine tv commercial that Mandy Patankin does. He says, " lowers your cholesterol up to 52 percent. That's about half." I grit my teeth every time I hear that! If you need to be told by a tv commercial that 52% is "about half", you don't deserve to know.

Also, an acquaintance of mine always says "undoubtably" when she means "undoubtedly". She uses this word constantly, and it's all I can do not to correct her every time.

Another is people who say "mute point" when they mean "moot point".

Okay, I'm done. :)

Posted by: Kit at February 1, 2006 08:15 PM

Personally speaking, a coffee beveraged named "expresso" iriates the hell out of me whether it is written or spoken. Do a Google search. There 3.78 million webpages with this non-existent word in it. Thank God all these semi-literate people with blogs are there to show the rest of us how its done. What would we do without them?

Posted by: Craig at February 1, 2006 11:30 PM

what about "irregardless" and the worst (or best) of all annoying things. ATM machine--

Posted by: slipkid at February 2, 2006 12:45 AM

Great topic! Having just finished 'Tipping Point' it seems many of the irritants we dislike are in fact, assisting to repeat information to us ... if you grew up in the 60's, you can fill this in:

"Winstons taste good like a ________ _________"

Cigarette should. IIRC, correct diction would be *as* a cigarette should. Yet, that ad hasn't aired in 30?+ years, and it is in the memory clear as a bell. I reckon my point being some of these annoying things (expresso!) are useful to advertisers. Sort of like a truck with thick exhaust smoke - we don't like it, yet instantly can conjure up the image of it.

I saw this post on an RSS feed that rarely is used ... "Good Experience Blog"

" A major 50-comment discussion is brewing on This Is Broken - Textual annoyances: Some things that irritate me when I read them in news articles, blog posts, and other textual media: "Jaw-dropping" and variations thereof - "This

music is jaw-droppingly..."

So I had to take a look. Have fun, y'all!


Posted by: bradman at February 2, 2006 08:08 AM

Secerpenty Guard:

"I hate it when products are intentionally misspelled for some reason, ie. storage bins labelled "Bilt Tuff"; "Kidz Bop"; etc...."

That is a legal issue, so they can trademark it. It's not just for fun.

Posted by: DaveC426913 at February 2, 2006 09:44 AM

Taking ANYTHING "to the next level"...


Posted by: DaveC426913 at February 2, 2006 09:45 AM

It seems as if EVERY time I hear about an unwanted pregnancy, the person says, "She went and got herself pregnant." It makes me want to cuss every time I hear it. It bugs me that most weather forecasters where there isn't frequent snow want to call snow 'the white stuff'. And when someone asks,"Do you want something?" and the response is "yes I would". What?? Wouldn't that fit better with "would you like something?" What's up with that?? Ha ha--I just had to put that in! Bad me. Or my bad. Grr.

Posted by: Jody at February 2, 2006 10:07 AM

"I had my cat spaded"

What, you had someone beat it with a shovel?

Posted by: Jeff at February 2, 2006 10:21 AM

For reasons unbeknownst to me it seems that most people are very fond of the word "like" lately. I was like talking to a colleague of mine yesterday and he like totally agreed with me.

Posted by: Bleasdell at February 2, 2006 10:28 AM

My pet peeve is people who pronounce the "t" sound in the word "often". The t is silent! There are other words in the English language that follow this rule - "soften" comes to mind.

Posted by: Ken at February 2, 2006 11:54 AM

So many of my pet peeves have already been mentioned, but here's a new one - adding an s to words when speaking, for no reason I can understand. Here in Detroit, a lot of people work in the auto industry, and you'd think they'd know better, but you hear things like "I work at Fords" all the time. Or "I shop at Krogers." I even knew someone who went on vacation to "St. Petersburgs."


Posted by: Amber at February 2, 2006 01:09 PM

Love these comments!

Some people already hit on some of mine:

your for you're

ATM machine

PIN number

loose for lose or vice versa

Other ones that bug me:

"Answer me this" What the heck does that really mean? Answer this question for me? Then just say that; don't be so lazy!

"such that" instead of "in such a way that..." Again, just lazy.

Posted by: mantis53 at February 2, 2006 01:34 PM

Amber- I know it's annoying when people add an "s" to things, but you will most often hear it when it is or could be someone's name. Ford is the name of the maker of the is his company....people work at Ford's company. Kroger sounds like a last name, too. It is Kroger's grocery store. I think the s on the end implies they are referring it as belonging to a person.

I don't have logic for the "St. Petersburgs" since it already has an s in the middle---St. Peter's burg....the town named for St. Peter, belonging to St. Peter.

I hate it when people say "the Wal-mart". Although I live close to Canada, so I hear the opposite and hear about people going "to hospital" or "to university" and it sounds strange to my ear.

Posted by: Tubbymom at February 2, 2006 02:04 PM

Amber- I know it's annoying when people add an "s" to things, but you will most often hear it when it is or could be someone's name. Ford is the name of the maker of the is his company....people work at Ford's company. Kroger sounds like a last name, too. It is Kroger's grocery store. I think the s on the end implies they are referring it as belonging to a person.

I don't have logic for the "St. Petersburgs" since it already has an s in the middle---St. Peter's burg....the town named for St. Peter, belonging to St. Peter.

I hate it when people say "the Wal-mart". Although I live close to Canada, so I hear the opposite and hear about people going "to hospital" or "to university" and it sounds strange to my ear.

Posted by: Tubbymom at February 2, 2006 02:05 PM

The use of reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself, etc.) as the subject of a sentence:

"My wife and myself appreciate your help." Should be "My wife and me..."

"Pete drove Mary and myself to the store." Should be "Pete drove Mary and me..."

"I'll send the list to John and yourself." Should be "I'll send the list to John and you."

Posted by: singingsue at February 2, 2006 04:10 PM

Oops - "My wife and I..." not "My wife and me..."

Posted by: singingsue at February 2, 2006 04:12 PM

Mine are:

Confusing "they're" "their" and "there"

"to" "two" and "too"

"you're" "your"

"heard" and "herd"

"here" and "hear"

The redundancies already mentioned (such as ATM machine, etc.) and lack of capitalizations and/or punctuation.

"I could care less"

"I literally died when I heard that" Then it scares me that your talking to me. I really want to slap people when they use "literally" like that.

When people use the word hello for something other than greeting, "Like hello I was just saying that!"

People writing in that text messaging format when they email me. "U R 2 kewl" Ugh!! Some of us don't speak gibberish.

I can't stand when people send me messages or I'm reading an article and they are completely unapologetic for their typos because "spell-check didn't catch them" Really? Well I suppose learning proper english is too much to ask now that we have technology to do all our thinking for us. I will confess to my typos as my own mistakes and not blame my computer for not "catching" them for me.

Posted by: SillyGirl at February 2, 2006 05:00 PM

Oh and one more:

When people say (or write)

"Thanks, but no thanks" or "No thank you, but thanks anyway"

It's supposed to be "No, thanks." or "No, thank you." This means you are saying no you don't want that, but thank you for offering.

That one always drives me nuts.

Posted by: SillyGirl at February 2, 2006 05:08 PM

I find it irritating when people refer to the power-operated windows in cars as 'automatic windows'. Unless there is an electrical problem, they generally don't raise or lower automatically.

Posted by: G.W. Bridge at February 2, 2006 05:32 PM

My pet peeves - where shall I start? You folks have listed most of them, but here are a few more:

"mental telepathy" - is there a physical version?

"tell us in your own words" - whose words would (s)he use otherwise?

"bi-(anything)"- used to mean two times rather than every second (whatever) such as: bimonthly to mean twice a month instead of the proper every 2nd month (if you want twice a month use biweekly, or, (much more snobbish, don't you know): fortnightly!

Hully gee, this is fun!

Posted by: Bill the Pill at February 3, 2006 01:35 AM

What about "Let me tell you...". How pointless is saying that? About as pointless as the question itself.

Posted by: Bleasdell at February 3, 2006 02:14 AM

For beckett, lomedhi, et al.

Here's an example of begging the question:

"Without an academy or college with official responsibility to police the English language, users of the language depend on good speakers and writers for guidance on proper usage."

We accept the hidden premise that proper usage defines a good speaker to claim that good speakers use proper usage. That is a logic fault, or fallacy.

Posted by: dan at February 3, 2006 08:52 AM

Come on guys, keep it going and we can make 100! This may not be grammatically wrong per se, but the phrases "that that" or "had had" always cause a mental hiccup when I read them. Example, "Mom didn't tell us that that activity wasn't allowed." or, "We wouldn't have let you drive had we known you had had a few."

Posted by: Corky at February 3, 2006 08:59 AM

I love a good overuse of "had had!" Here are eleven hads in a row:

John, while Jim had had, "had," had had, "had had." "Had had," had had a better effect on the teacher.

This makes a fun puzzle. Show these words, without punctuation, to somebody, and see if they can punctuate some sense into it.

Posted by: Another Bob at February 3, 2006 09:18 AM

Often used on ESPN

So-and-so was the "winningest coach" in the league last year.

Posted by: den at February 3, 2006 09:27 AM

Annoying person: "So what we're going to do is, we're going to go ahead and do the following..."

Me: "You're going to get to the point, right?"

Annoying person: "Absolutely."

Me: "Thank you. And please stop over-mis-using, 'Absolutely.' That word means, 'Totally, definitely, and without question,' yet every time I hear it, I can think of many exceptions."

Posted by: Another Bob at February 3, 2006 09:53 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned

Nauseous vs. Nauseated

My co-workers commonly say they feel 'nauseous' when the really mean 'nauseated'

Posted by: Just Sick at February 3, 2006 02:47 PM

Comment 100!!! yay

I'm, like, so absolutley excited!


Posted by: Chaos at February 3, 2006 03:24 PM

You know what elses is annoying?

The word "totally" as in "I'm so totally excited about leaving the 100th comment".

It relates to the use of "absolutely" as someone already mentioned.

Posted by: Chaos at February 3, 2006 03:26 PM

Bill the pill,

"Tell us in your own words"- While this phrase is overused and annoying it means "Use words in your usual vocabulary so that we can be sure you understand what you are saying."(Often used by teachers)

Another Bob,

That is amazing, I didn't know it was possible to write sentences like that, which are actually grammatically correct.

Posted by: Sean P at February 3, 2006 04:54 PM

Good example Dan. Thanks!

Posted by: beckett at February 3, 2006 05:20 PM

There was a line used by some thug in a Bruce Lee movie: "suppose we assume."

Uh, "suppose we assume, that perhaps, your friends maybe..."

Posted by: James at February 3, 2006 07:39 PM

the issue with "quantum leap", an issue that most of the commentors seemed to neglect, is the phenomenal amount of energy required for such a quantum leap. for an electron to move from one discrete energy level to another is what powers such things as nuclear reactors and the sun. so a quantum leap, while small in distance, is very large in reference to its impact on its surroundings and itself.

Posted by: naz6121 at February 4, 2006 02:44 AM

Maybe your coworkers *are* nauseous (nauseating).

Posted by: dan at February 4, 2006 08:00 AM

"Two thousand six" is not just the way I say it. As someone else was kind enough to point out, it is the mathematically correct way to say it. "And" is used to mark a decimal point.

It is a favorite of mine because people tolerate grammar police yet dismiss math police. In our society, it is acceptable to hate math or to consider its rules unimportant. As a result, we get mathematical confusion. There are all sorts of examples (like the use of bi- mentioned above or advertisers weird percentages) that make things undecipherable because we've decided to accept incorrect math due to common usage.

I loved the bi- example. Bimonthly is every two months. Biweekly or semi-monthly would be every two weeks. We don't all the mathematically literate folks missing their biweekly meetings because an innumerate called them bimonthly.

Of course, I'll forgive your math errors if you'll forgive my punctuation errors.

Posted by: Poor_Statue at February 4, 2006 10:33 AM

Can I tell you something? Now, for an All New comment, about which I could care less ... I find it jaw-dropping that you guys are, wait for it, this picky! It surprised me so much I spit coffee on my screen. It begs the question: don't you guys collectively have a life? I'm not going to lie, but some 50 of you need to go out and get one; well, about 52 of you. No, more like five thousand and four of you. This is going to derail this otherwise heartwarming group -- I can see future commenters referring to this as Pickygate. [Okay, I was going to go through the entire post and incorporate everyone's annoyances into one comment, but man, the comments are longer than they looked at first. ;-)]

Posted by: Mike Harris at February 4, 2006 01:00 PM

On the advertising note... when peanut butter companies write "no cholesterol" on the jar. PB is naturally that way. By stating that it's C'free they make the uninformed consumer think they did something special "just for them".

That would be like saying your water is fat free.

Posted by: Poindexter T Quakenfuss at February 4, 2006 07:49 PM

Why do car manufactors try to sell the public "retro" models? If i really wanted an old car i would have bought the old one.

Posted by: crud at February 5, 2006 01:12 PM

The widespread misuse of "less" and "fewer" kills me, especially lately in regards to calories or carbs. For items you can count, use "fewer." For things you cannot count, use "less." For example: "Beef jerky has fewer carbs and less fat than a bagel with cream cheese." And at the grocery store, the Express Lane sign should read "10 items or fewer."

Posted by: gina at February 6, 2006 11:56 AM

Just Sick:

nauseous |ˈnô sh əs; - zh əs; -ēəs| adjective 1 affected with nausea; inclined to vomit : a rancid, cloying odor that made him nauseous. 2 causing nausea; offensive to the taste or smell : the smell was nauseous. • disgusting, repellent, or offensive : this nauseous account of a court case.

Copied from the OSX Dictionary, which uses the New Oxford American Dictionary

Also interesting is Noxious, which means harmful, poisonous, or very unpleasant.

Posted by: mybadluck22 at February 6, 2006 01:09 PM

What about saying "... at some point." As in "I hope to see you again at some point." Isn't that simply redundant and a waste of breath/typing?

Ever since reading this post I have been really watching everything I say and write as well as what others say and write... it is amazing how inefficient our language (American English) has become. Then you read the Bible (King James, especially), for example, and see that the English language has certainly not always been this way - in the case of the Bible it is the complete opposite. Everything is very well stated with little, or no, redundancy.

Perhaps we should all read the Bible much more often and adapt ourselves to that style of speaking/writing...

Posted by: Bleasdell at February 6, 2006 04:48 PM

OK, like I have this thing, and, wait for it, ok now. Can I tell you something, it's like totally so buzz. anywho, irregardless of that, thier the worst samples of busted speeches listed herewith. Later dudes!

Posted by: Steve h at February 6, 2006 04:48 PM

I pulled up to the speaker in a drive-through at a restaurant recently, and there was a poster sized drawing of a Coke and an order of fries beneath the speaker. On the bottom front of the drawing were the words, "not actual size". Is some fool really going to think the place has an order of fries as big as a suitcase? Jeez. One's MIND would have to be broken.

Posted by: Jody at February 7, 2006 12:57 PM


'and' is not to mark a decimal point. 1.5 = one point five. One and five are just two numbers. More about your 'two thousand six' remark, you say 'two thousand and six. What year is it? It's two thousand and six. By the way, you missed an apostrophe in 'like the use of bi- mentioned above or advertisers weird percentages'. It should be advertisers'.

Posted by: delta_blue at February 7, 2006 01:40 PM

What's currently bugging me is over use of "guess what."

The president said we're addicted to oil but, guess what, we're really addicted to having hot water in the morning. This has moved from the hood onto the Sunday morning talk shows. Going for street cred?

Posted by: Ralph Bentley at February 7, 2006 01:42 PM

Another of my peeves is false advertising. I saw an ad in the paper today stating women's clothing half off, but when I got to the store, there wasn't a partially dressed woman in sight. What a rip off.

Posted by: Paul at February 7, 2006 09:04 PM

Sounds like some people need to go read .


Posted by: Zounds Padang at February 8, 2006 09:52 AM

To me the most annoying thing of all is when some know-it-all dork makes a big deal out of it every time someone else puts an apostrophe in the wrong place or uses the wrong homophone.

Posted by: Jim at February 8, 2006 03:09 PM

The two that bug me that haven't been mentioned yet are coupon, pronounced QUE-pon, and Sherbet, pronounced Sher-bert.

An friend recently told me that she going to the store, having just cut out a QUE-pon for some sher-bert. I would have complained, but I like sherbert just about as much as I like sherbet.

Posted by: Gordon at February 8, 2006 03:21 PM

intensive purposes instead of "intents and purposes"

orientated instead of "oriented"

Posted by: Hagerty at February 8, 2006 04:46 PM

My number 1 pet peeve is the redundant 'of', as in 'outside of' -- God, I hate that. It is epidemic in the U.S. The car is not outside of the house. It's outside the house (unless it's in - not inside of - the garage etc.).

The overuse of 'utilize' when 'use' would do just fine. I think people believe using it makes them sound cleverer when it does the opposite.

Practice and practise. I do, in fact, want to throw my computer out the window every time spell-check fails to tell the difference between the noun and the verb (I long ago turned grammar-check off in disgust. I only keep spell-check on because I can't type).

Less/fewer - such a stupid mistake and so common.

'Reign in' - it should be 'rein in'. Why don't people stop to consider the etymology of a word, or whether there is something in a phrase that may explain its origins and meaning?

'Green in color' was good. As opposed to green in texture? And lemony in sound? Ugh.

Irregardless - I hate that one, too. It's another instance in which people believe themselves to be so sophisticated and well-spoken while proving themselves to be otherwise.

The dumb reflexive "I bought this for Steve and myself." (someone else posted on this).

And so many more. I work with an inner city school, and I have to say that if I could get the kids and teachers to say 'ask' instead of 'ax', I would consider it a significant achievement. I have other metrics for success, thank goodness.

Posted by: JKR at February 8, 2006 05:01 PM


Actually used on this page. Proper english would say "in regard to," not "in regards to."

Posted by: Bob Crump at February 8, 2006 05:53 PM

Can't abide the word "gotten". I even heard it on CBC.

I am also annoyed when I visit the "express" line at the supermarket and it says "12 items or less". Surely this should be "12 items or fewer".

Posted by: Aussie nDave at February 8, 2006 08:05 PM

Yeah, yeah, nah.

Nah, nah, yeah.

I think it is a New Zealandism (is that a word?) and gives written form to the action of shaking your head one way when saying the opposite.

I say it all the time.

Posted by: Lynsey at February 8, 2006 08:59 PM

The ubiquitous football field analogy really irritates me, especially when it's used purely in a "the common people can't visualise actual measurements" way. That happens a lot in the UK. I literally stood up and vowed to boycott ITV News forever after hearing that a giant squid was "the length of a football pitch and with eyes 18" across - that's the size of a dustbin lid pizza!"

"Bread and circuses".

Here's probably the most patronising football comparison/analogy across which I've ever come. This is printed on a sign below the steps leading to the JFK memorial at Runnymede in England:

"There are 50 steps in all, each representing an individual state in the USA...each step is unique and each sett [granite blocks] has been laid at random. The craftsmen were unable to comprehend this need for individuality, and ***could only complete their task when the steps were likened to the uneven appearance of a crowd at a football match.***"

I bet what they were really thinking was "I'm a trained craftsman and I don't want to lay uneven steps that will trip someone up."

Posted by: Dan Lockton at February 9, 2006 03:51 AM

My dearly departed Grandma's personal grammar pet peeve:

"the both of"

It should be either "the two of" or "both of"...not mixed together.

Unfortunately you hear this more and more, even on TV shows these days.

Posted by: Emily at February 9, 2006 05:50 AM

How about "To be honest with you..."?

Usually heard crunched into one word, as: "Tabehonestswivya..."

Would I lie to you, my man?

Posted by: Martin Hayman at February 9, 2006 08:08 AM

This was already mentioned, but it drives me crazy when people use 's to indicate a plural. I see this on signs all over the place.

Boat's for Rent

All Truck's on Sale!

The other one I'm starting to see more is people using Z for pluralz. Where did that come from?

Posted by: Jeff at February 9, 2006 09:51 AM

OK folks some of mine have already been mentioned, but I will comment on them anyway:

1. "I could care less". Despite the attempts of various grammarians and others to justify this usage, it is just wrong. It is clear that this usage (which is, by the way, confined to the US) came about because of a misuse of the original "I could not care less" or "I couldn't care less"

2. "Momentarily" means "for a moment" not "in a moment", so when your cabin crew member says "We will be landing momentarily", be prepared to make a run for it before the plane takes off again.

3. I think the usage of "gotten" is confined to the US and is correct in US English, even though it sounds horrible to the rest of the English speaking world.

4. Calling the winners of the Super Bowl and the World Series "world champions". Well, maybe if the rest of the world played these sports and actually competed in those competitions, the description would be accurate - it's a bit like saying that the winner of the UK's FA Cup is world champion.

5. Turning nouns into verbs/adjectives: eg, "headquarted in" rather than "has its headquarters in..."

A great site for things like this is the Eggcorn Database:

Posted by: Nigel Pond at February 9, 2006 11:47 AM

Well, I've not read through everything here, but it has sparked a memory that is really annoying:

People asking/answering their own questions in a conversation. An example:

"Am I here to rock? Yes. Will I get the job done? Absolutely. Will I save the company money? You can count on it."

100% annoying.

Posted by: Dave Ewald at February 9, 2006 03:47 PM

naz6121-- That's a good point you made about "quantum leaps" (though is "commentor" actually a word? Not being dismissive, but I haven't heard it in UK English). I'll weaken my argument, then, to say that most uses of the word "quantum" are simply meaningless. When the word becomes naturalized into English (its plural being "quantums" would probably be the baptism) then it can be allowed to mean whatever it means.

OK I am just going to rant some more now:

"Give it me" (give me it or give it to me)

"Disinterested" to mean "uninterested" (but this is a lost battle now)

One of my mother's, and maybe hers only-- "it's got two chances", e.g. that a plant may or may not grow; it has one chance, with two outcomes.

Oh by the way "provide" properly takes "with" in the transitive. "We provide our guests with towels".

Also "such that" is a very common expression in maths &c. and probably correct there and has leaked. "We see that x and y are related such that their coefficients are proportional".

Posted by: Simon Trew at February 9, 2006 06:57 PM

Aussie nDave: Why do you dislike "gotten"? Do you also dislike "forgotten", "begotten", "misbegotten", etc.? The word was "gotten" in English before large migrations to the Colonies (IIRC correctly, Shakespeare uses both "got" and "gotten"), then US English continued with "gotten" whereas British English change to "got".

Posted by: Simon Trew at February 9, 2006 07:02 PM

How about the double "is:"

"The problem is, is that your cat has vomited on my shoe."

Or, "up to _________ or more," usually in the context of breathless ads for shady lenders or silly contests:

"You could have up to $5,000 or more in your pocket tomorrow!"

Posted by: tim at February 9, 2006 07:15 PM

What has really irked me is proofreaders who change something they think is wrong (but isn't) to something that is wrong.

Posted by: Timm at February 9, 2006 11:33 PM

I agree with many of the above -- the most irksome being the misuse of momentarily (yes, it does mean just for a moment), decimated (reduce by one-tenth) instead of annihilated, PIN *number* and ATM *machine*.

Though I can't believe no one has mentioned the frequent and grating use of "Here, here!" for "hear, hear!"

Also, how has "my bad" attained common usage?


Posted by: Max at February 9, 2006 11:49 PM

One thing that young, spoiled students say all the time is, "your face". They say it after everything, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. It is quite annoying.

Posted by: zero??? at February 10, 2006 07:16 AM

I can't believe no one has mentioned the beginning phrase "With all due respect" just before making an insulting statement.

Posted by: Shirley Vaughan at February 10, 2006 12:24 PM

Peeve: People who say "oh" for the number zero. In certain contexts (e.g., a telephone conversation with a call center representative after you've forgotten a password), the meaning of "oh" is unclear. If you mean the letter "o," then say "oh." If you mean the number 0, say "zero." It's clear and immediately understood. Don't we all want to be understood and avoid repeating ourselves? Well, don't we?

Posted by: Winnie at February 10, 2006 03:22 PM

The dollar sign and the word "dollars" used in a single dollar amount: "The plaintiff received $7 million dollars in the judgment..."

Posted by: Don at February 10, 2006 08:04 PM

These annoy me:

Anything that resembles, "X equals X," as in, "It is what it is," or, "$50 is $50," or, "There are trucks and then there are trucks." (I agree with you. Now what the @#$&* are you trying to say?!)

Reciting needlessly exact numbers, like $12,523,812.47. By the time you've uttered the last part of that number, the important beginning part is a vague memory for the listener. Just say "about $12.5 Million."

Double possessives: "Friends of Jim's." Please say, "Friends of Jim," or "Jim's friends."

The fact that "'s" may soon become a grammatically correct way of pluralizing everything. Dictionaries and grammar books are based on common usage, not the other way around.

Long live the Textual Annoyances page!

Posted by: Another Bob at February 11, 2006 08:24 AM


adv 1: for an instant or moment; 2: at any moment;

"Oh" for numbers is fine, since if you mean the letter O you really should be saying "Oscar", kilo? :oP

Using "oh" for zero is never a problem, because the circumstances where this is a problem are so few and far between. It's most commonly used in addresses, where people expect "three oh one" to be number 301 (you're typically badgered at length if it's e.g. Flat O - in most cases, the letter is skipped because of this very problem), and additionally in phone numbers, where "oh" can only ever refer to 0 (since you can't actually dial an O).

Posted by: root@localhost *is* a valid address, dammit at February 11, 2006 10:46 PM

Have you noticed that car manufacturers no longer use the word "optional" in listing optional equipment? They instead use the word "available," as in, "an available V8 engine." If it's truly available, shouldn't that mean you can have it at no extra charge?

Posted by: Peter at February 12, 2006 06:32 PM

Why do retailers and manufacturers insist on setting prices that end in 95 or 99 instead of just rounding to the nearest dollar? Do they really think we're so dumb that we think $29.95 is significantly less than $30? I find it insulting.

Posted by: Peter at February 12, 2006 06:36 PM

Two personal irritants:

1. Supposably instead of supposedly

2. The frequently used expression "highest and best use," as in, "A parking garage is not the highest and best use of riverfront property."

Since when do we measure use by height?

Posted by: Amy at February 15, 2006 01:44 PM

When people start a sentence with: "Do you know what I would like to do now?" or "Do you know what I'm thinking?" or "You know what?" or any variation of that really irritates me. The usual response is "What?" I always answer "NO!" and think to myself: "No I don't know what you are thinking, I am not a mind reader. Why don't you just tell me what you are thinking/would like to do/etc. instead of asking me."

Posted by: Moni at February 15, 2006 01:56 PM

When I think of car commercials, my number one annoyance is when the announcer says "Nicely Equipped". What the &!#@ does that mean? If it's not equipped with anything, I'm not going to buy the car. And since you don't describe what it's actually equipped with I'm supposed to think that's nice?

Another annoyance. "Absolutively." Is that supposed to mean more uh...absolute than 'Absolute' already is?

Posted by: Jonathan at February 15, 2006 02:03 PM


Posted by: cindy at February 15, 2006 02:30 PM

A previous poster said that "In the fire service people will say when talking over the radio- 'at the present time', 'at your location" or 'what is your current location', 'green in color"..."

Radio English is different from most other English because you've got to put redundancy in the conversation to make up for the poor channel. It's like checksums in computer protocols. So if there's likely to be any confusion at the listener's end between whether the speaker said "green" or "clean" or some other word, saying "The car was green in color" improves the chances of getting the correct sense of the statement. I wish I had more examples of that kind of redundancy because I think it's neat.

Posted by: Lisa Dusseault at February 15, 2006 06:13 PM

> I can't believe no one has mentioned the beginning phrase "With all due respect" just before making an insulting statement.

I think this phrase is used for humorous (perhaps ironic?) effect. It lends the statement an initial, false respectability, leading on the reader or listener, before the delivery of the punch. Properly used, this phrase often precedes an argument or rebuttal, and it suggests that the other position is not entirely to be dismissed or without merit, along the lines of 'despite the merits of other arguments'.

My many years of comedy training tell me that this should heighten the psychological impact of my insult. Overuse in recent years may have dulled the edge of this tool.

Posted by: Owen at February 15, 2006 06:31 PM

Use of "everyday" in place of "every day" - they aren't interchangeable.

Posted by: Marsha at February 15, 2006 07:10 PM

Funny thing, I've used almost all of these just to try them out. It's fun. I don't make a habit out of it... mostly. I like elipses in email - does somebody get irritated with that? I also like dashes. Each seem to differ slightly in the type of pause of clause, though I would be hard-pressed to define their "proper usage".

Posted by: Alex Yourke at February 17, 2006 01:13 AM

First, an OK metaphor was overused by seemingly everyone in the US:

Try our signature sandwiches.

With one of our signature snacks.

And our signature cocktails.

With our signature entrees.

And our signature customer service.

Then I got picked up in Denver by Signature Car Service.

Remember the early 90s when every toaster and doormat had "LifeStyle" written on it? There is something seriously wrong with some marketing people. Like the one holding the botched prototype wheel at the end of the Hitchhikers' Guide TV series: "Oh yeah? Well YOU tell us what color it should be!"

I know next it's going to be Experience Car Service. Oh help me...

Posted by: Interlard at February 21, 2006 12:02 AM

Ooh! I thought of another one:

Daylight Savings Time

Just as soon as I have a life-savingS operation, we can have daylight savingS time. Until then it's just simple old daylight saving time. We're saving daylight, see?


Posted by: Interlard at February 21, 2006 12:06 AM


Actually, we see "quantum leaps" of electrons all the time, and the amount of energy required isn't necessarily all that phenomenal. Any time you turn on a lightbulb, energy excites the electrons in the filament to a higher quantum energy level. When the electrons "fall back" to their natural state, excess energy is released as light (and heat, etc).

Nuclear reactions (both fusion, as in nuclear reactors, and fission in the sun) are powered more by the breaking/joining of nuclear forces between protons and neutrons in the atom's nucleus. Electrons actually have very little to do with this.

Anyways, I get highly annoyed by Game Boys. I don't know why that is, but whenever I see some pimply (sp?) pre-puberty kid with his nose six inches from a tiny screen completely engrossed in annoying music consisting of beeps and boops, I get a strong desire to smash the Game Boy. Does that make me violent?

Oh yeah, and all the other posts pretty much covered everything else that bothers me. Hope I'm not being hypocritical; I'm not thinking too hard right now.


Posted by: SomeoneRandom at February 21, 2006 09:41 PM

I can't believe no one has mentioned forwarded messages in which one has to scroll down past all the previous recipients, who they forwarded it to, all of their companies' confidentiality statements, etc. to find the actual message (which usually isn't that funny or thought-provoking anyway). Everyone I know has a former coworker or great-aunt who, 8-10 times a month, forwards chain letters and "Jesus saves"-type messages of this ilk. You can't just block the address as junk, because occasionally you receive something worthwhile from the person. Gmail should provide a function blocking messages with FW in the subject line.

Posted by: Ron Mexico at February 22, 2006 01:06 PM


who here has actually, "laughed their ass off"? i mena, is that even physically possible?

Posted by: don at February 22, 2006 10:36 PM

I have a few...

*I hate it when people ask if they can do something ie. in school "Can I go to the bathroom?" as opposed to "May I...". I could have huged my teacher last year when he asked (No, not axed, ASKED) "I don't know, can you? Or are you going to need help?"

*It also irks me when people say "Umm" every few words. If you're not smart enough to think of what to say before you say it either take your time or don't talk to me at all!

*Some one asked me for something last week and instead of saying "May I have that?" they said "Lemme get that!" I was temped to say no, but I would be at risk of getting jumped. I had candy for sale (fundraiser for the FIRST robot club) and they wanted some!

These are just a few, I'm bound to think of more...


Posted by: Salena at February 22, 2006 10:47 PM

WhEn P3OplE TaLk LyKe ThYs. it annoys me a lot. they should all be stabbed in the face with a really hot french fry.

Posted by: don at February 22, 2006 10:52 PM

Haha Don, nice one. I hAtE tHaT tOo! lol. (I can't lmao... )

I thought of another one, for any AOL or IM users... I think this may annoy you too. When people type one or two words of a sentence and hit enter.


USER:it comes




That buggs me!

Posted by: Salena at February 23, 2006 12:38 PM

tim - yes! The double is is my BIGGEST pet peeve. "The problem is, is that..." AHHHHHHH!

But I can't believe no one has mentioned incorrect conjugations of the verb "to lie," as in: "go lay down" or "i was laying there." incredibly annoying.

one comment on the correct way to speak the number 2006: it's mainly a matter of personal preference, unless the context doesn't make it clear what you're referring to. we are unlikely to misunderstand either "it's two thousand six" or "it's two thousand and six" as an answer to the question "what year is it?": therefore, either will do.

Posted by: georgia at February 24, 2006 05:30 PM

What bugs me intensely (and several of you have slipped up in your own rants) is the use of "personal(ly)" in phrases like "in my personal opinion" or "personally, I think". Is it possible to publicly think, or to have an opinion that is one's own but not personal? And don't feed me the "but it's just for emphasis" excuse. It isn't.

Posted by: Grammaton Cleric Preston at February 27, 2006 09:01 PM

Sorry, but I hate the phrase "all but" such as "The winter was all but cold." Does that mean it was everything except cold, or does that mean it was everything, and it was cold too?

Posted by: Macboy at March 2, 2006 09:43 AM

I get annoyed when people make words plural that shouldn't be plural. For instance, "Anyways, I gotta go", "Alls you have to do", "laters" and "whenevers you did that". Which brings me to my next point. The use of "when ever" instead of "when". "Whenever I went to lunch, I had pizza."

Posted by: Chris at March 22, 2006 01:07 PM

I'm surprised no one has posted this one:

The reason is because...

Posted by: Elise at March 25, 2006 07:06 PM

Here is some incorrect grammar that I'm surprised hasn't been discussed yet:

"I'll try and find your car keys for you.", would properly be, "I'll try to find your car keys for you."

My usage peeve is becoming part of the common language, and I'm certain it's a lost cause as most people don't even know it's a problem.

Posted by: BlindGoofy at March 26, 2006 06:08 PM

I agree with Macboy about "all but".

It's also REALLY annoying when people say "same difference" instead of "it's the same thing".

Posted by: A1 at April 30, 2006 07:06 PM

As a linguist, it annoys me when people do not realize that their dialect is not the One True Way that English can be spoken. For example, in the above sentence, I used "their" as a singular third person pronoun. Some people find this usage completely natural, some are horribly bothered by it because they did not grow up with it, and others are horribly bothered by it because they paid attention in school.

Dialect differences are what cause things like the "two thousand six" versus "two thousand and six" disagreement. In some dialects, "and" means "decimal point," and in others, it means "and." The word "undoubtably" was mentioned before; you will find that it is in millions of people's vocabularies, despite not being in the dictionary yet.

A large number of people on this forum seem annoyed by perfectly normal things simply because some teacher told them when they were ten that only uneducated people speak like that. Any linguist will tell you that the grammar taught in school does not actually reflect any natural version of English. For example, splitting infinitives was banned because in Latin, you can't split infinitives (they are one word), so since Latin is the best language ever, we should make English conform to its rules. The same thing caused the ban on ending sentences with prepositions. The use of double negatives was actually mandated in Old English and most of Middle English, and it was still in (rare) use in Shakespeare's time.

It is ridiculous to resist natural language change. No matter how hard you try, how long you rant, the language will change. You will never bring back "May I ..." now that it has been replaced in so many dialects by "Can I ..." However, sloppy orthography is not language change, it is a reflection of how widespread literacy and semi-literacy have become, and how reading and writing have fallen from a pasttime of the rich and scholarly to something that everyone is required by law to learn. Suddenly, the writing community is filled with people who have trouble learning all the rules, people who have trouble applying the rules they did learn, people who haven't noticed the rules exist, and people who don't give a damn about rules anyway. I would say that the majority of young people are firmly in the last category, which explains pretty much everything about how things are written on the internet.

Posted by: DEV at May 9, 2006 11:49 PM

I agree with DEV that we can't stop other people from using improper grammar, but I will try to use proper grammar myself (Who would have thought that intensive pronouns could be used for things other than being the subjects of sentences? No, I don't want you to answer that.)

I would like to say that 'and' in a number is only used for a decimal point. For example, 35.6 is 'Thirty-five and six tenths', 29.24 is 'Twenty-nine and twenty-four hundredths', and 2006 is only 'Two thousand six'. It's the mathematically correct way. '2.5' is not 'Two and 5', though, it is 'Two and five tenths'.

Some things that annoy me are the ways people talk online-'u' for 'you', 'gr8' for 'great', and using '3' for 'e'. My complaining may not help the English language, but it's fun to complain.

Posted by: BadFraction at May 11, 2006 11:43 PM

I love this discussion.

I'd like to add that I hate the use of "dis" "dem" and "dat" instead of "this" "them" and "that". It makes me feel like throwing up every time I see it in a post! Are they really that freakin' lazy that they can't type the "Th" and must insist on using "D"? Come on!!!!!

Other examples;

"R" instead of "are"

"UR" instead of "You are"

"RU" instead of "Are You?"

and one other thing that makes me want to break out an uzi on people is the use of "8" in the middle of a word like "Sk8ter Boi." It's SKATER and quit being an idiot and use the Y on the end of boi. It doesn't make you cool, just makes you look like you never passed preschool.

Posted by: Marti at May 18, 2006 03:19 PM

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