Friday, December 26, 2008


APOLOGIES: As the first of these posts have been transferred from the blog: "This is not a perfect world!" there may be some repetition...

A commentator (Josie C) points out, most strongly, how irritating it is to have to listen to conversations peppered with the word 'like'. I agree with her, and she has a famous supporter in the British comedian John Cleese - if this observation is indeed attributable to him:
"Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as 'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication!"

Leigh v.d.S writes:
“I know your blog is mainly concerned with spoken English, but I have often been annoyed by the written use of an apostrophe s in a non-possessive plural.
Watermelon's for Sale.

Reply: You're quite right about the written word, Leigh. Thank you for writing.
Take, for instance, the following statement from the Vancouver sun: "...the house in East Vancouver, where she lived with her deceased husband for 22 years." - YIKES!

There's one consolation, however. We don't have to keep reading the same thing over and over again!


Author Nancy Steinbeck contributes:
My pet peeve is "orientated". I have three other peeves, but they're French. One is the use of "cliché" instead of "clichéd". As in, "that's so cliché." Then there's "Walla" instead of "voila". And "conciere" instead of "concierge". They make my skin crawl because they sound so pretentious, instead of coming from a person who has actually studied French in high school!

What annoys me is the habit some of the people interviewed on the news seem to have. … That of using a double 'is'. For example: The trouble is, is that etc. etc.

Stan Webber:
Saw this today on my Yahoo browser.
"Jury stumped by cop killing of man mistook for bomber."
My peeve is the incorrect version of the verb. Should be 'mistaken'.
Please post on main page.

Audrey Clarke:
Can't stand it when they talk about the second month of the year as 'Febury'.

Elizabeth Cruickshank said...
It irritates me when people use an 'a' before a word commencing with a vowel. Eg. 'A apple' - instead of 'An apple'.

I'm so picky:
You've already alluded to this. Ignoring the spelling of a word - Access is not the same as assess. One has a 'c' in it. So why are accessories (like handbags and shoes) often referred to as assessories? I've even heard this on the top TV stations.

Les Blake said... Re: Canadian Press report, Dec 22. 08
What's this supposed to mean?
OTTAWA: - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has officially named Thomas Cromwell of Nova Scotia to the Supreme Court of Canada, forgoing a public hearing that had been promised into his appointment.

Not only is the word order clumsy, but the meaning is ambiguous. After pondering the statement for some time I've figured out that that it refers to Cromwell's appointment and not the Prime Minister's.

Now you're invited to post your own.
You are indeed welcome to 'get if off your chest', but WE ASK YOU PLEASE to refrain from using bad language or making libellous statements.


Bill Sykes said...

This is actually a kudo and not a peeve.
I like not having to scroll down to read the comments of others, as was the case when this feature was only available on 'This is not a perfect world' - although the rest of the content on that site is well worth reading.

Unhappy mom said...

Coarse language common among youth, especially in schools these days.
One of my pet peeves is the example set by coaches. I don't like it that my daughter is encouraged to use expressions like 'kick butt!'

Mary Bluthe said...

It annoys me when people use the word 'youse' as the plural of 'you'.'

Keith said...

It irritates me when someone serves me a meal and simply says: "Enjoy!". How much better it would be if they were to say something like: "I hope you enjoy your meal with us today. Just let me know if I can help you further."

J. Hodgson said...

I don't like the word 'peeve' very much - but I certainly have one! It's actually more serious than a peeve; it has become an obsession. I loathe the BIll OF RIGHTS!
I think it gives people the right to do too much of what is wrong.

prayer warrior said...

My pet peeve is negativity. Please could someone start a blog which tells everyone about the good things in their lives. We are so blessed and most people are kind and well meaning. During the recent heavy snow time, we had four people offer to give us rides or pick up what we needed, four people helped when our car was stuck in snowy ruts, three little girls shovelled snow on our driveway, two teenages did it another day.
Happy New Year. Mary

Anonymous said...

I keep running into people who argue that I .. **must** say .. 'an' instead of 'a' when I say .. "Man is a herbivore".
I questioned a Koreon English professor from Britain and he said I was correct using .. a .. instead of .. an .. but today I read in a literary blog and they used an in front of the word herbivore.
I'm not sure whether your opinion would hold any water though seeing that you are from Canada and my credibility has been questioned and I am from Canada.

Marie said...

In the case of 'herbivore' you are correct in using an 'a' because the "h" is definitely sounded, but you would say 'an honour' because of the silent 'h'. That's why I say 'an hotel' because in such a case I, personally, don't accentuate the 'h'.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that many Canadians omit the 'h' before 'herb' because of the French influence.

Anonymous said...

When did that awful "most importantly" creep into North American usage? One can behave importantly, but something cannot BE most importantly!

Genevieve Blake said...

Poor use of the Englsh language is a pandemic and one cannot even escape some of the errors you have mentioned, in a soap opera. Alexis, the erudite attorney in General Hospital has been known to say 'ec cetera", and Prince Nicholas claims to have read the Aeneid – an epic poem written by Virgil in the late 1st century BC, in LATIN - but evidently the writer of that role does not know that an ‘unexpected’ surprise would be ‘no surprise’ at all, if it were 'expected!'

Marina Bryant, Ottawa said...

As a Canadian, my per peeve is Mr. Ignatieff's scowl. Even when he 'smiles' it comes across as a grimace because he always looks so angry that he scares me.

Anonymous said...

I am back to show evidence of the fact journalists seem to think it is ok to use the word .. an .. before an h .. word ..

"An herb for prostate health

Nutrition expert, Brennan Robertson, takes a look at saw palmetto, an herb that may support prostate health."

Anonymous said...

I thought of you last night when I heard a man being interviewed on CBC, refer to an *(an asterisk) as an 'asterix'!

Anonymous said...

A friend sent this to me te last time we were about to have an election, and for my money it still applies:

While discussing who in Ottawa sits
Friends in the States are having fits.
Oh, Canada, think well, they say,
About what you do today.

Dionne, they say, is unintelligible,
And Michael not considered eligible.
One is testy; speech in error,
Ignatief causes abject terror.

If us his frowns so badly scare,
How will other countries fare?
Will his scowls their help invite
Or simply put their reps to flight?

Layton so with envy smarts
His words are simply poison darts.

Anonymous said...

Re: Prime Minister Harper and the Beatles.

I loved it! So will old Machiavelli now have to go out and buy himself a banjo or something to get even?

Margaret Bryant said...

Teenagers occupying seats on public transport while visibly frail seniors have to straphang.

Anonymous said...

So Pamela Anderson is ashamed of Canada! Big deal! Not half as ashamed as I am of her. Who decided that she should be a Canadian icon?
I'm grateful for an opportunity to express - at last - how often I have been embarrassed by her connection to my country!

Frank Jacobs said...

It frustrates me when I phone someone and there is no way of knowing if I have dialled corectly... No identifiable voice; not even a "You have dialled and/or reached such and such a number."

By the same token, I now also don't respond when my 'callerID' displays "Unknown number!"

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