Monday 27 December 2010

Grammar: More Misplaced Pedantry

If you want to be angry about neologisms, coinages, buzz words and new usages, you’ll always have an excuse, because they’re not going anywhere. But perhaps you want to be angry. People who are furious about language change only know about five examples, and go on about them the whole time. For a "thin end of wedge" theory to stand up, you need thousands of examples. More here.

an item on the agenda is an "agendum

means “act as if something foreseen has already happened” not “look forward to”

should be pronounced “et”. Or maybe “eight”.

data and media
are plurals

don’t say like or the likes of when you mean such as

furze/gorse is the only true synonym

It’s Hallowe’en, not Halloween (and anyway it's a ghastly American import)

It’s PEJorative and PRImarily and MILItarily

It's "I should like", not "I would like". "I would like" means "I should like to like". (@frankish)

It's the Union flag, not the Union Jack.

less stuff, fewer things

mind your ps and qs – it’s really please and thankyous

Ne'er cast a clout
till May be out – it refers to the plant, not the month.

means precise

rule the roost
– it's really "roast" (cue long explanation about medieval banquets, yawn)

Scotch and Scottish
are wrong – it’s Scots (or the other way round).

The nuns at school were very against “I don’t take dancing” and “I don’t have a pen” –

means by way of, not by means of

Who led the pedants’ rebellion? Which Tyler

You can only use "between" if you're talking about two people or things, because tween means two. (For more than two, you use "among".)

No comments:

Post a Comment