Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Few Language Rants

I haven't done a language rant for awhile, so here are a few language related peeves:

Thinking back the other day, I remembered that one of my first language peeves was people who say "hahhhh?" or "huh?" instead of "what?" or "excuse me?"

It irritated me because I thought how lazy could someone be if they couldn't open their mouths completely to say a real word, instead of a noise that sounded like a pregnant cow with indigestion or like half a laugh.

I remember being a teenager and wanting to slap my idiot sister in law because she did this all the time.

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In relation to the post I made the other day about people who use blogging mainly as a way of making money, I've often come across the neologism "monetize".

This one annoyed me immediately as it sounds like it's going to be the next trendy business-speak buzz word in the tradition of such gems as "interface", "solutions", and their ilk.
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I'm sure every one of you has been asked countless times in your life, "Where do you live?"

What a person actually means by this is "Where do you sleep?", "Where do you keep your belongings", and/or "Where do you get your snail mail?"

They cannot mean it literally because wherever a person happens to be at any given moment is where they live. It's not as if you're dead the moment you step out of that place where you sleep, keep your belongings, and get mail.

When I'm at work, I live in my car. When I want to buy a book,I'm living at the bookstore. And so on.

3 comments:

transfattyacid said...

Personally I think the 'where do you live? question is slightly more subtle, because in answering the question it allows the questioner to make a number of assumptions about you based on your social status, class, income, etc.

Winter said...

Oh, I love rants! About language even. Here's one of mine: I say THANK YOU. The other person replies... Uh, huh. Not YOU'RE WELCOME... just uh, huh. Did they learn manners from a cow? Geez.

Buzzwords: I hate GINORMOUS. WTF happened to enormous? How did it become too small a word for people to use to describe something well, enormous?

And as for "Where do you live?", the one I get is "Where are you from?". People say that when they really mean, "Where to you reside?" I inevitably reply to "Where are you from?" with "I am FROM Northern California. I was born there and lived there almost 30 years. I currently RESIDE in Southern California and have been here since 1992."

People don't say what they mean is the problem. And those of us who let it slide when someone replies to us with UH HUH just seem to make their bad habits worse.

oldmanlincoln said...

Lots of things I don't like to hear but #1 is "demo."

Neat post.