Your most hated words and phrases

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Comments [9]

David Leader

You are, no doubt, entitled to hate this usage, but you are wrong in thinking it is incorrect. If you check the Oxford English Dictionary you will find that "To give (to a book etc.) a designation by which it is to be cited or which indicates the nature of its contents" is the oldest meaning of the word "entitled", and that it was first used in this way be Chaucer in 1382. Wyclif and Caxton also used it in this way, and examples of this continued usage are also given from the 18th and 19th centuries. I use it this way too.

Feb. 02 2009 06:03 PM

"Sea Change"-have heard it endlessly on the news but was never sure if if was "sea change", "see change" or "seed change". Turns out it is from "The Tempest". And generally used inappropriatedly.
Next is "Perfect Storm". Interesting book, interesting movie, overused phrase.

Dec. 31 2008 11:37 AM
Gregory Nissen

The correct name of the website is:

Dec. 26 2008 11:29 AM

I hate it when people misuse the word "entitled". Author Rick Stevens's new book ENTITLED "Book: a novel" is terrible. His new book is TITLED never ENTITLED. When something is titled, it has a title. When someone is entitled, he or she deserves or gets something. For example, Bobby is ENTITLED to a lawyer. The book is TITLED "Lawyer".

Dec. 01 2008 05:32 PM
Gregory Nissen

Nothing compares to the wild proliferation of "like" and "I'm like" in American speech. This pseudo-hip affectation has spread from Valley Girls, through the schools, TV and radio, all the way up to the Halls of Power. "Liketalk" makes journalists, teachers, people who should know better (including the NPR STAFF!) sound adolescent, thoughtless, indecisive, and just plain dunder-headed. I found a terrific website about this:

Nov. 25 2008 03:47 PM
Alan Gaites

How about if people learned the meaning of "parameters" rather than using it as a synonym for perimeter?

Nov. 25 2008 02:10 PM
Ellen Curran

Oh, where to begin? How about "Growing the economy"? (It's not a plant!) Then there's "Going forward", and those who refer to the "Democrat party". This last one not because I find it insulting, but because "Democrat" is not an adjective! Do you salute an "America" flag? Or drive a "Japan" car?

Nov. 25 2008 02:02 PM
Lydia Chapin

Listening to this morning's segment, Your most hated words and phrases" reminded me of a related subject: corpspeak. Here are some fragments of corpspeak that I have heard in meetings:

drill down and dial up some results.

it's had a lot of water over the dam without a cheerleader

we're looking at a basic binary decision with one ball on the tee but there's a whole flock of other issues

move the needle to the other side of the equation

the pendulum swings many ways

I can’t wrap my head around it tangible-wise

Perform a knowledge transfer

It’s like a needle in a haystack and trying to make a quilt out of it

Nov. 25 2008 01:50 PM
a TAB in the PNW

Words/phrases/misuses of the English language that I hate -- "their numbers are legion"! BUT, at the absolute top of my list: "confined to a wheelchair", a phrase widely used by journalists and reporters. I'm not talking about political correctness, I'm talking about it being a contradiction in terms and just wrong. A wheelchair is a "mobility (def: the ability to move) device" not a source of "confinement" (def: to constrain, restrict, limit)!

Nov. 25 2008 12:04 PM

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