Monday, March 5, 2012

May I please mention a couple of things that bug me?

For the record:

It's "Rein in," not "Reign in." As in "rein in a horse," or cause it to slow down or stop.  "Reign in" makes no sense.

It's "Bated breath," not "Baited breath." Bated, as in moderated, lessened in intensity, or stopped. Not Baited, as if one has been eating fish.

That is all. Thank you for your attention.


Borepatch said...

I might have gotten the bated breath one wrong. Apologies humbly offered.


Anonymous said...

Unless, of course, it's the
story of the cat that ate cheese
and waited at the mousehole
with baited breath?
Anon, Don

Brass said...

This needs to get said a lot more often.

Also: a "fitness regime" is a dictatorship under Richard Simmons, not an exercise program. A "regimen" is a scheduled set of activities.

"Spayed" is the past tense of "spay," so your dog isn't "spaded" unless you're hitting it with a shovel.

"Itch" is not a human act, it is a noun: when you drag your fingernails across an irritated spot, you are not "itching yourself," you're scratching an itch.

Nothing "needs painted" or "needs fixed." Ever.

It's "for all intents and purposes," not "for all intensive purposes."

"Gift" and "Gifting" are not verbs. "Give" and "giving" are the right words. You weren't "gifted" anything. You can be gifted, which means you have talents, it doesn't mean you were given to someone.

That's all I can think of right now. Mercifully. I feel like I've been drownded in these linguistic abuses.

Claire said...

Whaddaya mean, "That is ALL"?

That ain't all!

Aside from the ones Brass brilliantly mentioned, one of the most grating current misuses is "disinterested," meaning bored.

"Disinterested" means impartial, having no dog in some particular hunt. "UNinterested" means bored, out of it, ready to change the channel, etc.

If I hear one more so-called educated person wrongly use "disinterested" because he thinks it makes him sound hoity-toity, I'm gonna scream.

More later, no doubt.

Craig Cavanaugh said...

I love those ignorant buggers that type shit like that. I especially love Craigslist ads where someone is selling a "trailor", a "tri haul" boat, "pallots", etc...

Ignorance is bliss I guess.

Anonymous said...

How about:

Puppy's free to a good home?


Puppies' free to a good home?


Puppie's free to a good home?

Anonymous said...

There are simply too many ‘cunning linguists’ out there.


Anonymous said...

Oh, please don't forget their, there, your,& you're.

Miss Violet

Anonymous said...

I learned only one thing in school that stuck.

"a lot" are two words.


cryptical said...

The one that sticks out for me is "in tact". It's a single word, that's intact.

Trey said...

"Decimated? I wish! Instead, we were totally devastated!"

Tam said...

Preach it, brother.

Anonymous said...


Do I need to reign in hell to rein in hell?

Just ask'en...

Anonymous said...

Irregardless is the one that drives me nuts. K