Submitted by BobH  •  April 18, 2011

Over-use of periods

Has anybody else noticed a trend in the over-use of periods? I’ve seen it a lot in advertizing and the like. I’m not talking about an elipsys (...), I’m referring to when periods are over used, so as to fragment a sentence, or used where perhaps bulleted words/sentances should be used. Periods are also over-used in the likes of phone numbers now where hyphens were once used, thus making it look something like a computer network IP address. (Dot Com revolution maybe? ...Don’t know.) Anyway, it just looks like pop cuture gimmicks--it just looks rediculous.

Submitted by dbfreak  •  February 9, 2011

cannot vs. can not

The first spelling/grammatical mistake I always see, even in journals is the spelling for cannot. Cannot must be one word, just like today and tomorrow!

But, I see so many can nots!! You can still grammatically use can not in some contexts, like Can you not shake your leg when I’m in the room? You can just not shake, ok? -> You can not shake it.

As in, you can choose to not shake it rather than you being unable, incapable of shaking! But that’s not the context they use in those darn journals!

Submitted by sam2  •  December 24, 2010

Difference between “lying” and “misleading”

If you lie to someone, have you necessarily misled them?

Submitted by ian2  •  October 7, 2010

Why are some single objects plural?

Why is it that we name some single objects as if they were plural? I’m thinking of for example a pair of jeans - you can’t buy one jean can you? But a sweater, which has the same construction - one body and two extensions for limbs - is not a pair of sweaters. A pair of scissors makes a little more sense, and I believe that tailors call them ‘a scissor’ anyway. The example of bicycle forks is also interesting - in the U.S. a bicycle has a fork to hold the front wheel, whereas in the U.K. we hold on to our front wheels via ‘forks’ or a pair of forks.

Submitted by egkg  •  January 13, 2010

Sarcasm mark?

I came across this on my local Fox TV station’s website. What do you all think?

I’m not even sure this thing is needed. It seems to me that if sarcasm is done right, there should be no reason to point out what it is. And I’m certainly not going to pay two dollars for a punctuation mark that I’ve not needed in 40 years.

Submitted by rib  •  December 11, 2009

Twenty-ten vs Two thousand-ten

If you ever listen to Charles Osgood, you know he has been saying “twenty-oh-one” rather than “two thousand-one” for, well, about nine years. The usage is parallel to calling the year 1901 “nineteen-oh-one” rather than “nineteen hundred-one”, yet it never caught on with the general public. Now, however, the stakes are higher with “twenty-ten” saving a whole syllable vs. “two-thousand-ten”, aside from being easier to pronounce. Yet I still mostly hear the latter. Am I going to have to grate my teeth every time I hear “two-thousand-x” for the rest of my life, or is there hope that the English-speaking world will come to it’s senses?

Submitted by ronaldlhughes  •  August 30, 2009

Why have media changed our words?

I ask each of you to consider the fact that a certain word seems to have disappeared from all of our media! What you say, that is impossible! Well just read the news or listen to the news, etc. and you will find out that a very simple word has been replaced by a more complicated word, and every one is doing it in the Media! And, I mean everyone!

The word is “Pled” / “Plead, which can be a short version of “Pleaded”!

You have been unable to see the shortened version of “pleaded” in either print media or hear it in TV, or Radio media for about ten or so years now, maybe even longer.

Instead of a news account saying “John Doe pled / plead guilty yesterday”, all media will say “John Doe (or “they”) pleaded guilty yesterday!”

My question is, WHY? And why wasn’t I told about it? And why did everone else know it was no longer to be used before I noticed it was totally missing in my world of today?

Why, Why was I not involved in the numerous discussions which must have taken place amongst the learned persons of this society? Why was not there a Public Opinion Poll taken, which whould have made it a majority descision? Why?

I now asume that most Media will still state that, “John Doe bled to death”, or will they change this to, “John Doe bleeded to death?” And what might happen to “led”, will it be “leded” or even “leaded” away?

What will we all do about the use of this phrase “John Doe was shot “to death” yesterday!” Is now possible for someone to be “Shot to life?”

How about the never let a chance go unused use of the terms; “immeasurable”, and “countless”, and “un-countable”, and, and ?, when most every thing that the Media considers as “countless” or “imeasurable”, etc., is in fact either “measurable” or “countable!”

When will it stop? And if it does, will anyone let me know?

Ron

Submitted by Dyske  •  July 16, 2006

“The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English”

For some unknown reason, I’ve always aspired to coining a word to be used by millions. That dream came true when the term “muffin-top” was picked up by Daily News, and consequently by William Safire in New York Times where he even mentioned my name. Since then, several people came out and claimed that they invented that term, but none of them have the proof that I have, which is my entry to pseudodictionary.com dated May 2003.

The Internet has changed the way language spreads and evolves. It also changed the way we keep track of that evolution. A new book by Grant Barret entitled, “The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English” is a great example of that. By using the technologies available on the Internet, he devised a way to record new words and word usages. It is a printed version of his site doubletongued.org. By reading the chronological citations for each word, you get a sense of how it spread and evolved. As amusing as some of these words are, studying of this process of evolution goes far beyond mere entertainment. I think it’s a great contribution to the modern lexicology.

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