Saturday, November 08, 2008

Top 10 irritating phrases
Some of these are eye/ear-of-the-beholder and some simply wrong: bad grammar, illogic or both. I don’t mind 1, 6, 7, 9 and 10. (I thought 9 came from black hip-hop slang; of course by the time YFs start using it — learnt it from another white in 1995 — by definition it’s not cool any more, though cool, also from American black slang by way of white jazzmen, has kept its coolness all these years.) Can’t complain about 2, 3 or 4 either as they keep me employed (reading Word files as they are put into the system, marking up proofs and going on the computer early in the morning to blast solecisms like these off the newspaper’s pages before they’re printed). Corporate PR/jargon, like the US military, has lots of these attempts at sounding smart (hide your insecurity by using the most and biggest words you can think of), described perfectly by Paul Fussell.
As you might presently yourself fully be aware of, my grammar sucks.
From a message board:
actor (referring to a participant in a situation)
Police-blotter reports to the newspaper are another rich source of this stuff (the cops probably learnt this bad way of writing/speaking in the military). Yes, actor makes me expect a review of the set design of the crime scene.

Other recent ones I don’t like: impact (as a verb meaning affect) and move forward.

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