the continued demisement of the english language: first installment

even though alex is listed as the chief grammar policeman on our right-hand nav bar, i consider myself a bit of a wordie. a punctuation person. a grammar geek. a spelling.. ok, you get the idea. when it comes to the english language, i stickle. (and, yes, this comes from the guy who doesn\’t bother to use capital letters. that\’s really more about laziness.)

examples of our language being mercilessly slaughtered are readily available. one could devote his entire life and blog to calling these out. so, i\’m just going to go for the most egregious examples, and subject you to them on a semi-regular basis.

your welcome. [SIC]

today: a couple examples. the first is from my group here at HealThyself. when talking about a project and what is needed from another person / team, that request is referred to as an ask. as in, \”x project is tracking green, currently no ask.\”

the second is from my drive in this morning– listening to fox sports radio, which i know is a breeding ground for language disasters. the host was talking about the station\’s corresponded in ireland, who was struggling in getting his cell phone to work from the site of this year\’s british open. the somewhat-exact quote is \”we\’re still trying to get in touch with [correspondent name here], he is still efforting to get his phone to work from the clubhouse.\”

and.. i\’m done.







8 responses to “the continued demisement of the english language: first installment”

  1. alex Avatar

    This would seem to be a good time to link to the following site:

    Literally, A Web Log

  2. wadE Avatar

    As someone who literally uses literally all the time… when is it allowed?

    Would it be when I’m using a well known metaphor, but instead of using the metaphorical meaning, you want to use the actual meaning? Like if I’m actually pinching two pennies between my fingers I could tell someone “I was literally pinching pennies”?

  3. alex Avatar

    Yes wadE, exactly. And more of the examples seem to be using it when you’re not literally doing what you say you’re literally doing. Like SJP working with her clothing at the atomic level.

  4. monkey Avatar

    One weirdness that always perplexes me is the use of articles and acronyms (acroni?). I recall when the North American Free Trade Agreement was being debated and signed, radio news announcers (and now I can’t remember if this was NPR or CBC) would refer to the agreement as “the NAFTA” which seemed really appropriate as a simple compression of the longer phrase into a shorter one. Now, and with many other acroni it’s the same, I usually hear talk about “NAFTA” without article. What’s proper? I like the former, not the latter — seems more precise and accurate…

    …and from work: for IT requests we can fill out an online Request For Service form when something breaks, which gets called an RFS. Except by those who call it an “RFS request.” A meta-request, if you will.

  5. anderswa Avatar

    monkey’s last bit is one of my biggest pet peeves. the worst offenses that i hear frequently? the ATM machine and UAT testing. grr!

  6. sparklegirl Avatar

    My friend Aaron called me on that exact sin when I was first starting to learn about baseball and accidentally referred to “the DL list.” Oops.

  7. blondebombchelle Avatar

    I cannot talk on this topic. I am the very person whose official job description is to operationalize product strategies and create synergies throughout the organization.

    wadE, I think your next book from our family library should be Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. If any of you wordies out there have not read it yet, it is heeeelarious.

  8. monkey Avatar

    Wow. Bonnie DeSimone of knows when *not* to use “literally”:

    “Wednesday morning, Stapleton and T-Mobile were figuratively broadsided as their bus pulled into the Stage 10 start area in Tallard when reporters informed them that support rider Patrik Sinkewitz had an A sample test positive for elevated levels of testosterone.”

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