BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Language Pet Peeves

Every now and then on writers' loops, discussion arises about language pet peeves. There are things that bother others that don't bother me at all--like when someone answers "No problem" when someone else says, "Thank you." I confess that I'm guilty of No Problem, which is maybe why it doesn't bug me.

I have issues with other things.

I could care less. Um, no. It's I couldn't care less. If you say I could care less, it's denoting the opposite of what you're trying to convey. This makes me grind my teeth every time I hear it.

It's a mute point. The word is moot. There's no such thing as a mute point, thank you very much.

Strange apostrophe usage. As in putting apostrophes where no apostrophe belongs, or not putting apostrophes where one does belong. Prime example is its/it's. The car lost its hubcap. No apostrophe because I'm not saying: The car lost it is hubcap.

Irregardless. There is no such word. Regardless is the proper word. Go with it.

a lot is two words. all right is two words. It's not alright.

To be fair, English is a living language and it changes as people use it. In fact, I love how vibrant the language is. It's very possible that some day alot will be one word and alright will be in the dictionary. That's okay. I think the biggest change is going to come in computer tech words.

Copyeditors have continually changed my internet (lower case i) to Internet (capitalized). I don't think capitalizing internet is going to last much longer. They hyphenate my email to make it e-mail. I believe the AP Stylebook has already changed this to no hyphen. I don't hyphenate any of the "e" terms, not ebook, not epublisher, nothing. I can't wait for this change in language to happen. Right now I have auto correct setup to make these into "proper" usage when I write them the way I think they should be. :-)

One of my favorite things is when they report the new words that have made the cut for the dictionary for the year. I know, I'm a geek, but it's cool to watch words be born.