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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Mrrzy 28 May 20 - 05:14 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 28 May 20 - 09:17 AM
Steve Shaw 27 May 20 - 05:39 PM
Charmion 27 May 20 - 04:26 PM
Jeri 27 May 20 - 02:47 PM
Mrrzy 27 May 20 - 02:40 PM
Jeri 27 May 20 - 02:40 PM
Senoufou 27 May 20 - 02:32 PM
Donuel 27 May 20 - 02:32 PM
Jeri 27 May 20 - 01:49 PM
Donuel 27 May 20 - 01:31 PM
Senoufou 27 May 20 - 01:30 PM
Mrrzy 27 May 20 - 01:09 PM
Steve Shaw 27 May 20 - 11:53 AM
Senoufou 27 May 20 - 11:39 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 27 May 20 - 10:57 AM
Charmion 27 May 20 - 10:11 AM
Mrrzy 27 May 20 - 08:46 AM
Senoufou 26 May 20 - 03:39 PM
leeneia 26 May 20 - 01:50 PM
Mrrzy 26 May 20 - 11:52 AM
Mrrzy 23 May 20 - 06:16 PM
Doug Chadwick 23 May 20 - 03:05 PM
leeneia 23 May 20 - 02:50 PM
Steve Shaw 23 May 20 - 05:58 AM
Doug Chadwick 23 May 20 - 03:41 AM
Backwoodsman 23 May 20 - 01:23 AM
leeneia 23 May 20 - 12:44 AM
Mrrzy 21 May 20 - 06:27 PM
Steve Shaw 21 May 20 - 06:13 PM
Doug Chadwick 21 May 20 - 05:56 PM
Steve Shaw 21 May 20 - 04:52 PM
meself 21 May 20 - 04:22 PM
leeneia 21 May 20 - 03:40 PM
Doug Chadwick 21 May 20 - 03:16 PM
meself 21 May 20 - 03:16 PM
meself 21 May 20 - 03:14 PM
Mrrzy 21 May 20 - 02:39 PM
weerover 21 May 20 - 01:57 PM
Charmion 21 May 20 - 12:31 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 21 May 20 - 12:11 PM
Steve Shaw 21 May 20 - 12:04 PM
Charmion 21 May 20 - 11:46 AM
Mrrzy 21 May 20 - 11:42 AM
Charmion 21 May 20 - 11:36 AM
meself 21 May 20 - 11:33 AM
meself 21 May 20 - 11:29 AM
Mrrzy 21 May 20 - 10:53 AM
Steve Shaw 21 May 20 - 09:36 AM
leeneia 20 May 20 - 06:55 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 May 20 - 05:14 PM

Also I am getting used to the more-British-than-American "different TO" where murricans say Different FROM.

I am *not* getting used to "on accident" instead of By accident, however.

Also some regions of the States equate the terms Anymore and Nowadays, while I use them differently:

I (verb noun) nowadays. Means I usen't* to but I do now.
I don't (verb noun) anymore. Means I used to but now no longer do.

I (verb noun) anymore just clashes.

*See, I remembered!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 28 May 20 - 09:17 AM

Donuel, "Forty Days and Forty Nights" is the first line of a Palm Sunday hymn in /The Book of Common Praise/. Anyone who has dealt with the "hospitality industry" knows that it was 39 nights and it wasn't on the European plan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 May 20 - 05:39 PM

"Bored of" is fine. That's what lots of people say, so object if you like but it's a fight you'll lose. If you can be tired of you can be bored of. Come on, let's see you arguing that one. What I don't like is the degradation of language by the ditching of really useful distinctions. I can't accept "alternate" instead of "alternative" because these words have distinct meanings that are worth preserving. I feel the same about "uninterested" and "disinterested" and will continue to use them my way, but I know I've lost that fight. Shame really, but language is wot people speak, not wot academics decide we should speak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 27 May 20 - 04:26 PM

Tired of, bored with. How hard can this be?

"Chester drawers" is a new one to me -- possibly because the only Ontarians who say "chest of drawers" were carefully trained by their socially aspiring mothers to enunciate with exquisite care. I speak from personal experience here.

Everybody else says "dresser". Sixty years ago, you would hear "bureau" in the Ottawa Valley and around Montreal, but that now seems as antique -- and probably regional -- as "chesterfield".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jeri
Date: 27 May 20 - 02:47 PM

Every time someone says "bored of", I realize some folks are just not that educated. (I say this, meaning ANY education. I don't have a pile of degrees.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 May 20 - 02:40 PM

Tired of. Bored with. Yeah.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jeri
Date: 27 May 20 - 02:40 PM

Not complicated enough for Data. It's the sort of thing most people would've thought of.

The isolation thing: it's just norma around here. The only difference is that there's no place to escape to. Which has nothing to do with language.

I kept thinking it would make a good TV car insurance commercial, if the spokesperson said "And there you have it, straight from the gecko ("get-go"). If they go for it, I want a percentage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 May 20 - 02:32 PM

I like 'Chester drawers' (chest of drawers hee hee). But the expression 'bored of...' enrages me. It's universal now. I'm used to saying 'bored with...'. Ah well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 27 May 20 - 02:32 PM

Jeri you remind me of Data, the Star Trek character.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jeri
Date: 27 May 20 - 01:49 PM

Don, ir makes snse to me. You can do 40 days and 39 nights, or 39 days and 40 nights.

Mistake seen somewhere else on Mudcat: "gain the system"
It's "GAME the system".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 27 May 20 - 01:31 PM

An early example of redundancy for me is "Forty Days AND Forty Nights". We have gone through 40 days and 40 nights of self isolation and piled another 40 days and 40 nights on top of it today.
Some of us will be doubling the 80 days and nights of more self isolation. Some of us won't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 May 20 - 01:30 PM

I always say "Volkswagen" in my best German accent. But we both say 'Beamer' for BMW. I do find some of the youngsters' short texty-type speech amusing. My niece (not all that young, but very trendy) always types 'soz' for 'sorry', which makes me smile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 May 20 - 01:09 PM

It is not CCR. Nor BTO. Creedence. Bachman Turner Overdrive. Crosby Stills Nash & Young, not CSNY.

But it *is* REM.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 May 20 - 11:53 AM

Whether you like it or not, it's VW here. You'd hear far more VW Golfs than Volkswagen Golfs this end. And that's the point really. Once an expression largely supersedes its older or "more acceptable" version, you might as well give up the fight. "VW Golf" is standard English, because it's what standard English speakers say. You might as well still be telling us to not split infinitives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 May 20 - 11:39 AM

Haha Charmion, I'm an Olde Pharte too, and my lovely neighbours' two 'children' (now twenty one and seventeen) are barely intelligible in full spate. I merely blink and smile benignly and look a bit senile/simple.
I've always said on here that language evolves and changes. After all (sadly) we no longer speak like characters in a Shakespeare play. But I find many of the changes intensely irritating. I must be a Grumpy Olde Pharte.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 27 May 20 - 10:57 AM

And that, Ladies and Germs, is a sister well and truly language-peeved.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 27 May 20 - 10:11 AM

In Canada, a "forgery in progress" would mean the perp has been caught in the act of making the fake ID. Using the fake ID is "uttering a false document", "impersonation" or "misrepresentation", depending on the circumstances.

Senoufou, you have opened the door to the MOST IRRITATING SPEECH HABIT EVER, by which I mean the tic of using acronyms and initialisms instead of REAL WORDS (shouting intended). Having spent my entire sentient existence in or near the armed forces, I have a thick callus around that particular peeve, but it twinges worse with every passing year.

Now I am an Olde Pharte, I feel entitled to look busy young folks in the eye and say, "And what's that in real English?" or words to that effect. The bank is the Bank of Montreal, not Bee Mow. The noisy machine that makes the house tolerable in summer is the air-conditioner, not an Eh Cee. The car is a Volkswagen, not a Vee Double You.

I know where it comes from. When your working life is full of things like the mine-detection vehicles collectively known as an Expedient Route-Opening Capability (!), the only sane reaction is to call it Eee-Rock and consider yourself lucky that you don't have to talk like that at home. But alas, many people think it's cool to turn their conversation into a big, fat guessing game.

That's my spleen vented for today. Or for now, at least.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 May 20 - 08:46 AM

Aha forgery in progress meant guy trying to use fake id or counterfeit money or something.

Still sounds wrong but ok.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 May 20 - 03:39 PM

I always say 'Muslim', but what is very annoying is the tendency for rather racist anti-Muslim people to call them 'Mozzies'. I use that word only for 'mosquitoes'.
I've heard younger people say " O-M-G!!" "ASAP!" and "LOL!" as if they're texting not speaking!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 26 May 20 - 01:50 PM

Yes, Mrrzy, it seems unlikely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 May 20 - 11:52 AM

From a news story about a black man killed by a white cop:

Squads were called to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South shortly after 8 p.m. on reports of a forgery in progress.


What?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 May 20 - 06:16 PM

Does anyone else get grief for writing moslem instead of muslim?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 23 May 20 - 03:05 PM

Always seems to me that the kind of people who habitually use, “Oh My God” as an expression of surprise are the least likely to have faith in any kind of Deity.

That's because they the most confident that they won't get struck by lightning for doing it.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 23 May 20 - 02:50 PM

Backwoodsman, I agree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 May 20 - 05:58 AM

"Well f***ing stroll on..." - one of my favourites!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 23 May 20 - 03:41 AM

Worse than "oh my God" is "oh my gosh".

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 23 May 20 - 01:23 AM

Always seems to me that the kind of people who habitually use, “Oh My God” as an expression of surprise are the least likely to have faith in any kind of Deity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 23 May 20 - 12:44 AM

You've reminded me that "subsequent to" irritates me every time. What's wrong with "after."

And I think I want to smack the next featherbrain who says "O my God!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 May 20 - 06:27 PM

meself, I dithered over used v. use in that phrase!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 May 20 - 06:13 PM

I don't think we do object in the same way, Doug. "Gobsmacked" is succinct yet admittedly vulgar. I haven't done its etymology, but I imagine it's something to do with suddenly clasping a hand to the mouth following confrontation with shock or something at least seriously unexpected. It's vulgar but there's some colour there. "Albeit", "prior to" and "on a daily basis" are just pretentious. In each case there's a clearer and simpler normal alternative that the user has eschewed in their quest to impress. Those of us who prefer clarity and simplicity are not impressed, except that we're impressed as to what a twit the employer of these terms truly is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 21 May 20 - 05:56 PM

I object to "gobsmacked" in the same way as you object to "prior to" and "albeit", Steve. You think they make the user sound pompous. I find it jarring when otherwise articulate people resort to street slang. For you, "prior to" should not replace "before". For me, "gobsmacked" should not replace "amazed".

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 May 20 - 04:52 PM

Dunno, Doug. I don't use gobsmacked much meself, but I think it's quite a useful word. It replaces longer phrases quite nicely, thinking of "well you could have knocked me over with a feather" or "well bugger me sideways with a fishfork" sort of thing. And "gobshite" is an exceptionally useful word, I find... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 21 May 20 - 04:22 PM

" ... loss, depressed and hatred" is no better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 21 May 20 - 03:40 PM

I should explain that "rolling gun battle" is an American journalist's cliche for when criminals shoot at each other from moving cars. Obviously the potential for hitting the innocent is enormous.

Such a thing occurred in front of my grocery store yesterday. One passerby was injured, we don't know how seriously. Both cars crashed, something which comes as no surprise in a neighborhood of old, narrow and curving streets. The police rounded up the participants.

===========
About "feeling lost, hatred, and depression": this list suffers from a lack of parallelism. There might not be a rule about parallelism, but it contributes to grace and smoothness. (I learned about parallelism in high school English class.) As someone pointed out, changing "lost" to "loss" would create three nouns, a nice case of parallelism.

As it stands, the sentence is so awkward that I'm sure the t on lost was a typo, not a conscious choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 21 May 20 - 03:16 PM

I word that detest is "gobsmacked". It is an ugly word which gets my hackles up whenever I hear it.

Before posting, I checked back through this thread to see if anyone else had raised it as a pet peeve but what I found was quite the opposite. Someone had used it to complain about his own pet peeve.
Grr!

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 21 May 20 - 03:16 PM

Mrzy: I do hope you would say, "Didn't useD to have"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 21 May 20 - 03:14 PM

I would say that 'syllepsis' is a 'rhetorical device' only when it is being used as a rhetorical device; i.e., for effect. In Mrzy's quotation, this does not appear to be the case. No doubt it could still be called 'syllepsis', but it is not syllepsis as a rhetorical device or figure of speech, but rather as careless writing, if not outright error.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 May 20 - 02:39 PM

Ooh it has a name, cool.

Ran across this reading an old English novel: usen’t to have.

I would say Didn't use to have.

But I kinda like Usen't to. I think I'll try to adopt it.

Now off to research that new word you taught me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: weerover
Date: 21 May 20 - 01:57 PM

"I feel lost, depressed and hatred" is a rhetorical device called syllepsis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 21 May 20 - 12:31 PM

Leeneia, I am in the middle of editing a bit, fat book (not my first by a long shot) that is full of gun battles, but I have never seen or heard one described as "rolling".

If the combatants are moving while fighting -- for example, a convoy of vehicles is ambushed on the road, and the drivers try to escape the attack but the ambush force chases them -- the fight could be described as a "running" gun battle. Another form of running battle is one in which one group follows another, attacking whenever the target group moves into an area that gives the attackers some advantage and laying off when the target group finds cover.

"Rolling" gun battle sounds like a journalist messing with "running" battle, probably out of ignorance.

Your post raises a bigger issue, however. In your last line, you imply disapproval of any description of abhorrent behaviour that does not state that it is abhorrent. As an editor who specializes in military subjects, I must disagree.

When discussing abhorrent behaviour, the good writer does not write, "This was awful". It is far more effective to describe the event and let the readers figure out for themselves just how abhorrent it was. (Journalists say, "Show, don't tell.") The book I'm working on right now is about the war in Afghanistan, and it is full of bombs that killed civilians, including children. If the author wrote, in every mention of an IED strike (there are hundreds) that it is a heinous act of indiscriminate cruelty, readers would quickly get the idea that the author's first priority is to demonizing the IED-layers. Frankly, that is not interesting. Also, it's not the point.

I don't read much about the Holocaust any more -- I think I know enough about it after more than 50 years of studying war and its effects -- but, even when I was young and revelations of the Nazi program still had some novelty, the accounts that dwelt on the heinousness of the whole thing were the weakest. The most effective works focussed on why it happened and how, and discussed the cost to the perpetrators and those who supported them as well as the victims.

Of course, even the most abhorrent events must still be reported and studied, although it is difficult to read about them. Otherwise, they would slip into the rear-view mirror of our culture and we might forget all about them.

Writing about violence is very difficult. It is easy to slip into gore-porn, or to indulge in propaganda and fantasies of revenge -- that's the big challenge of both war journalism and military history. An account written while the memory is fresh will be full of passion, and the purple prose that comes from it, but opinions change as time passes, the emotions may seem inappropriate, and the purple prose can become distasteful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 21 May 20 - 12:11 PM

I am always up for some Flanders, Swann and Madeira, M'Dear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 May 20 - 12:04 PM

It is wrong. Try removing one of the two adjectives: "It is normal to feel lost and hatred"; It is normal to feel depressed and hatred..." See what I mean?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 21 May 20 - 11:46 AM

Further to my last, it is "wrong" because the reader is jolted out of the flow of the message to think about something else. That is an error because the writer's first priority is to keep the reader engaged with the message; as soon as readers are wondering what is hinky here, the writer may never get them back to the message.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 May 20 - 11:42 AM

I like you too!

Yeah, it was the asymmetry (if you will) of adjective adjective noun, even though all could be "felt" ...

But I wasn't sure if there were an actual grammatical *rule* about it.

So, thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 21 May 20 - 11:36 AM

Yes, Mrrzy, there is something actually wrong with it.

I will now dispense a crumb of editorial information. I normally charge for this service, but I like you.

Most highly literate readers are bothered by lists in which one of the things is not like the others. The person who wrote "It is normal to feel lost, depressed and hatred" chose those three words because s/he thought, "These are all things people feel". But "lost" and "depressed" are adjectives, and "hatred" is a noun, and that is the source of your bug.

To avoid irking the readership, that sentence should run, "It is normal to feel loss, depression and hatred after ...", or "It is normal to hate, and to feel lost and depressed, after ..."

This bug can be a feature in the hands of a master:

"She lowered her standards by raising her glass,
Her courage, her eyes, and his hopes."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 21 May 20 - 11:33 AM

Actually, I'm sure it is "wrong", but I lack the grammatical sophistication to explain why beyond what I said in my previous post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 21 May 20 - 11:29 AM

Not sure it's "wrong", but it's exceedingly awkward. The weakness is that "lost" and "depressed" are adjectives, while "hatred" is a noun, so the construction is inconsistent; however, all three words work with the verb "feel", so I would not be confident calling it "wrong".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 May 20 - 10:53 AM

If she liked motorboats she could also have a wake.

Um, read today in an advice column: ...it is normal to feel lost, depressed and hatred after...

The "lost, depressed and hatred" bugs me. Is there actually anything wrong with it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 May 20 - 09:36 AM

In today's Bude and Stratton Post: "The funeral for the late Lucy Williams was held on February 6th..."

Nice to know she was definitely dead...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 20 May 20 - 06:55 PM

"Rolling gun battle". Like gunman, this is a journalist expression which gives false dignity to abhorrent behavior.


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