Our colloquy on annoying, useless, stupid and redundant words and phrases could probably go on forever, but it won’t. It’s time to wrap it up with these entries from Rifftides readers.
Any time soon.
(From Gene Lees)
Add to the list of unnecessary expressions:
“To utilize” means nothing more than “to use.” I can’t think of a single instance where “utilize” would be more clear or more precise than the word “use.” There seems to be no reason to utilize the longer word at all. But I could care less.
(From Dave Frishberg)
Your mention of “data” reminds me of my pet peeve. That word is plural (the singular being datum). People consistently use a singular verb with it though (The data is based on on a large sample size, rather than: The data are …) One last pet peeve: comprise. That word is NOT followed by “of.”
I hate marketers who turn nouns into verbs. (e.g. leverage, network, and task). I, like Ted O’Reilly, get NAUSEATED by people who say they are NAUSEOUS.
(From Scott Faulkner)
As a Brit I’d rather not get into a debate about ‘mispronunciations.’
(From Gordon Sapsed)
Disinterested is often correctly brought up in word misuage discussions. I looked up the word today in the American Heritage Dictionary online and learned:
“Oddly enough, ‘not interested’ is the oldest sense of the word, going back to the 17th century. This sense became outmoded in the 18th century but underwent a revival in the first quarter of the early 20th. Despite its resuscitation, this usage is widely considered an error.”
(From Garrett Gannuch)
An odd one is the phrase “is that” inserted without logic or neccessity, creating phrases like:
“What you’re forgetting is, is that I didn’t graduate.”
I call this the double “is.” You hear it all the time in conversations on the radio.
(From Bill Crow)
Being the chief of the language police has some heavy resposibilities for you in this era. One thing that I would suggest is to advise all of your readers to avoid the stock channel (CNBC) at all costs. Today, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates a quarter of a point, one of the commentators stated that it “was pretty much exactly” what he expected.
(From Charlie and Sandi Shoemake)
I have resigned as chief of the language police. The criminals are winning.
As John Ciardi would say if he were still with us, good words to you.