Top Ten Irritating Phrasesgrrrr
Posted 20 November 2008 - 08:39 AM
Posted 23 November 2008 - 10:17 PM
I just came across a prime example in a photo capture on the International Figure Skating website. In the gala after Skate Canada, the Men's and Ladies' gold medallists, Patrick Chan and Joannie Rochette, both from Canada, were brought on the ice before they skated to subject themselves and the audience to silly banter. Rochette most certainly was not bemused by Chan's comment, and this is obvious from the photo (bottom left).
Oh goodie, I finally get to say it: Misuse of the word "bemused." It means bewildered, NOT amused. Far too many people, including journalists, misuse this word as a synonym for "amused."
Posted 24 November 2008 - 05:51 AM
Absolutely, Giannina. I was kidding too.
Oh, please tell me you knew I was kidding with my "absolutely"
Re: the "bemused"/"amused" confusion. How about "inferred"/"implied"? A while ago I came across an example in a NY Times blog piece by a fairly major writer.
Just now, I searched for "infer" on BT and can report that Ballet Talkers, at least, use it correcty. If I am permitted to include gestures on a thread devoted to "phrases," how about a big "High 5" for us!
How about "lookit" for "look." As in: "Lookit! The snow has melted." Or, "lookit" instead of "look at." As in: "Lookit the beautiful detailing." Is this only found in U.S. English? It seems so common that it must be acceptible now. I hardly notice it.
Posted 26 November 2008 - 07:53 PM
Posted 26 November 2008 - 08:39 PM
Posted 27 November 2008 - 07:23 PM
To paraphrase "Casablanca": I am "shocked! shocked...."
And I believe it was "the usual suspects'" fault.
Posted 27 November 2008 - 08:39 PM
I haven't noticed that, papeetepatrick. Perhaps it's specific to New York or the northeastern US?
Maybe I didn't write it out phonetically quite right either. It's more like kwesh-un, like 'passion' and not like 'bastion'. Maybe just sloppy speech, but it could be regional, I'm not sure.
Posted 27 November 2008 - 11:49 PM
seems to be the most important element of any activity these days, rather than concentrating, working hard, doing your best, or giving your all. Children must feel so confused when they are doing difficult things and struggling with it and constantly being told my adults that they are supposed to be having fun.
Posted 02 December 2008 - 06:50 PM
Posted 06 December 2008 - 06:58 AM
Posted 06 December 2008 - 07:07 AM
I've been thinking about this and can't make up my mind. Films do create the sense of a perpetual present. For example: "Now Bergman comes into the bar and Rick sees her." Using the past tense would suggest that you were talking narrowly about the time of shooting.
One linguistic fad I find especially ugly is the use of the present tense when it's the past that's being spoken of. For example, "So now he buys . . . " instead of "so then he bought . . ." Sportscasters do this a lot, but I hear talking heads on political shows doing it too.
Maybe this has carried over to television, the land of the instant replay and the endless repetition of iconic visuial images.
Posted 06 December 2008 - 07:34 AM
Posted 06 December 2008 - 08:54 AM
This could be right.
This formation exists in Modern German, and some other languages. It's called "Historical Present". Maybe we're seeing some linguistic crossover.
In the U.S., use of the historical present is apparently increasing among bilingual speaks in a number of languages. This process affects both those for whom English is a second language and the younger generation who are fluent in both languages but use English primarily for school and work.
Among bilingual Spanish-speakers in the U.S., the more complicated verb tenses, gender agreement, etc., are often dropped. Simplification seems to be the main motivator, but changes in the way language is taught are probably factors too.
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