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The Vine: December 4, 2007

Submitted by on December 4, 2007 – 10:37 AM274 Comments

Hi Sars,

 

For one of my jobs, I need to compile a list of verbal pet peeves — the "if you will"s, "Joe and myself"s, and other grammar- and style-related mistakes that the unknowing often make.As I started making my list, I realized that it is very personal — the things that drive me nuts aren't the same as my co-worker's chief irritants.So in an effort to cover my bases, I hoped I might ask your awesome Tomato Nation readers to help out with a couple of the things people say in
conversations or in presentations that drive them craziest.I'm particularly interested in verbal tics and misused phrases and constructions.

 

By the way, what's your verdict on "there's," as in, "There's a lot of cars on the road today"?(I mean, it's wrong, but it's rampant. Can anything be done?)

 

Thanks,

Free To Be You And Myself

 

Dear Free,

 

I don't have a huge issue with the "there's a lot of" construction, in colloquial speech anyway; you can treat "lot" as a collective noun, I guess, if you want to find a rules-based reason why "there's a lot of" isn't the worst usage crime in the world, but I treat it more like the Spanish hay.My last Spanish class was quite some time ago, but if I recall correctly (and I may not), hay handily covers both the singular and the plural of "there is" or "there exists."I think, colloquially, we've come to treat "there's" the same way in English — "there's a lot of dust in here," "there's 200 people coming" — not necessarily because we don't know it's incorrect, but because 1) we're using it more as a state indicator, i.e. "there exists a state of 200-people-ness"; and 2) "there's" is easier to understand in spoken conversation than "there're."

 

Short answer: I wouldn't use it in written correspondence, except in fiction/dialogue, but in spoken language it doesn't bother me.

 

Now, to the meat of your question."Frankly"/"honestly"/"to tell the truth" is one that's really bugging me of late — and I'm as guilty as anyone, but I'm working on it.It's a tic, and what comes after it usually isn't so much honesty and frankness as it is an unpopular opinion, or a statement to the effect that someone else/the reader is wrong.What's meant, often, is not "frankly," but rather "I disagree," or "You're mistaken about X," which is fine, but just say that then.(Note: One of my mother's pet interjections is "Oh, honestly," and I don't take issue with that one.)

 

Also, "nevermind" (it's two words; "nevermind" is cutesy), and the rendering of the adverb "anymore" as two words.The 11C doesn't commit to saying that a phrasing like "I don't eat meat any more" is incorrect, only that "anymore" is preferred, but it bugs me."I don't have any more meat"; "I don't eat meat anymore."Two different uses, two different renderings.If the purpose of usage rules is clarity, well, I rest my case.

 

Readers?

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274 Comments »

  • Leann says:

    Using “first annual” instead of inaugural, it’s not an annual event until it happens again!

  • It'sJessMe says:

    Oh, another one, like the "less" and "fewer" above. I hate the misuse of "number" and "amount".

  • Caitlin says:

    @ Karen: "Axe me again in the morning." Oh sweet jayzuz. I'm in the deeeeep south, and I hear that one at least three times a day.

    I think it was already said, but "irregardless." Drives me bananas.

  • Sadie says:

    I second the nomination of quotation mark and apostrophe misuse.

    My biggest all-time pet peeve is ending a sentence with "at." "Where you at?" And worse, "Where are you located at?"

    I also hate when people refer to a singular noun-named sports team as a plural in a sentence. For example: "The Avalanche are having the worst season ever." The Avalanche is ONE TEAM. Not individual avalanches. I know it's rare because most team names are plural (the Broncos, the Rockies, yada yada), but it just sounds all wrong in my ear.

  • Liz says:

    @Melanie: Randalls grocery-store bags used to carry the legend: Your "Special" Remarkable Store. Cracked me up.

    Like Tiffanie, I'm against the use of "obviously," and also any other construction that implies "this is something you already know or should already know," in a setting where it could be read as condescending. It makes me think of the Trivial Pursuit game where everyone gathers around, reads the question, goes "ooh, this one is SOOOO EASY," and then they tell you what it is and you have no idea.

  • Smash says:

    My biggest pet peeves:

    1) the use of "for all intensive purposes" when people actually mean "for all intents and purposes"

    2) "definately" is not a word

    3) the use of "If I was abc, then xyz…" when it should be "If I were abc…"

    4) and this one drives me batshit crazy because at least half of my friends say it and we eat there way too often…it's phonetically Chi-poat-lay, NOT Chi-pole-tay.

  • k says:

    Melanie: I lack the words to say clearly enough how much I agree. I do not understand how well educated people can continue to so abuse apostrophes. It HURTS me. I read blogs written by reporters who still get it wrong and use apostrophes in pluralizing and then I cry and I have to stop reading.

    This is a straight up mistake, but I see it so often and I wince every time: loose for lose. "I don't want to loose my mind over …" and I'm thinking loose? like let loose your mind? Or loosen your mind from, well, what? But no, it's just a mistake.

    What worries me is that both of these, the poor overworked apostrophe and loose/lose will become standard from the rampant mistakes.

  • Susannah says:

    You know, in my earlier post about advance/advanced, I think I wrote Sar's. Which is very wrong. Sars, if you have a change to fix that, I would be so grateful.

  • Laura says:

    I'm an English professor and currently grading freshmen's essays, so I should have a raft of these! Two (anti)favorites, though written rather than verbal:

    "Every day" (adverb indicating frequency) versus "everyday" (adjective indicating quotidian-ness). A small distinction, but I think it's worth preserving.

    Lose/loose, too/to/two, their/there/they're: all the frequently confused words that I swear I learned in THIRD GRADE but am still correcting in college students' essays.

    Ah, grammatical outrage and the opportunity to put on my Geezer Hat. ("In my day, we learned how to spell properly *before* we went to college!") Good times.

  • LynzM says:

    "For all intensive purposes" in place of "For all intents and purposes"

    Quotation marks used for emphasis, although that's already been mentioned, along with apostrophes in the wrong place: Apple's for "sale" – gah.

    "Anachronym" in place of "Acronym"

  • Marge says:

    Nucular instead of nuclear, particularly if you have access to nuclear weapons, George W. Bush.

    Third wheel instead of fifth wheel.

  • Diane says:

    The name thing brings to my mind another phenomenon; it bothers me quite intensely, but it's not precisely a grammar thing.

    The slovenly mispronunciation of proper names is, to me, so disrespectful it can be categorized as an actual offense. It can be seriously damaging in business, for one, but it also makes people look like perfect halfwits. Specifically, most often, it makes Americans look like callous, insensitive simpletons.

    I work with a gent whose given name is Prasoon. This is not in the slightest a difficult name to pronounce, and even though it may not be particularly familiar, its phonics are clear, it's short, and it's not particularly challenging to anyone who spend even the tiniest amount of time concentrating on the person to whom they're speaking. One of the women in our department, after TWO FULL YEARS of acquaintanceship, and in fact, pointblank correction from me on several occasions (with a dash of, "Susan, it is terribly disrespectful to simply not care to pronounce someone's name correctly" thrown in), steadfastly clings to the habit of pronouncing his name Parsoon.

    The man himself, bless him, is far too much a gentleman to take note of this out loud. But it drives me batshit. Not least because it underlines the Dumb Careless American image, of just not giving a crap about anything remotely (and, gag on this word) "foreign."

    Arrrrrrrgggh.

  • Karen says:

    Oh my God Sars. I WORK in one and my coworkers don't know the goddamned name of the store. 15,000 times a day. "Do you have a Barnes and Nobles member card?" GAH!!!!

    As per for per. Nothing bugs more than redundancy. Also, overuse of a word when it is the wrong word. There is NO WAY that as many things actually are awkward as one of my Barnes and NOBLE coworkers describes that way. (I have nicknamed him Vizzini.)

  • KellyEMcA says:

    "For all intensive purposes".

    No – just, no.

    It's "intents and purposes," people. Your purposes are not in a special hospital ward for critical care.

  • Betsey says:

    Actually, Thomasina, "singular they" is found as early as the 13th century, and was considered correct until 18th century grammarians (the same ones who prohibited constructions like sentence-ending prepositions and split infinitives) decried it as wrong.

    Some of my pet peeves have been listed already (using "I" when "me" is appropriate; less/fewer; "impact" as a verb; quotation marks used as emphasis).

    Others that really get my goat:

    Wandering (or grocer's) apostrophes. An apostrophe does NOT mean, "Oh, look out, here comes an 'S'!". On the same theme, people who can't tell the difference between "it's" and "its"; "your" and "you're"; or "their", "they're", and "there".

    Confusion between "affect" and "effect". Yes, either word can be a noun or a verb, but the meanings are distinct in each case.

    Like Sars' complaint about "nevermind", confusion between "everyday" and "every day". "Everyday" is an ADJECTIVE, meaning commonplace. "Every day" is an ADVERB, meaning occurring daily. NOT THE SAME THING!

    Counter-intuitive punctuation rules based on old typesetting limitations (i.e. position of comma or terminal period relative to parenthesis or quotation mark). I am a fan of "logical punctuation" – if the punctuation belongs to the phrase in the off-setting punctuation (parenthesis, quotation mark, etc), it should go inside. If it belongs to the sentence as a whole, it should go outside. I realize this disagrees with most if not all published rules, but the rules MAKE NO SENSE in any setting other than "the period will fall off the end of the row of lead type, so we need to tuck it inside the bracketing punctuation to keep it from getting lost". If you're setting type on a manual press, you have my blessing to keep using the old-style rules. Otherwise, it should MAKE SENSE, DAMMIT!

    People who don't know how to use semi-colons and so either sprinkle them around like decoration or, more likely, ignore them entirely and comma-splice their way merrily through life.

    Oh, and just a note about quotation marks: As well as being used to indicate direct quotation, I also accept their use as "scare quotes" – in other words, you could read "alleged" or "so-called" in front of any word so marked. Of course, this usage makes the quotes-for-emphasis usage both more galling and often hysterical. ("'Fresh' fish? So it's only two or three weeks old, then?")

    I am also an unabashed proponent of the Oxford (or serial) comma. It reduces ambiguity and makes sense. And unless you're under a strict character limit (e.g. journalists), there's no reason NOT to use it. (Consider the apocryphal book dedication: "I'd like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand and God". Are the author's parents Ayn Rand and God [quick, the brain bleach!], or did they [note: correct use of singular they] mean, "I'd like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand, and God"? The ambiguity may be funny in this case; usually it's just annoying.)

    People who don't know the difference between i.e. and e.g. and USE THEM ANYWAY. If you're going to use them, learn the difference between them. If you can't or won't learn the difference, leave the Latin alone. Misusing them doesn't make you sound educated, just silly.

  • PollyQ says:

    Chiming in with Jen, above, "between you & I", or, say, "between Ben & I." (I'm looking at you, Mary Alice Stephenson!)

  • Jaybird says:

    GAAAAAHHHH, Attica: WORD on the "utilize" thing.

    My pet peeves: Apostrophes misused with plurals, "less" used when "fewer" should be (and vice versa). There's another thing I used to encounter at work, which may be a regional problem: "everwhat" and "everwho", instead of "whatever" and "whoever/whomever". It made my teeth itch. I also can't STAND to hear people say "thow" for "throw", "african" for "afghan" (my MIL does this all the time), and "ort" for "ought". For awhile I was mystified by the overheard phrase "mocum troll", which I finally deciphered to mean "remote control". I was picturing tiny malevolent beings hiding under the sofa. Still am, actually.

    I should probably move away from south Georgia before I start drinking again.

  • Go Amie says:

    1) Should of, could of, would of.
    2) "Alas" used to mean "hooray"
    3) "Loose" instead of "lose"

    And just a note to Shannon – here in Steeler nation we say yinz much more than we say y'uns (although I don't say either, thank goodness).

  • Angela says:

    "Not for nothing" is my biggest peeve, mainly because I catch myself saying it all the time now. I don't even know what it means.

  • Michelle says:

    Lately, my company seems to be using 'ask' in very odd ways. It started in a few meetings. The leader (always a director or higher) would say something like 'my ask to you folks is to give us feedback…'

    Then, in the last company-wide meeting, the president of the company used it the same way 'My ask to you all is to help us lead…'

    Please tell me this is just a weird verbal tic in my company, and not some new heinous corporate-speak!

    Biggest pet peeve in advertising: Think different. It's on posters in school rooms all over the country — think of the children!

  • nsfinch says:

    Tiffanie, I think we work with the same people. A lot of people verb nouns and noun verbs around here. "Liaise with" and "leverage" drive me totally batty. (Not literally batty, because I have not, as far as I can tell, turned into a bat.) I'm also on board the "less" vs. "fewer" train–I yell at television commercials for that all the time now. I once baked a group of people brownies to get them to replace every instance of "utilize" with "use."

    There are several words I completely avoid or excise because rampant misuse has made me second-guess my own use of the words: the most common example is "comprise," which has me so wrapped up in knots I just edit it out of everything. I also refuse to even try to use "beg the question," because it's so messed up in popular speech now. (Incidentally, I have to refer to Dinosaur Comics to look it up each time I read or hear it.)

    In my current job, people hyphenate with total abandon. "On-going," "world-wide," and even "post-pone," the other day. They sound like T. Herman Zweibel when the do that, jeez. Then, of course, they never use a hyphen when they SHOULD.

    Thanks for all the pet peeves, guys. This ire should carry me through the afternoon.

  • Sasha says:

    I agree with LadyCognac. "Between you and I" really bugs me.

    Maybe this is a spelling issue, but cachet and caché are two different words that mean different things. They are definitely not interchangeable. (While we're at it, there's no a in definitely.)

    The plural of alumnus is alumni. The plural of alumna is alumnae. I have no problem with just using alum/alums, but where the hell are you getting alumns from? Also, alumna is never plural. I promise.

  • MelanieRose says:

    In rural Minnesota, "ain't" is used waaaaay too heavily, and usually as a double negative. I work at a high school, and if a teacher asks a misbehaving student to be quiet, the response is often "I ain't sayin' nothin'" or "I ain't doin' nothin'." Uchh, the grammar around here is just terrible.

    Interesting (perhaps) not on the use of "they" to refer to non-gender-specific subjects… as a sign language interpreter, I sometimes have to voice for Deaf signers. Pronouns do not exist in American Sign Language, instead the signer may only reference the subject in space. If the signer isn't specific about who is being referenced (i.c. "my teacher"), it is necessary to use "they" rather than "he or she" because the latter would convey the message that they signer doesn't actually know the gender of the person being referenced, which would be inaccurate. *shrug* Just something that popped into my head as an argument ;)

  • JKW says:

    'gantlet' vice 'gauntlet'!

    if you're moving between two lines of warriors who are beating on you, you are 'running a gantlet'.

    if you're wearing a glove with armor on it, that's a 'gauntlet'.

    'running a gauntlet' doesn't mean anything.

  • KellyEMcA says:

    Sorry, one more.

    Funnest.

    No.

  • Jules says:

    The thing is, is…

    I had never heard this before I moved to Seattle, and now I am assaulted by it constantly. The thing is, is, (always the pause there) it's annoying and unnecessary, and my boss (who prides himself on his speaking skills) should know better.

  • Don says:

    I live in France and I hear "franchement" (frankly) about 1000's of times a day, literally.

    The one that drives me up the wall (and possibly because I worked at Starbucks for a long time):

    "How are you?"

    "I'm good."

    No, you're well. I'm well. We're all well.

  • Snarkmeister says:

    I have to admit, I use "a whole nother" and "anyhoo." I know that they are wrong and would never use them in formal correspondence, but I use that sort of colloquialism all the time in informal emails and speech.

    The one that's bugging me lately is "propissively." My boyfriend busted that one out a while back and I was completely flummoxed. What did it mean? I assumed he was mispronouncing something, but what could it be? Permissively? Propitiously? No. He claims it means "on purpose." And he claims that he read it in a book somewhere, by some well-respected author.

    I claim that he is full of horseshit and no such word exists. (Does that stop him from using it on a regular basis? No. No, it does not. Thankfully, he has a good sense of humor and doesn't get too defensive when I laugh at him every time he says it.)

  • Jenn says:

    People who do not note the difference between "among" and "between". You can only be between two things. You can be among many things. Your choice is not between three or more options. Your choice is between two options, or among more than two options.

  • Ellen says:

    1) alot

    2) gonna wanna – "First, you're gonna wanna apply the wax, then you're gonna wanna rub it in, then you're gonna wanna let it dry, then you're gonna wanna buff it off."

  • ferretrick says:

    Oh, I've got a million of these, but here's my favorites that haven't already been covered:

    1. Text messaging is a tool of Satan. Do not send me a business email or post questions on my business message board and write "OMG" "LOL" "thanx" or other such irritants.

    2. The word dialogue is NOT a verb. I can converse; I can talk; I can discuss; I cannot "dialogue" with you about anything.

    3. Overuse of acronyms.

    4. This one isn't business related, but, memo to Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and other stores of your ilk. Quit using words like "organic" and "natural to market fruit and vegetables when you mean "pesticide free." PRODUCE IS BY DEFINITION NATURAL AND ORGANIC!!!!!!!

  • Jane says:

    Oh, man. WORD on the misspelling of definitely and use of first annual. I was so vexed about my group publishing a "First Annual Blah" announcement I went looking for documentation to make my case, only to discover this is now considered acceptable use. Not in my world it isn't!

  • RKK says:

    Ooh, fun! My MIL has this bizarre (to me) colloquial expression "Somehow or t'other", which for some reason drives me up the wall whenever I hear it. I also had an advisor who would say "acrost" for across. I realize they're just in conversation, not in writing, but they bug me anyway.

    The "impact as a verb" pet peeve is actually somewhat new to me (in terms of hearing from people annoyed by it), because I work in a field (environmental assessment – I'm a geologist) where that is really commonly used. The word impact in general peppers documents all over the place. We have environmental impacts, a site impacted by petroleum hydrocarbons, this underground storage tank release will adversely impact the site by raising the carcinogenic risk, etc. So I don't really notice it because it's everywhere. Dictionary.com seems to think impact is a verb, but from reading this website it's clear that many people disagree.

    I also noticed the dislike of passive voice in a comment above, but in my grad school training and all the scientific journal articles I have to read, and in the documents I prepare for work, passive voice is preferred over active voice. So that one doesn't bother me either (although Microsoft Word grammar check still hates it!). It's interesting to see how the specific work environment can affect (impact? hee) the perception of grammar irritations.

  • Krissa says:

    @Diane – My last name is Emly. It's four little letters. For the life of nearly everyone I've ever met, it's impossible to keep a little "-ih" from sneaking in the middle. I feel Prasoon's pain, and understand just…letting it happen. I will even now respond to just about any K-name (Kris/Katy/Kristina/etc) and also to Emily.

    Peeves:
    Creaigslist is RAMPANT with incorrect useage of "sale" and "sell." WTF?!
    "I really need to sale this quickly."
    Oh, really? You need to "sale" it? Could you possibly need to "sell" it, and make a quick "sale?" That's not a rhetorical question.

    "Ect" instead of "etc" kills me.

  • MrsHaley says:

    "To grow the business"

    Using "that" instead of "who / whom" when referring to people — for example, "The guy that mows my lawn" (wrongwrongwrong) instead of "The guy WHO mows my lawn."

    Also, using the word "that" excessively, in general. Take THAT out. If the sentence makes sense without the "that" (and it usually will), LEAVE THAT OUT!!

  • Jamie says:

    JKW-I honestly did not know that, I distinctly remember being taught in sixth grade that those two words were the same!

    MelanieRose-GAH! I teach in rural Minnesota too and the thing that bugs me even more than "ain't"? (And I can't believe no one has said this yet!) Adverbs! He didn't play good, he played well! She doesn't sing too loud, she sings too loudly! For Pete's sake…

  • Krissa says:

    Just for the record – "Ain't" IS a word. It's the contraction of "am not."
    "Am't" is hard to say, though, so that M became an N.

  • Sadie says:

    Oh, and also "since I'm ten" instead of "since I was ten."

    I've been saying that since I'm four.

  • LTG says:

    I am often guilty of writing "in the event that" when a plain old "if" would do the job.

    "Orientate" drives me insane. The noun is orientation; the verb is to orient. I don't mind creating new words when we need one, but when we have a perfectly good (and shorter) word in the language, let's keep using it.

    However, I love just about any regionalism you might think of. I love the depth and richness of our language, and the idea that we might all speak identically in every part of the English-speaking world makes me sad.

  • Nat says:

    As a variation on the "honestly" thing, I know someone who start about 75% of her sentences with the phrase "to be brutally honest". It drives me mad.

  • Marisa says:

    I agree with all that has been posted previously and need to add "dialogue" as a verb, as well as "engage in conversation." When did the verb "speak" become unfashionable? And why?

  • Mary says:

    I second "good" vs. "well". That drives me crazy. Adjective vs. adverb, people!

    I cringe when I hear someone pronounce the "T" in "often."

    But the one that really gets under my skin is when someone says "zoology" wrong. The first syllable is pronounced with a long "O", not a long "U." The place where animals live is a "zuu." The study of animals is Zo-o-lo-gy". Long O, short O, long O, long E.

    I

  • Snarkmeister says:

    Actually, JKW, I just looked up gantlet/gauntlet on dictionary.com, and gauntlet IS correct:

    gaunt ·let (noun)
    1. a former punishment, chiefly military, in which the offender was made to run between two rows of men who struck at him with switches or weapons as he passed.
    2. the two rows of men administering this punishment.
    3. an attack from two or all sides.
    4. trying conditions; an ordeal.

    A "gantlet" has to do with railroad construction:

    gant ·let (noun)
    1. Railroads. a track construction used in narrow places, in which two parallel tracks converge so that their inner rails cross, run parallel, and diverge again, thus allowing a train to remain on its own track at all times.
    2. gauntlet2 (defs. 1, 2, 4).
    –verb (used with object)
    3. Railroads. to form or lay down as a gantlet: to gantlet tracks.

    I was just curious, as I'd never heard of a "gantlet" before. :)

  • Molly says:

    When people say "Plutonic" instead of "Platonic." GAH. It's a reference to the PHILOSOPHER, people. IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE IF YOU TAKE TWO SECONDS TO THINK ABOUT IT.

    And I second the problem with the "a myriad of things" construction. I hate it, and it's gotten so common that I'm actually startled when I see "myriad" used correctly.

    On the y'all/your all's tip — we use those all the time here in the South, and while I'm fully aware that they aren't "proper" words, I've got to say they're super useful. It really doesn't make much sense that English doesn't have separate words for you-singular and you-plural, and there are times when you need a collective "you" that doesn't mean what "everyone" means. (Even "all of you" is subtly different — "I'll see y'all later" doesn't mean what "I'll see all of you later" means.) And when you need to make it possessive, sometimes "y'all's" works, but a lot of times "your all's" just rolls off the tongue more easily. And it preserves the idea that the possessive of "you" is "your" while adjusting for the fact that "your all" without an apostrophe-s would make "all" sound like it modified the next word instead of being part of the possessive pronoun. Again, not proper words at all and I don't use them in writing or in more formal interactions, but when I'm talking to friends or family I use them quite a bit.

  • Cindi in CO says:

    "I don't feel well". Unless there is something wrong with your hands, you don't feel good. Please.

  • Shannon says:

    @Go Amie: I believe we're talking about the same thing; I was merely mystified as to how I should translate this colloquialism into print. I should've just spelled it phonetically as you did, because when I replay the sound in my head (gah! nails on a chalkboard!), it fits with what you wrote.

    So now whenever I hear my mother-in-law use that word/phrase, I'll have a picture of what it looks like typed out. And then as she goes on and on about "yinz this" and "yinz that" I'll ask myself whether there's any suitable alternate spelling of that word and how much of this anti-grammar my daughter is picking up.

  • Ellen says:

    YES on the "Where are you at?" There's a cell phone commercial that must say this particular phrase a dozen times — JUST to drive me nuts.

    Also hate the random quote marks. A restaurant near my house has a sign that reads: Your hosts since "1918" — am I supposed to take the 1918 as a non-literal expression?? Huh?

  • Jaybird says:

    Another one: "Hung" used to describe execution or suicide, as in "Uncle Steve's recent folksy bloviating that anyone who revealed the ending of "The Mist" should be "hung by the neck until dead". It's "hanged". Haaaaaaaannnnnnged.

    PS: Everyone in "The Mist" ended up being hit by a van.

  • jbp says:

    I don't care whether it's any_more or anymore…as long as the word is used correctly… NOT as I've heard it used to mean 'nowadays,' and ESPECIALLY not at the beginning of a sentence…
    i.e .(or is it e.g.?) –Anymore it's hard to find that. AAARRRGGHHH!

    I blame Chandler Bing & Joey Tribiani for the use of "supposably" instead of "supposedly". It's so annoying that I have found myself struggling to to use it –AAACCKKPPHHTTHT!

    My best friend's peeve is the misused apostrophe… as in "Today's Special: Taco's". I shudder to think "taco's what, exactly"… blech!

    When I lived out in the Davenport, IA area, the diner waitresses were famous for asking at the end of the meal, "Were you wanting pie?"…. it took considerable effort to not reply "well, I WAS wanting pie. But now, I just don't know…"

    Now that I'm back in the northeast, I actually think it's kinda cute. Literally.

  • Elisa says:

    Irregardless.

    And "Nuke-you-lar". It's Nuclear, people! We thank George Bush for Nuke-you-lar.