A fresh supply of irksome utterances

I’ve got a big batch of nominations to catch up on. Here are some greatest
hits from the Banned for Life inbox.

Byf would ban:

Outage: A term coined by power companies to sound like a power “failure” is not their fault.

Adam Trotter laments the Dance of the Hours:

Considering he only has thirty seconds per appearance, it’s odd that my morning TV weatherman wastes 10 of them on:

  • “around the noontime hour
  • “through the morning hours
  • “during the peak commuter traffic hours

and so on. If I had all the hours he implies, I’d have time to bake my own  bread for my breakfast-hour toast.

Himitsu disdains:

  • Evil: Evil seems to get the most play when used to mean “people our government doesn’t like, and thus doesn’t want you to like.” The term rarely gets used to describe the “friendly” countries/regimes that have
    tremendous records of blatant human-rights violations.
  • The Superlative: The news is full of the biggest, best, smallest, fastest, strongest, weakest, most horrible, etc. It’s one thing if the thing in question has been carefully measured, compared to all others of it’s ilk
    and demonstrated to be the most X, but quite often the superlative is used just to add emphasis. This situation is made even worse when you realize that it’s often applied to utterly subjective or otherwise unmeasurable terms,
    such as “most corrupt,” or better yet, “most evil.”

“These make me puke,” Fred Bradford avers:

  • juncture
  • “at this juncture
  • 24-7
  • “24-7-365
  • slippery slope
  • ‘”Christian” anything — implying “good anything”

Judi Burger shares:

I would like to put forward my pet hate: utilise. When did “use”
become insufficient?

Lyle R. Rolfe muses:

What ever happened to said? Now people say “I went” and “he went” and “I go” or “he goes“, for said. And to make it worse, journalists are quoting people saying this. If the reporters don’t do it, I believe editors should pull the quotes and paraphrase with said when they see these quotes in a story to keep the bad habit from being repeated. And it’s not just the youths, but highly educated people who talk this way.

8 thoughts on “A fresh supply of irksome utterances

  1. Newspapers can’t get into the business of replacing quotes or paraphrasing people just because their word usage lacks a certain formality. The news reflects the world the way it is, not the way we’d like it to be. That includes the way people talk. And anymore, a lot of people go, “So I went … and she’s all … and he’s like …” That’s just the way it is.

    But “morning hours”? Oh yeah, dump it, right along with “summer months.”

  2. What I hate more than anything is when people get common phrases wrong or use them incorrectly. For example, people will say “runs the gambit” rather than “runs the gamut” or “for all intensive purposes” instead of “for all intents and purposes”.

  3. Typically I leave out nominations of annoying words/phrases that appear in everyday conversations but don’t appear in news stories. I made an exception in this case because my correspondent noted his nominations were showing up in news stories.

  4. Hey…I’ve got one to add that burns my ass (if that’s still allowed) “Banned for Life” – sounds to me like the equivilant of perserving oneself in a pickle jar.

  5. Save me from weathermen/women who refer to snow as “the white stuff” and rain as “the wet stuff”. Save us from senseless tragedies. (What would be an example of a sensible tragedy?) Now that NASA is going back to the moon, we risk hearing that famous cliche that was always used by commentators after the first moon landings”if they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they…?”
    Sportscasters: please don’t tell us that someone “really came to play”; it never occurred to me to think he came to do anything else; that’s his job.

  6. One commentator listed on this blog, who will remain nameless for the purpose of this posting, has fallen into yet another of these linguistic traps. More and more frequently people are confusing the words “quote” and “quotation.” This inevitably leads to replacing the noun (quotation) with the verb (quote). There is no such thing as “a quote.” What ever happened to using “a quotation?” Is this word too long?

  7. CDavis claims, “There is no such thing as ‘a quote.'” that’s false, obviously. “a quote” exists, and it means what CDavis wishes it didn’t mean. against fantasy, the stodgy man isn’t granted the locking of languages at his birth. but if we’re hoping for things that were not in language, poser-speak is a good choice. “One commentator listed on this blog, who will remain nameless for the purpose of this posting,”… ugh. if getting in faces, skip the stripes of pedantry; get in faces. first, however, be right, not merely awbitwawy.

  8. Instead of “More and more frequently” CDavis could have said “with increasing frequency”. That would have added more and more weight to his statement.