Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If language pet peeves were actual pets, I would be the crazy cat lady on your block

Item 1. To the people of Earth -- "bemused" is not a slightly more highbrow synonym for "amused." It means confused, or lost in thought. This is your final warning.

Item 2. This one is particularly directed toward the sports "journalists" of America. The expression is not "mano y mano." That means "hand and hand," which is goddamned nonsense, you fucks. I'm not even going to tell you the correct phrase. Fuck you. Fuck you to hell.

Item 3. OK, it's kind of a stretch, as complaininism goes. I just heard this cough medicine commercial on TV, with a shtick about "Why does cough medicine have to taste so bad?" and touting a product that is "virtually tasteless."

Does that mean, like, it farts at the dinner table or something? It wears striped pants with a checked shirt? It is really into Thomas Kinkade paintings?

I guess "flavorless" is too pointy-headed a word for the American buying public.


Anonymous said...

Hah... moist amusing.

My cough medicine is into Reuben Kincaid paintings, which is nice, because I like fat women and sauerkraut too.

Anyhew, the online dictionary (yeah, THE) sez that taste as a noun can mean "flavor," and tasteless is defined as having no taste, so they say, going so far as to use "tasteless vegetables" as an example... but m-w.com is a kind of crappy dictionary I guess. Anyway, I certainly dont mean to besmirk you your hatred of humanity, that is fer sure.


ps- hey america, besmirk isnt a word, and besmirch isnt the same as begrudge, but we know a man who loves to combine all three into a large non-glass pyrex bowl and smoke until cashed. Set aside.

Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss said...

Yeah, I know it's not technically wrong, which is why I called it a stretch as a complaint. Carbon dioxide is an odorless, tasteless gas, etc. I still think it's a bad choice, though, particularly for an advertisement -- it's imprecise.

Hey, I know who you are, Anonymous, buddy! We can resume our decades' long argument about whether there is more to a word's meaning and connotation than what a dictionary definition says about it. Or not!

Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss said...

Also, the breadth and depth of my language pet peevery extends way beyond the realm of the merely incorrect, and far into the vast territory of Words I Hate for No Particular Reason.

For instance, as you know, I hate the word "munch" with a teeth-gnashing and garment-rending hatred. Everyone always uses it correctly -- except that I think it is never right to use it. That word is a crime against humanity. And nobody better give me that "just following orders" excuse!

Mark Pennington said...

Think you've heard 'em all? Check out these Top 40 Vocabulary Pet Peeves, but warning… you may cringe on a few that you have misused.