March 07, 2006
Having said that, let me state that there are many things that people constantly say that make me feel what other people must endure when hearing fingernails on a blackboard. Examples:
1) The overuse of filler words/phrases, especially that annoying bitch "you know". Parenthetical phrase: good. Overuse? Worthy of flogging. Here's a paraphrase of a speech that I heard from senior management recently:
You know, as we proceed along this path, we're likely, you know, to find, you know, obstacles in our way. As these obstacles, you know, appear, we should find ways to, you know, fix them in a way, you know, that prevents them from, you know, happening again.
The speech didn't continue because I threw the offender through the nearest window. Alas, the last was but a blissful daydream.
2) The use of "I" when "me" is correct, especially in prepositional phrases. For instance: "Someone made it for Dan and I" or " They gave it to Sheila and I". Each time I hear such nonsense, my first impulse is to shout "STOP! YOU'RE MAKING MY HEAD HURT!" But I refrain, because smacking them with an aluminum baseball just feels better.
3) Please, please, please, for the love of God, stop saying "I could care less" when you obviously mean "I couldn't care less". Whenever someone uses the first phrasing, I usually say " So you actually do care?" Their response is always, "No, I don't. That's why I said that I could care less." If the idiocy in that statement isn't apparent, I can't help you.
Anyway, it turns out that I'm not the only one with language issues. Excerpt:
When I travel, I dont need to be treated like Hyacinth Bucket. I want you to understand I speak like you do and that Ill understand perfectly if you say theres a kettle in my room. You dont have to say there are tea and coffee making facilities.
And please, can you stop saying at all after every question. Can I take your coat at all? Would you care for lunch at all? Or, this week, on a flight back from Scandinavia, Another beverage for yourself at all, sir? Whats the matter with saying Another drink? And whats with all the reflexive pronoun abuse? Ive written about this before but its getting worse. Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same person or thing. Like I dress myself. You cannot therefore say please contact myself. Because it makes you look like an imbecile.
If you send a letter to a client saying my team and me look forward to meeting with yourself next Wednesday, be prepared for some disappointment. Because if I were the client Id come to your office all right. Then Id stand on your desk and relieve myself.
Im not a grammar freak I can eat, shoot and then take it or leave it but when someone says myself instead of me I find it more offensive than if theyd said
Before embarking on a sentence, work out first of all whats the shortest way of saying it, not the longest. There seems to be a general sense that using more words than is strictly necessary is somehow polite. Thats almost certainly why, on another flight the other day, I was offered some bread items.
So. What bugs you?
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