Sunday, May 6, 2007

A few pet peeves

The Rascal (who admittedly makes his own mistakes from time to time) doesn't like it when he hears:
  • Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey use that awful word "visioning."
  • A bureaucrat or developer refer to homes as "rooftops."
  • A newscaster refer to local government officials as "leaders," which is not always accurate.
  • A television reporter (usually not an anchor) start every sentence with the word "now," which I suspect is some TV consultant's idea of conveying immediacy. ("Now, the committee will meet again Thursday night to...." "Now, police say the investigation...")
  • Somebody use the word "myself" or "yourself" where the word "me" or "you" belongs. ("Fine, thanks. How's yourself." "Bob will be riding with myself and Tom."
  • An advertiser say that something is "free" when I have to buy something else to get it. ("Buy two and get one free.") Why does the government allow the lying bastards to get away with that?
  • A candidate for public office claim that he or she is "not a politician." Even a school board candidate is, in fact, a politician.
  • Somebody refer to "one of the only..."
  • A reference to the Rockford area as the "stateline" or the "Rock River Valley," neither of which is used by ordinary people in everyday conversation.
  • A school teacher (or any adult, for that matter) use the word "like" in place of "said" or "says." ("So, then, Jim is like, 'Why don't you.....'") Isn't it bad enough that most kids talk that way?
  • A TV weather report called a "futurecast" instead of a "forecast."
  • Somebody call a veterinarian a "vetinarian," or a meteorologist a "meterologist."
  • Somebody refer to something as "inter-est-ing." The preferred pronunciation is "in-trest-ing." After all, the bank doesn't pay "inter-est" on your savings account. It pays "in-trest."
  • A football announcer, player, coach or fan use the word "football" more than once (or even once, if unnecessarily) in one sentence. Why do these boobs have to refer to a football player, football team, football field, football game, etc.? Baseball people, a more intelligent lot, don't discuss their sport that way.
  • Uptalking. If you don't know what uptalking is, you're probably guilty of it. It's an annoying speech habit that inflects sentences as though they were questions. ("Back when I was in college? We had a rule at our school about smoking in the dorms?")
  • Somebody refer to the "Christian point of view" or to what "Christians believe." There is no single Christian point of view on hardly any subject. Beliefs vary widely among Christians, which is why there are thousands of different Christians denominations.
  • Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson refer to somebody as an "individual" or a "subject" rather than "a man," "a woman" or "a person." ("We're looking for a male subject...") Why do law-enforcement brass use this kind of police-blotter jargon in their public pronouncements?
  • Somebody pronounce "wouldn't" as "wood-unt", "student" as "stew-dunt" or "stew-dent," "important" as "impor-dunt." The second syllables in these words should be pronounced without a vowel sound. For example, it should be "woodnt" or "stewednt." The trick is to employ what linguists call "syllabic consonants," which require that the vowel sounds be squeezed out of the syllables at issue (as in the word "cotton," which is pronounced "cot-n," not "cot-tun.") The mispronunciations of "wouldn't" and the others are most common among young people. For example, listen sometime to a young TV reporter pronounce "students."

No comments: