OT: Pet Peeve

Jay Gladwell wrote on 2/21/2006, 6:28 AM

Okay, here's one for the books...

As I read various threads I am shocked and dismayed at how many of us do not know the difference between the words then and than.

Then is, primarily, an adverb used to indicate "at that time: soon after that: next in order of time <walked to the door, then turned>".

Than is, primarily, a conjunction "used as a function word to indicate the second member or the member taken as the point of departure in a comparison expressive of inequality; used with comparative adjectives and comparative adverbs <older than I am>".

Yes, this may seem silly to many of you, but I just hate seeing the continuing decline of a perfectly good language, especially when that decline is furthered by so many knowledgeable and intelligent people.


Comments

Chienworks wrote on 2/21/2006, 7:22 AM
Here's one i'll add: using an apostrophe when adding an "s" to make a word plural. I see many posts with terms like CD's, disc's, mic's, etc. The apostrophe-s signifies possesion, not plural. I don't think we have many CDs, discs, or mics that own things.
John_Cline wrote on 2/21/2006, 7:52 AM
The one that gets me is people who confuse "less" and "fewer." It's such an incredibly simple rule of grammar to remember:

Use "fewer" with objects that can be counted one-by-one. "Fewer apples"

Use "less" with qualities or quantities that cannot be individually counted.
"Less applesauce."

However, when referring to time or money, "less" is normally used even with numbers. "I have less than ten dollars." Specific units of time or money use "fewer" only in cases in which individual items are referred. "I have fewer than ten dollar bills in my wallet."

John
JohnnyRoy wrote on 2/21/2006, 7:53 AM
> I don't think we have many CDs, discs, or mics that own things.

Well... the CD’s case is ownership as is the disc’s label and the mic’s cable, but I get your point. The exception is the words “its” and “it’s” where the apostrophe shows the contraction “it is” in which case the lack of apostrophe shows possession which is diametrically apposed to the rule you sited where the apostrophe actually shows possession.

I think considering how inconsistent the English language is, it’s a wonder anyone can write it accurately at all. But then again, it’s better than not communicating at all. ;-)

~jr
AlanC wrote on 2/21/2006, 7:56 AM
ect, ect, ect... :~)
MH_Stevens wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:01 AM
The people over at "OT: Special Effects Quote of the Day" say you need learing that language evolves to.
craftech wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:10 AM
CD's

CD's

CD's

etc

Must be "ceunteajous"

John
Jay Gladwell wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:30 AM

But then again, it’s better than not communicating at all. ;-)

LOL -- Johnny scores a 100%!


dand9959 wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:34 AM
Did you mean "learning" or "leering"?
Makes sense either way!
jlafferty wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:36 AM
Another: entitled. People are entitled to things (like special titles...), books and articles are titled...
Grazie wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:37 AM
Yes, jr, true . . . .

Jay, have you read "Eats, Shoots & Leaves"?


Mine? Theirs/there's. The perennial: Yours/your's and your/you're


Grazie . . 'ere!

Grazie

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JJKizak wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:45 AM
If I were in total power I would mandate the following changes to the English language:
1.....A word cannot have the same spelling for two or more meanings
2.....A word that is spelled differently cannot be pronounced the same way
3....A word used differently in a sentence must always have the same meaning and pronunciation
4...."E" and "Y" cannot be pronounced the same way
5...."C" can only be pronounced with soft sound and "K" with a hard sound
6...."Q" cannot be pronounced like a hard "K" sound
7....Wierd combinations of letters such as "thought" will not be allowed and replaced with" thawt"
8....Any violation will be punishable by instant death.

JJK
rmack350 wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:54 AM
This is your only language peeve on this forum? I think you're showing remarkable restraint.

It would be great if the forum included a spell checker but then it still wouldn't catch people's habit of substituting "Mute" for "Moot".

The most frequently misspelled word? How about "Definitely"?

But I'm not complaining...

Rob Mack
riredale wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:56 AM
Okay, here's my list:

WRONG: "Put the disk back in it's folder"
RIGHT: "Put the disk back in its folder"

WRONG: "The Smith's" (on a house sign)
RIGHT: "The Smiths"

WRONG: "This is definately true" (why does everyone spell it this way?)
RIGHT: "This is definitely true"

The number one Pet Peeve for me, though, is verbal: the use of "like." I almost have to, like, scream when I hear my 15-year-old daughter talk with some of her high-school friends.

EDIT: Anybody remember what "ghoti" spells? It's attributed to George Bernard Shaw as a statement on the illogical rules of the English language.
dand9959 wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:56 AM
I once misspelled "intelligence" on my resume.

Yet, I still got the job. Should've know right then something wasn't right.
dand9959 wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:58 AM
My pet peeve is the cretins who mispronounce nuclear as "nukular."
JohnnyRoy wrote on 2/21/2006, 8:59 AM
> LOL -- Johnny scores a 100%!

I’m glad you “got it”. I put that in there just for you. ;-)

> If I were in total power I would mandate the following changes to the English language:

The funny thing is, every dictionary has the phonetic spelling of the word. Can’t they see that this whole thing would be resolved if we just used the phonetic spelling in the first place!!! Duh!

~jr
rmack350 wrote on 2/21/2006, 9:02 AM
Hah! I constantly catch myself doing that. I'm just glad I can edit a message later, because I usually go back and correct it.

Arbitrary caPitalization is another problem. I've been working on a tech support training site for the last five years and their "look and feel" used to include "all lower case". It's wrecked me.

Rob Mack
craftech wrote on 2/21/2006, 9:06 AM
You guys better be careful from now on.

John
rs170a wrote on 2/21/2006, 9:09 AM
The number one Pet Peeve for me, though, is verbal: the use of "like."

I've gotten used to that one.
My pet peeves are "seen" and "youse".
I seen him/her/them ...
How are youse guys tonight?
It's especially irritating when it comes from a waiter/waitress at a supposedly higher-end restaurant :-(

Mike
rs170a wrote on 2/21/2006, 9:15 AM
Anybody remember what "ghoti" spells

fish or huge

Mike
tkalvey wrote on 2/21/2006, 9:21 AM
Theirs enough material hear to reach 200 quicker then

"OT: Special Effects Quote of the Day"
p@mast3rs wrote on 2/21/2006, 9:29 AM
Ok, heres a quesion. When reading some aritcles, I see (sic). What the heck does that mean?
Grazie wrote on 2/21/2006, 9:32 AM
Dand9559?

"Yet, I still got the job. Should've know right then something wasn't right."


Riredale?

"WRONG: "The Smith's" (on a house sign)
RIGHT: "The Smiths"

How about the house belonging to the "Smith" - a person who works in metal?

tkalvey?

"Theirs enough material hear to reach 200 quicker then

OOoooohhh I bet mine is coming up!

Grazie

Grazie

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cbrillow wrote on 2/21/2006, 9:33 AM
The stuff we see on the web... arrrrrrrgh!!!!

"I know it's a mute point"
"He's such a looser."
"Are you loosing your mind?"
"I win, you loose." (I actually saw one post where both "lose" and "loose" were both used incorrectly...)
"and then, VIOLA! --- it was finished!!!!!"