Now This Log

Wednesday, 28 November 2001 : "words that don't look right"

[Warning: Andy Rooney/grammar fascist rant ahead. I allow myself one a year or so...]

I just read an article where someone used 'hoard' properly... this is noteworthy in itself, but the thing that really bugs me is that I've seen it used wrongly so often that even when I saw it used correctly my brain still automatically threw up a penalty flag. This depresses me.

Hoard is not the same as horde, and horde should never be used as a verb. Everybody on the web got that?

There. I feel better, anyway.

As a side note, I find that web writers who regularly link the words in their own prose to their definitions when the definition is not what they're actually discussing to be ... oh, what's the word? The clear message [to me, he disclaimed] is "Observe what sophisticated words I'm using. Why, surely not everyone who reads me is smart enough to know what my advanced words mean, and surely such people are not capable of locating a dictionary on their own, so I'll just help out the poor souls. How big of me. Do you like my hair?" Especially when they're words that a fourth grader should know.

Gosh, I feel even better now.

Anyhow, back to topic A, are there things that look wrong to you now that aren't? How has that set of things changed since you started using the Internet?

My main beef remains that I can't see "sneak peek" without having to check if it really said "sneak peak" because so many people have spelled it wrong that I expect it to be wrong all the time now, even on major sites with "editors". And its vs. it's is just about a lost cause for me by this point; I know the difference very well, but whichever one is used looks wrong to me at first glance now even if it isn't.

How about you?

Replies: 7 comments so far

Add a comment of your own

They're/there/their remains another favorite set for web-writers to confuse.

But my own personal annoyance is "miniscule". It's really "minuscule". Go on, look it up. A quick Google search shows that the correct spelling is still ahead of the incorrect one, but not by a commanding margin.

Posted by Mike Gunderloy @ 11/29/2001 08:47AM est

I learn something new every day; I always thought it was 'miniscule'. To be fair, the dictionary does list it as an alternate... but I'll say 'minuscule' from now on. :)

Posted by Steve @ 11/29/2001 11:22AM est

What I really can't stand is when people use the term "web sight" instead of "web site". If you were in accident, you wouldn't say, "The sight of the accident was downtown..." Of course, maybe these people would.

Posted by Donkeymon @ 11/29/2001 12:38PM est

For a while, everyone was talking about that great film, "Momento". Sigh. Even spoken aloud it was wrong.

There are plenty of things gotten right so infrequently that I'm shocked when they're correct (fewer/less, that/which), but they haven't worn me down yet.

Posted by Seth @ 11/29/2001 12:57PM est

Pedants! :-P

There are things that I notice when they're gotten wrong, but very few things that really irritate me anymore. I can only contain so much irritation, and I've got a lot built up (cf: Herr Ashcroft), so I need to save room!
Since I often have a weird disconnect between brain and fingers while typing (I type sound-alikes sometimes, even when I know the semantic differences.. it's as though my fingers 'hear' the sound of the word, but not its (see, I typed 'it's' there because my fingers got ahead of my brain) meaning...), I make a lot of allowances for word-typos.

One that does make me grit my teeth, though, is lose/loose. They are pronounced differently, so I don't understand how people can confuse them.

I also did not even know about minuscule until Mike spanked me about it, once.

Btw, this post would look much better if html tags were enabled. ;-) (I know, I know.. security, shmecurity..)

Posted by Mrs. NowThis @ 11/29/2001 01:59PM est

I'm pretty sure b and i and a tags work...

Another one: complementary vs. complimentary. I see this one used poorly in marketing materials all the time (and again today). In print as much as online.

Posted by Steve @ 11/30/2001 08:07AM est

Steve, you are quite droll. I just wish that you'd embrace a well-deserved respite from your ne'er jejune lucubrations. This battle is an arduous, but noble one.

On second thought oh wooferifluous one , keep 'em comin'!!!

(I made that one up, couldya tell?
The etimology is rather convoluted and I'll spare you)

Posted by Dave Taylor @ 12/01/2001 02:49AM est

Links, exploration and
synthesis from
Steve Bogart

Mug shot
photo by my wife
If you want to be e-mailed when there's new stuff here, say "add me."
Archives by week

November 2001

Older Archives:
2001 (Aug-present)
2001 (Jan-Aug)
2000 | 1999 | 1998


Search log since Aug. 2001:

Ye olde Amazon wish list
Powered By Greymatter

How's my HTML?
How's my CSS?

Home - Log - Services - Writing - Media - Links - About