Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Maybe It's the Weather . . .,


Three days of foggy, closed-in skies and I find myself growing fractious. So here's one thing getting on my nerves -- misused words and phrases in the media. My inner English teacher is grabbing her red pen and making sarcastic remarks . . . 

You say you're trying to eek out the few remaining bits of chocolate? 

No, dear, eek is what you might say when you spot a mouse. Eke is what you do when you try to make a limited amount last longer.

Your boss insists that everyone tow the line? Unless you're in the business of hauling objects with a rope, actually, it's toe the line, from the days of sailing ships when the crews lined up for inspection etc. along a certain line in the planking on the deck.




Nothing phases you? Perhaps you mean nothing fazes you. Or maybe you have a strong resistance to going through phases...

And now you say you're reigning in your use of social media. Please, unless someone declared you king or queen of Facebook or Twitter, what you want is reining in -- slowing down just as one would slow a horse by pulling on the reins.

Did it peak your interest -- bring it to an all time high? Or did it pique your interest -- just a little jab to get your attention?

My favorite is, perhaps, when you say you await some anticipated event with baited breath. I at once imagine someone who's been gorging on sushi and has bits of raw tuna between his teeth. Bated  is a form of abated and when referring to breath, it means you're holding it.

There are many more (I'm keeping a little list) but that's enough snark for today. Maybe the sun will come out and I can hobble outside and find something to photograph. 



18 comments:

Thérèse said...

I do love your "snark for today" and do hope you will renew it some day.

Susan said...

Keep on keeping on......your therapeutic venting doesn't just help YOU!!!

KarenB said...

My son and I were discussing the differences between affect and effect and that I've read both used wrongly so often it's beginning to confuse me!

It's in published work that mistakes like you wrote bother me the most. I can understand a person who has heard but not seen an expression using a wrong word but an editor should know better!

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh I wish you'd been my English teacher! I try, but when I look up spelling of peek, peak, I never got a pique! And yes, the effect of affect is always a tricky one. More More More!

Darla said...

LOL Speaking of language, thought you might enjoy this broadcast at some point: http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2016/12/26/mcwhorter-language-definitions

Frances said...

Oh Vicki, please snark away!

I have just begun reading a very large book, Keeping On Keeping On, by Alan Bennett. I think that you would like it very much.

xo

jennyfreckles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jennyfreckles said...

Haha, thanks for making me giggle. I love your definition of baited breath. These things annoy me too. I just read of someone who 'could of' done something, instead of 'could've'. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the first recorded incident of that error was in 1837 so presumably an awful lot of other people have been irritated by it down the years!

Bernie said...

Oh Vicki I have been struggling with using the proper homonyms. I use to be quite good at it but alas my knowledge seems to be pushed to the back of brain which holds all things I don't remember. So glad your doing so well, xx

Carol crump Bryner said...

Chuckle! One of my favorites was a New Yorker blurb - "He put his arms around her waste'"

JudyB said...

"Bare with me" is my favorite. Are we going to get naked together?

Gwen said...

The one that annoys me the most is "reflect back." So, you are looking back back - does that mean you are actually looking forward, like some kind of double negative?

Cyranetta said...

My favorite of all time was a description of someone with a "taught abdomen" -- leading to all sorts of musings about the nature of the curriculum, the instructor(s)...

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I hesitate to make any comment on this at all . It would be bound to include something horrendous !

Vicki Lane said...

And I proofread this post several times, being quite sure I would have made some error. In fact, I rewrote one sentence so I wouldn't have to choose between farther and further even though I was pretty sure I had it right.

Anvilcloud said...

I am driving myself crazy right now trying to remember a few thatIhave seen recently.of course, I cant. Ah, these senior moments.

Stella Jones said...

Thanks for the reminders Vicki. It is easy to pick the wrong word. We all need to read more and pay better attention. I'm sitting up straight as I speak!

katy gilmore said...

Ha. To this English major this isn't snark it's perfect!