Irritating expressions or worse

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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Garanhir » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:39 pm

Regarding unbeknownst: I take your point, Edwin, about its meaning compared with unknown. My dislike of the word remains unallayed, and for your second example I'd avoid it and write:

'Most of the Gazette's readers will be unaware that war correspondent Hector Heathcote retired last month.'

Later posts about those expressions that say the opposite of what they intend have reminded me of another pet hate. I've seen people write about 'protesting the war' when they are against it. Yikes.

Noswaith dda, Bob.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:59 pm

Diolch Chris, croeso yn ôl
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:08 am

Garanhir wrote: ... I've seen people write about 'protesting the war' when they are against it...
Noswaith dda, Bob.
I can't comment on the Welsh, but there are quite a few verbs which can be used with either a direct object (or arguably direct object analogue in some cases) or a prepositional phrase, with little change in meaning - at least for some collocations. These have been touched upon in the 'Has there been a change' thread (http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewto ... n+a+change) (post 5), but not really examined in any depth. I'll start a new thread on the topic.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:23 am

'To protest [something]' is standard usage in the USA, rather than the UK standard usage: 'to protest at/against [something]'.

Another common US/UK difference that involves the dropping of a preposition is the US 'to write [someone]' versus the UK 'to write to [someone]'. "Write your congressman!" is an exhortation frequently heard from social or political activists.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:48 am

Americans are often dropping things the Brits would rather they didn't.

Prepositions.

Yods.

Tea.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:04 am

Yods??
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Garanhir » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:32 pm

Erik, thanks for

'To protest [something]' is standard usage in the USA, rather than the UK standard usage: 'to protest at/against [something]'.

I didn't know that; it seems contrary from over here but usage rules, as ever. I'll not contest it.

We Brits have a little contrariness of our own with this very same word, though: if someone makes a statement we're unhappy with, we'll say, 'I must protest, sir!', (note the terribly British feigned respect that adds that essential note of disdain to the expression), without bothering with the against bit.

I'm equally mysified by Yods.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:20 am

See, for instance, http://dialectblog.com/2011/09/06/yod-dropping/

Oh, and I only capitalised it because I was using crots.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by trolley » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:14 am

I've added that site to my favorites list. Thanks for the link, Edwin. I chewed up two hours in the blink of an eye.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:48 am

The most notable British yod-dropper I can think of was the multi-millionaire turkey farmer from Norfolk, Bernard Matthews, who famously featured in a TV spot in which he displayed a roast turkey to the camera while he lovingly pronounced the word "Bootiful!" for the benefit of his audience of salivating homebodies.

Mind you, I bet "Bootiful!" is not what he would have uttered had he returned home from a last-minute Christmas shopping trip and discovered that while he was away, the pirate light of the stove in which his Christmas dinner was supposed to be browning had also gone out.

"Aaargh!"
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Garanhir » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:09 pm

Pirate light !? As a user of a solid-fuel stove I'm less familiar than some with the technicalities of gas ovens, but I'm sure that little flame is a pilot-light. I am trying to imagine a use for the more attractively named pirate-light.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:38 am

Invented, of course, by Barbie Rossa for use on the Spanish mains.
But then booty is in the hold of the ... er
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by trolley » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:13 am

I think they are called pirate rights in Japan.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:28 am

One phrase I've frequently been hearing from journalists and politicians lately is 'on the wrong side of history', as in "Does the regime really want to be on the wrong side of history?"

Underneath the righteous veneer the phrase is merely a pompous way of saying 'doing the wrong thing [which often means simply 'whatever it is I happen not to agree with'] and getting condemned for it'.

I don't know where it originally came from, but the usage seems to have proliferated during the past year or two.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:20 am

...said Erik, exploding the myth that history is a minefield.

Though history teaches us that you can't fight history.
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