Word Peevs: we all have them!

Often times:   Why don’t you just say ‘often’?

Begs the question: 95% of the time you mean ‘raises the question.’

Familiar pronounced as Fur-miliar: Unless you are talking about your cat…

The problem is, is…: The thing is, is this is really annoying for me. The question is, is this annoying to anyone else?

Don’t get me wrong…: Whenever I read this, it irreversibly changes the tone of whatever I’m reading into a sing-songy newscaster kind of voice. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s what you’re going for, then do it! But otherwise, you might want to pick a less cliche phrasing.

Structuring sentences like this: “Turning in my chair, I vomited with irritation.” Instead of “I turned in my chair and vomited with irritation.” Or “I turned in my chair. Irritable vomit spewed forth.” Even worse is stringing the ings like “Turning in my chair and vomiting with irritation, I read this sentence.” Even worser if EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE is structured this way.

Scantily-clad: Another cliche, but this one particularly annoys me because nowhere else ever are the words ‘scantily’ and ‘clad’ used, except right next to each other. Please say something else.

And here are some from my writing/editing friends:

I’ll be there in three days’ time: Three days. Just, three days. Would you ever say “I’ll have three pounds’ weight of carrots please.” No, you wouldn’t.

For all intensive purposes: This is a double annoyance because the correct phrase, ‘for all intents and purposes’ is redundant.

Reply back or respond back: Could you reply forward, or to the left?

Unthaw: I have never heard this but have been assured it is a real thing people say when they mean ‘thaw’, not an ironic way to say ‘freeze’.

Alot: A lot, as in one lot of stuff. I have a bad feeling this will end up in the dictionary eventually, though.

I could of died: I may HAVE died just reading that. Please send help.

Definate: This is not a word. Please pay attention to the squiggly. It knows more than you.

Proberly and suposably: Probably you should read a book now and then. Supposedly it helps with understanding what words are.

Per se: I know some people who say this all the time, per se. I wonder, per se, if they know what it means.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more and post them as they strike me…

What are your word peeves?


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