Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Between You and I, Thusly Has to Go: Language Pet Peeves

Watching Alton Brown on the Food Network the other day, I cringed when I heard him say "thusly," twice! Thus is already an adverb so it doesn't need the ~ly.

It made me think about a show I listened to in upstate New York on the local NPR station call The Roundtable. While the show covered every topic under the sun, I loved it when the hosts asked people to call in with the phrase or word that annoyed them the most.

I bopped around the web a bit and found this link to a recent post about the top 10 of the most irritating phrases in the English language as complied by the University of Oxford researchers.

Not to be outdone, I've complied my own list, with comments of course. I hope you add some of your own.
  1. Healthful: Don't ya just mean healthy?

  2. Utilize: Please, just use use. Shorter, simpler, smarter.

  3. Irregardless: Like nails on a chalkboard
  4. Thusly: We've covered this

  5. Between You and I: Because it's really between us

  6. More unique: It's already unique, how can it be more?
  7. The fact of the matter is: What?
  8. Turning nouns into verbs such as We are going to solutionize the problem. My dad, who worked at IBM back in the 80's said that he heard that one a lot and it drove him nuts.

That's all I can think of at this time but I'm sure I'll come up with more.


  1. Hey Kate,
    I have your blog on my igoogle page. I am almost as addicted to it as homemade chocolate pudding (just had some, yummy!)

  2. These two irritate me:
    - I could care less
    - Anyways

    So, anyway, the thing that drives me nuts the most is bad hybrid use of foreign languages with English. I'm OK with adapting foreign words into the English language, but please understand what they mean. When I go to a sandwich shop and see the the phrase "panini's", it's like nails on the chalkboard for me. Italian lesson: panino is the singular for a sandwich, panini is the plural, meaning sandwiches, so panini's means sandwicheses? For the same reason one sandwich shouldn't be described as a "panini". The same goes for gelato/gelati, biscotto/biscotti.

    I'm not irritated by hybrid plurals like pizza's (the Italian plural is pizze) because it's the singular of the Italian word for pizza and the English pluralization. So I'd be fine with panino's, gelato's, and biscotto's.

  3. Argh!