Thirteen irregular word uses

To quote Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame): “Verbing weirds language”.

  1. Impact is not a verb, no matter how often people say “the plane impacted into the mountainside”.
  2. Irregardless is not a word. Regardless of what you I might think. (However, I still think it’s a pointless word meaningless verbal bastard. (Thanks, Doug!))
  3. Unthawed means to freeze, not to make not frozen.
  4. You borrow things from someone, not to someone.*
  5. Alot is two words: “a lot”.
  6. …looks on has reached its saturation point in newspaper photo captions.
  7. I find it irritating to be mocked by Americans for pronouncing “about” as aboot**—especially when I continue to hear the word roof pronounced as ruff by some of our neighbours south of the border.
  8. Even though it’s a real word, orientate gets my goat. There’s a perfectly good word already, and it’s orient.
  9. Unnecessary non-standard words, used in an effort to sound eloquent, such as utilized where used would suffice, or…
  10. at a high rate of speed for fast. These always strike me as terms used by people trying to sound intelligent; unfortunately they usually make them sound pompous.
  11. Comprised of annoys me. It should be “composed of”. Both of the following are correct: “The band trip was composed of thirty-five high school students.” “Nineteen wolves comprised the whole of the zoo. What a boring zoo trip that was.”
  12. My high-school gym teacher once told us, before a ski trip, that we should dress warm, but not “like the abdominal snowman“. I was the only one in the gym that laughed.
  13. Thursday is not a verb, but I feel like I’ve been Thursdayed.

* This is a French thing, and I hear it in my hometown, but not in the town where I now live. It’s because en français, the verb prêter means both “to borrow” and “to lend”. It’s a vectored verb, in that it has a direction. (If “vectored verb” isn’t a grammatical term already, I hereby coin it.)

** Which is a pronunciation I’ve never heard in Canada, by the by.

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13 thoughts on “Thirteen irregular word uses

  1. I love this list! #5 is my biggest pet peeve; I’m trying to figure out a way to launch a crusade against the use of alot. It really drives me nuts, and I don’t know how it’s been perpetuated! Happy TT!

  2. a lot… that’s a good one that i often forget about! good TT list… my TT this week is all about things not to feed my dog (based on unfortunate previous experiences)!

  3. thank you! I don’t think i’ve ever said Aboot or ‘eh’.

    and the borrow/lend thing is something my husband and i argue over all the time. nice to see i’m right! 😉

  4. My pet peeve has always been people who pronounce “harass” as if it were someone’s last name. And it really cheesed me when I discovered that that was an allowable pronunciation.

    My high school English text called irregardless “a meaningless verbal bastard.” I love that.

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