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. Ruff? I’ve nev­er heard that down here, except from my dog. Must be a Yan­kee thing.

    I love Cana­di­an pro­nun­ci­a­tions. And I love Cana­di­ans.

    Great list!

  5. 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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