Monday, November 7, 2011

In Which I Have Pet Peeves

Let's take a moment to discuss the things that drive us a little bit cray cray. You know, those pet peeves  that you wish you could correct across the board, so you'd no longer be confronted by them.
You know the things. And I want to know all about them too. Especially if it's something that I don't know about.
So here's a list of my top pet-peeves:
1. Poisonous vs Venomous
This one has to be my number one pet peeve. I go a bit ballistic every time it comes up. Which is all the time
Poisonous - something you eat that makes you ill
Venomous - something that makes you ill by some other means, usually a bite, but possibly also a sting.
So please don't say snakes are poisonous. They are venomous. As are scorpions, spiders and male platypuses.
2. Nauseous vs Nauseated
This a common one, and I actually only learned about this in the last 5-6 years or so.
Nauseous means causing nausea. When you say you are nauseous, what that means is, you are making everyone else sick. Example:
Jean and Jim are hanging out together. Jean says she's nauseous.
What that means is - Jean is making Jim feel sick.
If Jean actually wants to say that she's not feeling well, she should say she's nauseated.
3. Bison vs Buffalo
This is something that almost everyone knows, but must be too lazy to be accurate.
The giant hoofed mammals native to North America and parts of South America are Bison.
The giant hoofed mammals native to Africa and Asia are Buffalo.
4. Healthy vs Healthful
This one is pretty easy to remember.
Things are healthful (good for one's health) and People (or animals) are healthy (in a state of good health)
WRONG - eat a healthy breakfast
RIGHT - eat a healthful breakfast.
RIGHT - You look healthy today.
And that's it! I may make this an ongoing feature, because I'm sure I'll think up some of my other pet peeves.
Alright, now its your turn. What are some of your pet peeves? Let us know! I certainly don't want to the person driving you crazy.


Dan Schwent said...

My biggest pet peeve is when people misuse the word "literally."

Anne Gallagher said...

Ha! Alright vs. All right. I don't have the spunk right now to debate this, but alright drives me nuts. I don't use it. Because everything is all right. Although both are correct, I think I could take alright in dialogue, but it still drives me cray cray.

Sorry. I didn't mean to pick on you.

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the reminder. I am guilty of the buffalo and bison one.

Hart Johnson said...

teehee--Don't hold back... I have things that bug me... when people use could OF instead of could HAVE.

Though that alright all right thing is one I do--alright means sort of okay, where all right means everythings right--I think this is a regional distinction, which we don't think of the US having, but it seems to.

And the sneaked versus snuck... sneaked will NEVER look right to me. Where I grew up, snuck was ALWAYS used.

vic caswell said...

what!?!?! i think i'm guilty of all of these!!! eeks!
my language pet peeves come more along the lines of accent. like my grandma always says she's going to "warsh" the dishes... but now, i guess i kinda just go with it. i kinda get a kick out of people's little slip-ups.
or maybe i just need to work on my grammer...
naw. that can't be it. :P

JE said...

You know, Grammar Girl says that #2 is only for the super nit-pickers. LoL. She really did say that in her book, though--I just read that part this past weekend. ;-)

But we all have pet peeves. I've got a slew of them, too!


DL Hammons said...

Realizing that you've probably used one or two of these incorrectly in the past is like looking down and seeing your zipper down! :)

Kimberlee Turley said...

I have a huge list of misused words, but they aren't my pet peeves. Near the top though, is Calvary vs. cavalry.

Southpaw said...

It's so funny the things that peeve us. The bison/buffalo one is not made any easier white place called "Buffalo Run".

Hannah said...

I think my biggest and the most common ones are:

You're vs. your
a lot vs. alot
borrow vs. loan
itch vs. scratch

When people put extra s's on words...I have loads of peeves.

Ninja Girl said...

Wow, Falen, I've never thought about some of those before. Though I will say that one about "nauseous vs. nauseated" reminds me of Josie Grosie in Never Been Kissed lol :D One of my pet peeves is "their vs. they're," two completely different meanings.
Hope you have a great one,
Ninja Girl

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Cement vs. Concrete. Cement is an ingredient in concrete. You cannot have a cement floor or a cement wall. You must have a concrete wall or a concrete floor. Writers (especially women) get this wrong all of the time.

Anxious vs Eager. Anxious is "nervous or afraid". One is not "anxious" to reunite with loved ones. Yet I hear it misused constantly.

Joan Crawford said...

I always say "This is she." when people call and ask for me, even though they always pause briefly in response (my mom was a real stickler for that one).

I too say "nauseated" but people always try to correct me "Oh, so were feeling nauseous?"

Austin Gorton said...

You can blame pop culture and cereal commercials for the buffalo/bison, healthy/healthful confusion, and give that battle up as lost.

I know I've got some of these too, but can't think of many off the top of my head. In general, I'm a stickler for what's "right" in language, so I'm always bugged by the fact that English is a living language that evolves to allow for common mistakes to become correct so long as enough people ignore the right usage.

"Irregardless" drives me nuts, as do people who say "revert back". And, as you know, I go out of my way to not end sentences with prepositions, no matter how stiff and formal it ends up sounding.

Good vs. well is an old chestnut, and I'm generally okay with the occasional "how are you/I'm good" simply because it's become an accepted colloquialism by now.

But I can't stand listening to post-baseball game interviews because everyone did everything GOOD. He pitched good, he saw the ball good, he got after it good, etc. Drives me NUTS simply because they're wrong so often and don't seem to realize it.

@Hannah: borrow vs. loan bugs me too. But you may as well give up on itch/scratch. I'm pretty sure the dictionary has even changed it so that the two are more or less synonymous now.

julie fedderson said...

Platypuses are venomous? I couldn't get past that. I'm having visions of the Mr. Rogers happy platypus family chasing me with fangs dripping poison. Or a duckbill dripping poison.

LD Masterson said...

Oh dear, I think I'm guilty of mis-using nauseous/nauseated.

It's the simple ones that make me crazy, i.e. there/their/they're. Those kind of errors should never be found in professional letters and e-mails, but they are.

Lola Sharp said...

I have a million peeves, grammar, language, and otherwise. (don't get me started on people driving slow in the fast lane or people who wear socks in bed. *twitches*)
But I try to remind myself that we're all human, we all make mistakes, and I'm the least perfect person I know.
That said, when professionals, ad-execs, etc., put out commercials on TV that say things like:
"Dodge Caravan, it LITERALLY gave birth to all other mini-vana." (um, unless it squeezed a Town & Country, Odyssey, (insert Ford, etc. minivan brands) out of it's (non-existant) vagina, NO, IT DIDN'T. Trust me. I've given birth. Literally.

I just watched a G.E. commercial whereby a scientist (not an actor) complete in white lab coat, talking about their newest com-technology, say: "We are LITERALLY making the world smaller."
Um, unless you are shrinking the mass or diameter etc. of Earth, NO, YOU ARE NOT. They should say they are FIGURATIVELY making the world smaller.

Then again, I use all sorts of slang and made-up words, obvs, so I really should stop typing now. *slinks away in shame*

Maria Zannini said...

Well, I'll be darned. I didn't know there was a difference between poisonous and venomous. I've seen the words used interchangeably when referring to snakes.

LTM said...

I am SO with you on that "healthy" v. "healthful" thing. Hello! And those water buffalo are also like the third or fourth deadliest animals to man. Seriously.

As for nauseous. I know what you're saying is right, but if you're writing YA, the kids use it wrong. And it's way more authentic wrong.

Sorry, girl. :D <3

TL Conway said...

Gah! I am embarrassed for my grammar!

I have a problem with when to use me/myself. As for pronunciation, I cringe when people say "expresso" or "exspecially" but I really freak out when Mary Murphy (judge for So You Think You Can Dance) says "shtrong."

There is no "h" in strong. Period.

I like this post idea--I hope you write another!

Adrianne Russell said...

Ha! I think I made the "nauseous" mistake yesterday. But I blame the fact that I was freaked out from feeling the Oklahoma earthquake in Kansas City!

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