Author Topic: Grammar that makes you cringe  (Read 425790 times)

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5600 on: April 03, 2020, 01:13:02 pm »
Substitute seems to be changing its meaning. It used to mean (and still does) that if X was substituted for Y then X replaced Y. Nowadays it occasionally (often?) means that Y replaced X.  I blame soccer.

Hmmm... Mr. Chambers gives the second meaning as informal or in errors (sic).  I guess that means bloody illiterate.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5601 on: April 03, 2020, 01:45:22 pm »
Substitute seems to be changing its meaning. It used to mean (and still does) that if X was substituted for Y then X replaced Y. Nowadays it occasionally (often?) means that Y replaced X.  I blame soccer.

I'll be perfectly honest, I can never remember which way round is correct. But to be even more honest, if I thought it mattered, I might make more effort to remember! The intended meaning is usually obvious from the context.

I've even been known not to give a toss when people use "evacuate" incorrectly (ie evacuating a building rather than a person).

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5602 on: April 03, 2020, 02:16:47 pm »
Years ago I read of a fire aboard a Eurostar during which "passengers were able to evacuate into a parallel service tunnel". Must have been a bit smelly in there.

Re substitute, the Who knew which way round. https://youtu.be/eswQl-hcvU0
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5603 on: April 03, 2020, 03:18:16 pm »
This is why I would avoid using substitute as a verb. "Replace with" is unambiguous (so far) and doesn't attract criticism.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5604 on: April 03, 2020, 04:11:20 pm »
That's what happens, in the end.  Mistakes co-exist with correct usage and meanings become woolly.  The mistakes usually appear in Guardian crosswords not long into this process.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5605 on: April 03, 2020, 04:32:17 pm »
Substitute seems to be changing its meaning. It used to mean (and still does) that if X was substituted for Y then X replaced Y. Nowadays it occasionally (often?) means that Y replaced X.  I blame soccer.

I'll be perfectly honest, I can never remember which way round is correct. But to be even more honest, if I thought it mattered, I might make more effort to remember! The intended meaning is usually obvious from the context.

I've even been known not to give a toss when people use "evacuate" incorrectly (ie evacuating a building rather than a person).

Shirley a building can be evacuated, so can a person if you have a hose and a funnel
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5606 on: April 03, 2020, 04:43:43 pm »
Shirley a building can be evacuated, so can a person if you have a hose and a funnel

See, I got it the wrong way round in my earlier comment - even though I do actually know the correct usage...

But I’ll try not to lose any sleep over it.

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5607 on: April 07, 2020, 08:44:07 am »
I think President Trump was attempting to say that ambulances are cleaned after every Covid-19 callout. He said, "Ambulances are aerosolized with a spray."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5608 on: April 07, 2020, 09:04:26 am »
That's what happens, in the end.  Mistakes co-exist with correct usage and meanings become woolly.  The mistakes usually appear in Guardian crosswords not long into this process.
The clues in Guardian crosswords seem to be made as far from the standard usage as possible without being impossible to say it's the same word. Which makes sense given their function. Though I do hope nobody's trying to learn English from them.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5609 on: April 07, 2020, 09:14:35 am »
That's what happens, in the end.  Mistakes co-exist with correct usage and meanings become woolly.  The mistakes usually appear in Guardian crosswords not long into this process.
The clues in Guardian crosswords seem to be made as far from the standard usage as possible without being impossible to say it's the same word. Which makes sense given their function. Though I do hope nobody's trying to learn English from them.

I was agreeably surprised the other day when I spelt a German word with an umlaut and the crossword engine accepted it. Then I spelt an English word with a Ü and it accepted that.  Elementary character-mapping, dear Watson.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5610 on: April 07, 2020, 11:02:05 am »
The use of the word "brace" when someone scores two goals in a football match.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5611 on: April 07, 2020, 11:47:13 am »
The clues in Guardian crosswords seem to be made as far from the standard usage as possible without being impossible to say it's the same word. Which makes sense given their function. Though I do hope nobody's trying to learn English from them.

Most crossword compilers use Chambers as their dictionary of choice - mainly because of its liberal attitude towards the inclusion of variant spellings and secondary meanings. I also have on my bookshelf a copy of the Chambers Crossword Dictionary, which includes plentiful lists of common cruciverbalisms.

The only thing you will learn from doing crosswords regularly is how to become good at solving crosswords.

Brewers Dictionary of Phrase & Fable is also a classic crossword companion.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5612 on: April 09, 2020, 10:38:16 am »
The clues in Guardian crosswords seem to be made as far from the standard usage as possible without being impossible to say it's the same word. Which makes sense given their function. Though I do hope nobody's trying to learn English from them.

Most crossword compilers use Chambers as their dictionary of choice - mainly because of its liberal attitude towards the inclusion of variant spellings and secondary meanings. I also have on my bookshelf a copy of the Chambers Crossword Dictionary, which includes plentiful lists of common cruciverbalisms.

The only thing you will learn from doing crosswords regularly is how to become good at solving crosswords.

Brewers Dictionary of Phrase & Fable is also a classic crossword companion.


Yeah. In the Graun's Quick this morning they decided that specious meant deceptively pleasing, which is a bit bass-ackwards IMHO. Specious for me starts out pleasing then disappoints, rather than the other way round.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5613 on: April 09, 2020, 12:27:29 pm »
Yesterday I was unmangling a document that had been put together by automatic speech recognition (see rants passim). One of the gems of this one was its reference to "chief Brexit negotiator Michelle Obama". It was only after I'd sent it off that I realised I'd corrected the surname but forgotten to de-feminise his first name.  ::-) The worst of it is, I'm sure nobody even noticed.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5614 on: April 15, 2020, 09:42:55 am »
Quote
...a siphonophore measuring an estimated 150 feet (46 metres)...The research vehicle dove as deep as 4,439 metres, but the siphonophore was only discovered as the vehicle was making its way back to the surface at around 630 metres... The new siphonophore was about twice as long as many blue whales, and three times as long as a humpback whale, which usually grow to around 50ft long.
On balance I rather like this inconsistency, as it assumes the target audience (Americans, judging by the use of 'dove') will be familiar with both measurement systems.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/15/like-a-spiral-ufo-worlds-longest-animal-discovered-in-australian-waters
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5615 on: April 15, 2020, 09:28:26 pm »
Quote
...a siphonophore measuring an estimated 150 feet (46 metres)...The research vehicle dove as deep as 4,439 metres, but the siphonophore was only discovered as the vehicle was making its way back to the surface at around 630 metres... The new siphonophore was about twice as long as many blue whales, and three times as long as a humpback whale, which usually grow to around 50ft long.
On balance I rather like this inconsistency, as it assumes the target audience (Americans, judging by the use of 'dove') will be familiar with both measurement systems.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/15/like-a-spiral-ufo-worlds-longest-animal-discovered-in-australian-waters
Depth in metres, length in feet. Nothing inconsistent about that. ;)

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5616 on: April 16, 2020, 07:01:15 am »
I can't fathom depths in metres

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5617 on: April 16, 2020, 11:58:07 am »
Whereas I'm a fully paid-up member of the Metric Depth League.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5618 on: April 16, 2020, 01:42:40 pm »
I can't fathom depths in metres
Are you a feet on the ground sort of guy?
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5619 on: April 17, 2020, 08:48:44 am »
Prodigal sheep returns after seven years in Tasmania
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/16/prickles-the-sheep-home-at-last-after-fleeing-2013-tasmanian-bushfires

Well, not "cringe", but I expected to read that the sheep had gone back to Australia or NZ after sojourning in a far country and wasting substance with riotous living, and to hear what the sheep's older sibling had to say.  Perhaps something like "I've always stayed here on the home pasture, and now you're giving her a ride in your Ute?"

perhaps "After seven years, prodigal sheep returns in Tasmania" ?

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5620 on: April 17, 2020, 05:25:03 pm »
Quote
...a siphonophore measuring an estimated 150 feet (46 metres)...The research vehicle dove as deep as 4,439 metres, but the siphonophore was only discovered as the vehicle was making its way back to the surface at around 630 metres... The new siphonophore was about twice as long as many blue whales, and three times as long as a humpback whale, which usually grow to around 50ft long.
On balance I rather like this inconsistency, as it assumes the target audience (Americans, judging by the use of 'dove') will be familiar with both measurement systems.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/15/like-a-spiral-ufo-worlds-longest-animal-discovered-in-australian-waters

Criticizing the Graun's grammar isn't really fair. It's like criticizing your dog's cooking.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5621 on: April 17, 2020, 08:05:40 pm »
Prodigal sheep returns after seven years in Tasmania
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/16/prickles-the-sheep-home-at-last-after-fleeing-2013-tasmanian-bushfires

Well, not "cringe", but I expected to read that the sheep had gone back to Australia or NZ after sojourning in a far country and wasting substance with riotous living, and to hear what the sheep's older sibling had to say.  Perhaps something like "I've always stayed here on the home pasture, and now you're giving her a ride in your Ute?"

perhaps "After seven years, prodigal sheep returns in Tasmania" ?
Yes. That was kind of in my mind at the time.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Andrij

  • Андрій
  • Ερασιτεχνικός μισάνθρωπος
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5622 on: April 18, 2020, 05:52:12 pm »
A local shop informs customers:
Quote
WE HAVE HAD TO REDUCE OUR OPENING AND CLOSING HOURS

 ???
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5623 on: April 19, 2020, 01:29:27 pm »
A local shop informs customers:
Quote
WE HAVE HAD TO REDUCE OUR OPENING AND CLOSING HOURS

 ???

Daylight saving...   ;D
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5624 on: April 19, 2020, 02:18:16 pm »
A local shop informs customers:
Quote
WE HAVE HAD TO REDUCE OUR OPENING AND CLOSING HOURS

 ???

This is the punchline to some kind of quantum physics joke, isn't it?