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Hated words

The most recent xkcd distills a concentrated essence of word rage and word aversion triggers:

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"Linguistic norms" vs. "groundless peeves"

In the comments on various recent LL posts, someone using various names has been complaining repeatedly and at length about "Linguistic Post-Modernists" who allegedly believe that "there is no such thing as a 'wrong' usage, only nonstandard ones", and so on. Since the associated set of confusions is all too common, I've collected below a […]

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Yagoda on semantic change

Ben Yagoda shows in this article in Slate (not for the first time) that he is one English professor cum journalistic writer who really is smart as well as witty when writing about language. In this article he actually does some empirical research on the extent to which the prescriptivist conservatives are holding their ground […]

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"Toot chuckle lil' kidnap Snooki"

Tominda Atkins, "Words we hate. Discuss.", 2/22/2011: We all have them, and we can't explain why. Words that just sound like nails on a chalkboard to our unique little snowflake ears. Here are mine. What are yours? toot chuckle lil' kidnap Snooki There are probably more, but when I hear or read those words, I […]

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The Chinglish that I write about regularly is only one member of a burgeoning brood of English hybrid languages.  Other well-known congeners of Chinglish are Franglais and Spanglish.  Perhaps less well known, but equally colorful, is Denglish, that variety of German (Deutsch) that has absorbed a conspicuous amount of poorly assimilated English elements.  In a […]

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Six words

According to Dan O'Brien, these are "Six Words That Need To Be Banned from the English Language": moist, jowls, bulbous, yolk, slurp, pulp. (Sorry, Dan.)

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Prejudices, egocentrism, impositions, and intransigence

In the world of linguistic peevery, there are several levels of hell. On the lowest reside expressions that incite some people to rage, the symptoms of which are frothing at the mouth, extreme physical revulsion, and an inclination towards violence (up to homicide) against the perpetrator. You hope that all of this is merely verbally […]

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Some kind of grammar, um, strict police

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The "meh" wars, part 2

Last week a truce was brokered in the great Philadelphia Alt-Weekly Battle over Meh. But fresh fighting has broken out on the webcomic front. Here's today's Overcompensating strip from Jeffrey Rowland (click to expand): Meh has its supporters, particularly among fans of "The Simpsons" (see this piece by Mark Peters for more Simpsoniana). But in […]

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Sausages, nails, and infinitives

A couple of weeks ago, John McIntyre took a critical look at Word Rage ("Walsh should be shot!") — from the prescriptivist point of view ("With friends like this", 4/14/2008). John is not only the Baltimore Sun's assistant managing editor for the copy desk, but also a past president of the American Copy Editors Society, […]

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Angry linguistic mobs with torches

A couple of days ago, Andrew Mueller at the Guardian tossed some bleeding gobbets into the crowd of ravening peevologists ("Linguistic pedants of the world unite", 4/14/2008). His point of departure: For centuries, travellers have crossed America to explore it, conquer it, settle it, exploit it and study it. Now, a small but righteous crew […]

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