Words & Phrases You Never Want To Hear Again

henry

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i still redundant-space before and after lots of punctuation, for balance

but i cant abide double-spacing after a full stop, or between words ... i can spot it a mile away
 

Mythopoeika

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i still redundant-space before and after lots of punctuation, for balance

but i cant abide double-spacing after a full stop, or between words ... i can spot it a mile away
What about lack of capitalisation? Can you live with that?
 

henry

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love it ... i always disable any kind of auto-cap or auto-correct or auto-complete on any device, i resent that crap

of course in the office i have to toe the line
 

henry

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michael swan (not swann) practical english usage on apostrophes for special plurals :
WP_20180130_20_56_33_Pro.jpg

WP_20180130_20_56_38_Pro.jpg
 

henry

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interesting, i wonder if he would go along with :

i know two M.P.'s personally

looks good !
 

Mungoman

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I first came across that in a Philip K. Dick book. I thought he'd made it up.
Nobody uses that word.
How about friendlyleedly, as in they friendlyleedly offered the biscuits to the other passenger...no?
 

Ermintruder

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I insist on using an apostrophe for pluralizing acronyms
I understand the logic behind your concerns, but am unconvinced. Firstly, because my instinct would be to treat acronyms as honorary nouns (which makes sense, surely) and therefore they fall instinctively into the category of simple trailing plural "s" (without apostrophe).

I would feel uneasy seeing a formal written reference to "RADAR's" ( more uneasy than if it read RADARs)...for me, these are spoken varients. In writing, surely they'd be re-framed as "types of RADAR"

However, I should wind my neck in, because I was entirely-unaware that there was any level of formally-approved instances or special cases, wherein the use of apostrophes for plurals was indeed permitted.

My whole weltanschauung has fallen apart, and I may have to take a covfefe view on this whole matter.

Taking this thread back to its original cathartic sniping purpose: I have an aversion to the statement, "Let's park that" but I, may be ok (I'm unsure) with the expression "Keep that thought"
 
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EnolaGaia

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... I would feel uneasy seeing a formal written reference to "RADAR's" ( more uneasy than if it read RADARs)...for me, these are spoken varients. In writing, surely they'd be re-framed as "types of RADAR" ...
Your choice of illustrative example is interesting, because it sets up a follow-on point ...

In my realm of work activity and experience, the original (and capitalized) acronym RADAR was supplanted by its derivative common noun 'radar' a long time ago. I'm not sure I've seen it rendered as an uppercase acronym since at least as far back as the 1970's.

As a result, I always see and write 'radar' / 'radars'.

Another example of an acronym that's come to be treated as a common noun in my area of praxis would be 'snafu' / 'snafus'.

This sort of categorical migration seems to be unique to acronyms (and perhaps certain abbreviations) that are capable of unary pronunciation and achieve a certain level of ubiquity.

The necessary, but not always sufficient, criterion for this evolution seems to be the unary pronunciation (as opposed to spelling it out letter-by-letter). This shift is not sufficient to de-capitalize the former acronym, as illustrated by examples such as RAM and ROM (in IT circles).
 

Ermintruder

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I've seen it rendered as an uppercase acronym since at least as far back as the 1970's.
Ah, well, that's because I'm an aging hypocrite !-).

May I ask- with your specific technical and scientific background & experience, would you willingly-permit (or indeed generate) a contemporary written statement or report that referred to, say, to 'TACAN' (capitalised, acronymic & co-taxonic example ) yet unflinchingly-countenance a nounified entirely-lower-case "radar"? The proximity of such un-nounified acronyms still would not prompt you to capitalise that acronym back into RADAR? Interesting....

My inelegant impression is that the majority (but not all, cf your valid RAM/ROM counter-examples etc) of acronyms associated with inorganic systems become lower-cased into becoming nouns, whereas the majority of acronymic politico/social formations retain their upper-cased sanctity.

Therefore, I think (most?) would agree that eg "NATO" is definitely a preferable format to 'Nato', especially in any formal reporting or referencing. It substantially hinges around the formality of context, of course.

But to unfairly (& illuminatorally) pick again upon the specific example of RADAR/radar (but, never, Radar...so saying, I always liked him in M.A.S.H....an untypical-example of an acronym that has never lost its dots); in your personal codex, you would (?) willingly-accept both of the following apostrophic examples:

"Both Type 15 and Type 21 RADAR's are over-engineered" and

"
It is likely that RADAR's days as a navigation aid are numbered"

(Using your logical accomodation ....
As a result, I always see and write 'radar' / 'radars'
does, I agree, avoid such crunch-points. Because for me, that particular plural-predicative 'postrophe's particularly-problematic...

Another example of an acronym that's come to be treated as a common noun in my area of praxis would be 'snafu' / 'snafus'
I've always liked the term, and (of course) since it is inherently-infornal, the circumstances within which one would anticipate to see examples of written plurals would be rare. I'm also sure that 'snafu' has become extremely-rare, these says in the UK...I do mean the acronym, not the state of being.

that are capable of unary pronunciation and achieve a certain level of ubiquity.
Agreed, completely. I get the impression that the acronyn 'SCUBA' became "scuba" the day after it was coined.

What's your position @EnolaGaia on the (I assumed, apocryphal, but potentially-true) origins of the word "scram"?

EDIT
I forgot to include my bugbear bit, in pursuit of this thread's raison d'etre....

I feel the word 'conversation' had become fatally-wounded. In the UK, it's been over-used as a weasel-word of witless circularity. Maybe I'm just an old grump (well, not just) or, plain wrong in my impression, but the word is now horribly-loaded/infected. Ever since we (We, the Grate Brutish Public) were meant to be engaged in a 'National Conversation', courtesy of that ever-so-nice Cameron chap. Or was it Blair? It tends to all become a bit of a blur, sometimes I become confused when they swap masks, after the music stops...
 
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maximus otter

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I insist on using an apostrophe for pluralizing acronyms...
I insist on people understanding the difference between:

Acronym:
An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g. ASCII, NASA).

Initialism:
An abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (e.g. BBC).

maximus otter
 

Ermintruder

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insist on people understanding the difference between:

Acronym: vs Initialism
I had always supported this differential- ie that acronyms were initialisms-pronouncible-as-words. My gut-feel gist understanding of 'acro' meaning as in physical support, uplift, to height (no, I haven't looked it up, I'm thinking laterally, from 'acrobat' or 'acropolis', or even propriatory "Acro" props, on building sites)
 

EnolaGaia

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... May I ask- with your specific technical and scientific background & experience, would you willingly-permit (or indeed generate) a contemporary written statement or report that referred to, say, to 'TACAN' (capitalised, acronymic & co-taxonic example ) yet unflinchingly-countenance a nounified entirely-lower-case "radar"? The proximity of such un-nounified acronyms still would not prompt you to capitalise that acronym back into RADAR? Interesting....
Exactly ... The situation is the same for 'laser'. In such situations ...

Once an acronym-derived common noun becomes the norm, it doesn't revert to the all-caps form unless one is emphasizing the process or principle specifically denoted in the acronym itself.

The only times I've seen 'LASER' rather than 'laser' over the last 3 or 4 decades is when a writer is referring to the effect itself ('light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation') rather than a device that exhibits or generates this effect.

This dichotomy seems to be peculiar to acronyms derived from effects or processes that have migrated to denote objects related to the effect or process.


My inelegant impression is that the majority (but not all, cf your valid RAM/ROM counter-examples etc) of acronyms associated with inorganic systems become lower-cased into becoming nouns, whereas the majority of acronymic politico/social formations retain their upper-cased sanctity. ...
Let me answer in reverse order ...

Yes - I can't think of an example in which a capitalized acronym for an organization has shifted to all lowercase. The example of 'Nato' you cited is the closest thing that comes to mind.

Generally speaking, I agree that it seems the transmutation of acronyms into common nouns occurs only with inorganic / non-social / abstract objects.
 

EnolaGaia

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https://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2011/05/17/putting-the-axe-to-the-scram-myth/
The evergreen Safety Control Rod Axe Man backronym/etymology (or, going by the link I've just discovered, the probable etymolmythology)
OK ... I'm familiar with that particular application of the term 'scram' in nuclear operations, as well as the popular axe-man version of its origin. I'd never given the origin tale any thought.

The NRC account of Nyer's recollection (that it means, "You scram out of here") rings far more true than the axe-man interpretation. One reason is that I've given or heard the same sort of explanation for oddly-titled emergency buttons or controls in other settings.
 

Peripart

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In all seriousness, what hope?

I'd hazard that 30-40% of the population cannot reliably employ an apostrophe; the niceties we are carping about aren't even taught.
Nicety's, you mean, surely?



***runs off quickly...***
 

GNC

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I've never told anyone this before, but when I see plurals misspelled with an apostrophe, I add the word "is" in my head. So if the sentence says "Take a look at these photo's" I think "Take a look at these photo is?" Funny the things...
 

Mythopoeika

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I've never told anyone this before, but when I see plurals misspelled with an apostrophe, I add the word "is" in my head. So if the sentence says "Take a look at these photo's" I think "Take a look at these photo is?" Funny the things...
I do that too.
 

Andy X

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Here's an apostrophe atrocity I saw quite a few years ago. It amused me at the time but you have to admit that this is a tricky one and they certainly had a spirited crack at it.

RamID_FTMB.jpg
 

Mythopoeika

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I bet a lot more people would get the correct positioning of the apostrophe right if he gave them 20 seconds to comply.
ED would shoot them anyway.
 
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