Words & Phrases You Never Want To Hear Again

EnolaGaia

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The worst noun as verb is "impact", it's everywhere now, why didn't someone stop it before it was too late?!
"Impact" originated as a verb in the early 17th century, and it wasn't used as a noun until the late 18th century.
impact (v.)
c. 1600, "press closely into something," from Latin impactus, past participle of impingere "to push into, drive into, strike against," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + pangere "to fix, fasten" (from PIE root *pag- "to fasten"). Original sense is preserved in impacted teeth. Sense of "strike forcefully against something" first recorded 1916. Figurative sense of "have a forceful effect on" is from 1935. ...

impact (n.)
1738, "collision, act of striking against, striking of one thing against another," from impact (v.). Figurative sense of "forceful impression" is from 1817 (Coleridge).
https://www.etymonline.com/word/impact
 

Cloudbusting

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"My truth" :roll:

Lately language seems to be morphing in such a way as to conflate and confuse fact, opinion and belief into one big messy soup, with the aim of suppressing healthy debate and challenge.

/rant
 

Peripart

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I still get a bit annoyed when people use "infer" to mean "imply", when it really means the opposite. It's quite possible that my annoyance says more about me than it does about them!


The one that gets my goat right now is the constant reference on TV to the French Open (tennis) being a "slam". This is, with respect (!), total bollocks. A Grand Slam is, I believe, a term used in bridge to denote winning every hand in a game. By extension, it has since been used to refer to winning all of the 4 major tennis tournaments in a year - that is, the French, US and Australian Opens, and Wimbledon.

Therefore, the French is considered a Major, but winning all 4 is a (Grand) Slam.

I'm now just waiting for the verb: "Nadal has slammed 3 times this year".
 

Stormkhan

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I think words like metaphor/simile, infer/imply, etc. are more misused by ignorance than intent.
Yeah, I know words matter. Boy, do I know that! Folks say some words because they have been lead to believe that this is the use of them. It's not silly, such as saying "pacific" instead of "specific" and so on. It is literally what people have been taught.
I consider myself literate in the English language. I've been reading since I was four years old, I'm interested in words, their use and their derivation. I've been an editor, albeit an amateur. As a side "job", I review books. I treasure my "hardcopies" of Fowler's, OC Dictionary and OC Thesaurus. I look words up on Wikipedia, dammit!
All this said, I get annoyed by listening to the news on radio to folks who've been educated to far far higher level than myself, to those who interview, as journalists, and they are so damn sloppy in the language that what they ask or what they answer makes no sense! Politicians, for instance, are very careful over their word use. After all, they can be quoted back if something goes wrong. But when an allegedly intelligent interviewer doesn't pick them up on a linguistic dodge (e.g. "we intend for such-and-such to happen" or "we anticipate for such-and-such to happen"), it makes me think the interviewer is either a) not literate or b) doing it on purpose.
Anyone can make linguistic mistakes, of course. They can say one thing while really meaning another. And there is an argument to the idea that as long as the message is communicated, the linguistic niceties aren't important. Who cares if the 'rules' are followed as long as the intent is carried? But in certain sectors, such as legal, business, and advertising, the words used do matter. And you'd better understand what they mean and how you use them!
 

CharmerKamelion

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I hate it when people say 'the proof is in the pudding', no, no its not, what you mean to say is 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating' grrr!
I agree with you on that, Souleater. And you hear it a hell of a lot these days. Really annoying.

Apologies if someone has already nominated this, but the expression 'from the get go' is one that sets my teeth on edge. The verbal equivalent of nails down a blackboard to me. Oh, and at the end of the day "at the end of of the day" is very annoying too.

And everyone these days seems to use "going forward" instead of "in the future". Where did that come from? If they can go anywhere but forward, presumably they have either a time machine, or the ability to slip sideways into another dimension. Is it supposed to sound positive and dynamic? Just sounds like stating the bleedin' obvious to me. Rant over.
 
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EnolaGaia

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Stormkhan

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Nope.
You lost me at "originally" and my eyes glazed after that. :p
 

Austin Popper

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"Impact" originated as a verb in the early 17th century, and it wasn't used as a noun until the late 18th century.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/impact
Aw crap. I gots no reason to be annoyed by it anymore. Eh, should make things infinitesimally easier.

I like the fact that ain't has at least as good a pedigree as the things the nuns used to force us to use instead, on pain of a rap on the knuckles with that nasty ruler.
 

Victory

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"Pushback."

Started hearing it about five years ago in relation to people opposing and responding to a statement, movement or action...often political or PR related.

Comes across as one of those Buzzwords that people use in business to sound clever.
 

EnolaGaia

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"Pushback."
Started hearing it about five years ago in relation to people opposing and responding to a statement, movement or action...often political or PR related.
It dates back farther than the last decade ...

"Pushback" has a long history of usage in relation to backing aircraft or boats away from their docks, a type of reclining chair, and automated doors one can physically engage to make them withdraw from a closing attempt.

This 2007 New York Times article by William Safire cites the earliest known use in print as occurring in 1999 and in the context of business (as you noted) ...
Today, pushback as a noun with a new sense has elbowed its way into the language. It started surfacing in business journals at the end of the second millennium: “Some are nervously raising prices,” reported a Wall Street Journal enterprise team in 1999, “always watchful of pushback from consumers.” Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy secretary of the Defense Department, picked it up in July 2004 in telling the press that an idea to create a joint national training center was set aside because “the pushback from the military was very strong.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/14/magazine/14wwln_safire.t.html
 

Victory

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@EnolaGaia

Just noticed this from today's Daily Mail.

Not an incorrect usage, but it reads awkwardly.

To push back a date/appointment is a regular use of the phrase, but the way this headline is worded is almost as if the day itself is a sentient being, and is rebelling against being superceded by another day in the calendar as the day most English Covid restrictions are lifted!

pbb.jpg
 

EnolaGaia

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I don't recall ever seeing "pushback" / "push-back" (as a single word / noun) used in relation to "pushing back" (delaying / postponing) a planned date or deadline.

If it weren't for the "two-week delay ..." bit preface, one might be forgiven for parsing the trailing part as:

"Ministers are split over last-minute push-back against the previously decided / announced June 21 date for X as evidence mounts on vaccine effectiveness despite 68% rise in Covid cases."

This version insinuates it's the original June 21 date (an extant decision) against which resistance has suddenly emerged. If I understand the intended thrust of this poorly-phrased version it only means there's debate over whether to postpone the planned implementation date. The implications aren't exactly the same ...
 

catseye

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I think words like metaphor/simile, infer/imply, etc. are more misused by ignorance than intent.
Yeah, I know words matter. Boy, do I know that! Folks say some words because they have been lead to believe that this is the use of them. It's not silly, such as saying "pacific" instead of "specific" and so on. It is literally what people have been taught.
I consider myself literate in the English language. I've been reading since I was four years old, I'm interested in words, their use and their derivation. I've been an editor, albeit an amateur. As a side "job", I review books. I treasure my "hardcopies" of Fowler's, OC Dictionary and OC Thesaurus. I look words up on Wikipedia, dammit!
All this said, I get annoyed by listening to the news on radio to folks who've been educated to far far higher level than myself, to those who interview, as journalists, and they are so damn sloppy in the language that what they ask or what they answer makes no sense! Politicians, for instance, are very careful over their word use. After all, they can be quoted back if something goes wrong. But when an allegedly intelligent interviewer doesn't pick them up on a linguistic dodge (e.g. "we intend for such-and-such to happen" or "we anticipate for such-and-such to happen"), it makes me think the interviewer is either a) not literate or b) doing it on purpose.
Anyone can make linguistic mistakes, of course. They can say one thing while really meaning another. And there is an argument to the idea that as long as the message is communicated, the linguistic niceties aren't important. Who cares if the 'rules' are followed as long as the intent is carried? But in certain sectors, such as legal, business, and advertising, the words used do matter. And you'd better understand what they mean and how you use them!
It's because nobody reads any more. If you've read the word 'specific', you know it, you understand its useage. If you never read and only ever watch or listen and mishear the word as 'pacific' then that is what you will say, because you never see the correct version.
 
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