Thursday, June 05, 2008

The English Impatient


There's a new commercial for Silk brand pretend milk that's turning up on TV more and more. It features a woman standing in front of a spare white background and talking to the camera about the joys of drinking something made from beans.

She says, "At first, I admit I was pretty weary about trying Silk."

Which would mean that the thought of branching out to a new kind of milk made her very, very tired.

I have surprisingly few grammatical or vocabulary pet peeves, but for the record:

Weary = Tired

Wary = Cautious

Sure it may not seem like a big deal, but if we let this crap slide the next thing you know we'll all be thinking it's perfectly acceptable to pronounce nuclear "NOO-kyu-lur."

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

How did no one on the set correct her and why didn't the editor notice? Maybe the ad agency just hates Silk and this was a rebellious act.
A girl can dream...

Alan David Doane said...

don't even get me started on "unthaw."

Stephen said...

People talk uncorrectly irregardless on your common terry.

Anonymous said...

You really need to get out of the house. Don't you have a job yet? Take that Huffington quote and shop your book around to publishers.

Do something. Anything but watch TV.

Susan

Jayne said...

Wow, Chez. This Susan chick is worse than me.

Chez said...

Yeah, but I guarantee you're hotter.

Anonymous said...

I think it's more of a portmanteau/eggcorn phenomenon involving "leery" and "wary." Eventually, the usage will be so ubiquitous that "cautious/suspicious" will be an acceptable definition for weary. (How many people use the correct form of "strait-laced" or "champ at the bit" anymore?)

Ally said...

How else are you supposed to pronounce nuclear?

I kid, I kid...

Erica Dee said...

I heard someone use the word travesty to describe a house fire the other night on the news.

travesty- mockery, perversion, sham, distortion.

tragedy- a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster.

Anonymous said...

Er, Jayne, that would be "worse than I. . ."

I mean, as long as we're on the subject.

Blonde Savant said...

Oh my God this is my biggest pet peeve! I don't even understand how it happens either. They are two totally different words. Yeah, they sound sort of similar...I guess...IF YOU"RE A MORON!

TGT said...

You know what? I could care less.

I mean that literally. Misuse of language pisses me off, too.

Jayne said...

you're correct.

Chez, that chick is worse than I (am).

sigh... I have real work to do...

Leigh said...

oooh... i hate that one. it's right up there with "orientated" for me.

Anonymous said...

"Though disapproved of by many, pronunciations ending in \-kyə-lər\ have been found in widespread use among educated speakers including scientists, lawyers, professors, congressmen, United States cabinet members, and at least two United States presidents and one vice president. While most common in the United States, these pronunciations have also been heard from British and Canadian speakers."
-Merriam Webster

Aaron said...

My "favorite" is "heart-rendering".
You usually hear it from a news reporter describing a really sad scene. Talk about spoiling the mood...

Chez said...

Anon 12:59 --

I've said this before, but obviously you're new to the proceedings:

Just because everyone does it, that doesn't make it correct (see: Christianity). Merriam Webster just fucking gave up at some point and filed it under "Acceptable Social Variant."

Anonymous said...

Well all of the English language is pretty damn arbitrary anyway.

What's wrong with a more phonetic, regionally varied range of spelling? Would Tom Sawyer have been a best seller if it had been run thru a spell-checker?
Why submit to a homogenized language?

trish said...

Anon @1:18... I'll bet you were one of those people who really got behind Ebonics weren't you?

LaRoach said...

That sort of thing makes me INSANE. Lose vs loose are my pet peeve...

Anonymous said...

No, I'm not old enough.
Nor do I think that a wholesale switch in "spelling dialect" is desirable. But Mark Twain definitely incorporated a form of "Ebonics" in his books as well.

I would prefer language to be an expressive device for communication rather than a stylized science for the anally-retentive grammar gestapo.

I think that this may be gradually happening with the infiltration of leetspeak and texttalk.

Wherefore shalt thou resisteth?

Chez said...

Yeah! Don't try to keep me down with your, your grammar!

Look, I'm not talking about slight variations in pronunciation when I talk about weary vs. wary. I'm talking about the complete misuse of a word -- using a word that sounds like another but doesn't mean the same thing, and saying that it's okay.

It's not.

Mika aka Xeyli said...

Incorrect/improper grammar, punctuation, spelling... these are all huge pet peeves of mine. It's more of a pet peeve in writing than it is in speech, but yes... if the word is noticeably incorrect, that would annoy the hell out of me.

You've probably just cursed me and I'll start seeing this commercial every night (because I haven't seen it yet).

Anonymous said...

Dude, I, like, totally agree with not switching words.
Just don't let your hatred of Bush turn you against any pronunciation he may use.

He's just a president, dude.

Sheriff Bart said...

My grammar is generally shit, but there are two groups of people I want to punch in the throat.

What really gets me is when someone mistakes coincidence for irony.

Don't even get me started on the fuckers who can't use "literally" properly.

VOTAR said...

Yeah man. Lay off the president's speech impediment, his stuttering, his elementary school level vocabulary, his squinty condescending smirk, his obvious inferiority complex, his intellectual laziness, his fear of public speaking, his delusional reliance on prehistoric superstition, his criminally negligent hubris...

This is exactly what we should all expect of the most powerful political leader on the planet, and no more.




Right?

Geetch said...

Blergh! I practically go into convulsions every time someone does something like that. One that I've noticed a lot is "reticent" instead of "reluctant" or "hesitant" - as in, "I was reticent to come talk to you." I guess "redundant" isn't in the person's vocabulary, either.

Anonymous said...

Hells, I'm just amazed that folks think Soybeans make milk. Looking forward to the 'cast tonight.

britta is an asshole said...

i HATE it when...

people say irregardless instead of regardless. it makes no sense. it fucking negates itself!

people who say suppose-eb-ly instead of supposedly.

people who use the the word 'at', at the end of a sentence. "where is he at?" fuck you! fuck you! fuck you!

people who spell 'a lot' as one word. they are usually the same people that spell 'definitely' as 'definately'

sheriff bart - i completely agree with you on the rampant misuse of the word literally. i think that one is my biggest pet peeve. it drives be up the wall! figuratively speaking of course.

i don't have the best grammar skills in town, but i dropped out of high school half way through the 11th grade. that's not an excuse, just an explanation.

o.k., i'm done. thank you for allowing me to vent here. i may have to be committed for a 72 hour hold if i see that soy milk commercial tonight. i think i'll just read when i get home.

Luke Weiss said...

how about this one:

there is a disconnect here. the word is disconnection people!

how about this (my favorite):
"i'm honing in on it" Fucking woody allen fucked this up in "match point" - a line by johannsen "he honed in one me like a..."
the word these morons are looking for is "homing".

you hone your chef's knife, or a skill, you home in on a signal or a geographical location.

and i too hate hate hate the misuse of "cynical" when "skeptic" is appropriate. but i hate "ironic" instead of "coincidence" or worse, nostalgia satire. nostalgia satire is NOT FUCKING IRONIC!

also - that stupid bitch should be wary of SILK. Non-fermented soy products should not be consumed...ever - read more here

Brendan said...

Good nitpick. This one drives me crazy as well.

Colombo said...

Good god LaRoach I am so with you on that one. Spelling it "Loose" when you mean to say "Lose" just pisses me off no end.

My irritation is compounded when people excuse it by saying "oh this is Sri Lanka and we're a third world country so it's ok" It's NOT ok, it's understandable, considering English is not the primary (or even secondary) language, but it's not ok (as in acceptable). It speaks of a certain intellectual laziness when people can't be bothered to look up simple spelling and grammar and its worse when people just put up with it.

Samuel said...

Britta -

Dropping out of high school is never an acceptable excuse OR explanation.

Oh, and you're not E.E. godsfucked Cummings. Capitalisation is important.

britta is an asshole said...

samuel -

due to sad and tragic circumstances beyond my control, i HAD to leave high school early. needless to say, i resent your personal attack on me. it's in poor taste and completely unwarranted.

as far as my writing in all lower case, i just find it aesthetically pleasing to my eye. besides, i actually AM ee cummings rein-fucking-carnate, bitch! capitalization can be important, but these are comments on a blog. who cares?!

REF said...

"Decimate"to mean much more than one-tenth destroyed. The "flaunt/flout" misuse, which I have read in a judicial opinion!

Samuel said...

@Britta -

I don't give two tugs of a dead dog's dick about your "tragic circumstances."* You lost your right to use dropping out as an excuse the second you decided against furthering your education in some other way.

On personal attacks: Calling someone on bullshit is not one of them. Cursing is not necessarily a personal attack, either. Calling you a scumsucking and lazy git, who tries to coast by on the excuse of poor education, is a personal attack.

As for these being comments on a blog: So what? One should not comport one's self differently simply because they don't don't hold the medium in high regard.



*(Question for the grammarians in the crowd: What is the proper placement of punctuation after a quote?)

Chez said...

Samuel --

Technically, it's "one should not comport one's self differently simply because he or she doesn't hold the medium in high regard."

I mean, if you're being picky.

Ginya said...

I'd just like to say a hearty "Amen."

britta is an asshole said...

i take that to mean that you give at least one tug of a dead dog's dick.

go away, you nasty little man.

Anonymous said...

Shit like this makes me wish I was stupid. Ignorance really is bliss.

I am so weary.

Mark Pennington said...

Check out these Top 40 Vocabulary Pet Peeves, but warning… you may cringe on a few that you have misused.