Grammatical Pet Peeves

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I hate the word utilize, the non-word irregardless, and the smushed non-word alot, used instead of a lot. Those things make me angry and cause my stomach to hurt. It’s possible I’m over reacting, but I like to think not.

Utilize is almost never appropriate. Why use a long word when a shorter one will do? In my mind, the people who use that word are the same people who say at this point in time when at this point would work better. They say things like, I was thinking in my mind (because where else could one think?) and 8:00 a.m. in the morning. Maybe I’m clutter intolerant.

Irregardless is irresponsible. It takes regardless, a perfectly good word, and adds unnecessary fluff. It offends me in the same way it offends me to hear someone take the verb converse, change it to the noun conversation, and then create the new  fake verb conversate.

The a lot hangup stems from Post Traumatic Grammar Worksheet Syndrome.  Enough said.

Why do those things bother me when I’m happy to use the term my bad and I wish whom were banned from the language so people wouldn’t have to wonder when to use it? Because no one is rational when it comes to language. We each latch on to a grammatical or a usage talisman and take it as our personal cause to rid the world of it and to scoff at each person who uses it incorrectly.

Why? I’m not sure. Maybe because we were deeply affected by an 8th grade grammar lesson. Maybe it’s the need to feel superior or to demonstrate our knowledge.  Maybe there’s a yet undiscovered grammatical pet peeve gene.

Having aired my dirty grammatical laundry, let me invite you to share your language pet peeves. What really gets your goat? Now’s your time to do as I’ve done: vent and be absolved.

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