Pedants United

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
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Paul Habershon
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Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:51 pm

Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:17 pm

Having blatantly gone off topic in General Chat today by sounding off about the misuse of lie/lay/laid/lain/lying/laying, I thought fellow pedants may like an outlet for their own comments on linguistic howlers and clichés. For the latter I offer this year's government-speak: ramp up = increase; roll out = introduce.

Have you noticed how some refer to doing things 'off my own back'? Is it not a cricket analogy: 'off my own bat'?

I enjoyed the protesting A Level pupil's placard outside Parliament: 'Gavin Williamson, our teachers are qualified to award grades, yo'ur not!'
Also note my use of 'pupil'. For me they are not students until they leave school for Higher Education.

I think it justified to have this thread separate from the largely Soheil Hooshdaran-inspired 'The English Language'.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Alex McFarlane » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:31 pm

If this is an area for pedants to debate things shouldn't the title be Pedant's Divided?
Last edited by Alex McFarlane on Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Neil Graham
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:35 pm

If we are speaking of pedants I e-mailed the BBC about David Capel's obituary here:-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/54001672

This states that Capel was the first player from his county to be picked for England in 77 years when he was first called up.

I'm pretty sure that David Steele who was BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1975 was Northamptonshire. Not forgetting of course Colin Milburn. I suspect there may be more.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:45 pm

"If this is an area for pedants to debate things shouldn't the title be Pendant's Divided?"

Nice to see you're getting in the swing of it...

"Infer" used for "imply" annoys me, and "If it was" instead of "if it were".

What have you started Paul? We'll soon have more posts here than in the other one.

Kevin Williamson
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:24 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Williamson » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:28 pm

I've noticed that some organisations start their emails by thanking me for "reaching out" to them, whatever that means. As well as finding it mildly irritating and condescending it also comes across as insincere…. or should that be unsincere? I guess this is the place to ask. :D

Paul Habershon
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:47 pm

Kevin Williamson wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:28 pm
I've noticed that some organisations start their emails by thanking me for "reaching out" to them, whatever that means. As well as finding it mildly irritating and condescending it also comes across as insincere…. or should that be unsincere? I guess this is the place to ask. :D
Great stuff, Kevin. Just the sort of thing I want to hear about. Yes, insincere. With this 'woke' trend they are all treading on eggshells, terrified of giving offence. By 'reaching out' they are trying to appease you with niceness. On the rare occasions I talk to a cold caller doing a 'survey' and have to give my age, I absolutely know they are going to say I sound a lot younger.

Now, what about interviewees starting answers with 'So....' I can't explain why I find it irritating. After all it's similar to starting 'Well......'

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John Clarke
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Re: Pedants United

Post by John Clarke » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:05 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:35 pm
If we are speaking of pedants I e-mailed the BBC about David Capel's obituary here:-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/54001672

This states that Capel was the first player from his county to be picked for England in 77 years when he was first called up.

I'm pretty sure that David Steele who was BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1975 was Northamptonshire. Not forgetting of course Colin Milburn. I suspect there may be more.
That BBC page left out one crucial phrase. If you look at Capel's obituary in the Guardian, you'll find It says "the first cricketer born in the county to play a test for England in 77 years" (my italics). David Steele was born at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Colin Milburn in county Durham.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Neil Graham
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Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:36 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:28 pm

John Clarke wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:05 pm
Neil Graham wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:35 pm
If we are speaking of pedants I e-mailed the BBC about David Capel's obituary here:-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/54001672

This states that Capel was the first player from his county to be picked for England in 77 years when he was first called up.

I'm pretty sure that David Steele who was BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1975 was Northamptonshire. Not forgetting of course Colin Milburn. I suspect there may be more.
That BBC page left out one crucial phrase. If you look at Capel's obituary in the Guardian, you'll find It says "the first cricketer born in the county to play a test for England in 77 years" (my italics). David Steele was born at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Colin Milburn in county Durham.
Thanks for that clarification John. It would never have occurred to me that's what it meant - I doubt anyone would ask the question "Which Staffordshire cricketer won Sports Personality of the Year"?

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John Clarke
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Re: Pedants United

Post by John Clarke » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:33 pm

Paul Habershon wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:47 pm
Kevin Williamson wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:28 pm
I've noticed that some organisations start their emails by thanking me for "reaching out" to them, whatever that means. As well as finding it mildly irritating and condescending it also comes across as insincere…. or should that be unsincere? I guess this is the place to ask. :D
Great stuff, Kevin. Just the sort of thing I want to hear about. Yes, insincere. With this 'woke' trend they are all treading on eggshells, terrified of giving offence. By 'reaching out' they are trying to appease you with niceness. On the rare occasions I talk to a cold caller doing a 'survey' and have to give my age, I absolutely know they are going to say I sound a lot younger.

Now, what about interviewees starting answers with 'So....' I can't explain why I find it irritating. After all it's similar to starting 'Well......'
As somebody has already hinted, you could easily set up a one-person denial-of-service attack here by listing all the linguistic solecisms to be encountered nowadays. So I won't bother. They constitute a whole fleet of ships that sailed a long time ago and will never be seen again.

My own pet hate is being asked "how are you?" every time I go through a supermarket check-out, or get cold-called by someone wanting to service my heat-pump (I don't even have a heat-pump). It's so obviously now part of every "script" for dealing with clients or potential clients; there's no sincerity to it at all. I swear the very next time someone does that, I'm going to answer: "oh, I've just been told [insert own choice here of terminal or disabling affliction]* ... otherwise not too bad".

*I was about to use a specific example here, but then realised it might cause distress to someone with the actual condition
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Neil Graham
Posts: 1469
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:36 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:39 pm

Kevin Williamson wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:28 pm
I've noticed that some organisations start their emails by thanking me for "reaching out" to them, whatever that means. As well as finding it mildly irritating and condescending it also comes across as insincere…. or should that be unsincere? I guess this is the place to ask. :D
Well my energy supplier won't be reaching out to me - it's collapsed today.

Ian Thompson
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Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: Pedants United

Post by Ian Thompson » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:53 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:28 pm
I doubt anyone would ask the question "Which Staffordshire cricketer won Sports Personality of the Year"?
No need to - https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m ... us-failure, about 1 minute into the programme.

Alistair Campbell
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Alistair Campbell » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:54 pm

Paul Habershon wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:47 pm

Now, what about interviewees starting answers with 'So....'
This is quite a recent phenomena... :evil:

There must be literally millions of other examples.

One development I've noticed is for a supposedly business email to start with the overly-friendly "Good morning Alistair" (or equivalent) which seems to suggest I should feel faintly guilty for not reading it immediately (and presumably responding), rather than 36 hours later or whenever I get round to it.

David Williams
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Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:37 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by David Williams » Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:00 am

Alistair Campbell wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:54 pm
a recent phenomena
?!

E Michael White
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:31 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by E Michael White » Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:57 am

David Williams wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:00 am
Alistair Campbell wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:54 pm
a recent phenomena
?!
Too much or not enough Greek.

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John Clarke
Posts: 464
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Re: Pedants United

Post by John Clarke » Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:37 am

E Michael White wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:57 am
David Williams wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:00 am
Alistair Campbell wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:54 pm
a recent phenomena
?!
Too much or not enough Greek.
Back in the late 1960s a certain BBC radio programme used to read out listeners' letters from time to time. On one occasion they sneered at the writer for referring to "a phenomena". Odd thing is: it was a show dedicated to pop music and culture, one of the last you'd expect to be bothering to uphold that sort of standard. Tempora et mores sure do mutantur.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

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