Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 563684 times)

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karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #280 on: February 28, 2009, 08:35:52 AM »
They could always have used: "New!"  "Improved!"

We've now got some chocolate bars and nut mixes for sale at the museum shop (folks do ask from time to time if we've got some kind of candy or other).  They're from a local-ish cottage industry, and rather pricey (what with musum-shop mark-up) . . . hey, if folks are in the shop, chances are they're fairly willing to support the museum.

Last night I found an info sheet for the candy, and one of the bullet-points was:

They are museum quality.

This set off my hype detector, so I said to Bill (the manager), "I have a technical question.  Just what is 'museum-quality candy'?"  Bill came through, piling hype upon hype with, "The very best candy that money can buy."

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #281 on: February 28, 2009, 09:03:20 AM »
We've now got some chocolate bars and nut mixes for sale at the museum shop (folks do ask from time to time if we've got some kind of candy or other).  They're from a local-ish cottage industry, and rather pricey (what with musum-shop mark-up) . . . hey, if folks are in the shop, chances are they're fairly willing to support the museum.

Last night I found an info sheet for the candy, and one of the bullet-points was:

They are museum quality.

This set off my hype detector, so I said to Bill (the manager), "I have a technical question.  Just what is 'museum-quality candy'?"  Bill came through, piling hype upon hype with, "The very best candy that money can buy."

Wow!  If that's true, it must mean your museum has all kinds of Thomas Kinkade paintings!!!   8)
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #282 on: February 28, 2009, 09:21:08 AM »
Last night I found an info sheet for the candy, and one of the bullet-points was:

They are museum quality.

100 years old? :'(
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #283 on: February 28, 2009, 09:26:25 AM »
For the Napoleon exhibit, we had tins of sugar-free mints.  My deadpan joke to a number of customers was, These are sugarless mints historically accurate to the Napoleonic era.

Had a few of them going with it, too.  Luckily, we don't have any snake-oil for sale in the shop . . . .

sul G

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #284 on: February 28, 2009, 09:31:02 AM »
Damn, I could do with some of that. Though only if it's museum quality.

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #285 on: February 28, 2009, 10:49:46 AM »
Here's one of my favorites:

"I replied back to them."

Another one that makes me cringe is:

"Where are you located at?"
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #286 on: February 28, 2009, 11:52:25 AM »
Another one that makes me cringe is:

"Where are you located at?"

Dude, I'm where it's at!   8)

This might be a sort of reverse Germanicism: in German "wo" asks for position, but "woher" or "wo...her" asks about motion from, and "wohin" or "wo...hin" asks about motion to where.  (The old "whither" and "whence" are related.)

Woher/Wo kommst du her?  = Where are you coming from?

Wohin/Wo gehst du hin?  = Where are you going (to)?

Wo bist du? = Where are you?  and possibly by a phenomenon known in linguistics as attraction, the other two questions in English create an impulse to place something at the end.  Therefore "at" is plopped at the end. In German, however, as far as I know, there seems to be no impulse to add anything equivalent to the English "at."  So "attraction" has no effect there.

On the other hand, it might just be emphasis. 


"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #287 on: February 28, 2009, 12:24:18 PM »
And if they don't like Karl's chocolate, maybe they can return it back to him.  Does the store open at 9:00 a.m. in the morning?  How long has Karl worked there for?  
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #288 on: March 01, 2009, 05:08:32 PM »
And if they don't like Karl's chocolate, maybe they can return it back to him.  Does the store open at 9:00 a.m. in the morning?  How long has Karl worked there for?  

Oh!  Wise guy!   $:)

In today's sermon I hear the priest say: "Thousands of years ago, in ancient times..."

Picky picky picky!  Maybe he was thinking of what to say next, and just threw in that last phrase for a split second of thought-time!

Last night, at a benefit dinner, I heard a fairly wealthy lawyer say with a shake of his head: "...and that was one of the most stupidest things that ever happened to me..."   :o

To be sure, this was spoken after 4 quickly quaffed bottles of imported beer.   8)
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Offline Cato

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Why, yes, I guess I could care less!
« Reply #289 on: March 02, 2009, 11:24:00 AM »
Here is a mistake I often hear: "I could care less..." and it often comes from supposedly educated people.

"I could not care less" is correct, meaning that you have reached the bottom of being able to care about something.

If you could care less about something, then you still have some level (10% or so?) of caring above zero.
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Why, yes, I guess I could care less!
« Reply #290 on: March 02, 2009, 11:32:10 AM »
Here is a mistake I often hear: "I could care less..." and it often comes from supposedly educated people.

"I could not care less" is correct, meaning that you have reached the bottom of being able to care about something.

If you could care less about something, then you still have some level (10% or so?) of caring above zero.

The strange thing about this is that it seems to have become "official" in US English. I keep seeing it over and over in presumably proof-read articles from major organisations...
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Cato

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Re: Why, yes, I guess I could care less!
« Reply #291 on: March 02, 2009, 12:02:01 PM »
The strange thing about this is that it seems to have become "official" in US English. I keep seeing it over and over in presumably proof-read articles from major organisations...

The Triumph of the Illiterati!  Similar in acceptance - except by Cato!  >:(  - is the phrase "There is..." followed by a plural!   :o

"There's many reasons why the economy blah blah blah..." was spoken by a government official yesterday.

No, moron!  "There are many reasons why the economy..."

Of course, this comes from a government that...well, you know!   0:)
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Dr. Dread

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Re: Why, yes, I guess I could care less!
« Reply #292 on: March 02, 2009, 12:10:11 PM »
The strange thing about this is that it seems to have become "official" in US English.

No. No, it's not.  :)

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #293 on: March 03, 2009, 01:20:10 AM »
With regard to emphasis, 'really really' has become so pervasive that we must now say 'really really really really' to emphasize that something is real.  :(
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sul G

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #294 on: March 03, 2009, 01:21:29 AM »
I'm not sure that's really true. Not really really, anyway.  ;)

Offline Sydney Grew

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #295 on: March 03, 2009, 02:13:27 AM »
The most hideous of the many hideous expressions current in northern America is "leverage" used as a verb!
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #296 on: March 03, 2009, 05:52:07 AM »
The most hideous of the many hideous expressions current in northern America is "leverage" used as a verb!


My dictionaries from even 20 years ago - surprisingly - do list this use as a verb: I would have at least added the note that it is "business slang/jargon."

Concerning "really really": is that a phrase from a movie or a Saturday Night Live skit?  Sometimes such things get picked up and are passed around like typhoid fever!

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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #297 on: March 03, 2009, 06:04:52 AM »


Concerning "really really": is that a phrase from a movie or a Saturday Night Live skit?  Sometimes such things get picked up and are passed around like typhoid fever!



A quick Googling found a website claiming that "really really" came from a moronic 20-something movie called Zoolander.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #298 on: March 03, 2009, 06:11:58 AM »
My dictionaries from even 20 years ago - surprisingly - do list this use as a verb: I would have at least added the note that it is "business slang/jargon."

I am not surprised.  And, after all, commerce is one historical driver of the language's expansion.

In all events, the practice of verbing nouns has a pedigree reaching back at the least to Shakespeare.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #299 on: March 03, 2009, 07:32:58 AM »
I am not surprised.  And, after all, commerce is one historical driver of the language's expansion.

In all events, the practice of verbing nouns has a pedigree reaching back at the least to Shakespeare.
At least.  This flexibility is one of the strengths our language shares with Chinese.  And the rapid conceptual expansion due to its innate flexibility, streamlined grammar, and ready assimilation of foreign words, contributes substantially to the technological and commercial success enjoyed by English-speaking peoples.  "Leverage" as a verb meaning "to apply the principle of leverage" (itself an abstraction based on concrete use of a lever) in subject areas other than mechanical physics makes a fine illustration of the process.

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