RHS #13 – Use your words, unless you don’t know them, then don’t.

This is a quickie, but I have a huge pet-peeve with people who misuse words and language.

I physically want to claw my eardrums out whenever I hear people use the words irregardless or orientate – yes, they’re recognized on dictionary.com as “slang versions” of regardless or orient, but it doesn’t mean it’s correct or grammatically sound to use them. (Yes, there are probably spelling mistakes galore on these pages… that’s not the issue here.)

Or people who fuck up on cliches. I know someone who consistently said “You can’t know the good with the bad” (instead of without the bad) – the way she said it doesn’t even make sense! Do people even consider the words coming out of their mouths? Sometimes I wonder.

Anyway, it should come as no surprise then, that when I was talking to a potential date on the phone, and he used the word “symbiotic” thinking it was a synonym for “symbolic,” well I just wrote him off entirely then and there.

I suppose I could’ve corrected him, but I think he understood that my sudden remark of “well, I’m really busy now until after the holidays” is a synonym for “while you probably have no idea what you said wrong, I’m no longer interested.”

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7 thoughts on “RHS #13 – Use your words, unless you don’t know them, then don’t.

  1. Jer

    Hahah, I use gooder English in a bigly way! What a revolveration!


    Seriously though, I am inclined to believe that this shouldn’t be a “ridiculously high standard” per se – after all, “not sounding like an uneducated tard” shouldn’t be something you should have to seek as a “high standard” – it should be something *any* guy looking for a caliber partner should be able to accomplish!

  2. heather

    i suppose it depends on what context he used “symbiotic” since it is a real word meaning a coopterative relationship. if he used it in place of “symbolic” then, yeah, kick him in the grammar nads. otherwise, i’d be impressed he knew what symbiotic meant.

  3. -j.

    “Kick him in the grammar nads”??

    The nitpicky one for me is “beg the question”. It’s a term in philosophy that means to assume your conclusion instead of proving it. It does *not* mean to “raise the question”, which is how I usually hear it.

  4. peechie Post author

    Yah, symbiotic is one of my favourite words. That, and hegemony. And I so rarely get to use them. So to hear it bastardized is quite upsetting!

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