Friday, October 15, 2004

Grammar I

Occasionally, I'll be posting my grammatical pet peeves; common mistakes that I think should be avoided. Here are three:

  1. When two ideas or people seem to work well together, they jibe -- they do not jive.
  2. When you change course, you take a new tack -- not a new tact. It's a sailing term.
  3. When you address your Christmas card to my family, it's The Joneses -- not The Jones' or The Jones's or, my personal favorite, The Jones.


Blogger bobbie said...

dear mr. jones, you had better change your tact or i shall not jive with you! :)

thanks for the lesson tony!

3:13 PM  
Blogger marko said...

i hate it when people use "evangelical" when they mean "evangelistic"

or when they say a point is "mute" -- the word is "moot"

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so ... a few days ago i read something that said 'it's a deep seeded fear ...'

i always thought it was 'deep seated'.

can you help me, mr. grammar man??

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What article did you read it in? I'm curious too.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found the answer- it should be deep-seated, not seeded. I think I made the mistake in an article I recently wrote.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, Marko!

I work for the Billy Graham *Evangelistic* Association, *not* the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

Sheesh about it!

--Steve K.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i read 'deep-seeded' on a power point slide at our yearly employee education day at the hospital.


7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh,oh,oh....can I play??????
how about when people try to pluralize the word "sheep" or use the word "shit" in the past tense.
Example: Those sheeps over there shat on my lawn.

but, now who created those grammar laws? i for one like to say the word shat-it works for me.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Bill Bean said...

Seems you might be experiencing some residual bondage to modernist language boundaries.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OR what about when people say "religions" and they really mean denominations i.e. My religion is Methodist or Baptist etc.


5:34 PM  
Blogger Nathan P. Gilmour said...

How 'bout the all-too-common conflation of "irrespective" and "regardless"? I had a buddy in college who would do things "irregardless" of this or that.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Anastasia said...

The word shit has a past tense. Or at least Shakespeare thought it did.

I don't really favor being picky about grammar. Languages are living systems of meanings. If a sentence is intelligiible to a native speaker of a language, it is grammatical.

But as long as we're being picky, your first two pet peeves are really just misused words, not grammatical mistakes. I concur with the third. Plurals and possesives should be used carefully to avoid confusion.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When two ideas or people seem to work well together, they jibe -- they do not jive.

When two people seem to dance well together, they jive. Witness me and my wife.

Tim K.

4:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:42 AM  

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