Thursday, May 20, 2010

That's Not What You Think It Means

There are a number of words, phrases, and punctuation which are often used improperly. It can be the source of hilarity or irritation. Here is a list of some of those things.

Quotation marks. They're fine when used properly, but when overused, or surrounding words for emphasis in plain text (It's different for law texts, as I believe I have been informed) it just makes you sound silly.

Example: Hey, I have a set of rare "encyclopedias" to "sell"! They are in mint "condition", and are a complete set. I "ask" for $150 for "all" of them.

So, let's take this apart. (Or rather, I will. You just keep reading.)
Are you selling encyclopedias? Or something else? Perhaps it's the street name for, say, weed?
Or is it something else entirely? Perhaps you're trying to pass off a car as some encyclopedias? Not going to work, sorry.

And by "sell", do you really mean sell? Maybe you're loaning them to me? Or by sell, do you mean, throw violently if you approach my house.

That's as "far" as I'll "go" into that "topic". I hope you can "see" how unnecessary quotations are just "unnecessary".

And as a parting blow, when you make a run-on sentence, you're not just alienating the period, you're abusing the comma. Please give them equal attention.

When words are misused, as some all too often are, a little piece of me dies inside. Admittedly, it's a quite little piece. Otherwise, I would be totally dead.

One of the top offenders is bemused.
No, it does not mean to be amused. That's just you being lazy and not wanting to pronounce an extra vowel. To be bemused is to be either deep in thought, or confused.

Onwards to decimation!
No, you mean oblivion. Or extermination. You're not going to have 10% of you killed, are you?
If you decimate something, you eliminate 10% of it. You do not completely destroy it. So yes, decimating Hitler's armies wasn't that effective after all. Perhaps you should have tried looking in the "encyclopedias" you "bought" before giving those orders to your troops.

Video games are a pretty big offender in this next one. Your character uses Thunder, and they shoot a bolt of electricity.
Thunder, in case you didn't know, is composed of noise. Lightning is God's taser, not thunder. Get it right, Final Fantasy.

I'll end this with one phrase.
I'm sorry, but music does not soothe the savage beast. It soothes, yes, the savage breast. You heard me right. No further comment.

Time to stop sounding like a uptight prick who gives a shit about how you use words (Okay, maybe the thunder thing actually annoys the crap out of me) and end this post, then.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about Thunder (I hate Thunderbolt more) but these days, decimation means something more than kill 10%, yes it was a Roman military penalty for legions that mutinied or engaged in other bad behavior like that, but today it means totally destroy