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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Inconceivable!

or..."I don't think that word means what you think it means"...

I'm a word person. I love language and the many nuances of vocabulary and phrases. I love wordplay and have a deep appreciation for a very well-turned phrase.

The flip side of this attitude is that it seriously grates on me when someone uses language incorrectly. And I don't mean saying "ain't", but rather when I'll see someone grossly misuse a word, confuse a homonym, or otherwise murder a perfectly lovely phrase by misapplying it.

So I get really paranoid about doing it myself.

To that end, does anyone want to cast a vote as to which of these phrases is correct?

speak my piece
speak my peace

Both can make logical sense to me...but I'm sure that one is correct and one is used erroneously by people who also write "should of" instead of "should've" and still can't seem to get there/they're/their figured out.

Really. This stuff can keep me up at night. At least for a little while.

In related news, I recently had to scramble for my dictionary and look up jaded, because my husband uses it differently than I do. My assumption is that it means "cynical, especially from overexposure", while he maintains that it means "stuck in a rut, from habit or repetition". So at least we agree on the timing aspect. I'm still not sure which of us has it right, as it seems that the true nuance falls somewhere in between. I guess this at least means that I don't have to stop using it for fear of looking like a half-wit who got her hands on a $10 word.

3 comments:

  1. Add to this:

    - the use of "irregardless"... the "ir" (meaning "not") is redundant and unnecessary. "Regardless" is all you need. (The misuse seems to be especially prevalent in Massachusetts.)

    - people who say "for all intensive purposes" when the actual phrase is, "for all intents and purposes."

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  2. Overheard this weekend, referring to children overhearing adult conversation: "Little pictures have big ears."

    That doesn't even make sense. I wonder if the person who said it has ever paused to wonder what that means.

    It's pitchers; the "ears" being the handle(s). *sigh*

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  3. It's "speak your piece."

    In the 19th C. in America, school children often had to memorize parts of famous speeches or poems (i.e. Longfellow, etc.) They had to "speak their piece."

    Now we use it to refer to those times when we want to opportunity to "stage" our opinion.

    Funny, though. If I think about it at all, "speak my peace," makes more sense! LOL!

    Irregardless is also a double negative, all wrapped up in one word. It ain't a good word choice. ;)

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