It’s a Whole Nother Language: Non-Words, Annoying Phrases, and Mispronunciations

18Jan12

Hey guys!

Well, I’m full of blogger love today because of the outpouring of kindness from you all yesterday/today welcoming me back. It’s been a while since I’ve written a real post (I’m not counting yesterday’s), and for that I’m sorry. BUT…today will be a good one. I hope. *Nervously checks Google for blog ideas*

I feel like this cartoon really captures what I look like when I have writer's block...it even has the Gobstopper eyes and everything.

Actually, this is a post that I’ve wanted to write for over a month now, but I just haven’t had the time. It is regarding a topic that is near and dear to my heart – the English language. You see, we have an ESL programme at my college, and it amazes me how so many of those ESL speakers actually speak the language better than most of us native speakers. Now, don’t get me wrong here – I’m not trying to get on my high horse at all…I make many mistakes when I’m speaking/writing/stuttering/stalling for more time before I state something.

BUT…what follows is a rant of the most annoying words/phrases and non-words/phrases in the English language that I hear every day:

 

Non-Words/Phrases

1)Whatev” – just finish the word please. And then, when you do, that will annoy me as well.

2)Ridonkulous” – who even made up this word? That guy should be forced to listen to people say that word, over and over again, for 17 hours straight. (That’s the worst kind of torture that I can think of).

3)Whole nother” – this is the most annoying of all words/phrases that I’ve ever heard. Where did the “n” come from? If it’s a shortened version of “whole another”, please note that that is still wrong…doesn’t make sense. Please stop saying this.

4) “Incentivize” – you know what would give people more incentive to work harder? If their bosses didn’t make up words in the boardroom and then smugly look around as though he just coined a new catchphrase.

No. It's not.

 

Expressions

1)May or may not” – well, obviously. I mean, either will or it will not…stop trying to sound smart by using this expression. It’s not smart. It’s ridonkulous.

2)It is what it is” – I say again, obviously it is. Stop trying to fill in the gaps of conversation/awkward silences with phrases like this please.

3)Same difference” – I don’t even want to talk about this one. That’s how much it annoys me.

4)Better sooner than later” – Really? Because, had you not said that to me, I would have thought that things were always better later than sooner. Thanks for setting me straight with that gem.

5)I’m just sayin‘” – no one is ever “just saying” something…there’s always a hidden meaning behind what they’re saying when they complete their story with this phrase.  They say things like, “Well, [insert spouse’s name here], that’s not the way my Mom used to make mashed potatoes. I’m just sayin'”. C’mon…you know what that person is really trying to say…

6)What not” – why do people say this? You know, it’s always something like, “I like Big Macs, but not brussel sprouts and carrots, and what not…” I’m annoyed just thinking about this phantom conversation right now.

7)No offense” – this has to be the most annoying thing that could ever be said to someone. Whenever someone says this, they clearly mean for you to take offense at what they just said.

 

Mispronunciations

1)Hull-arious” – it is rather clear that there is an “i” in “hilarious”. Make use of it.

2)Fuss-trated” – why is “frustrated” so difficult to say?

3)Flustrated” – I know that it can be easy to combine “frustrated” and “flustered” sometimes, but if you do it more than 3 times, you might have a problem…

4)Li-barry” – if you pronounce “library” like this, perhaps you need to spend more time in one.

5)Suppos-ably” – sometimes, I wish we had spellcheck for our mouths.

6)Ex-specially” and “ex-scape“, et al – these words feel more complicated to say than the proper words, don’t they? I mean, I actually have to put in effort to emphasize the “x”.

7)Vice-a-Versa” – I don’t know why the “a” is sometimes added into this one. If they meant for it to be pronounced this way, they would have spelled it this way; however, it’s pretty clear…”vice versa”.

8) “Nu-cu-ler” – this is a personal favourite of George W. Again, the word “nuclear” is spelled just as it is meant to be spoken.

9) “Pro-nounc-iation” – I know this one can be a bit tricky, but it’s “pro-nun-ciation” and “pro-nounce”…it’s easy to combine them to make one word, though. I know.

 

I don’t know. Perhaps I’m being, like, far too ridonkulous about all this. I mean, I shouldn’t get to fusstrated with people’s pronounciation of words. I mean, whatev…it is what it is. It’s just that sometimes, it feels like they’re speaking a whole nother language…supposably, it’s English. Same difference, though I guess. It all just annoys me, though. No offense….

What are the words/non-words/phrases that people say that annoy you the most?

Do you ever correct people when they say things incorrectly or things that are non-words?

Do you think the author of this post just needs to relax a little and stop ranting?

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71 Responses to “It’s a Whole Nother Language: Non-Words, Annoying Phrases, and Mispronunciations”

  1. So glad you’re back and this is your first post! When people use “their” when they actually mean “there” or “they’re”. Or “then” and “than”. That one makes me want punch someone in the nose. Not sure why it’s so hard to use the correct word in the proper context. Glad I’m not the only one who gets annoyed with these things.

    • Oh, I can’t believe that I forgot about those!!! Honestly, those ones drive me crazy.

      Thanks for dropping by, Davonne! Much appreciated! ;)

  2. chuckles (~_~) no offense… (I liked that one)

    • That one is the worst.

      The. Worst.

      Thanks for stopping in, Zendictive! Always great to see you here! :)

  3. 5 michaeljones909

    I was gonna comment but after that i would feel far to self conscious ,my spelling is atrocious Haha LOL! :)
    Oh yes and redonkulos,well that’s great! i’v never heard that before,i’m definitely keeping that one :)

    I know this is technically a comment but y’know what i mean :)

    • Well, I’m glad that you did comment, Michael! However, we must talk about your affinity for the word “ridonkulous”… ;)

      Thanks so much for dropping by! Great to see you here! :)

  4. In the spirit of nuc-u-lar, you might want to add jew-lery… you know that stuff you wear on your fingers and ears and wrists and what-not… :-)

    • BAH!! Jew-lery! I can’t believe I missed that one! It’s oh-so-annoying! Also, I’m pretty sure that’s what George W. says as well…

      Thanks for dropping by again, Brown Road! Always appreciated your comments. :)

  5. 9 krystalthatcher

    Had to share this blog…love it. I cannot express the hate I have for the words, ‘ridonkulous’, and ‘whatev’. It is good to know SOMEONE out there feels the same! Keep up the good work, it is always a pleasure reading your stuff.

    • Krystal, if you and I ever meet in person, I’m going to buy you a pint…just because you have such strong hatred for “ridonkulous” and “whatev”. We’ll be instant friends. I know it.

      Thanks very much for stopping in, sharing it with others, and for your kind words! Always appreciated! ;)

  6. 11 krystalthatcher

    By the way..you should check out this guys blog…www.tcsprencel.com. You would enjoy his stuff.

    • I’m on it! Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. You’re just gonna love me for this! Yes, I still want to be her when I grow up!

    Haha, The Re-election of Mayor Maynot. Has a real titular ring to it doesn’t it? I think I use this sometimes, and it will or it won’t others, but I can’t think of a context for either at the moment.

    Aksing a question kind of bothers me. One of the guys in school used to say vantastic all the time, but think it only bothered me so much because he spit when he talked.

    I think the a in vice versa comes from the Latin pronunciation vee-say vair-sah.

    I typically don’t correct people. I’m too exhausted from correcting mistakes in my writing all the time.

    You definitely need to chill… or relax… same diff. :) But don’t stop ranting! And I love ♥ LOVE ♥ the Gobstopper eyes!

    • Oh, this woman is just fantastic. She’s everything that I want to be. She corrects the mistakes without sounding too pretentious about it. Wonderful.

      I think that the kid who said “vantastic” would drive me nuts…right along with all of the people who say “Wa-lah” instead of “V-oila”. (I don’t know why that one bothers me so much).

      I’m glad you enjoy my rants as much as my Gobstopper eyes, Annie…at least someone does. ;)

      • Emily Brewster is totally my hero! ♥ I even have that sweater and some glasses that are close. She makes me feel like it’s cool to be me and she makes English sound sexy. Role. Model.

      • I also want that sweater, and I need to purchase the glasses. Also, I want to dye my hair brown and tie it back in an orderly fashion. She’s got it going on. I need to emulate that.

    • What a great video to cap off one a fine article on one of my favorite topics by one of my favorite humans. I have to admit that, one of my favorite things is to invent new ways to mispronounce words… but I rarely share them with the general public.

      Also, since I didn’t get around to it the other day, “Welcome back.”

      • My brother and I also invent new ways to mispronounce words! We don’t say it to anyone outside of the family, but we do it all the time and laugh at how stupid it is…and then we place bets on when we think the word will actually catch on and become popular. ;)

        Also, I’m one of your favourite humans?? That’s about the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me…thank you. What an honour. I actually don’t even know what to say, except that I’m pretty sure that I’m undeserving of it. :)

        Thanks for dropping by again, Posky! Always happy to see you here! :)

  8. 19 TDot

    This is a post of GInormous proportions, IRregardless of what one may or may not think! Basic English is all I’m axking for here. Funny thing is that you find these kinds of expressions common throughout professional institutions!

    TDot

    • Hahaha!!! “Ginormous”, “irregardless” and “axking”! Can’t believe I left those out!! Oh, I think I could write a whole nother post on how much those bother me…

      Thanks for dropping by, TDot! ;)

  9. 21 Irene Hillier

    Another winner. Did a great job on this one as always. Love reading your blogs. Keep them coming.

    • Aww…that’s so nice! Thank you! :D

  10. Hi Christy, I don’t like when people use loose when they should have used lose.

    I find myself correcting people when they dont but an “ly” at the end of a word when there should be.

    OH, and when people say your when it should be you’re. I see it all the time. Thought sometimes it is just being lazy.

    Cool post.

    • Ah, yes! The “loose” versus “lose” annoyance…that one also bothers me a great deal!

      Thanks for stopping in again, Mitchell! Always great to have you here! :)

    • I make the loose/lose mistake all the time. Only last week, one of my readers had to send me an email, letting me know that I had made that mistake on my blog. What made it even worse is that I still didn’t catch it, and had to ask them what they were talking about. Noooooo. Ah, but yes, it happened.

      I may be disqualified from tossing in my cents (I use “just sayin'” all the bloody time!), but I have a couple here that I might run up the flag pole and see if anybody salutes them.

      Shnazzy. I could almost handle “snazzy”, but never “shnazzy”.

      Dang, I had another one, but I forgot it. And it was the good one too. I just threw in the shnazzy one to build up to the one I forgot!

      If I think of it later, I’ll come back. K?

      • Haha! It’s funny how many people get “lose” and “loose” mixed up, really…you’re not the only one. :) It’s hilarious, though, that after it was pointed out to you, you still didn’t catch it! Haha!!

        I have to tell you something: “Shnazzy” is something that drives me nuts too but I say it far too often. (To be fair, using it even just once should be considered “far too often”).

        Think of the other one, Dinkerson! Now I can’t wait to hear it! Haha!

      • This reminded me, I always make the mistake of using it’s for the possessive.

      • Then you need to correct that habit before I throw my horn-rimmed glasses and dictionary at you, Annie… ;)

  11. ““Whatev”

    When you’re at the point where you’ve already typed 75% of the word, abbreviating becomes somewhat redundant.

    • Agreed. I mean, c’mon people…stop being so lazy with your words, resulting in abbrevs.

  12. Can’t disagree with any of that to be honest. People saying ‘I could care less’ annoy me as well.

    I wonder when Christmas became Xmas and whether there was a similar outcry against it. In fact I remember a temporary teacher at my school would always give us a lecture whenever someone used that spelling. She said that we were crossing Christ out of your life.

    She was old, dappy and mental.

    • Bah! Yes! “I could care less” is so frustrating to hear!!! Oh, I wish I had thought of that one in time to put it in the post. It’s one of the worst ones.

      I still spell Christmas properly because I think you’re just being lazy by writing “Xmas”…does it really take that much effort to type the whole word?

      Also, since when did “Xtina” become acceptable spelling for “Christina”. Lame.

  13. Hey, my last post was about “it is what it is”.

    I’ve never heard “Incentivize”. Usually it’s “motivate”. If they’re being honest, it’s “bribe”.

    The only thing worse than “no offense” is when someone tries to guess your astrological sign. 9 times out of 10 it’s just a way to try to judge you without the restrictions of manners. They’ll say something like, “Are you a Taurus? Because Tauruses are real douchebags.”

    • Seriously? I’m so on that post right now! I can’t wait to read it.

      Astrological signs are ridiculous. But you’re right…Tauruses really are douchebags. ;)

      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read and comment, Joshua! Much appreciated!

  14. 35 Anonymous

    Really enjoyed this blog Christy. A lesser heard but still too common pet peeve of mine is the pronunciation of the word vulnerable. So many people drop the “l” and say vunerable. Drives me insane!

    • Hahaha!!! Who says “vunerable”?! Oh, that’s just terrible! I feel badly for you for having to hear that nonsense.

      Thanks for stopping in! :)

  15. “Nucular” drives me insane. If you can’t say it, you shouldn’t have access to it, Mr. Bush.

    • Agreed. It’s amazing how so many people brought this mispronunciation to his attention, and yet, he never even attempted to say the word correctly. Just for that, he should’ve had to inspect a “nucular” reactor himself without the proper safety equipment.

      Perhaps he already has. That would explain a lot.

  16. I’m totally guilty of “whole nother.” Lately, I’ve been trying to correct myself, though…trying.

    • That’s okay, Nina…at least you’ve caught yourself doing it and are correcting it. You have no idea how much crazy people like me appreciate that! lol!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! Very much appreciated! :)

  17. Deets! I love this post, but I have to admit, I use may or may not too often. Usually only if I’m blogging about something I don’t want to admit and “may or may not” have done this thing, but I”m not sure that is any better. :) The best one I’ve seen lately is someone emailing me saying that their boss was “just looking for an escape goat.” I laughed. A lot.

    • LOL!! An “escape goat”?! Oh, I wish you could see me now…sitting at my desk at home, all by myself, laughing my head off at that one! That is the funniest one I’ve heard yet! Oh, thank you for sharing that with me, RFL…I can’t even tell you how happy that one made me.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Even if you may or may not agree with me… ;)

  18. Hey, glad you’re back! great information. My father used words improperly and did so quite frequently. My mother would be the one to correct him. He would use words like envelope but put the ephasis the wrong part like en-velope, or up-holstry. I always wondered why he would do that, he used to make jokes about growing up in a small town and with a large family, they seemed like they were a little hillbilly-ish. I went the opposite way and probably go too far with my vocabulary…anyway, I get tired of hearing ‘at the end of the day’ and ‘it is what it is’. Some people like to intentionally say things like ‘Libary’ or ‘Expresso’…I’m with you very annoying, just stop already…or as they say in NY. ‘A-ready’ :)

    • Haha! Oh yes! “At the end of the day”…so annoying!! Why do people say that?? I mean, I’m sure that I’ve said it my fair share, but what is the point in saying that? What does it accomplish?!

      Of all of the words and expressions that I’ve heard, I believe “Libary” to be the worst. When someone says that, it makes them sound like they’re 5 years old. Ridiculous.

      Or, ridonkulous.

      Thanks for stopping in again, Poetry! Your comments are always appreciated and always entertaining! :)

  19. Very good! I was going to say “let me be honest with you” … but that would’ve sort of implied that normally I wouldn’t … and well, I didn’t want to be ‘disingenuous’. The truth is that English is what we call a ‘living language’ and so it must evolve or die. The spoken form of the language is what drives its evolution, not the written form. And, to be honest, there are currently more non-native speakers of the language than native speakers of the language. What that means exactly is .. well, I’m not sure. However, as Billy the Bard might say, “speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc’d it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.” … or something. :P

    • Yes, you are absolutely right, Jay…English is a living language and it is constantly evolving. I suppose I could understand if some words were being shortened to save time (such as “Whatev”) as that would be the word evolving, but “libary” is inexcusable. That’s not an evolution; that’s just eliminating a letter. So annoying…haha.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read through and comment on the ridiculousness that is this post! ;)

  20. If people would only study ancient biblical texts, they would find out
    that the leventh commandment is: Thou shalt not misspill.

    I wonder if Heaven will be a place in which there will be no errors in linguistic communication, and if so, what language will be used……

    • No spelling mistakes or grammatical errors? Sounds like Heaven to me!

      By the way, I laughed so hard when I read about the “leventh” commandment! :)

  21. thank you ………………………

  22. Someone said, “whole nother” to me yesterday, and I just started cracking up! “Are sure it wasn’t a half nother?” I asked. She didn’t get it. Someone should totally make a (chocolate) candy bar called a Nother.

    • Hahaha!!! That’s awesome! Yeah, I don’t think the people who say “whole nother” realise that they’re using a phrase that isn’t even really a phrase.

      And, I say “yes” to the chocolate bar. I would buy that. And only eat half of it. Then I could say, “I’m pretty sure it was only half nother”.

  23. 52 sorrysoverysorry

    Never read you before, but welcome back all the same. And I concur on 99% and yes, these offenses are rant-worthy. Except . . .

    “It is what it is” is the way we politely say, “I have made my decision. Though you may not agree with me – and I respect your opinion – I am NOTopen to further discussion. Attempts at further discussion will just piss me off. Yes, I know my decision negativly impacts you, but I’ve made this decision final. Move on.”

    How long shall I expect to wait for another great post like this one?? :D

    • So why can’t we just say that the matter is no longer open to further discussion? Why must we come up with annoying ways to say it in an attempt to be polite? Just sayin’… ;)

      Thanks so much for your kind words and for dropping in, SorrySoVerySorry! Always nice to have new visitors stop by. I will hopefully have another new post up tomorrow! :)

  24. Glad to see this post materialize, after you promised it in a comment on my own recent language rant. Well, you asked for our own annoyances. I have a few on file:

    http://kitchenmudge.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/just-say-it-and-then-shut-up/

    http://kitchenmudge.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/watch-your-language/

    http://kitchenmudge.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/a-good-whine-i-believe-ill-have-another/

    http://kitchenmudge.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/hes-doing-that-again/

    http://kitchenmudge.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/everything-you-say-is-wrong-chapter-iv/

    http://kitchenmudge.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/the-smallest-current-coin/

    Language snobs arise!

    • Haha! Love it! So happy to have you drop by, KitchenMudge! I’ll be sure to check out the posts! :)

  25. This is soo funny! i would have to say that I hate it when ……I can’t think of any right now! Dang! All I have to do is hear an interview on the news and I will get a whole list! Hahaha!
    Great post!

    • Hahaha!! It’s so funny that you say that because just yesterday, at the office, we were talking about how people who are interviewed on the news always say crazy things. We came to the conclusion that the most annoying thing said is “aks” instead of “ask”. Why do people say that??

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read through and comment, Susie! Much appreciated! :)

  26. At The End of The Day, I hate Totes.

    • Yes, I hate “totes” as well. Along with “‘tude”.

      Thanks for dropping in, Mr Salk! So happy to see you here! :)

  27. This post rocked – in any language!

    • Even in a non-language?

      Thanks, Hook! ;)

  28. Great post! I also hate the use of ‘prolly’ for probably. It is annoying to hear someone say ‘a whole nother.’ It is bad enough to split an infinitive, but splitting a word with another word is intolerable. I am glad to have discovered your blog.

    • People who say that should prolly be beaten with a dictionary…

      THanks so much for finding me, Ephesus! Glad to have you here! :)

  29. I love this post! My dad doesn’t like it when I say: “It is what it is”.

    • Ah…then he and I would get along just fine. :)

      Thanks for stopping by again, Linh! Always great to see you here! :)

  30. LOL – This post is hilarious. And true! People are really in the habit of twisting those words.

    Also when they say ‘Prolly’ instead of ‘Probably’. GRRRRR!! :D

    And whole nother – i laughed at that!

    • Aha!! “Prolly”! Yes! Why didn’t I think of that one??! That’s one of the most annoying things that a person can say.

      Thanks again, Ibrahim! Always happy to see you here! :)

  31. You mean it’s “ridonkulous” and not “ridunkulous?” I actually pronounce it with the “U” spelling…oh, geez. I had no idea I was being so dumb. Irregardless, I think I may keep on keeping on with “ridunkulous.”
    ;)

    http://tr4f.wordpress.com

    • If we ever meet in real life and I ever hear you say that word in combination with “irregardless”, I might just punch you in the jugular. It would be for your own good.

      Thanks, Dug…love reading your comments! ;)

  32. Yes…I would have to agree, a punch might be necessary. The jugular? Go for the nose. I’ve broken it once, when I was a teenager surfing. I think it could use being reset again, though. I mean, all I did at the time was bend it back to where it should be, so I’m not sure it’s totally straight. Have yet to use a plumb line to check, exactly, but I think it leans…

    Anyway, yes, the nose please. Unless you have your heart set on the jugular!

    • I prefer the jugular. If you’d like, I can punch you in the jugular and then the nose. That might work too.


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