The Most Annoying Linguistic Felonies of 2020

Maybe I’m too easily irritated, but when I hear or read some misbegotten patch of language issuing from  the cranial mainsprings of  otherwise intelligent, articulate, informed public figures, I get, well, irritated.  Without, I hope, too much crankiness, I now adduce  mother-tongue missteps which, to my  senses , amount to   serious linguistic criminality.  Maybe this blog can help  sentence  these felonious  sentences and sentence fragments to permanent detention.

The Media is, er, are… the message, maybe

When it comes to confusing the singular and the plural, the broadcast media class seems to be almost singularly guilty. Hey, all you professionals with perfect diction,  dash over to your dictionaries.  The words criteria, media, bacteria, etc. are plurals .So befuddled  are so many regarding this class of singular/plural   distinction, I actually  once witnessed the following: During a new-client pitch, our ad agency’s media director,referred to his proposed TV/radio/print campaign  as a “three-pronged plan employing three mediums”. Worst still, judging from their nods of approval, everyone in the prospective-client assemblage  clearly didn’t notice.

Moving- Forward March

There’s nothing inherently incorrect in the stock sports-coach phrase, “moving forward’, but when it immediately follows a statement made in the future tense, isn’t it just another clumsy tautology?

Think again

When did the construction”I said to myself” irrationally  morph into “I thought to myself”?  I wonder, is there anyone else around one  can think to ?

Selfie Interest

How often you been subjected the expression “his (or her) own self-interest”?  If you’ve  ever mistakenly uttered that  chunk of  sinful superfluity yourself, please humbly own it. And stop.

Like, “As” Not “Like”

It is not infrequently that my ears are scalded by the locution “Like I said” by putatively well-educated  media somebodies.  I think it was my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Chuchut, who guided me  on the twisting road to  correct “like”and “as” usage.  Here’s a tip. When you’re a little unsure,  think of Shakespeare and ask yourself if he would have ever written  anything called Like You Like It.

Am I being too harshly judgmental? Alright, alright already, I hereby lessen the charge to  linguistic misdemeanor.  The sentence?  Cease and desist.

Filed under: Language

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