Friday, January 06, 2006

Words And Phrases That Piss Me Off
Longtime readers of Article 19 will remember that I have a peculiar pet peeve about the rampant misuse of logical fallacy phrases like "begging the question." This is made worse by the fact, I know, that its misunderstanding has become so widespread that it no longer really is a misuse. It's now just a perfectly acceptable way to annoy the crap out of me. Kevin Drum yesterday pointed to a bizarrely funny cartoon with the same message.

But while I'm at it. I was disturbed yesterday to learn that yet another utterance I have always thought to be a misuse is in fact perfectly acceptable. We all know the word "preventive." So why are people always saying "preventative"?? That's got to be wrong, right? No. Either one is just fine. Why? I have no idea. Why don't we just let every spelling and every pronunciation into the dictionary?! Next thing you know the entry for "nuclear" will say "also nucular." Will make it so much harder to feel superior.

No comments: