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(from most to least annoying)

  • "Could care less"
  • "Seen." incorrectly using the past perfect tense of "see" -- without the word "have" -- instead of using the simple past tense. ("I seen him yesterday")
  • "literally" instead of "virtually" or "figuratively," or as an intensifier for statements that themselves are metaphorical or figurative.
  • mixing up To/Too/Two
  • improper use of double negatives ("I don't need no help")
  • anyways, anywheres, everywheres, nowheres, and somewheres
  • using "good" instead of "well" ("I write good")
  • definately
  • using an apostrophe to pluralize a word that ends in a vowel (tomato's, potato's, et cetera)
  • "eck-setera"
  • "eck-scape"
  • "eck-specially"
  • "axe" instead of "ask"
  • "could of" and "would of"
  • mixing up You're/Your
  • mixing up They're/There/Their
  • the use -- and often massive overuse -- of ellipsis as a pause. Its use is to denote the fact that something has been omitted from a quotation
  • "heighth" instead of "height"
  • "alls" (it usually only appears as the first word in a sentence)
  • "cumf-ter-bull"
  • not using "whom" when applicable. (I always -- very quietly -- make an M sound)
  • mixing up "then" and "than"
  • expresso (I work in a coffee shop)
  • whip cream
  • the use of "enormity" instead of enormousness.
  • affect vs. effect
  • The word "forte" -- as in something an individual is especially good at -- is pronounced "fort," not "for-tay." The most annoying aspect of this one is not the mistake itself but the fact that I have literally NEVER heard it used correctly.
  • "Where are you at?" (and unnecessary and/or sentence-ending prepositions in general)
  • Irregardless
  • jewlery ("jew-luh-ree") instead of jewelry ("jew-uhl-ree"). "Jewlry" -- with only two syllables -- is acceptable, I suppose.
  • It's vs Its -- using an apostrophe when "it" is possesive pronoun is unnecessary.
  • mis-pluralizing terms that have reversed noun-adjective syntax by adding an S to the adjective. ("coup d'états" instead of "coups d'état," "brother-in-laws" instead of "brothers-in-law," "attorney generals" instead of "attorneys general")
  • using panini as a singular noun when it it plural. (panino is singular). Also, because I work in a coffee shop, biscotti instead of biscotto.
aug 29 2010 ∞
may 19 2012 +
user picture mari: Okay, I know this is weird because I don't know you, but I'm Shan's friend and I had to comment: 3. Literally is also defined as "actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy" and "in effect; in substance; very nearly; virtually". 17. From Grammar Girl: "The Chicago Manual of Style states, 'Ellipsis points suggest faltering or fragmented speech accompanied by confusion, insecurity, distress, or uncertainty.'" Additionally, the Greek root of ellipsis means "omission" AND "falling short". These both indicate that the usage you describe, while definitely over-used, is in no way incorrect. 27. The original pronunciation of the word was "fort," but modern dictionaries have deemed the "for-tay" pronunciation correct. 28. Irregardless, though non-standard, is actually a word. Check out any dictionary or Grammar Girl. jul 1 2012
user picture Daniel W.: 1.) While the argument could be made that the use of the word literally for emphasis or hyperbole is not always unacceptable, it is virtually never used in way that makes a meaningful difference to the sentence in question. People who use it for hyperbole tend to overuse it so much that it loses any power it may have initially. It just gets filtered out. White noise. 2.) In moderation — and in the hands of a good writer — the use of ellipsis to indicate pause (or confusion, insecurity, distress, or uncertainty) doesn't bother me much. Visually, however, ellipsis draw a lot of attention to themselves, which distracts me and pulls me out of the experience. 3.) Forte doesn't actually bug me much either. It really SHOULD be pronounced "fort," but to actually pronounce it that way in conversation without an explanation would probably make you appear stupid to most people. The proper, pedantic pronunciation is only useful if you wish to instigate a conversation about the pronunciation of the word. Sadly, it's best to avoid the word altogether. 4.) Irregardless is indefensible. It is a stupid colloquialism that is (probably) the result of people fusing "regardless" and "irrespective." The fact that it is listed in dictionaries does not make it useful or it excuse its use. jul 5 2012