1. MountainBiker
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    MountainBiker Member

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    Two annoying things:

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MountainBiker, Jun 19, 2008.

    Just a quick comment about things that I hear people say and a very common sign that I see outside of businesses. The first is "Where you at?" This grates on me, having grown up with parents that spoke proper English. All one has to say is "Where are you?" I know the language changes with the times, but I think that when a person uses that phrase, it not only demonstrates their rebellion against proper English, but also just sounds really ignorant.

    The second irritating bit of grammar is these signs outside of businesses that say "Help wanted – Inquire within" Within what? (within the four walls of this business? Within one week?) Do you mean to say "inside"? Then why not just say "Inquire inside"? "Inquire within" might sound formal or whatever, but it' completely wrong.

    O.K., there you have it; my two main 'pet peeves' about modern language.
    What are some things that really get YOU going?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'where you at' is street slang that originated in the ghettos and i agree, is awful... but so is most of that kind of talk...

    the sign is not completely wrong, it's correct english... so suck it up, as they'd say on the street! ;-)
     
  3. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    There's a shop in my town that hangs signs in it's windows saying 'Sale Close Out'.. what the hell?!
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Maia's correct concerning the nature of within.

    It belongs to an entire group of words that are called goal of motion words. Almost all of them are long gone from English; hence those few that remain sound strange, archaic, and are usually misused. They included:

    Hither – towards the speaker.
    Thither – away from the speaker.
    Whither – interrogative of direction.
    Hence – leading to a given conclusion.
    Thence – leading to a place.
    Whence – coming from a place.
    Within – going inside.
    Without – going outside.

    You will notice that most of those words are no longer in use. It’s a shame, because they have a good use. The fact that the group as a whole has died out, pretty much taking the concept with them, is probably why the use of the one or two that remain sound strange to your ear.
     
  5. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    This only ticks me off sometimes when I'm actually paying attention but it annoys me when people say "Can I use this?", or "Can I see this?".

    I know you can use it and I know you can see it, but that's not saying anything to me. Now, if you change "Can I.." to "May I..." then you're asking me the right question.

    I only do that though to people who don't particularly pay attention to their environment or don't really have a brain for manners :D
     
  6. Mr Sci Fi
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    Mr Sci Fi Senior Member

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    Saw a sign at my local high school that read, "You're education matters." No joke.
     
  7. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    lol that one made me laugh pretty good :D Obvious things like that are just funny.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, that's wrong! And I mean that in the ghetto way! :D
     
  9. Mr Sci Fi
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    Mr Sci Fi Senior Member

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    Yeah, I'm actually quite ashamed that I was "educated" there.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not writing related, but I attended 6th grade in the Eastwood section of Syracuse, which was (at least then) a prettyrough part of town. The teacher, Miss Wilbur, only taught two science classes the entire year.

    In one of those two classes, I got into a bit of an argument with her. I knew that house current was alternating current, but she insisted it was direct current.

    Her evidence? "The lights don't flicker."

    I wonder why we didn't have more science classes that year.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LMAO! :D Cog! Please tell me you made that up! That is scary to know.
     
  12. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    Funny, I had a science teacher like that too who was kind of off on her whole curriculum and was a hypocrite with her own morals she tried to teach to our class (which I was the only Junior in a class of Freshman who were all obnoxious and just plain rude to the teacher so it was sort of understandable for her to go crazy)
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry, every word of it is true. It was 1965, and most of the sixth graders in that school smoked cigarettes and carried switchblades. I was the outsider; my mother was in Syracuse University that year earning her Masters in Social Work, so we lived in an inexpensive part of town.
     
  14. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use the word "hence" in my daily vocabulary and my writing, and i can't tell you how many times i have people asking me what that means.

    Another word i miss: the conjunction "ergo." Our english teacher made us memorize a list of conjunctions last year and she and i got into an argument over the word. Yay for public education.
     
  15. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Go figure.
     
  16. Flightlessfoofaraw
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    Flightlessfoofaraw Member

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    I find this sort of thing utterly fascinating, learning about the history of language and such. You should run some sort of regular forum masterclass dude :D
     
  17. princess K
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    princess K Member

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    My pet peeve is "your" and "you're" .... people should learn to get it right!

    y-o-u-r = your
    y-o-u-r-'-e = you are

    lol x
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    One of mine is lose vs. loose.

    Loose is an adjective that means not snug or not secure:
    Lose is a verb which means to suffer a loss.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I am so many kind of guilty on this one. Can we still be friends? :redface:
     
  20. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    You know, lazy speech, in general, irritates me.
    Really, how hard is it to say Clinton, (a small town in NC). Why do some of the locals pronounce this town "Cinter"? BTW~ the "T" is silent when they say this. Good grief...
     
  21. MountainBiker
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    MountainBiker Member

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    Thanks for filling me in!

    Good work! I never thought that your garden variety sign writers had it in them. I guess I should have entitled this thread "Ersatz English". (I heard this word recently and decided to look it up.) I still think it would be more to the point to say something like "Apply Inside". Obviously one is going to inquire within if they need employment. You have to tell people to go inside and ask? :confused:

    Here's another English oddity: Some years ago, I went somewhere with my boss, and we saw a sign on the side of the road, in New Jersey, and it said "Seatbelts Must Be Worn". He said to me "What if they're new?" :p That's all for now...
     
  22. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    They don’t. It’s an orphan phrase. There are a handful like:

    Inquire within.

    The car was rocking to and fro.

    She gave me that come hither look.

    Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.


    The words are gone for the most part, but they stick around in the odd phrase or two. It happens.
     
  23. Night
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    Night Member

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    I know this isn't an exact grammar rule, but everyone I know calls the "ground" the "floor." Such as "While she was sitting at the bench in the park, she dropped her pen on the floor." The earth outside is not the "floor." The floor should only refer to the floor of a building or a house or something. Yeah, it's a picky pet peeve, but I still can't stand it.
     
  24. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The ground within a forest is sometimes referred to as the forest floor, and I think that is a correct usage.

    But your point still stands. If someone is standing in a forest and drops bread crumbs, they fall to the ground, not to the floor. They make a path along the forest floor, until they (the bread crumbs, or the children dropping them) are eaten.
     
  25. MountainBiker
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    MountainBiker Member

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    Are you sure?

    So you're saying that these sign writers are trying to be formal and don't even realize that they are using an 'orphan phrase'? Pure coincidence? :confused: I don't know... :rolleyes: I don't hear those other phrases being used, except when I read my King James Bible. You must hang around with some sophisticated people. I still think they just say it that way because they think that's how you're supposed to say it...
     

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