Posted by: Kate | June 27, 2009

Irregardless, You Need to Incent them to Orientate

OK, the making-up-words thing?  Not my favorite.

It was mildly annoying, and sometimes amusing, when I was just a regular schmo wandering through the wld of spoken words.  But now, having taken up a job doing transcription of lectures and interviews and the like, it is becoming hemorrhoidal in its obnoxiousness.

So, a quick reminder, if you happen to find yourself being recorded: You can just orient yourself, or someone else; you don’t need to orientate them.  One can offer incentives, but incenting someone to do something just sounds a little bit dirty and ends up being typed as “i-n-c-e-s-t-backspace-backspace-n-t.”  And regardless of your need for extra syllables, irregardless is just overdoing it.

OK?  Thanks much.

Any personal favorites of yours?  Or are you just a whole-scale all-words-are-wonderful, who-needs-grammar type?



  1. I wish I could say who needs grammar but I have to agree some “words” are left better unspoken. Though I come from a family where “Thingy,” “What-its-face” and other of the alike are AOK to use regularly and somehow stuff gets done.

  2. 11 years of Latin and 4 years of ancient Greek means I’m crazy about grammar. So these things irk me too.

    My favorites? Architect as a verb. It bugs me. Shopping used as a transitive verb — you can’t shop something. You can shop. Period. If I hear shop this store one more time, I’m going to throw a fit. Shop is intransitive.
    There are intentional changes, though… the proper English word for something that is likely to catch on fire is inflammable. Most people think “in” negates what follows, so there’s a reason they just put flammable on trucks. They don’t want people getting the wrong idea.

  3. I love grammar! I have friends who call me (or FB message me) with grammar questions, and I’m enough of a dork that I get a small high from sifting through my multiple grammar handbooks to find just the right rule or reason. I once did a grad school project on e-communication, more specifically the reasons people seem to think it’s OK to throw correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling out the window when communicating electronically.

    To quote one of my favorite pieces of FB “flair”: U is not a word.


  4. Me, I’m the curmudgeonly type. How about the widespread desire to turn perfectly lovely nouns into verbs? You know… tasking, architecting, interfacing and such. Calvin said it almost a decade ago: “Verbing weirds language.”

    And my personal giggle: here in the South, if one is uncertain, one says, “I’m not for sure.”

  5. The one that makes me crazy is, “could care less”. If you COULD care less, it means you actually care about whatever it is. If you COULDN’T care less, you don’t care. Makes me NUTS.

    Also making me crazy: “I have to be there for 7.” No, you have to be there AT 7. Sheesh.

  6. I always thought orientate was wrong, but we just spent 10 days in England and I heard it several times. So after you posted, I look it up. Turns out both are correct! I had no clue!

  7. It took me 15 years to get the message to my spouse…………it is regardless, not irregardless. Now he utilizes the word properly. My biggest peeve is that people in the Northwest use double negtives constantly even on tv. GRRRRRRRRR. My Canadian grammar Nazi of a mother is spinning in her grave.

  8. […] I’ve kvetched, before, about cutesy modern words, and left “staycation” off that list.  I understand what it […]

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