I'm bringing it back, folks. I don't have a long list of grammar pet peeves today (clearly I've just not been writing them down, because I see this crap everywhere) but you nerds have had a couple of years off from sharing as well, so I imagine between all of us, we can come up with several examples of heinous language butchery.
I'll start with the one that has been horrifying so many of us, ever since The Age of Flannel: ironic. I am not going to talk about Alanis here. She knows what she did. (Although, in honor of her song, Holly and I will occasionally say "that's ironic" when we mean "that sucks" because yes, Alanis, therein lies the root of your confusion.)
No, this continues to be brought to my attention by a local sportscaster. He seems to think that "ironic" means exactly the same thing as "coincidental". I know all of you know the difference, but Greg Simmons, if you're reading, coincidence and irony are two entirely separate things. If you could stop using these words interchangeably, then Holly and I could stop shouting at our television.
irony: when what happens is the opposite of what is expected (situational irony); when a word is intentionally used to convey the opposite of its meaning (verbal irony)
(Why yes, this poorly-written definition is straight off the top of my head! Feel free to Google a better one.)
Situational Irony: Various commentators, upset about the barrage of media coverage surrounding Michael Jackson's death, used a lot of internet media space and TV time to complain about the media over-coverage of Michael Jackson's death. Thus adding to said over-coverage.
Verbal Irony: I put a period after the word superfantastic in the title of this blog (as opposed to an exclamation point) to convey that I didn't mean I was superfantastic at all. In real life, I often use words of this ilk (tremendous, outstanding, superawesome) but never to actually mean that something is great. Always ironically. Even much of my use of exclamation points is intended ironically to indicate that I am not at all excited about what I've just said.
In fact, the way that Holly and I use "that's ironic" to mean what we are perfectly aware that it does not mean in order to express our vexation on the topic would, I believe, constitute using the word ironic ironically.
Let's move on before I get sucked into a vortex of ironic irony, shall we?
Something is not "chalked full" of anything. It is chock full.
This one has nothing to do with proper or improper. I just really, intensely hate the word huzzah. Why do people still say that? It sort of makes my skin crawl. Hurray is such a fun alternative. And doesn't remind a person of a renaissance faire. I think if we banded together and harnessed the power of the internet and our collective nerdery, we could stop it being said altogether. Here's what you do: when you hear somebody say "Huzzah!" you smack them. Not hard. Just enough to trigger an association between saying "huzzah" and getting smacked. WHO'S WITH ME?
And finally: LOL. (Is it just me, or do you pronounce that "lole" in your head when you read it?) First of all, I do not believe that you are laughing out loud. Secondly, I have seen this used even more obnoxiously in place of punctuation. Such as "Sentence which would in no way inspire a person to laugh out loud LOL Another sentence just started without a period or other punctuation ending the first." I realize that I live in an age of technology that is changing the way people write. That doesn't mean I have to like it.
I'd like to leave you with a question. Riddle me this, Internet: when putting a complete sentence after a colon (as I am in the process of doing) do you capitalize the first word of the post-colon sentence? I've gotten conflicting answers on that one, so I'm curious to know what you think.
You are, of course, encouraged as always to leave your own grammar annoyances in the comments as well. Wouldn't it be ironic if none of you did? NO, IT WOULD NOT LOL