EppsNet Archive: Language

What People Want to Pronounce

17 Jul 2016 /

pronunciation


He Doesn’t Know the Meaning of the Word “Quit”!

15 Jul 2016 /

Or a lot of other words . . .


Gutsy Winds

17 Apr 2016 /

“Gutsy performance by the winds today.”

“The sign said Gusty Winds.”

Tags:

Overheard

28 Mar 2016 /

Overheard


More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Full-Throated

16 Mar 2016 /

“Full-throated” seems to be used a lot lately to describe politicians and their utterances, i.e., full-throated endorsements, full-throated denunciations, etc.

What a pretentious nonsense word. Instead, just say “loud.”

Frigate bird


Fun Fact of the Day

12 Mar 2016 /

If you try to send “Oh good” as an email reply but type “Oh god” by mistake, your spell checker will not flag that as an error.


Proofread Your Own Work

15 Dec 2015 /
Proofread

FYI, if you meant to type “invest in education” but actually typed “incest in education,” which you might do because the ‘c’ and ‘v’ keys are right next to each other, a spell checker will not catch that as a mistake . . .


I can’t wait for President Trump to outlaw “For English, press 1” on automated phone systems.

Posted by on 23 Oct 2015

Does Anyone Else See a Problem Here?

9 Oct 2015 /

LA MER


More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Before You Die

30 Jul 2015 /

50 Books You Must Read Before You Die, 100 Things You Need to Eat Before You Die, 1000 Places You Must See Before You Die, etc., etc., et goddamn cetera.

Why not simply say 50 Books You Must Read, 100 Things You Need to Eat or 1000 Places You Must See? We all understand that we won’t be reading, eating or seeing things AFTER we die. Why do you have to introduce death into the equation?


Always “Ass…”

23 Jun 2015 /

Have you ever noticed in your inbox or browser tabs how the word “Association” always gets truncated to “Ass…”? Never “As…” or “Asso…,” always “Ass…”

Inbox

Tags: ,

If a Tree Falls in the Forest …

29 May 2015 /

I encountered this on a web page . . . the header followed by a dark gray bar and nothing else. Is a questionnaire with no questions still a questionnaire?

Questionnaire


Why Do I Need Clean Pennies?

26 Mar 2015 /

Clean pennies


Bonified?

9 Mar 2015 /

From LinkedIn:

Decision Engineering is emerging as a new profession. | LinkedIn


Automatic for the People

13 Feb 2015 /

Ripe red apple with green leaf

There’s a bag of apples in the kitchen at work, still in the original packaging, which reads “Automatic, Crisp, Juicy.” What is an “automatic” apple? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Hold on a sec . . . on further review, the packaging says “Aromatic” not “Automatic.” Neither one makes a lot of sense. I took one out and found that if I inhaled deeply enough, it smelled a little bit apple-y.


How to Tell if Your Food Server is a Robot

1 Jan 2015 /

I’ve been reading some articles recently about increased use of robots in the food service industry. I think we had a robot server the other day at the Jack in the Box drive-thru. My boy ordered a medium Mountain Dew with his meal and I ordered a large Coke Zero with mine.

“Which one is the Mountain Dew” I asked the woman (robot) at the window as she handed us the drinks.

“The medium one,” she said.

Only a robot would answer the question that way. A human would say “The yellow one.” Because it’s a dopey question and a human recognizes why it’s a dopey question and answers accordingly. The robot only knows that the medium drink is the Mountain Dew and the large drink is the Coke Zero.

Girls at table with robot


HIS and HER

24 Oct 2014 /

I work at an educational non-profit. Whenever I type the abbreviation HSI (High School Intervention), Microsoft Word automatically “corrects” it to HIS. When I worked at a healthcare organization and typed EHR (Electronic Healthcare Record), Word helpfully “corrected” it to HER.

There’s a nice symmetry to that: HIS and HER.


The 12th Man

17 Feb 2014 /
CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks

The home crowd of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks is known as The 12th Man. Isn’t this awfully sexist? Doesn’t it marginalize female Seahawk fans? Wouldn’t The 12th Person be a more appropriate appellation?

I’m surprised there isn’t more outrage over this. It seems like the kind of thing that someone should be really bent out of shape about.


More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of

11 Nov 2013 /

How big was it?

English: at the 2009 NLCS.

Sports media goofball

The go-to question for lazy sports media goofballs everywhere. How big was that game? How big was that performance? How big was that play?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the word “big” doesn’t make sense in this context. How big was it? It was bigger than a breadbox. It was bigger than my dick.

“Let me ask you about the most important play of the game. How important was it?” That’s just stupid. But it’s acceptable if you phrase it like this: “How big was the interception by Kozlowski?” Use of the word “big” is the agreed-upon protocol for asking stupid questions repeatedly.

“Tell us something we already know about something we just saw” is okay if phrased as “How big was that performance tonight by Smithers?” Or “How big was this win?”

If all you can do is ask stupid questions, at least phrase them in a way that makes sense. “Tell me about the interception by Kozlowski.” Or “What’s your opinion of Kingman’s performance?”

Better yet, do your job and ask questions with insight and context, e.g., “It looked like you changed up the coverage on the Kozlowski interception. Can you talk about that?”


Minimizing Retention

4 Aug 2013 /

From an actual job description for a Software Development Manager:

  • Worth with management and directs to put together a solid SW Development career development plan in alignment with Organization Solutions all-up to grow hi-potential employees and minimize retention.

If you’re writing job descriptions and learning English at the same time, there’s no shame in having a native speaker review your work.

The job description goes on like that for 10 or 12 more bullet points. I singled that one out because I like the phrase “minimize retention.” I can recommend a couple of people for that.

I assume it’s a language problem in this case — that the author meant to say “maximize retention” or “minimize turnover” — but it might be a kick to have a job where your actual charter is to minimize retention.

You would not be an easy person to work for. You would take all the credit. Your subordinates would get all of the blame.

Picture having the names of all staff members written on a whiteboard in your office and removing them one by one with a triumphant swipe of your eraser at the end of their (hopefully brief) tenure.

Maybe your boss would stop by every now and again to tap on a name and ask, “Why is that guy still here?”

Of course, if some clinging vine is screwing up your retention rate by refusing to quit (maybe he really needs the job?), you can just call him in and fire him. Or her.

Good times! If only all job objectives were this easy to meet.

Thus spoke The Programmer.


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