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hawkida


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Annoying phrases
spikey eye bw
hawkida
Listening to Radio 4 is probably bad for my blood pressure.

Presenters: stop saying "of course" when you're adding extra information regarding a story or a person! If it's so obvious it's worth adding "of course" then it's probably too obvious to mention. And when I don't know the stuff that follows the "of course" it makes me feel like you're patronising me and that doesn't really encourage me to keep listening.

I know half the country says "PIN number" but NEWSREADERS? On Radio 4? Shame on you.

Stop telling me I can podcast BBC content. I bloody can't*. Podcasting is what YOU do, I subscribe to your podcast. I can't podcast your content any more than I can broadcast it and nobody goes around telling me to "Broadcast the chart show on Sunday!".

And then there are the phrases that they keep using because the whole world does, but they're STUPID phrases:

"Organic produce" should not be a subset of produce. Fruit and veg and meat are not minerals, they are organic. Who let them steal the word and redefine it to be a subset of what it used to define... that's not going to cause any confusion, is it?

"Identity theft" is not theft! You can't steal an identity outside of SF. If you start with an identity, it doesn't go away because someone else is claiming to be you. It's identity spoofing, or fraud or something, it's not a bloody theft!

And similarly, the details of millions of benefit recipients have NOT been lost, they've been compromised. They've still got the originals, haven't they? ... haven't they?


*Although I'm happy to have a job that means I currently *am* part of that process.

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"Identity theft" is not theft! You can't steal an identity outside of SF. If you start with an identity, it doesn't go away because someone else is claiming to be you. It's identity spoofing, or fraud or something, it's not a bloody theft!

Also, the victim of the fraud is the organization that was defrauded, not the person who was impersonated. I feel really sorry for the shareholders that they have to forgo a dividend, and I may accept some tougher questions when I try to make a withdrawal, but the proper response to my proving that I was not the one who made the withdrawal is

"We're very sorry we incorrectly noted a debit on your account, and we'll restore your balance to the correct figure at once."

Not

"We're very sorry you lost all your money, and we'll try to help you get it back!"

Add to that list, radio presenters who tell us that they'll "See you tomorrow" or "See you next week". Radio is an audio service, not a visual one, and even if it wasn't, unless Orwellian-1984 technology is in use, the person being broadcast can't see their viewers.

'"Organic produce" should not be a subset of produce. Fruit and veg and meat are not minerals, they are organic. Who let them steal the word and redefine it to be a subset of what it used to define... that's not going to cause any confusion, is it?'

Oh! I thought I was alone and overly picky in being driven spare by that.

Oh you're not alone. My standard response is along the lines of "well I'd like to see inorganic fruit/vegies/whatever then..."

Mind you, it did make me laugh when they started advertising "organic water". What, carbonated?

I love this post. It's going into memories :o)

(Deleted comment)
On that last one I think you're missing the point. If I give you a carrot and ask you to define it in as many ways as possible, then once upon a time you could say "It's organic". Now, though, if you tell me it's organic you stand the chance of being told you're wrong because it was grown using nasty chemicals. Which is bollocks. It's still carbon based, and that's what "organic" used to mean fifteen years ago. Yes, there is a subset of food that is differently grown, but make up a new word for it if you want to use a word to refer to some food and not all food. What they've done with the word organic is akin to redefining "human" to mean "test tube baby".

Now, though, if you tell me it's organic you stand the chance of being told you're wrong because it was grown using nasty chemicals.

Which, heh. Everything should be grown with warm, fluffy chemicals. For me it's similar to how the word "natural" has become synonymous with "good". Because hey, eat rhubarb leaves! Full of natural oxalic acid! Pat a taipan! Full of natural venom!

Then there are the people who complain about food being full of "chemicals". At which point you give them a chemical breakdown of a tomato or something, not mentioning what it is, and let them go off for hours about how all these things should be banned.

Lately I've become very irritated by the phrase: "Don't get me wrong." It's in the same league as: "I'm not being funny."

This post made me laugh! What is amusing is I used to sell American Express ID protection to help me survive Uni, and in the script (approved by the big wigs in the know about the subject at Amex) I was very specifically referring to Identity Theft and its impacts. It was on the script in front of me that I had to use in my pitch. If they don't know the difference, who does?!

I know half the country says "PIN number" but NEWSREADERS?

So they should use PI number or simply PIN? How is that any clearer?

"Organic produce" should not be a subset of produce. Fruit and veg and meat are not minerals, they are organic.

Yes. We know that they are organic, by virtual of the fact they are fruit and veg. So they stole a word and mis-used it, you are hardly going to get confused between the two meaning are you? Soil Association Approved Fruit and Veg is too cumbersome. What choice do we now have but to say "organic".

"Identity theft" is not theft!

Good point, but it's now a phrase that is used to mean ID fraud. "cold shoulder", "showing the bird" and " hair of the dog" aren't what they says either.

And similarly, the details of millions of benefit recipients have NOT been lost, they've been compromised.

Very good point. You should write a letter.

*sigh* Arguing with C, I should know better. ;)

Is there really anybody who wouldn't know what was meant if they said "PIN"?

Yes, by context, you can generally tell what is meant by use of the word "organic", but why should we need to work it out? I can't think of any but I expect there *are* cases where it's ambiguous. Why not "SAA produce"? Why not find a catchy name for it, or a more specific one?

I don't know about the first two phrases, but the etymology of hair of the dog is fairly well known - it's the idea that you cure something with more of the same and comes from using hair from the dog that bit you in a remedy or spell to ease the bite. Whereas "ID Theft" doesn't come from anywhere but stupidity in phrasing. There's no etymology to explain, there's just a commonly used phrase that doesn't mean what it suggests.

Is there really anybody who wouldn't know what was meant if they said "PIN"?

Well that would depend on the context, but in some cases it could be unclear. e.g. "PINs may be a thing of the past thanks to a new invention."

Why not find a catchy name for it, or a more specific one?

Why bother? Most people now know what it means in the context. One supposes the Soil Association like the name (they came up with?), even if it does annoy some pedants. Just like "theft", it's a more emotive word, which in both cases sells the message a bit better than the more correct forms.

You could say "why bother?" to it all, but language is valuable. I'd rather there be more of a fight before stupid decisions become commonplace and so normal that a flagship "intellectual" broadcaster starts using it all. I mean, loads of people prefer to type in txt-spk these days, so "why bother" with using vowels and full words and correct spelling? Why differentiate between "your" and "you're" and not just use "UR" instead? For me it's all the same thing - it's about clarity, correctness and disambiguation of terms.

Language is valuable, mostly because it evolves. I do not see txt-spk being used in books or newspapers (outside The Star's textmaniacs column) any time soon, so why worry? Organic used to only have one meaning, now, like it or not, it has two. Lots of English words have two meanings, does this mean the newer meaning of each word is wrong?

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