Tag Archive | words

Reflections: Why Do People Keep Saying That!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

It goes without saying that I am a big fan of the English language and everything it entails, but that love of words and literary devices comes to a crashing halt when certain phrases reach my ears. My brain can only take so much language abuse before I have to put my foot down, both literally and figuratively. The following is a mere sample of the vat of common sayings which not only means something entirely different than the context people have placed them in, but they also don’t make a lick of sense regardless of their verbal or literary usage.

My Top 5 Most Annoyingly Inaccurate Sayings of the English Language

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#5: I could care less

Okay, my feud with this phrase has more to do with its context than anything else. Whenever people say ‘I could care less’ as a substitution for ‘I don’t care’, the first thought to occur to me is that they are contradicting themselves. When you say ‘I could care less’, what you are really saying is ‘I do care’. What they should really be saying is ‘I couldn’t care less’, which more accurately captures the extent to which they don’t care for something.

#4: Irregardless

This time, it’s grammatical. I’m not sure who decided to place a suffix on this word, but the proper term is ‘regardless’, meaning ‘despite the present circumstances’. Words like ‘irregardless’ tend to pop up when someone gets this idea in their head that it would be cool to squash two words together and see to what extent it would catch on. That is most likely how this one came about, although no one does know for sure.

#3: And he was like…

If you are going to recite a conversation between yourself and someone else, show some certainty in what both you and the other person said. When people say ‘he was like’, I cannot help but feel their certainty in what the other person said is not as rock solid as they would like me to believe. They would have ‘said’ something, and not have ‘like, said’ something. Like is meant to dictate feelings of attraction or preference, in some cases comparing two or more things in terms of certain attributes. I do wish people would refrain from using it as a mere filler word instead of its intended use.

#2: It hurts like Hell!

There is a very simple reason for my displeasure at hearing this phrase: how can you know something hurts like hell when you’ve never been? Perhaps I am looking at it in too much of a literal manner, but it would make more sense to compare it to a past experience that results in the same level of pain than a place that may or may not exist.

#1: ???

I must leave you at a cliffhanger here, for I have not yet decided on the phrase which forces my level of irritation to peek. I would like to hear what my fellow BookNerds think, though. Let me know in the comments which phrases you would like to see fall into disuse, and I promise that by tomorrow, I shall unveil that ultimate, most annoying saying known to human kind. Until then, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

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Word of The Week & Happy Valentine’s Day!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

It has been a long time since I actually looked forward to the arrival of this candy giving, flower clipping, paper heart cutting holiday. When I was little, and I got to put on my little red dress and go to school with a bag full of valentine’s day cards, I was so giddy with joy. It was all about having fun! It’s just not like that anymore. If you ask me, this holiday stresses too many people out. Why should there only be a single day designated to expressing how much we love or care about someone? It should be a daily endeavor, and not necessarily  laden with gifts from the store.

hearts

I will confess, though, that I could not have been more excited this year about the arrival of this day, because …. well, let’s just say my mind is not filled with evil thoughts every time I see a couple walk by ^_^

Now it’s time to move on to my favourite topic: Word of the Week!

Today’s word is….

ARDENCY

ValentineTiger

Definition: Conveying feelings of warmth, passion and fierce affection

Synonyms: fieriness, emotion, keenness, joy, passion, warmth, spirit.

Word Origin: This word appears to have originated from the 14th century, and is derived from the adjective ‘ardent’, which usually referred to alcoholic beverages known as ‘spirits’ and the burning sensation that comes from consuming them. Now, it is most commonly used in the figurative sense, such as passionate emotions.

If you’re thinking about writing a poem for that special someone, this would be a pretty good word to pop in there ^_^

That’s all for today. I hope everyone, single or not, is able to enjoy themselves today, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

Word of the Week: Eccedentesiast

Hello All!

Oh Ottawa, your constantly changing weather pattern continues to amaze and irritate me. I have given up on trying to dress appropriately, as it is a futile effort when one minute it’s raining, and then next thing I know the sidewalk is frozen solid, and I pretty much have to skate all the way to class. As fun as that may sound, it is less so when you have to climb up a steep hill to get there!

Enough of my venting, though. It’s impossible to stay angry when writing for my favorite segment: “Word of the Week”.

Eccedentesiast

fake smile

Definition: One who fakes a smile

Synonyms: Facade, false smile, actor/actress

Word Origin: It is a term that is normally used to define people who go in front of the camera and have to fake a smile for the sake of the audience. The term is suspected to have first been coined by Florence King, an American Novelist and writer for the National Review. She refered to this term in her column ‘The Misanthrope’s Corner’  when talking about politician’s and tv hosts.

This is a great literary term to use if you’re trying to describe a character who tends to be reluctant when it comes to displaying genuine emotion. Or, perhaps you know people who will go out of their way to force a smile, even if their true emotions betray their physical representation of their emotions.

That’s all for today. If you’re planning on visiting Ottawa, be sure to keep both a winter coat and an umbrella on you at all times; you never know when you might need them. Until next time, happy reading!

Cheers 🙂

Word of the Week: Godspeed

It has been decided: I will present one new word a week, including a definition, synonyms, and a bit of history to go along with it. I hope to be able to enrich both your vocabulary and my own. If you happen to have more information about the words presented, or perhaps you know some interesting words yourself, share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

This weeks word is: Godspeed

The first time I came across this word was while I was watching Battlestar Galactica, and I just assumed it was a term that they created for the show, similar to their word ‘frak’ (I think it’s pretty evident what word they were replacing). It wasn’t until I started hearing it used in other shows, and even in books, that I realized to my embarrassment that it is an actual word found in the dictionary.

God•speed

Definition: Success or good fortune

> Expressing good wishes for another person’s success, good fortune and/or safety.

Synonyms: farewell, bon voyage, adieu

History/Origin: This term was first used in the 15th century, derived from the original Middle English spelling god spede, where its most common use was found in Holy Scriptures. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with actual physical movement, but more as a means of wishing others success, good luck and prosperity.

That was the word of the week, and don’t forget, I am always open to comments or suggestions.

 

Ubiquitous

I find that the best words in the English language are the ones that are just amusing to say because they reflect the substantial gap that exists between modern day language and the roots from whence they came.  The word ‘like’, for instance, has taken on several different meanings, and not necessarily meanings that were intended for it. It used to be a common connecting term for making a comparison between two or more ‘things’ (the word ‘things’ incorporating anything that can be compared). Then, people started to use it to show their affection for one another, verbally communicating the level of a relationship they have with someone (or wish to have). It is such a flexible term that seems to change with the times, which is likely due to how long it has stuck around. Now,  the word ‘like’ isn’t even being used as a word anymore. It has become one of those filler words that people use when they are unsure of what to say next:

‘Um, you know, like …’

or when they are quoting something that somebody else said:

‘He was like … and she was like … and I was like …’

So, how does this relate to todays word? Well, it doesn’t really. I simply wanted to show how fascinating it is to see how words go through their own transitions in society just like people. The word I have chosen for today is an example of how words that are not used in common language are more likely to remain the same in terms of their meaning. They are like a rare beast that people are able to enjoy, but only if they are willing to make the effort to locate them.

So without further ado, the word of the week is ….

Ubiquitous

U-biq-ui-tous

Adjective: present, appearing, or found everywhere … being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time.

Synonyms: all – over, everywhere, omnipresent, universal

This is one of those elegant words that just seems to role off the tongue with an undefined grace. It also reminds me of how cool it would be to have the ability to be everywhere at once! X-men has a strong influence over me 🙂

Anywho, I was attempting to unearth the roots of this word, but I was unable to find the kind of colorful history I had been hoping for. Many words have been around for so long that their origins cease to exist. The only piece of information I was able to find stated that the word came about during the 1800’s, although it was actually derived from the word “ubiquitary”, which shares the same meaning but it was first uttered during the 1500’s.

If you happen to be familiar with the origin of this word, do tell, because I am rather curious to know what it is. Otherwise, that is all for this weeks “Word of the Week” post (it’s a new thing I’m trying, but I am not yet certain whether it will be a permanent thing), and I will leave you with these words of wisdom:

A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words … the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompting.

– Mark Twain

 

Cheers 🙂