Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some Pets You Don't Have to Feed...

Yes boys and girls... erm... well... looking at the past years worth of comments I guess I should probably revise that to simply...

Yes bored ladies, I'm here to give you the skinny on those pets that I have that you don't even have to feed, because the world does it for you. That's right... a whole genus or wretched hive of scum and villainy known as pet peeves.

Since I don't want to douse you all at once, I'll concentrate on just the first few that come to my mind and we'll make this little post... Volume I.

Now while I'm not exactly a grammar Nazi, or vehement about the use of the King's English as they say... certain things do tend to bug me because of their inherent incorrectness and abuse by those that should know better. We'll concentrate on a few of those that I see all the time.

One of the biggest of these is the use of "Mano a Mano" in reference to two single combatants going at it one on one in a verbal conflict. Whether it's a newscaster or some other such "knowledgeable person" they always say that in a tone that makes me want to slap some sense into them.

First of all... anyone with rudimentary Spanish skills knows that "mano" is the Spanish word for "hand". So in reality, "Mano a mano" means hand to hand.

One of the most egregious uses of this phrase comes after a court battle or political debate. All the pundits say, "Dummy X and Dummy Y went mano a mano last night". Now... I've seen a lot of political sparring in my lifetime, but it rarely comes to blows (unless you live in South Korea). To equate a schoolyard game of "He said - he said" into the term "mano a mano" is laughable at best. Ali and Frazier went Mano a mano three times. Romney and Perry hucked verbal insults at each other. Huuuuge difference. Now if lawyers or politicians actually went "mano a mano" during the debates... I'd watch those, and so would the majority of folks. In the end you wouldn't need a pundit to tell you who won the debate... just the referee.

The second most often abused term is... "perks". "It's just one of the perks of office" I see in print quite often. Actually the latest example is from DishNetwork. I'm watching my TV and they're trying to tell me of all the "perks" that I get as a Dish subscriber and actually reference me to their website www.dishnetwork.com/perks. Now I don't know if they're really that ignorant, or whether they just think the majority of their patrons are morons, but here's a suggestion to you people who think that's how you spell the term... get a dictionary, or better yet, just go online to Dictionary.com. It's free, it's easy.

I'm guessing if you go there and type in "perks" in the little window (I haven't done this, but it'll give you all something to do in your spare time), it'll come back as a verb that basically tells you what an old fashioned coffee pot does. It percolates the coffee... that's not a fringe benefit. The actual term, which I'm sure you all know already or you wouldn't be smart enough to read this blog in the first place, is perquisite. A perquisite is a fringe benefit of an occupation or in a shorthand version... "perq".

And finally today I'll concentrate on another misapplied word that is thrown out by the intellectual and erudite elite, and most often misspelled as they try to accomplish it.

I was over at a bulletin board here a few years ago before one of the admins ran everyone off and it closed down. Now this particular admin started off fairly reasonable and the board grew and grew and was becoming a good place to hang out... then the saying "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" came into play (I was member #4 of this board and they signed me up as a member and told me about the board later, I didn't even have to join so I know where a lot of the skeletons are buried). This particular admin fancied himself a bit of a philosopher and master debater and began to engage in any discussion had between two or more of the patrons of the board even when it wasn't his business. Nobody wanted to talk to him about anything and continued to discuss things between themselves, ignoring the admin and his belittling of the participants for their "logical flim-flam" until he'd ding them for some perceived "rule violation" just so he could get into the mix. I took it for as long as I could then I unloaded on him. There are a few of you that comment here that were around for that one, so you might remember it.

Just as an aside here, he always despised one of the admins on FMD for locking someone out of a thread and then making a reply to that poster's post thereby denying the aggrieved party from responding. He often told us he wouldn't stand for that on his board (even though he was only one of the three admins). So after I made my post calling him on his antics, he locked me out of posting in the thread and then proceeded to tell me how vile I was. A post which he edited THREE TIMES because the first and second drafts were so vitriolic. I'd link you to the post, but alas... it's no longer there, and neither is the board.

However... during his reply as he was talking down his nose at me trying to make me look like the cretin I was, he pulled out the ol' favorite phrase... "as is your want". It made me smile at the time, and I've seen that phrase used more and more as time progresses...

What made me smile about that? Well... here he is, trying to belittle me and demonstrate his intellectual superiority and then he uses the term "want" instead of the proper term... "wont". "Want" is a verb meaning to desire. A "wont" is a custom, habit, or practice.

And that dear readers, is where my pet peeve comes out to play... if you're trying to show someone how intellectually superior you are... don't use words that are over your intellectual level because invariably... all you'll do is show everyone how lacking you are in that arena...

So tell me, what tops your list lately?

Today's mystery lyric: (Remember the rules folks, no online searching of the lyrics, if you don't know it, you don't have the answer!)

I killed a man 'cause he killed my goat
I put my hands around his throat
He tried to reason with the sky and the clouds
But it didn't matter, 'cause they can't hear a sound

Answer to last lyric: The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I can't believe I posted lyrics to a Chili Peppers song. The things I do for Dani... *sigh*