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Common Peeves re: language

November 3 2008 at 9:30 AM
Michael Dorosh 

Thanks to John Maybin for suggesting this by his post on the 16th Battalion history.

I'm wondering if we can compile anything like a "standard" list of things we can agree are "incorrect" in common usage.

John's pet peeve, and one I agree with, is authors who say that an individual "won" the Victoria Cross or any other award. To my mind, the correct terminology would be that they are "recipients" of such a distinction, or as John points out, that honour was "awarded" to them. Words mean things.

We've had discussions on "World War II" versus "Second World War" so I doubt we will agree on a "correct" terminology, and there may well be other peeves that produce equally fruitless discussions, but I'd be interested in other suggestions in any event.

Another one the late Art Johnson suggested was "the kilt" as being plural for "kilt." I attempted to suggest this on a couple of other sites and was immediately shot down, was told that "kilts" was perfectly acceptable English usage, they had never heard of any such usage of "the kilt" as plural for "kilts", etc. Some usage slips away with time. In retrospect, I suppose if I were to walk into stores and tell one of the privates I wanted him to "take that box of the kilt off the shelf" it might draw funny looks...


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