Grammar Enthusiast, The Game

Since OtterMichael is on vacation, I thought I would start a new game. Given that my fast phone typing has been the subject of many japes and tomfoolery…

What are your most detested and most loved turns of phrase. I’ll start with an easy one.

I could care less.


That’s a big one for me.

Let’s see…

literally [used to mean figuratively]

If we don’t stop people from using literally instead of figuratively, how the hell are we supposed to know if something actually happened?

1 Like



1 Like

I personally love split infinitives.

to boldly go is a great turn of phrase.

1 Like



All this grammar business leaves me nonplussed!


Well then, take a couple: ++ :stuck_out_tongue:


I got called out on this a few days ago:

"If you can count it, it’s ‘fewer,’ if you can’t count it, you use ‘less,’ Reddit user bigbangtheory_ wrote.

“It’s fewer marbles and less jam. One counts marbles but not jam,” Quora user Roderick Chow wrote.

But I can count jam just fine! Also, like when I used the phrase ‘less $object’ why is the quantity assigned to the arbitrary discrete number of these objects, and not their use and more important pieces? Especially when $object has obvious subcomponents?

However, descriptive grammarians (who describe language as actually used) point out that this rule does not correctly describe the most common usage of today or the past and in fact arose as an incorrect generalization of a personal preference expressed by a grammarian in 1770.[2]


One turn of phrase that I absolutely adore is the meme:

Yo dawg I heard you like a Thing so we put a Thing in your Thing so you can Thang while you drive

It is a beautifully constructed phrase that has depth, humor, familiarities with functional languages, and feels soo good to say.

1 Like

I hate to be that guy, but apparently I don’t hate it enough to stop myself from saying:

Their, there and they’re are three completely different words, and using them incorrectly is like putting speed bumps on the freeway. Every time I hit one, I metaphorically have to stop and make sure my oil pan is still there, while literally backing up and mentally correcting the improper usage so that the sentence actually makes sense.

It’s personally my least favorite common misuse. Worse than its vs it’s (which yes, I recognize that I violate all the time, and I try not to correct people when I see the improper use of it’s or its)


TTT, and affect/effect, but I have a feeling they are going to go the way of harass. (It is pronounced hare-uss, not huh-rass)


One’s strange affect can effect a change to another’s affect, effectively effecting the affect via contagious affectation, and even earning the other’s affections.

…Something something “rain in Spain”…


FTFY :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like


My mother-in-law’s (somewhat famous) father, a deep lover and adept wielder of language, would get all bent outta shape when his children mispronounced words like “dour” (ain’t supposed to rhyme with “sour”) and “err” (s’posed to sound, er, like “er” rather than “air,” at least according to him).

No descriptivist, that Dalton Trumbo.

Is dour pronounced like dewer? Or Dooowr? (With no excessive er at the end)

My lovely wife sitting next to me pronounces it kinda like “doer.” Like a doer of great deeds. Merriam-Webster’s first (of two) pronunciations seems to bear this out: ˈdu̇r

I’m always pleased to encounter that one, since it affords me the opportunity to shoot right back with “No, you couldn’t.”

My very, very first interaction with my wife was online (we met through a personal ad I’d placed on The Onion’s website) and we exchanged pet-peeve malapropisms and misuses. She won my heart that evening by mentioning on her profile that she hated it when people said “supposably,” which happened to be a word my hated boss would use every goddamned day. So of course I married her.


Using “disinterested” to mean “uninterested”.


I like to say, “I could care less… but not much.”