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Inclimate weather.


Is there a person peeking (not peaking) through that top word?


Augh! Top hole on the upper left of the sign? You should never type a post while thinking about something else.


I'm glad you clarified that...to a degree. I still don't get it though. What sign?

"Inclimate weather"--perfect example.

Oh, it is a book cover. There is a little circle that looks to be a punched hole to the left of the word "The." It looks like someone is peeping through it.


Hmm, yeah, I guess it does, though I wouldn't have thought that if you hadn't pointed it out.

I just typed in “take a peak” in MS Word and the “peak” was underlined in red. When I typed in “peek” there was no underline. Then I did a search on the "peak" phrase in Google and at the top of the results page it asked: “Did you mean: ‘take a peek’?”.

Odd that nothing like that happened with the ad for that literary magazine. Or maybe it did, but the writer said, nah, "peak" is the way to go.

I was lazy in my description of it. I really shouldn't have called it an "ad." It was a Facebook post. Technically an advertisement I guess, but not a carefully produced one. No spell or grammar check. Still, a mildly shocking mistake from a literary magazine. I looked at the post a couple of days later and it was still "Take a peak." Interesting that Word caught it.

"each one did their best" and gender correctness in all forms

That "they/them/their" usage bugs me, too, but it seems irreversible. I was shocked several years ago to learn that its usage goes back a whole lot further than I had any idea of. I always thought it was a '70s feminist thing but if I'm not mistaken there's an instance of C.S. Lewis (!) using it.

one foul/fowl swoop > one fell swoop

verse > versus

"It will be Pitt verse Penn State in this week's big game."

Or even worse, "verse" used as a verb, such as "If Pitt wins this game they will verse WVU in the next round."

Ha. Haven't encountered either of those. The "verse" one make any kind of sense. And that last example...good grief. Sports commentators tend toward wacky stuff like that. Like turning "defense" into a verb. "They will find it hard to defense the run."

This is a different thing because it's not written, but I want to gripe about it. One of my children linked to a YouTube video on which the speaker used the word instructoring. If we put extra syllables into a word, I guess it makes us sound more intelligenter.

Now that I think about it, I'm sure I've heard this more xxxxxx-er construction on NPR.


Oh, there are so many of those horrors. That's as bad as any I've heard. "Administrating" is similar. I think it does come from a very misguided impulse that it sounds intelligenter.

Don't know whether it's proper or not, but I hate "gift" as a verb.

And "reach out to" as a replacement for "contact" or "get in touch with." Hate that too, and refuse to use it.

YES and YES.

I have to admit I frequently catch myself typing "reach out to" and switching to "contact."

Two that I hate are "action" and "solution" as verbs. (I was once in a meeting where the leader said, "We're not going to solutionize this right now.")

I once posted a picture from Day of the Dead where a lot of arms had burst through the wall and were grasping for a woman. That is what I think about every time I hear "reach out to." I accompanied the picture with a request to remove that phrase from the English language.


[laughing] That's perfect.

"solutionize" is pretty horrible. Very similar: "problem-solve" as a verb: "We need to meet and problem-solve this issue." While we're at it, I don't much care for the general substitution of "issue" for "problem."

I think I'm immune to "reach out"--I mean as something I might fall into, at least for now. It has two strong associations for me: the old phone company commercial "Reeaaach out, reach out and touch some one-un" and smarmy pop psychology.

Someone recently mentioned hearing someone else say "I'm going to self-medicate myself."

A new one I've heard just in the past couple weeks is "effort" as a verb: "We're efforting to have H.R. take the lead on this matter."

A lot of this junk is vacuous corporate-speak: bureaucrats trying to sound intelligent.

A supervisor from years ago would always say "challenge" in a very chipper voice if I used the word problem. Although it annoyed me at the time (I was in my 20s and easily annoyed) I kind of like it now, at least better than "issue".

What about "to think Christianly"? Looks dubious to me. I won't say in a public forum where I just saw it.

Sounds dubious to me, too, though I can't say exactly why. Awkward, anyway.

I would prefer "challenge" to "issue," too.

"efforting," like "instructoring," is just beyond even the weakest justification. "Vacuous corporate-speak" is right, and there may be a book about it. There was a web site (or page) that I ran across sometime not too very long ago devoted to exhibiting and mocking what the woman who ran it called "corporate guff." For some reason the site/page was being removed, but she may have written a book about it. Might be fun. Or might just be depressing.

I am trying to think of the poor English teacher who is trying to teach a class full of kids who were raised hearing this stuff. At first I was thinking that it was no different than trying to teach kids who speak in some sort of ethnic idiom but no. Those have their own rules. This stuff has no rules.


Not as far as the details of word use are concerned, but clearly there is an unspoken rule that one should always inflate and/or obscure whatever actual meaning, if any, the speech may have.

The woman's name is Lucy Kellaway, and if you search for "corporate guff" you'll get a lot of her stuff. Here's the piece I was thinking of. The page is apparently behind a paywall...sometimes. I tried it from one computer earlier and went straight to it, later from another computer and had to click past a survey to see the article.


Some of the examples made me laugh out loud. "effort" as a verb makes an appearance, with several others.

I don't remember where - but in the last day or so I saw "Straw Man" used as a verb. I really should get off the internet...

You know, I think I may have heard that, too. I know I've heard similar things. "Let's blue-sky this and see if we come up with anything."

Is there a difference between those two and gaslight?


This is killing me.

Janet, I think the differnce is that "gaslight" has always been used as a verb. The others are objectionable because people are using traditionally noun or adjective based metaphors as verbs - probably so they fit better in a tweet.

That said, I have found "gaslight" grating since my son told me that the "woke" kids in student government had started using it to talk about conservatives - and then I started seeing it pop up in political columns (on both sides).


About "contact" instead of "reach out," Nero Wolfe used to get furious when anyone used "contact" as a verb.


"Gaslight" does seem to be pretty much the same as "blue-sky" as a verb. To me the reason the first one doesn't grate is that "light" is a perfectly good verb. Strictly speaking, "gaslight" could mean "light with gas." "Sky" and "man" don't lend themselves to that.

Oh shoot, Maclin. When you say somebody is gaslighting you, it doesn't have anything to do with lighting something. A person who lights gaslights is a lamplighter. Gaslight is a noun.


I know that. My point is that "light" is so commonly used as both a noun and a verb that "gaslight" doesn't sound as unnatural as a verb as "strawman" and "bluesky" do. Not that it's more correct, just that it doesn't strike the ear that way. My ear anyway.

Nero Wolfe was railing against an inoffensive development, whereas I object to corruptions of our language :)

Here's something that doesn't really bother me, but I feel like it should - using "dimension" as a verb. Woodworkers will often say something like "I dimensionned all my parts before I started cutting the joinery."

I see. ;-)

Don, I think dimesionned is awful.


Here's why I think "dimensionned" isn't so awful, while I still don't like it.

I've only encountered it in the context of woodworking. As in all things in this vale of tears, there are opportunities for pride and self-aggrandizement in woodworking, the use of language isn't one of the most prominent. I think "dimensionned" has caught on because it saves a couple of words (and because people repeat what they read), not because people think it makes them sound smart.

Or maybe it's just that I've seen it used by people whose work (in wood) I admire and I give them the benefit of the doubt.

I don't much like it but it strikes me as less pompous than some of these. "saves a couple of word"--true of many of these, and kind of indicative of American mental habits.

As long as we're complaining, another one that bothers me and seems to have no justification except for saving a word: "transform" as an active rather than passive verb. Not sure that's the right grammatical terminology, but things now "transform" when they should "be transformed." "The car transformed into a boat."

All I can think of now is Transformers. ;-) It's all these grandsons.

I'm also trying to figure out if caterpillars transform. I think I could go both ways.

Here's my bête noire: Imma.


I first heard that from a PhD teaching in an institution of higher learning.

If you're describing what I think you are, it's distasteful coming from anyone for whom it's not a natural dialect. I.e. most white people. For that matter it's a little annoying when black people write it, when most of them probably know better. In itself though I guess it's no worse than the "I'm ohn" that's the way it comes out of the mouths of a lot of southerners.

For instance, me. Though I think I usually get a bit of "g" in there: "I'm gohn go to the store."

That is what you mean, right? "Imma" = "I'm going to".

Right, and I imagine that you know that I don't have any beef with any colloquial speech or natural dialect. I pretty much love it. But, this particular thing did not seem natural in anybody's mouth. I am used to hearing the Southern black people who I am around use the same pronunciation that you say you use yourself. "Imma" seemed to come out of nowhere and was suddenly ubiquitous among both blacks and younger whites. Like it was a fun or cool thing to say.

This may just be a grumpy old lady thing, but it grates on me.

I listened to a video of someone talking about A Good Man is Hard to Find a couple of days ago, and he was talking about the things the Grandmother says, and about how old people always say stuff like that. I hope I'm not quite as bad as she is.

Now to read this week's SNJ.


Gaslight (the verb) is what Charles Boyer did to Ingrid Bergman in the creepy movie Gaslight.

"nuke it out" instead of "duke it out."

I've never heard it before, but I sort of like "nuke it out."

Neither have I, and so do I. It's funny.

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