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So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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31,517
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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Never cared much for the way "the carrot or the stick", implying work extracted by means of a choice between an incentive or a punishment is confused with "carrot AND stick," which describes being deceived into doing work on the promise of a reward you will never receive -- the imagery being that of a farmer tricking a donkey into pulling his cart by dangling a carrot just out of his reach. It's two different phrases with two very different meanings.
 
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10,046
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My mother's basement
^^^^^^
In the “Terms Which Have Disappeared” thread is a discussion of terms and phrases of rural origins, especially those referencing livestock, and how it should come as no surprise that so few people these days, even those who use the phrases, could offer an accurate explanation of their origins.
 

KILO NOVEMBER

Practically Family
Messages
969
Location
Hurricane Coast Florida
Some (mis)usages become more widely used than the “correct” ones. At that point, we have little choice but to accept that popular usage trumps.

I hear “hone in” more often than the “correct” “home in” that I’m left to acknowledge that that battle is lost.

I haven’t yet given up on correcting “hair brained” (it’s “hare brained”) or “baited breath” (it’s “bated breath”) even if it seems that the incorrect usages are more prevalent than the correct ones.
I'm the sort of cranky old fart who talks back to the people on the television when I hear such abuses.
 
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10,046
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My mother's basement
^^^^^^
As am I. My wife will hear my screams from another room in the house and ask me what happened. I typically say something along the lines of “That effing idiot celebrity newscaster just said … “
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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31,517
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Another is when someone says "Oh, (whatever activity they're good at) is my for-tay." It's FORT, bonehead. Or, as we say in the non-rhotic Northeast, "FOTT." Either way, the use of an accent-grave is an affectation. Unless you're describing what you get when you stomp the loud pedal on the piano.
 

KILO NOVEMBER

Practically Family
Messages
969
Location
Hurricane Coast Florida
Another is when someone says "Oh, (whatever activity they're good at) is my for-tay." It's FORT, bonehead. Or, as we say in the non-rhotic Northeast, "FOTT." Either way, the use of an accent-grave is an affectation. Unless you're describing what you get when you stomp the loud pedal on the piano.
According to Webster, "So you can take your choice, knowing that someone somewhere will dislike whichever variant you choose."
 
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10,046
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My mother's basement
^^^^^^^
I once had to show a person who insisted otherwise that “accouterment” is a perfectly acceptable variant in some parts of the English-speaking world. I acknowledged, though, that I had to look it up myself the first time I noticed it in print.
 
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GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,552
Location
New Forest
Another is when someone says "Oh, (whatever activity they're good at) is my for-tay." It's FORT, bonehead. Or, as we say in the non-rhotic Northeast, "FOTT." Either way, the use of an accent-grave is an affectation. Unless you're describing what you get when you stomp the loud pedal on the piano.
There are actually two “fortes” in English, one that we adopted from French, the other from Italian. The French word “fort” (meaning “strong,” from the Latin “fortis”) gave us the “forte” meaning “strong point” or “thing at which a person excels” (“Mr. Selwyn had a forte for horse-racing,” 1870), as well as such common English words as “fort” (meaning “stronghold” or “fortified structure”), “force” and “fortify.” But the first use of “forte” in English was to mean the strongest part of a sword blade, usually the part closest to the handle. And how “foible,” which we adopted from Old French and use today to mean “quirk” or “weak point of one’s character,” but which originally meant the weakest part of a sword blade, usually the half toward the tip. This section was also known as the “feeble,” another word rooted in that Old French “foible.”

The other “forte” is, from Italian, and also means “strong,” but is used in English exclusively as a musical term to mean “loud.” This “forte” is also found in the term “pianoforte” (from the Italian “piano e forte,” literally “soft and loud”) of which our modern English “piano” is a shortening.

The Italian musical term “forte” is indisputably pronounced in English, as it would be in Italian, in two syllables with the “e” given a long “a” sound (for-TAY). “Forte” in the sense of “strong point,” however, is from French, and, going by the French model, should be pronounced “fort,” one syllable. (Actually, to be truly faithful to modern French, it should be pronounced “for,” without the “t”.)

Purists over the years have made a point of distinguishing the pronunciations of the two “fortes,” singling out the pronunciation “for-TAY” for “strong point” for condemnation as being at best slightly gauche.
 
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10,046
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^^^
I find myself patronizing Starbucks because when on the road with a person who needs assistance using the comfort facilities, Starbucks is about as reliable as it gets — single user rooms, lockable, clean, large enough for a motorized wheelchair, its user, and her assistant.

So in appreciation of that we spend a few bucks. But I will never speak Starbucks. I stick with small, medium, large, etc., and not some Italian (I think it is) variation on that. I mean, Jesus, people, you’re in Cheyenne effing Wyoming. And I am tempted not at all by some concoction called a frappaccino. (Excuse me, Howard Schultz would have me capitalize that. It’s their registered trademark, so I guess they call the shots.)
 
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Messages
10,046
Location
My mother's basement

Purists over the years have made a point of distinguishing the pronunciations of the two “fortes,” singling out the pronunciation “for-TAY” for “strong point” for condemnation as being at best slightly gauche.
Arthur Fonzarelli, on hearing a nose-in-the-air type say “how gauche,” replied, “Not bad, how gauche it with you?”
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,552
Location
New Forest
It would seem that I buy it online or not at all. Saturday, Sunday and this morning has been a fruitless search for a device known as a spellchecker/crossword solver. The internet gave me a list of retailers where I could buy such a gizmo, not one out of the nine stores that I researched online, stocks them. So frustrating!
 

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