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Thread: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

  1. #41
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    AND PLUS... please, please, please... say or use ONE or the OTHER, not BOTH.
    I didn't understand this one. Can you provide an example?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    AND PLUS... please, please, please... say or use ONE or the OTHER, not BOTH.
    I didn't understand this one. Can you provide an example?
    Sure...

    "Win a trip to Rio... and plus a host of other prizes"

    In the above sentence, they already have AND, they don't need the PLUS on top of the AND, it is unnecessary or redundant as they both mean the same thing, yet... you hear it and see it often.

    Here is another example: "I have to clean the house, go to the bank, fix a fabulous dinner and plus I have to go the airport to pick up my mother-in-law all in the next four hours!"

    Other examples of therse types of redundancies are:
    Free gift
    the reason is because (my mom HATES this one and would always correct me)
    end result

    Now some of these are ones we are ALL guilty of and most likely will never stop using:
    hot water heater (it should be just a water heater)
    ATM machine (the M in ATM stands for Machine)
    PIN number (The N in PIN stands for Number)
    ancient history

    I am certain with this very bright group, we can come up with others!
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  3. #43
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    He he.... We always say in Russian "и ещё" which literally is the same as "and plus" in English. You English speaking people always try to use "также" or "тоже" in Russian sentences where we Russians would say "и ещё". "Также" (=also) makes a sentence so unnatural...
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    He he.... We always say in Russian "и ещё" which literally is the same as "and plus" in English. You English speaking people always try to use "также" or "тоже" in Russian sentences where we Russians would say "и ещё". "Также" (=also) makes a sentence so unnatural...
    Okay, so if I understand you correctly, English speakers need to learn to say AND PLUS or "и ещё," in Russian and Russians need to learn NOT TO say that when they speak English. Got that everyone????

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  5. #45
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    ancient history
    If this is a redundancy then I would expect "recent history" to be an oxymoron. Is it, in English? It certainly is not in Russian.

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by E-learner
    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    ancient history
    If this is a redundancy then I would expect "recent history" to be an oxymoron. Is it, in English? It certainly is not in Russian.
    Hmmmm... I had not thought about that one... And that is a common statement, "I don't remember that happening in recent history."

    I Googled it and it seems that it is as I got a numbner of positive hits for it and here are a few sites that say "yes it is"...
    http://atextualtopographyofchance.bl...betically.html
    http://www.ethanwiner.com/oxymoron.html
    http://literaryzone.com/?p=126
    http://www.clarionledger.com/misc/bl...on-ya-dig.html
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    He he.... We always say in Russian "и ещё" which literally is the same as "and plus" in English. You English speaking people always try to use "также" or "тоже" in Russian sentences where we Russians would say "и ещё". "Также" (=also) makes a sentence so unnatural...
    Thats very good to know, thanks, especially as it is exactly like German 'und noch' - finally something I can just translate literally.

    Robin
    Спасибо за исправления!

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    ancient history
    In my role as co-host of the Ancient History forum at about.com I strongly object to the allegation that this was a redundant expression. Ancient history covers the time from the invention of written language to the fall of the Roman empire or whatever your pet historian chooses to identify as the pivotal point when the Middle Ages begin. Prior to that you get prehistory, after that, medieval history.

    We now return you to your scheduled program.

    Robin
    Спасибо за исправления!

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by bitpicker
    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    ancient history
    In my role as co-host of the Ancient History forum at about.com I strongly object to the allegation that this was a redundant expression. Ancient history covers the time from the invention of written language to the fall of the Roman empire or whatever your pet historian chooses to identify as the pivotal point when the Middle Ages begin. Prior to that you get prehistory, after that, medieval history.

    We now return you to your scheduled program.

    Robin
    okay...Kind Sir Robin... but what about when it is not used to actually refer to history and used as an expression like:

    "Oh, Jason and Kelly, they are like so ancient history." OR "Skinny jeans are so ancient history."

    Would you agree to it then being redundant?
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Can a newbie (and history graduate) chip in here?

    If a relationship is described as 'ancient history,' it seems to me that hyperbole is being used. The speaker is emphasising that the pair didn't break up anytime recently and anyone who doesn't know that is WAY behind with the gossip channel feed.

    'Learnt': I have used this in the UK where I was brought up and hear it in Ireland often. Then again, I also hear 'drownt' here, but I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone to adopt it! I'm taking a bit of a wild guess here, but I have a hunch the unvoiced stop at the end of the past tense has something to do with the type of English spoken in the North of England and Scotland. I'd like to hear the opinion of someone from the South on that. The lowland Scots, in colloquial speech, certainly have a habit of using the unvoiced past tenses in preference to the voiced alternative in certain combinations. e.g. followt (followed), climbt (climbed), phont (phoned), handelt (handled). cf. pronunciation of jumped, walked, dreampt. Taking it further, I hear the glottal stop taking over from the 't' these days.

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    okay...Kind Sir Robin... but what about when it is not used to actually refer to history and used as an expression like:

    "Oh, Jason and Kelly, they are like so ancient history." OR "Skinny jeans are so ancient history."

    Would you agree to it then being redundant?
    No. That's obviously a colloquial expression, and anything which makes the topic at hand seem even older and more passé goes. I'd suggest they are so pre-ancient history even.

    Both English and German (and I suspect, Russian, too) have ways to use exaggeration in order to make things stand out in their respective value compared to others. See for instance the completely ungrammatical 'bestest friend' - I know, makes you cringe, but apparently there's a need to put that friend on a very special pedestal. I see nothing wrong with that in colloquial speech. Language isn't just a set of strict rules, it's also a toy.

    Robin
    Спасибо за исправления!

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  12. #52
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    In my experience in BrE wrt ~ed/ ~t past tenses, some verbs have both variants and are equally common, some have both but one form is more common than the other, and some are only ever used with one.

    I, personally, use 'learned' and 'learnt' as the whim takes me, but I'd be unlikely to write 'dreamed' rather than 'dreamt', and I'd never write 'jumpt' in place of jumped (I actually have a friend who insists that the past tense of 'jump' is 'jamp', but that's another story).

    I'm talking about written English here though, and it's important to make that distinction. I certainly say 'jumpt', but then I'm from the Scottish Borders and, as JayB pointed out, we talk funny there. I actually think that 'drownt' would be a bit of a stretch even then, but his basic point is sound.

    Another peeve (the phone I'm writing this on doesn't have the word 'peeve' in its predictive text dictionary btw), and it's one I'm hearing more and more: 'supposably' in place of 'supposedly'.

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Very common mistakes amongst Russians:

    If I will decide to learn English, I'll need to enrol in a course.

    Should be "If I decide to learn English, I'll need to..."

    Also that stacking adjectives thing that was mentioned, "the specific to Russian mistakes". I actually like this one though, it's very useful for writing quickly in shorthand.

  14. #54
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    ATM machine (the M in ATM stands for Machine)
    Called cashpoint in Britain... Problem solved!

    (for those who still don't know what this is: This is called Bankomat or GAB and some other things across Europe -- it's the machine that dispenses money outside the bank.)

    I certainly say 'jumpt'
    Me too, I am in London and I don't talk funny; :"": . But in writing it would be "He jumped to conclusions....." or "I jumped across the stream" right?

  15. #55
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by bitpicker
    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    okay...Kind Sir Robin... but what about when it is not used to actually refer to history and used as an expression like:
    "Oh, Jason and Kelly, they are like so ancient history." OR "Skinny jeans are so ancient history."

    Would you agree to it then being redundant?
    Haha, you are lucky I am not a real Englishwoman, or I'd go on a rant against American "abuse" of the English language, particularly the way that people speak in TV series (but I don't agree with this view - if the English didn't want people other than themselves to speak English in their own way, then they shouldn't have colonised half the known world..! Too bad! )


    Quote Originally Posted by American TV Series
    Oh my god, you guys!!! That one's AWESOME but that one is SOOOO lääääst year!!!"
    English learner: QUE?????

    Saying that something is "ancient history" is just a contemporary expression, right? It will go out of fashion soon. So it doesn't matter so much if it's a bit misleading. Otherwise Ancient History is used to refer to pre-Christian history.Clearly skinny jeans are not from "ancient" historical times.

    "You guys"
    is a funny one... My Indian colleagues offshore (in India) have started using it. They say "US GUYS" when they talk about themselves!

    These types of expressions (like "that's ancient history") are mostly used by native speakers though, who speak English with other natives every day. I am not sure if Robin is doing that or not. For instance if Olya started speaking writing these types of expressions I'd be quite surprised. But why not - if somebody has really mastered a language they will want to start speaking more like native people do.

    I'm taking a bit of a wild guess here, but I have a hunch the unvoiced stop at the end of the past tense has something to do with the type of English spoken in the North of England and Scotland.
    Yeah, probably - some Northern expressions and ways of speaking just don't sound good when pronounced in the South England way. Also, as you know, there are lots of differences between how different people in SE England speak. There is Estuary, real East End, mixed and "posh". Probably something else that I forgot. Some people drop certain consonants and pronounce some vowels in a different way than others. It depends on where in London you live and your background.

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    The catch phrase "think outiside the box" has to go.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    So Robin... if ancient history is a no go for you...than what about "past history?"

    Redundancy typically takes the form of tautology: phrases that repeat a meaning with different words. Common examples are: "a variety of different items", "an added bonus", "to over-exaggerate", "and etc.", "end result", "free gift", "future plans", "unconfirmed rumor", "killed him dead", "past history", "safe haven", "potential hazard", "completely surrounded", "false pretense". There is also the self-referential joke "organization" called "The Redundancy Society of Redundancy", also rendered as "Society of Redundancy Society".
    Quote Originally Posted by JayB
    If a relationship is described as 'ancient history,' it seems to me that hyperbole is being used.
    Jay, Welcome to MR and YES, newbies are most welcome to chime in here! About your thoughts, you had me laughing as most times when I hear the comment "ancient history" in a movie, see it in a book, or hear some sassy little thing say it... the age and knowledge level it is aimed at or the mouth it is coming from, I am not certain they have even ever heard of the word "hyperbole."
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  18. #58
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    "past history?"
    Well I think that sounds a bit uneducated...

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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    "past history?"
    Well I think that sounds a bit uneducated...
    ...and none of the other ones from that list sound odd or a bit silly to you?
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    Re: English Pet Peeves & Common Mistakes

    I prefer the Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things, but yes, some of the expressions may be seen as tautologies, which, however, can have their uses. I mean, if 'surrounded' is always complete, what about something that's nine tenths surrounded? Or is it not surrounded if there's an inch left open? What's the word then? Is it impossible to be surrounded on three sides? Because if any of that is possible, then 'completely surrounded' is not a tautology, it's just a clarification.

    'Past history' might not usually be a sensible thing to say, but there are context in which you can use terms such as 'future history'.

    Furthermore, redundancy is not always unwanted. In fact, much of normal speech is peppered with redundancy because if you really began to speak without redundancies the signal to noise ratio would be such that people would have a hard time understanding you. We actually like a certain amount of noise in between signals to digest them.

    Robin
    Спасибо за исправления!

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