Curious about the language gaffes that might cause aggravation among those we know, my husband questioned his Facebook friends about their pet language peeves. And quickly learned we run with a likeminded crowd.
Wrote one, "When people say 'literally' for emphasis without literally meaning 'literally.' (I knew a woman who used "literally" and air quotes so much that I couldn't hear what she was saying because I was busy keeping a mental tally of how many times she used each.)
Those who use text shortcuts in nontexting situations are an aggravation to many. Along with the widely hated "u" (for "you"), "thru" and "nite," the failure to punctuate or capitalize seems to cause a widespread fingernails-down-a-chalkboard reaction.
The sins of the misplaced apostrophe could fill this whole space, as could quotes placed around random words without explanation. For example, a restaurant whose sign says "You'll love our 'fresh' fish!" seems to not realize they're suggesting you'll love their fish even though it's not really fresh.
Those polled requested I emphasize that the word "irregardless" is always wrong. Always. And there are some in this valley who consider the word's use to be adequate grounds for inflicting bodily harm.
Some who responded listed grammatical crimes I've committed myself. For instance: I occasionally add "able" to words like "do" or "wear." For example: "(Sniff.) Yeah, honey. That's still wearable." And I've had occasion to verbify nouns and create my own words.
Putting it all in perspective, respondent Karan Ireland wrote: "The only thing more obnoxious than someone butchering the English language is the behavior of the person pointing it out to him." An opinion with which I'm quick to agree. Especially on those occasions when I've been guilty myself.
I just hope it wasn't alot.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@gmail.com.