A gentle grammar nudge from your friend Podkayne: "Intensive Purposes"

Okay, folks, I’m telling you this because of my love for all mankind.

The phrase is for all intents and purposes.

I saw “for all intensive purposes” in an e-mail from a gentleman who was attempting to describe his education. Let me tell, nothing cuts the legs out from under a list of degrees quite like a boner of a mistake like that.

This is mistake that really makes you look bad. The phrase is easy enough to mishear, but no matter how fast you’re reading, “all intents and purposes” just doesn’t look like “all intensive purposes,” so making this mistake seems to imply that a) you don’t read much, b) you don’t read carefully, c) you really need to improve the caliber of your reading material, or d) all of the above.

When I make a mistake, I really want someone point it out to me (gently, preferably), but I would have sounded like a total tool if I’d responded to this e-mail with a grammar critique, so I’m going to just try to spread the love around a little.

INTENTS AND purposes. Learn it, live it, love it.

Dude. We can’t even get people to spell “the” correctly.

An attorney I know was telling me about something that I assume bored her into oblivion. What she said, though, is that it “bored me into Bolivia”.

:dubious: Hmm…preview is your friend when posting about grammar. :rolleyes:

I think you’re just using him as an escape goat.

Pfft. Gaudere’s Law. If I got off with a single omitted word, I’ll consider myself lucky.

Thanks for the rolleyes all the same, though. Classy.

I do agree with the OP’s intent and meaning, but,

DrScarlett beat me to the punch on calling those grammar police.

And I give the good Dr. a “G” for “Gently” pointing out the this is mistake

One thing, (among many), I’ve learned on this board is the thread, spelling and grammar police WILL jump down on your head for even the slightest mistake. And woe unto that poster that starts a thread that might be a repeat of a previous thread. (No matter how long ago a similar thread was posted.)

It’s “If I got off with a single omitted word, I would consider myself lucky.”


"If I get off with a single omitted word, I’ll consider myself lucky.

:rolleyes: :slight_smile:

HA! I omitted a comma from the title of the thread, too! It should be, “your friend, Podkayne.”

Beat ya to it, ya bastards!

When I was a kid, I used to say “in Spain” for “in vain”. Damn Castillians.

I still catch myself saying “could care less” sometimes too.

We all have our faults.

My coworker once emailed me a quote and asked me to prepare a purchase order “soonest possible.” :smack:

Has anyone else waited “with baited breath”?

Unfortunately, I have… :smack:

While we’re at it, can we enforce some heinous penalty for:

  1. “If you think…, you’ve got another thing coming.” – Folks, it’s “think”, not “thing.” It doesn’t even make sense the other way! I realize the “right” way has some gramattical ideosyncracies of its own, but…

  2. “I could care less,” clearly indicating that the speaker couldn’t, and

  3. the use of “borrow” for “loan”, as in: “Could you borrow me a pencil?”

I don’t get too upset over mere “mistakes” like omitted words, misspellings, typos, or use of “it’s” for “its” or varying forms of “there/they’re/their” and “too/two/to,” but these drive me nuts.

Of course, the latest trend in written communication–that “You” is spelled “U”, “are” is spelled “R”, “too/to” are spelled “2”, etc.–should be grounds for capital punishment. We’re abbreviating two and three letter, easy-to-type words now? How lazy can you get? And I’ve started seeing these in formal writing!

Ohhh, yes. Me, too. I also was known to “flaunt” the rules, until I was hit with the mother of all grammar flames. (Talk about your ungentle corrections.) Since then, I’ve been a floutist, all the way. Unless I’m flaunting my mad grammar skillz.

u r teh suck!!1!!

It’s not “loan” either, it’s “lend”. :wink:

I remember having a conversation with my father in which he used the phrase “intensive purposes.” I pointed out to him that the correct phrase is “intents and purposes.” He was shocked – he had been saying intensive purposes all his life. This from a man who has written a dozen books and was a law school dean at the time.

So he did describe his education, though not in the way he’d intended.

It’s rather like the people who misuse reflexive pronouns in bizarre fashion because they’ve picked up the (incorrect) idea that “myself” is the sophisticated way of saying “me.” When someone says “John gave it to myself,” I do get a very vivid picture of their education.

My manager has been torturing me for nearly five years with “supposubly”.

Probably a hijack, but she is also guilty of mixing things up. For instance, if she is unable to decide on something, instead of saying

A. It’s a toss up


B. I’m torn

She says, “I’m tossed.”

Save me.

I remember that one of the hardest grammar concepts for me to get used to was the use of the phrase “all but,” as in “I was all but shocked at her answer.”

To me, this is sloppy yet useful phrasing. I used to think that the phrase equated to an ironical use of “everything but,” as in “I had thought that all but Cecil wouldn’t be able to answer that question”

Eh, you live you learn.