It's wrong, but I say it anyway

I just found myself writing “The data is…” and I left it, even knowing it was wrong. So shoot me.

Anybody out there want to cop to a linguistic crime?

Complete and utter disregard for the subjunctive. Blatant use of singular they. Two-syllable “forte”, even though the use is so disputed that I really haven’t the least idea which is best. (And just because it’s interesting, here’s a groovy link for you!) Prepositions at the end of spoken sentences.

I know there must be even more, but I’ve blocked them out of my memory…


I use “random” incorrectly to mean “strange” or “unusual.” What’s really odd is that I’m typically gung-ho about this sort of a thing - I’ll blow a gasket if someone misuses “literally” - but I guess it’s just so ingrained into my system that I can’t quit using it that way. It’s probably a generational thing; I’m 20 and most of my friends use it the same way, too.

You must be me! I could have written this post.

Anything having to do with Monkeys.

I know Chimps aren’t monkeys, but I call them so anyway, because Apes doesn’t sound as funny.

The least idea which is better, that is, not best. Oy.

Anaamika, that’s a good thing, right? :smiley:

I’d never encountered it any other way until I read about it here a few months ago.

The ‘these data’ police really annoy me. They can’t accept that language changes, and that ‘data’ is now acceptable as a singular. Stick with what you’re doing, and don’t accept that it’s wrong. The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary accepts both versions.

Thanks, and I want a free pass on “aren’t I” as well.

Me too. I can no longer use this word because I don’t want to say it incorrectly, but also don’t want to have to have a discussion about the correct way of pronouncing the word.

I can’t think of any other linguistic crimes I commit knowingly right now, but I pretty sure there are at least a few. As long as people understand you clearly, I don’t see what the big deal is all about (except for anyways, which is just wrong, and actually does irritate me for some reason).

I write the word “empathic,” but when I say it, it always comes out “empathetic,” which is wrong, but no matter how many times I try to correct myself beforehand it always comes out that way. It just feels like a much more natural word. But nobody uses that word that much anyway, so I only slip up on it a few times a year.

I also say “forte” with two syllables, but I don’t think that is so wrong. Mostly because whenever I pronounce it the “right” way, people look at me funny, because to most people, “fort” with one syllable means a military outpost. Better to be popular than correct. And anyway, the other pronunciation feels unnatural, just like saying “empathic.” I think that “fort” with two syllables will become standard English in a few years, because so many more people use it than the one syllable word.

And better to be understood then either.

Being a product of not-quite-northern/not-quite-southern Iowa, I occasionally still find myself saying such hoary old rusticisms as ain’t it the truth, quite a little, I wisht I was, get a holt of, and my all-time favorite, where’s it at?

But I WAS taught the difference between then and than at an early age. Despite what you might gather from the orthography of the above posting.

I know it’s wrong, but I use the singular ‘they.’

What else is a person supposed to do, when they don’t want to clutter the sentence with ‘he or she?’

I think it was Isaac Azimov who wrote:

There’s only one
Folks in ‘inferia’
Say ‘one criteria’.

Yes! Yes!

Well, I like the subjunctive, but have you ever tried to explain it to someone before? My dad was not buying it.

I understand that Shakespeare used the singular “they”, and if it’s cool with him, it’s cool with me.

I insist on saying “FOR-tay” because I took music and learned the Italian word/pronunciation long before I came across the French word/pronunciation. I’ve thought about saying it correctly, but I realized that no one would understand me if I did.

As for prepositions at the end of a sentence, here’s what I’ve explained to others:

Back in the 1700s, grammar became something of a national obsession for the English, and it was transferred over to the US. Self-appointed “experts” in grammar decided that English ought to follow Latin rules, because Latin was the bestest, most wonderfullest language in the whole world. Now, in Latin, one cannot end a sentence with a preposition, because the preposition is always put in front of its subject. The same ridiculous quibblers brought us the idea that infinitives cannot be split. In Latin, the infinitive is one word. In English, it’s two words - “to run”, “to live”, “to love”, “to roast nitpickers in their own bile”, and so forth. While it may not always be in clarity’s best interest to split an infinitive, it doesn’t violate the rules of basic English.

Obligatory joke:

I refuse to give up my incorrect usage of “hopefully”. Hopefully, those who are bothered by the word being used incorrectly will come to realize that there is no word or expression that conveys exactly the same meaning as the so-called incorrect usage of “hopefully”.

Somebody will be along to tar and feather you shortly, but I do this one too. My god, my heart is black with linguistic crimes.

Some of them are just too alluring to give up, though!

“I had to go shopping for new sandals, so Judy came with.” :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s wrong, makes grammarians wince, but oh so simple and descriptive.

I start sentences with prepositions all the time. I also use the singular they, although I maintain that it’s not wrong: English needs a gender-neutral singular pronoun. I also don’t have a problem with ending a sentence with a preposition, so long as there’s no way around it.(not to pick on Queen Tonya or anything, but what’s wrong with “with me”?)

Oh, and I flat-out refuse to put punctuation inside quotation marks when the punctuation isn’t a part of the quote.

Could be correct, but context is everything. BTW in Attic Greek, from which English derives in no small part, a neuter plural takes a singular verb, so the construction is correct.