The Deipnosophist

Where the science of investing becomes an art of living

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Location: Summerlin, Nevada, United States

A private investor for 20+ years, I manage private portfolios and write about investing. You can read my market musings on three different sites: 1) The Deipnosophist, dedicated to teaching the market's processes and mechanics; 2) Investment Poetry, a subscription site dedicated to real time investment recommendations; and 3) Seeking Alpha, a combination of the other two sites with a mix of reprints from this site and all-original content. See you here, there, or the other site!

26 January 2006

The worst word in the language

This article about our deteriorating usage of the language is both good and kindasorta funny -- in a curmudgeonly manner.

There are several twee and unnecessary words in the English language. Tasty. Meal. Cuisine. Nourishing. And the biblically awful “gift”. I also have a biological aversion to the use of “home” instead of “house”. So if you were to ask me round to “your home for a nourishing bowl of pasta” I would almost certainly be sick on you. But the worst word. The worst noise. The screech of Flo-Jo’s fingernails down the biggest blackboard in the world, the squeak of polystyrene on polystyrene, the cry of a baby when you’re hungover, is...
And please, can you stop saying “at all” after every question. Can I take your coat at all? Would you care for lunch at all? Or, this week, on a flight back from Scandinavia, “Another beverage for yourself at all, sir?” What’s the matter with saying “Another drink?” And what’s with all the reflexive pronoun abuse? I’ve written about this before but it’s getting worse. Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same person or thing. Like “I dress myself”. You cannot therefore say “please contact myself”. Because it makes you look like an imbecile. If you send a letter to a client saying “my team and me look forward to meeting with yourself next Wednesday”, be prepared for some disappointment. Because if I were the client I’d come to your office all right. Then I’d stand on your desk and relieve myself. I’m not a grammar freak — I can eat, shoot and then take it or leave it — but when someone says “myself” instead of "me" I find it more offensive than if they’d said...
While I readily admit that English is, in essence, a mongrel language, I also acknowledge the rules for correct and standard grammar and syntax. Yes, I, too, am a stickler for correct usage. Several of my pet peeves...
• The misuse of "only" when we mean "solely";
• The incorrect placement within a sentence of the same word (only); thus delimiting the incorrect item;
• The incorrect placement of the negation. For example, "I don't think Johnny would like that" when we really mean, "I think Johnny would not like that." Note the difference? (Of course, you think!)

There are others, of course. Do you have any...?

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