Maverick Philosopher has many language peeves, as do I. Our peeves overlap considerably. Here are some of mine:
Today is the
ten-year tenth anniversary of our wedding.
Anniversary means the annually recurring date of a past event. To write or say “x-year anniversary” is redundant as well as graceless. A person who says or writes “x-month” anniversary is probably a person whose every sentence includes “like.”
is are conclusive.
“Data” is a plural noun. A person who writes or says “data is” is at best an ignoramus and at worst a Philistine.
you guys you like to order now?
Regarding this egregious usage, I admit to occasionally slipping from my high horse — an event that is followed immediately by self-censure. (Bonus observation: “Now” is often superfluous, as in the present example.)
Hopefully, I expect the shipment will to arrive today. Hopefully, I hope that the shipment will arrive today.
I say a lot about “hopefully” and other floating modifiers (e.g., sadly, regrettably, thanfkfully) under the heading “Hopefully and Its Brethren” at “On Writing.”
literally figuratively exploded when I read Pope Francis’s recent statement about economic policy.
See “Literally” at “On Writing.”
Me: Thank you.
No problem. You’re welcome.
“No problem” suggests that the person saying it might have been inconvenienced by doing what was expected of him, such as placing a diner’s food on the table.
Reach out/reached out
reached out to him for comment asked him to comment/called him and asked him to comment/sent him a message asking for a comment.
“Reach out” sometimes properly refers to the act of reaching for a physical object, though “out” is usually redundant.
shared a story told with her a story.
To share is to allow someone to partake of or temporarily use something of one’s own, not to impart information to someone.
That (for who)
Josh Hamilton was the last player
that who hit four home runs in a game.
Better: Josh Hamilton was the last player to hit four home runs in a game.
Their (for “his” or “hers”), etc.
An employee forfeits
their his/her accrued vacation time if they are he is/she is fired for cause.
Better: An employee who is fired for cause forfeits accrued vacation time.
Where the context calls for a singular pronoun, “he” and its variants are time-honored, gender-neutral choices. There is no need to add “or her” (or a variant), unless the context demands it. “Her” (or a variant) will be the obvious and correct choice in some cases.
Malapropisms and solecisms peeve me as well. Here are some corrected examples:
I will try
and to find it.
He took it for
She comes here once
and in a while.
At “On Writing” you will also find my reasoned commentary about filler words (e.g., like), punctuation, the corruptions wrought by political correctness and the euphemisms which serve it, and the splitting of infinitives.