Scott Hardie | August 28, 2011
The BBC recently listed their readers' 50 most hated Americanisms.

I could quibble with a few on the list. "Two-time" and "three-time" serve a purpose distinct from "double" and "triple," in that a person winning something twice at once (like two Oscars in the same night) would be called a double winner, but a person who won on multiple separate occasions would be called a two-time winner. "Alphabetize" and "deplane" are fairly useful terms for which there are no convenient substitutes.

But "reach out to" bugs me too, as do "deliverables" and "touch base" and other business-speak that obscures meaning. But that's really a problem with business communication rather than American communication.

What are some turns of phrase that bother you?

Steve West | August 28, 2011
Misuse of the term proactive. Many people use it to mean merely active. The misuse of the non-sensical word co-conspirator. How can there be a conspiracy of one? Any others involved are all properly termed conspirators.

Steve West | August 29, 2011
The phrase, "I could care less" makes no sense. "I couldn't care less" shows appropriate disdain.

Jon Berry | August 30, 2011
Would of.

Could of.

Any use of "of" instead of "have".

Scott Hardie | September 2, 2011
Poor grammar, spelling, and pronunciation used to bother me much more than they do now. Maybe I became too far removed from my English classes in school, or maybe I got more mellow as I got older, or I gained bigger problems to worry about. More likely, their prevalence wore down my resistance until I gave up and accepted them.

You still won't catch me using Twitter, though. I like the conversational aspect of it, and I appreciate that limitations force creativity (hence the default 255-character limit on movie reviews on this site). But too many tweets read like gibberish, crammed full of # and @ and RT and //. It's a big turnoff. It suits some people fine and I'm happy for them; I personally just don't dig it. And I read and write code all day for a living.

Jackie Mason | September 2, 2011
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Scott Hardie | September 2, 2011
Yeah, Americans adopting British cursing always sounds funny to me. "Bloody" is passable, but "bullocks" is harder to accept. I knew a couple of guys from rural Illinois who tried too hard to use "bugger" as often as possible, as if it was punctuation. It just sounded silly.

I used to associate "it is what it is" with a cousin who said it often, and I didn't mind picking up the habit. Then I dated a woman who said it all the time, and the relationship didn't go well or end well, so now I try not to use it if I can avoid it. It does have at least some use as a silence-filler at the end of an anecdote when there's no other point to make; "story over now" doesn't really work. That use of the phrase has a parallel in programming: Some developers type "1=1" as a meaningless placeholder when constructing a database query that wlll have an unknown number of AND or OR clauses, so that they don't have to write code that will find and eliminate the last conjunction, as in SELECT * FROM users WHERE firstname='Jackie' AND lastname='Mason' AND 1=1. It's not really an elegant way to write a query, but then "it is what it is" isn't really an elegant way to end a story.

Lori Lancaster | September 3, 2011
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Jackie Mason | September 5, 2011
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