Scott Hardie | November 4, 2004
Recipes written as a series of numbered steps, with "Enjoy!" as the final step. Who needs to be told this? It's even creepier without with the exclamation point.

Amy Austin | November 4, 2004
Heeheehee... age-old secret recipe for "Hemlock & Arsenic Stew": enjoy.

David Mitzman | November 4, 2004
It's possible that after the back-breaking labor or dicing, slicing, and marinading, you'll forget to enjoy(!) your dish.

Lori Lancaster | November 4, 2004
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Kris Weberg | November 4, 2004
"Ve haff vays uff making you enjoy dis schnitzel, Herr Hardie."

Jackie Mason | November 4, 2004
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Scott Hardie | November 6, 2004
I have not eaten tortas de carne, but I do not oppose the consumption of tortas de carne. Viva Atkins.

Lori Lancaster | November 6, 2004
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Scott Horowitz | November 7, 2004
I really think all these "low carb" diets are a bunch of BS. You lose a lot of weight quickly, but then you balance out. When you reintroduce carbs back into your system, you seem to gain a good percentage of what you lost back. I am trying a well balanced meal diet, along with a fair amount of exercise to lose weight. I just started today, so hopefully I'll get results.

Amy Austin | November 7, 2004
Good for you, Scott -- I agree... Atkins is as full of crap as the rest of them!

Erik Bates | November 7, 2004
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Scott Hardie | November 7, 2004
Thank you Lori, but I decline. A grilled cheese sandwich is about as advanced as I get (or want to get) in the kitchen these days. And I was making such progess while unemployed...

Amy Austin | November 7, 2004
Can I have it instead of Scott, Lori??? ;D

Lori Lancaster | November 8, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | November 8, 2004
Jackie's "Are we having fun yet" reminded me of one of my pet peeves: That "let's roll" thingy. Blah.

Kris Weberg | November 8, 2004
"Let's roll" is a bit silly, especially since, these days, it's more along the lines of "let's advance on treads and/or launch some planes."

And, to be an utter hyprcrite about prescriptive grammar and language, I will reiterate my thorough hatred of the word "proactive." To this day, no one can explain to me why it's needed, or what it does that the word "active" doesn't. It's an antonym for a word created as an antonym -- "reactive" is meant to be a kind of antonym to "active" already! It's no different than coining the word "preiterate" as an antonym for "reiterate."

Scott Horowitz | November 8, 2004
Isn't proactive just a word that dumb people use to make themselves sound more intelligent?

Kris Weberg | November 8, 2004

Amy Austin | November 8, 2004
*Please* don't get me wrong here... I detest the word also.

"Isn't proactive just a word that dumb people use to make themselves sound more intelligent?"

Specifically, military folks, it seems -- this is a FAVE among the "go-getter" set in the Navy, (and probably more the reason I hate it so much.) And, amusingly enough, the military (specifically, the Navy) is responsible for coining a pretty substantial number of words and phrases that *everyone* uses today...

As much as I hate it, I understand its meaning perfectly -- it *is* different from "active" and "reactive", as it is meant to convey "initiative" or beating somebody to the punch (as opposed to "responding to the punch" I guess!). "Active" only implies a movement of something -- not prescribed or compulsory, just action. "Reactive" is action specifically in response to something, an outside stimulus/catalyst. But "proactive" (esp with regards to gov usage), connotes that all action/involvement is being thought out ahead of its time and anticipated as being needed well before anything (or anyone) becomes "critical" -- it *is* the polar opposite of "reactive". (But I agree... it is somewhat stupid, and obviously, it can only apply to people and their doings, because there's no such thing as a chemical substance that is "proactive"!!! ;>)

There is definitely nothing more annoying that hearing your supervisors tell you that, "You need to be more proactive!" What they're really saying is, "Hurry up with that (fill in the blank)! And don't make us ask for anything from you ever again!" It's the notion that everyone "above" is much happier when everyone "below" is scrambling around like chickens with their heads cut off over anything and everything that ever comes up or might yet potentially come up -- the old "hurry up & wait" syndrome that anyone with time in (or a workplace like "Dilbert" or "Office Space") knows all about!!!

Scott Horowitz | November 8, 2004
what I said was a quote from the Simpsons.

Amy Austin | November 8, 2004
Well, it was appropriate and funny, Scott -- and I used it as a segue into my response for Kris... does that change it somehow? ;-)

Steve Dunn | November 8, 2004
Kris, I love that you're a self-acknowledged hypocrite on the prescriptive grammar thing. Love it. Sometimes I feel like I'd like to be a populist or egalitarian, and then I remember I'm a misanthrope. My latest talking point is that individually people are retarded, but collectively we are wise. I don't really believe it, but it gets me through the day.

My pet peeve is CORRECT grammar that sounds wrong to ignorant people. I'm constantly faced with this dilemma - do I use the correct grammar and run the risk that some fool thinks I made an error, or do I find another way of saying the same thing?

The most common example of this for me is "between you and me" or "feel free to contact Phil or me." Lots of folks seem to have internalized this "rule" that you should always say "you and I" regardless of context, therefore they use the nominative "I" even when "me" is the object of a proposition or othewise appropriate for the objective case. DAMMIT.

Another one is the word "irrespective" which is a perfectly good word people confuse with "irregardless." Usually I avoid this potential controversy simply by using the word "regardless."

Scott Horowitz | November 8, 2004
I hate it when people say "brang" or "brung" instead of brought. It gives me the feeling like someone's scratching a chalk board.

Amy Austin | November 8, 2004
OOOH, Steve... you nailed two of my grammar peeves ON THE HEAD!!! I hate both of those soooo much! Ha! I used to have a POIC who always said "irregardless", and it drove me absolutely frickin' crazy... Not wanting to seem like a big snoot or anything (and not knowing if it was an honest slip), I let it go the first time or two, but it quickly became apparent that it was actually a habit of his, and I finally had to say something. I liked the guy so much -- he was a crusty old NAVET (about my dad's age, got out in the 70s and came back in 10 years later) from the days of Vietnam and had some *great* sea stories to go with (guys pickin' old shrapnel out of their dicks kind of stories) -- and because of that and his 2 ranks up, I *hated* to have "the nerve" to correct him. He didn't so much appreciate it -- I don't think he agreed with the incorrect nature of it -- and he kept on saying it, although, not to spite me, I don't think. He was a really cool dude and retired shortly after I met him... good times.

I don't know why the nominative/objective pronouns are so hard for people, either -- just say the sentence as you would without an additional party, and that's how you'd say it when you add them in!!! Easy-peasy!

Kris Weberg | November 9, 2004
Steve -- I know what you mean about commonly rejected proper grammar. But as someone who is primarily a descriptivist, I can't help but react by noting that, in the long run, "I" will probably replace "me" as prescribed usage because of this very (mis)perception.

Amy -- "Proactive" ,I>seems to mean that now because it has very successfully replaced the older sense of "active" as meaning the same thing regarding anticipatory action or a sense of initiative in contemplating a task. It retains that sense in a few phrases, though. Ask yourself if there any difference in meaning between the following two sentences:

"We need to take an active approach towards this problem; we can't wait until something bad happens."

"We need to take a proactive approach towards this problem; we can't wait until something bad happens."

I've added a second independent clause to reinforce my point, which is cheating, of course, but I submit to you that most people would understand "active" and "proactive" to mean the same thing in this context. "Active" had the same meaning in other contexts as well, but 'proactive" has subsumed its predecessor just that quickly and handily.

Scott Hardie | November 11, 2004
Let's not forget "flammable" and "inflammable."

Steve West | November 11, 2004
And co-conspirator! I hate that! There cannot be a conspiracy of one. The word conspiracy implies more than one. Therefor conspirator not co-conspirator!

Amy Austin | November 11, 2004
heeheehee -- but Steve... what if you're trying to distinguish yourself and your "co-conspirator" buddy/buddies from those *other* crazy conspirators with a conspiracy and agenda that has nothing to do with your own??? After all, there are *so* many conspiracies to choose from... one has to be selective! ;DDDDDDD

Steve Dunn | November 11, 2004
OK here are a couple sports related ones that drive me absolutely nuts...

Consider baseball... the Red Sox are 4 games behind the Yankees in the pennant race... some baseball announcer will inevitably say that the Red Sox are "within" four games of the Yankees. No, they're not!!! They're exactly four games back!!! Three games back is "within" four games back. Four games back is four games back!! ARGH!!!!

This next one drives me really crazy and it's going to hard to maintain control as I type this... OK, let's say there's some hot new basketball player coming along, and the announcers find it necessary to compare this player to great players who came before. Except, for some inexplicable reason, the announcers use the plural form to describe singular players. Example:

"Oh this kid is really great. He reminds me of the Charles Barkleys, the Kobe Bryants, the Shaquille O'Neals... what a great player."

DAMMIT, there is only one Charles Barkley!!!

Jackie Mason | November 17, 2004
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Anthony Lewis | November 18, 2004
It ticks me off when people wear their hemlines so low, that the hem gets frayed, ripped and torn from walking. I know it's a "style", but I'm sure those pants cost a lot of money. And besides, you can't even see the shoes. What's the point of wearing a nice pair of shoes, if you can't even see them?

Anthony Lewis | November 18, 2004
It also ticks me off when people pay a lot of money to look like trash. I DON'T pay a lot of money for my clothes...but check out the pic. It freakin' burns me up man.

Scott Horowitz | November 18, 2004
What Anthony? You don't have to spend a lot of money to look like a pimp? :)

Anna Gregoline | November 18, 2004
My boyfriend's jeans always get destroyed because they are just long enough to drag on the ground - he said that's the compromise since the size shorter looks silly. All I know is I wish women's sizes came like they do for men - it's ridiculous how hard a woman has to search sometimes to find a darn pair of pants that fit.

Lori Lancaster | November 18, 2004
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John E Gunter | November 18, 2004
I wouldn't say tall, just taller than you! ;-P

I have the opposite problem. I find pants that are big enough in the waist, size 34, but are only 30 to 32 long. I need a 34 long for the pants to just touch the top of my shoes.

So if I were to be in fashion, I'd need about a 38, then they'd be scraping the ground.


Anthony Lewis | November 19, 2004
ScottyHo: Amazingly enough, you don't have to. The whole ensemble all together (Hat and tie clip included too) cost about ...

I dunno if I should reveal my secrets. I have a rep to uphold.

Jackie Mason | November 19, 2004
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Jackie Mason | November 22, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | November 22, 2004
Me too - it's only making me look bad! =)

I'm not of the school that you should have to look good always - who does? It's a lot of extra effort I'd rather use to enjoy life.

John E Gunter | November 22, 2004
Maybe dressing up for them is enjoying life?

It's a shame you feel it makes you look bad. Look the way you want as long as it makes you happy. If it makes them happy to be dressed up, who cares?

If I feel like wearing what I feel is a good looking outfit, I do. If I feel like styling my hair before I go some place I do. If I feel like not doing that, then I don't. But I'm happy with the way I look no matter which way I go.

Gotta be happy with yourself before you can be happy with anyone else.


Anna Gregoline | November 22, 2004
Thanks for the dressing down AND for insinuating I'm not happy with myself. Geez.

We care - as a pet peeve, the reason for the thread? I'm sure you have things that bother you but shouldn't.

Lori Lancaster | November 23, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | November 23, 2004
I'm definitely talking about the "club people," Lori. The women who are wearing mini skirts and ridiculous heels, with their hair up and their makeup perfect at 9 a.m. for the grocery store. I'm sure sometimes they are going somewhere else...

Anthony Lewis | November 24, 2004
Jackie: I don't know if it's being "desperate". I think these people like to put their best foot forward when they step out of the house.

I've been guilty of doing the same thing from time to time. I like it.

Anna Gregoline | November 24, 2004
I also do it "from time to time." I like dressing up too. Just not every day, in every situation, which is what I think we're both talking about.

Jackie Mason | November 24, 2004
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Anthony Lewis | November 25, 2004
Jackie: "But still, I don't see the appeal of buying groceries or going to Walmart in highheeled boots and an ass-skirt."

I don't think you would know unless you suddenly sprouted a penis. :-p
I have one, and I can say that this would be a welcome sight in my local Wal-Mart. It would make up for the employee abuses and all that junk.

Scott Hardie | November 25, 2004
The clothing double standards in the college bars in Macomb always annoyed me. As far as the eye could see, the men were dressed in t-shirts and baseball caps and sneakers, while the women were wearing attractive, coordinated, expensive outfits with makeup and jewelry. I can see both sides of the situation and I endorse neither; what got to me what how uniform it was. Everybody fit the mold. I got to thinking that I'd hit on the first woman I saw in everyday clothes or compliment the first man I saw dressed up like a proper clubgoer, but I waited and waited in vain for such people to appear.

Anna Gregoline | November 25, 2004
I get your interest Anthony (heh), but of course Jackie means that it's darn uncomfortable for girls to parade around like that, so for those of us who don't, it's pretty mystifying how anyone could stand to wear all that twenty-four seven.

I'm usually surprised at how many women wear RIDICULOUS shoes on the train. Like, things that I'm not even sure qualify as shoes. And they're going to wear them all day at the office!

Kris Weberg | November 26, 2004
Excuse my ignorance, but what is an "ass-skirt," and is it as painful to wear as the name makes it sound?

Anthony Lewis | November 26, 2004
An "ass-skirt" is a skirt high enough to show ass.

Although I like to call it the "Two-Hairdo Skirt", meaning you need two hairdos to wear it.

And for us men, it would be painful for US to wear it. To view the opposite sex wearing it...unless you look like Janet Reno, Roseanne Barr or Barbara Bush (the original), it would be quite pleasurable.

Anna Gregoline | November 26, 2004
Yes, Anthony, you've made that quite clear, thanks.

Anthony Lewis | November 27, 2004
No problemo. :-D

Dave Stoppenhagen | November 28, 2004
When I was living in So. Cal. in a largely hispanic neighborhood it was a common site to see women dressed like that. Hell they went to beaches like that, I never understood it. I asked my wife, So Cal native and hispanic by heritage, and she told me it is very common thing with the culture (at least as far as that region) and she didn't get it either.

Unfortunatly Anthony there were many that looked like Rosanne Barr and a few that looked like Barbara Bush, not the best thing for a weak stomach after being out at the bars

Jackie Mason | November 29, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | November 29, 2004
Exactly, Jackie. It smacks of shallowness to me.

Scott Hardie | December 1, 2004
Earlier in this discussion we brought up a few superfluities that bother us, like the "pro" in "proactive." How about the common phrase "laundry list" when a simple "list" would do?

Kris Weberg | December 1, 2004
I can support "laundry list" when it's being used in its traditional sense, which is a routine, unnecessary rundown of oft-repeated items, or a tediously complete list where one either isn't needed or is common knowledge. Plain old "list" doesn't do that.

However, given that "laundry list" isn't being used in the above manner, I'd support a moratorium on it until it gets back its older, useful meaning.

Jackie Mason | December 1, 2004
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Erik Bates | December 2, 2004
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Scott Hardie | December 2, 2004
Well, some people here haven't heard the phrase "sea change," so I guess "laundry list" isn't as common as I thought either. Like Kris explained, it has a legitimate usage — for instance, a "laundry list" of standard-issue complaints about the president that are uttered nearly every time he is mentioned, as if we haven't heard them all before — but I'm sick of hearing the phrase used all the time to mean any ordinary list.

Erik Bates | December 2, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | December 2, 2004
Beck's last album, of course. =)

Erik Bates | December 2, 2004
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Steve Dunn | December 3, 2004
I have a hard time getting into Sea Change. I'm more of a Mutations type of guy.

Anna Gregoline | December 3, 2004
I didn't like it as much either - it's very depressing. Good, but depressing.

Erik Bates | December 3, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | December 3, 2004
Sounds more like a lie to me then. =)

Erik Bates | December 3, 2004
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Scott Hardie | December 4, 2004
Is there even a point to answering the original question now? A "sea change" is a change on a massive level, such as when the ocean erodes at the shoreline and transforms the shape of the land. It's often used to describe major shifts in thinking, such as the "sea change" in thinking about national security that happened after 9/11. Unlike many of the other misnomers we've been discussing, it's actually getting used correctly, just far too often (imo).

Scott Hardie | January 9, 2005
Two other seeming antonyms that actually mean the same thing: Valuable and invaluable.

(I would nominate genius and ingenious but they come from entirely different etymologies.)

Kris Weberg | January 9, 2005
That one makes sense to me -- "valuable" means "capable of being valued," therefore "valued." "Invaluable" means "incapable of being valued," and can therefore connote "value beyond measure; value beyond the capacity of conventional means of valuation."

In both cases, the item described has value; in the second, inestimable value. Connotation and denotation line up, but not always along conventional synonym/antonym lines, which represent formal, almost mathematical logic applied to language, which is highly subjective and often nonlogical to allow the expression of our many human, nonlogical thoughts and sentiments.

Erik Bates | January 9, 2005
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Kris Weberg | January 9, 2005
Actually, no -- invalueable refers not to the item's value, but to our capacity for valuing it. We are unable (un = in) to value the item.

An item with no value can be valued, at zero. It is valueless, to use the proper term. It is not invaluable, because we have the capacity to conceive of a measure of no value. We are able to value it. By definition, the only things that are invaluable are those things whose value is greater than our ability to value them.

(Note: I'm aware that "value" as a verb is something of a neologism, but "evaluate" has come to be associated with particular processes like tests and trials.)

Aaron Shurtleff | March 8, 2005

I kept seeing that picture of Scott's Pet Peeve #2619, so I had to go see what it was. It seems to me that the pet peeve pictured (if I read through everything even remotely correctly) isn't the original pet peeve #2619 (recipes that end with Enjoy!)! It's false advertising!

Unless those girls were to be put into a recipe...

Anna Gregoline | March 8, 2005

Kris Weberg | March 8, 2005
Well, he's not a vegetarian, so....

Aaron Shurtleff | March 8, 2005
What what? I'm not suggesting that human women be put into a recipe of any sort! Heaven forbid!

I'm just saying that the picture at the top of the screen from time to time is for Scott's Pet Peeve #2619 from TC2004. The picture was of a punch of people, most prominently women to my eyes, dancing. It piqued my curiosity, so I came here to see what it was. Turned out that it was numbered recipes where the last numbered direction is: Enjoy! I was stating that the connection between the two would have to be receipes involving cooking women who go clubbing, with the ultimate direction being: Enjoy!

Of course, later in the discussion, it turns to ass skirts and other fashion tips, but that's not the original pet peeve of the discussion.

I was being a smart ass, OK? :P

Lori Lancaster | March 8, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | March 8, 2005
Ah. I just had no idea what you were talking about until you clarified.

Jackie Mason | March 8, 2005
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Aaron Shurtleff | March 8, 2005
It cycles by. I think I see it about three times a day when I'm here, and I don't think I'm here for too obscene an amount of time! Look for a girl in a red tank top thingy on the left hand side of the picture, and a shirtless guy on the right hand side.

Funny that the shirtless guy didn't register in my mind, but the red tank top girl did. OK, not funny, and not unexpected either...forget I said anything.

Anna Gregoline | March 8, 2005
It's not false advertising - I had to read this thread again, but the answer is in there.

Kris Weberg | March 8, 2005
Now, my question.....what are the other 2,618 Pet Peeves?

Lori Lancaster | March 9, 2005
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Denise Sawicki | March 9, 2005
I almost always see my own face in the header :P Had to reload about a million times to see the pet peeve one mentioned. I wonder if Scott has programmed it to torment me with that disturbing image more than the rest of you when I'm logged in. heheh.

Kris Weberg | March 11, 2005
Okay, thanks to Lori, that leaves just 2,617 peeves to go....

(Just think -- even with a minimum of 2,617 more posts, this could outstrip the gay marriage thread!)

Jackie Mason | March 11, 2005
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Lori Lancaster | March 11, 2005
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Erik Bates | March 11, 2005
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Jackie Mason | March 12, 2005
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Scott Hardie | March 13, 2005
The number is approximate. I'm making fun of myself with it, because so many things tick me off that shouldn't.

Another pet peeve: People who don't introduce themselves when they call; they just start talking. One TC author does it to me, but at least his voice is distinctive and I recognize him right away. But I have two friends who call often to chat and they sound alike, and neither one introduces himself, so I have actually gone several minutes into a phone call with one thinking that I was talking to the other.

Erik Bates | March 14, 2005
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Anna Gregoline | March 14, 2005
Scott, I hate that too! I frequently have no idea who is calling me. It's worse now living with Jesse since his friends call too, and since I have many guy friends, it's hard to figure out who's who.

Kris Weberg | March 15, 2005
Eh. Nobody calls me, so I never noticed.

Anna Gregoline | March 15, 2005
Sorry I don't call, Kris. I don't really call anybody anymore - it's usually email and internet. After a long day or week I just don't feel like being on the phone.

Kris Weberg | March 15, 2005
Uh, it was just meant to be a quip, really.

Anna Gregoline | March 15, 2005
I know. But I felt guilty the other day when I said I'd try and call you on Saturday and I didn't. =)

Kris Weberg | March 18, 2005
and now I feel guilty for making you feel guilty.

Scott Hardie | March 27, 2005
I have now changed my answering machine announcement to say, "I don't have caller ID, so please leave me your name and number if you want me to call you back." I was getting so tired of hangups and "hey Scott call me" type messages.

There was once a Dana Carvey comedy called "Clean Slate" in which his character woke up each morning with total amnesia, similar to "Memento" I suppose. The movie wasn't very funny, but it did have one great joke when he went to check his messages and they all said something like, "Hey buddy, it's me! I really need to tell you something urgent! Call me! -beep-"

Kris Weberg | March 27, 2005
The sad part is, even that message may not help anything. Most people pretty much zone out during the actual machine message and go with years of conditioned reflex when it comes to phone conduct.

Scott Hardie | January 28, 2006
I couldn't help but think of Kris's opinion of "proactive" when I realized today that "pleasurable" is a completely unnecessary variation on "pleasant."

Kris Weberg | January 28, 2006
Actually, they're not quite the same -- "pleasant" merely means "giving or affording pleasure," and generally has the sense of "fair" or "nice." "Pleasurable," by contrast, has the meaning of "gratifying," and usually indicates something that creates a deeper or more personally satisfying pleasure.

Think of contexts in which you've read the phrase "a pleasurable pursuit," and contexts in which you've read the phrase, "a pleasant pursuit," and the connotative difference may be more apparent. One might call good sex "pleasurable;" one would never, unless one were trying to insult one's partner, call it merely "pleasant."

And unlike "proactive," there's a decent reason for the doubling -- "pleasurable" is a Latinate derivation; pleasant is more Germanic in construction. English has plenty of those pairs, and the Latinate words almost always receive the stronger connotation.

"Proactive," however, is a relatively pure example of the grammatical misfire known as "back formation," the false construction of new prefixed (or, in some cases, unprefixed) forms of words that don't need them.

Another good example would be the verb "resurrect," from the Latin-derived noun "resurrection;" similarly constructed Latinate nouns like "insurrection" don't have verbs in English, but they look like English nominalizations of verbs (as with the relationship between information and inform), so at some point someone mistaknely assumed that resurrection had some preceding verb form to go "back" to, thereby "forming" a neologism.

And considering how rarely one gets to use the verb resurrect in a nonmetaphorical sense outside fantasy and sci-fi, there's a pretty good reason for it. After all, for the purposes of most of Western history, there's only been the Biblical Resurrections of Lazarus, Christ, and the Last Judgment.

Scott Hardie | May 10, 2007
I was reminded of this old discussion in my frustration that "oversight" means both careful monitoring of a situation and failure to carefully monitor a situation. That makes it awkward when I say I'm going to provide it on a project.

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