Grammar Giggles – He Was Choosen

I found this in a full-page ad for the well-known recipient of a professional award. Having done some marketing, I know how expensive full-page ads in these kinds of publications are, and it is really a shame that this kind of error is there. This is the exact reason publishers send proofs and ask for signatures approving those proofs. That makes it YOUR mistake–not the publisher’s, which means you pay for it regardless of the mistake.


Oxford English Dictionary 2016 Additions

oxford-english-dictionary-via-hype-my-new-college-groupThe Oxford English Dictionary recently added some new words. I always like to see what kind of words make it into the dictionary each year. My very favorite–the “Word of the Year”–will show up in a couple of months, but for now, here are some of the new words that have shown up in articles about these additions.

Biatch – A sassy version of “bitch.”

Clickbait – A story or content that draws you in with a headline but probably won’t deliver.

Clicktivism – Using social media and the internet for social or political activism.

Jagoff – An obnoxious and rude person who is usually characterized as a man.

‘Merica – A shortened (and some think more patriotic) way to say “America.”

 Moobs – Slang for “man boobs.”

 Resting B*tch Face – A facial expression exuding annoyance making it appear that the person doesn’t mean to look annoyed.

Shoplifting – Stealing something from a store without paying for it. (I’m not sure why this word hasn’t been in the OED before now.)

Squee – A screech that comes out when you’re really excited about something.

Vom – A shorter way of saying vomit or to explain that someone is in the act of vomiting.

 YOLO – An acronym for “you only live once.”

There are more than 500 other words added, but I chose just a few. Since I don’t have a subscription to Oxford English Dictionary, I can’t get their “official” definitions, but I am assuming if they are adding words that are now part of our language, definitions found on the Internet will be close.

  • cheek kiss, n. – a ritual or social kissing gesture to indicate friendship, perform a greeting, to confer congratulations, to comfort someone, to show respect, or to indicate sexual or romantic interest
  • cheerer-upper, n. – a person or thing that cheers a person up
  • clientelist, adj. – a political or social system based on the relation of client to patron with the client giving political or financial support to a patron (as in the form of votes) in exchange for some special privilege or benefit <In some countries, such as Greece, there has been a clear policy of “clientelism” in which political parties have rewarded their supporters with jobs and benefits that have been funded by the general taxpayer. — The Economist, 14 Apr. 2012
  • clientitis, n. – (also called clientism or localitis) is the tendency of resident in-country staff of an organization to regard the officials and people of the host country as “clients.” This condition can be found in business or government.
  • freemium, n. – is a pricing strategy by which a product or service (typically a digital offering or application such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality, or virtual goods.
  • fuhgeddaboudit, int. – Forget about it – the issue is not worth the time, energy, mental effort, or emotional resources. 2. Definitively
  • grandwean, n. – grandchild
  • kegerator, n. – a refrigerator that has been designed or altered to store and dispense kegs. By keeping the keg in a refrigerated environment and using CO2 to pressurize and dispense the keg, it will allow the contents to remain fresh and carbonated for an extended period of time, generally a couple of months.
  • kinder, n. – short for kindergarten
  • little old lady, n. – 1. one who is seen as weak, and feeble, and/or feeble-minded.
    2. a dainty, elderly woman.
  • scrumdiddlyumptious, adj. – Extremely scrumptious; excellent, splendid; (esp. of food) delicious.
  • shopaholism, n. – medical term used to define the compulsive desire to shop
  • shoppertainment, n. – a retail tactic to engage customers through an entertaining in-store shopping experience.
  • upspeak, n. – Affliction affecting my in today’s society not just teenagers where a person makes a question out of a sentence that isn’t a question (or more simply speaks “up” at the end of a sentence).
  • yaya, n. – 1. term of endearment for an old Greek grandmother. 2. used by feminists as a reference to a woman in her prime. 2a. meaning, in this context, an old stupid whiny bitch with delusions of sexiness to anyone who is not a feminist
  • Yogalates, n. – a fitness routine that combines Pilates exercises with the postures and breathing techniques of yoga

The entire list of words added to the Oxford English Dictionary is here –

Grammar Giggles – Wasgington

I had a meeting at a building in downtown Phoenix this afternoon. I pulled the parking ticket, but didn’t really look at it until I was getting ready to leave the parking garage and noticed that the building’s street name (which is a major street in downtown Phoenix) was misspelled. The worst part is that it isn’t even an unusual name. There is probably a street with this name in every major city in the United States. I understand errors happen, but when you can’t get the information for your own business right, all I can do is shake my head.


Grammar Giggle – And Now The Mobile Devices Own Something?

This was in an email before the Barbra Streisand concert last week. You would think when you pay so much for a ticket, they could continue the correct pluralization of words throughout the whole email about the rules for the concert. It is more something I would expect at a Kanye concert.


Grammar Giggles – What Do The Margaritas And Bellinis Own?

I saw this in a restaurant recently. While the bellinis were delicious, the menu left a bad taste in my mouth. Once again, apostrophes do not make a word plural and consistency is key. If you’re going to spell passion fruit right one way, try to spell it correctly the next time too.


The Pesky “S”

Toward%2FTowardsA reader has asked me to clarify use of toward/towards and regard/regards. Here are her examples:

…is inflated and anticipates only minimal settlement contributions towards resolving … /… In regards to his injuries …./ … any update with regards to the motion?

According to the Gregg Reference Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style, in the case of toward/towards, both are correct, but toward is the more common usage in the U.S. However, British English uses towards. The general rule is the same for other directional words like forward, backward,upward, and downward, along with afterward. While it isn’t incorrect, if you are in the U.S., leave the “s” off.

As regards regard or regards, the word regards (a) is used as a way to introduce a topic, such as I did at the beginning of this sentence, and (b) means good wishes expressing respect, affection, or condolences, as in “She wanted to give him her regards at the wedding.” It is not a word that can be interchanged with regard. So when you want to say in regard to or with regard to, there is no “s.” It may be easier to reword the sentence rather than argue over whether regard or regards is correct. You can say “This email is in regard to your voice mail.” or you can say “This email concerns your voice mail.” The second choice is a little more clear and solves the regard/regards problem.


I hope that clears up this issue. Bottom line, unless you are outside the United States or giving someone good wishes, leave the “s” off each word.