Dialoguing about language weirdities


A bunch of mini-stories about the English language (about which I have previously opined):

There is no noun in English which cannot be verbed. I received an email the other day that contained the word “dialogue” as a verb: “we would like to dialogue with you…“. Why not just say “talk” or “speak”? Or “we would like to have a dialogue with you…” Another example of how verbing weirds language.

Someone on a podcast recently was talking about seeing things from a different advantage point. Sigh.

Ryan asked me a little while ago, “Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too? If you can’t eat it, what’s the point of having it?” I had no answer for him.

In recent years, a lot of people have started using the phrase “going forward”. Why? For almost any sentence containing those two words, the sentence means exactly the same thing if they are removed. Same with “all told”.

If “it goes without saying”, why say it? I actually remember the host of some show like the Oscars or Emmys playing on something like this: he announced that the next presenter “is a man who needs no introduction” and then simply turned and walked off the stage.

Why is it that “I could care less” and “I couldn’t care less” mean the same thing? I always use the latter, since the former makes no sense, but people use it anyway.

Cute kid story: When Ryan was very little (maybe two), we found that if we gave him a cup of juice when he bumped himself or fell or whatever, he’d “recover” faster. Not because of any medicinal properties of the juice, more because it distracted him. He’d concentrate (see what I did there? a juice joke) on the juice (apple juice was about the greatest thing in the world to him back then) and forget about whatever hurt. I guess we told him “some juice will make you feel better” one too many times, because after a while he started verbing it himself. He’d fall and then say between tears “Some juice will feel me better”.

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