Thursday, April 13, 2017

Precision Because If Not Us?

Zestful Blog Post #207

So many things bug me. And the beauty of blogging is that I can air my grievances to you, my friend, who understands all. Mind you, I don’t air every damn grievance that comes up. This is neither a marital nor political blog. Today’s rundown:

I first heard the word “irregardless” from my band director in high school, who used it constantly. He also would, when conducting, occasionally remind us, “Alla grando!” mispronouncing “allargando.” (Allargando means the music should be played slower and with more oomph.) All one need note is that “regardless” is a word, meaning “nevertheless.” And “irrespective” is a word as well, meaning “notwithstanding.” They should not be combined.

Elizabeth Sims, ranch hand

[You can almost tell what those llamas are thinking. (See below.) And yes, that's me on ranch duty a few years back. Photo by MB.]

Now, here’s a Gordian knot that needs repeated untying. Many, many times I’ve heard people misuse and mix up the following:

Incidents
Incidence
Incidences
Instance
Instances

No:
We counted five traffic incidences at that crossing last month.
Yes:
We counted five traffic incidents at that crossing last month.

Frankly, “incidences” should be avoided altogether. Usually somebody uses it when they mean “incidents.” Incidents is a clearer and simpler word. Going on, now:

No:
My report shows a lower instance of sexual dysfunction in alpacas than in llamas.
Yes:
My report shows a lower incidence of sexual dysfunction in alpacas than in llamas.
Yes:
There were several instances in which male llamas attempted to mate with a fence post, despite the presence of receptive females.
Yes:
In one instance, the veterinarian had to be summoned.

It just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?

One more:

No:
Her exercise regiment consisted of an hour’s walk every day.
Yes:
Her exercise regimen consisted of an hour’s walk every day.

A regiment is a group of military personnel. A regimen is a set course of action, or a plan, usually involving health/fitness/medicine.

As usual, I feel better. Thank you and you're welcome.

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6 comments:

Rita M. Reali said...

Yes! This post is spot on, Elizabeth... not to mention hilarious.

My current bugaboos are loose vs. lose ("I need to loose weight." "My dog got lose this morning.")

Then there's the ever-frustrating mispronunciation of nuclear as nucular (a la both George W. Bush and my darling husband. Then again, there are some things you can overlook in an otherwise-delightful mate).

Thanks for the opportunity to spout off.

Alison Solomon said...

I'm certainly frustrated by all the ones you mention Elizabeth and Rita's too. To say nothing of how affected I am when people don't understand the effect it has on me when they misuse affect/effect.

Cordia Pearson said...

HOLY SHIT, WOMAN! I'm LOL with tears in my eyes.

This is freaking priceless! Go ahead, WD, publish this one~please!

Elizabeth Sims said...

Rita, yes! Loose and lose bug me too. I haven't heard nucular is a while, though I suspect it might make a general renaissance. Alison, oh gosh, I too am affected by the same. And Cordia, as always, I appreciate your appreciation... Thanks, gals, for stopping in!

Lidy said...

Irregardless...nucular...smh.
The problem is that most people think they're saying the words right that it becomes accepted by the populace. And lo and behold, those same words, due to its popular usage, ends up being added to the dictionary. Shudder.

Elizabeth Sims said...

Lidy, absolutely. Makes me shudder too!