Language–always growing–backward?

My father was, to say the least, a word freak.  One clue?  His favorite book was an unabridged dictionary.  Can you even imagine his reaction to my coming home from college with a new word: “Bitchin’.”  A hint:  It wasn’t pretty.  Guess which word I never used in his presence again.

So what would he think of the new response to “thank you?”  “No problem” just doesn’t work for me.  I wasn’t intending to give them a problem when I thanked them.

And have you asked anyone, “How are you?” recently?  “I’m good” has fairly much replaced “I’m well.”  Puts a whole other meaning to the answer, doesn’t it?  Does the occasional person respond with “I’m feeling poorly?”  Makes me want to ask, “What’s happened to your fingers that you aren’t able to feel well with them?”

How does “absolutely” sound as a replacement for “yes?”  Believe me, you’ll be happier if you don’t get me started on “whatever.”

I loved when one of my favorite authors wrote that character “literally walked on air.”  Gee, how far above the ground was she walking?  Confusion between “virtually” and “literally” is far too common.

During one discussion with my father I dared to suggest that “whom” was being phased out of everyday English.  Not one of the wisest arguments I ever started, but rest assured that I’ve seldom missed an opportunity to use “whom” since that incident.

So what words or phrases thump against your eardrums?  I really would like to know.



One thought on “Language–always growing–backward?

  1. korvuscorax says:

    I get irked when people say “I could care less.” That’s saying they care in the first place, when usually what they’re really trying to say is “I couldn’t care less.”

    There are several others, but I’ve trained myself not to be a jerk so I resist the urge to point them out (most days anyway).

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