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Writer's Block: It Is What It Is

What oft-repeated quote or common cliché do you find the most annoying when someone says it to you?

"One of the only"

It's "one of the few" or "the only" or perhaps "one of only (quantifier)" ... it's up there just above pronouncing the "T" in "often" - it's silent, people.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 27th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
Forte is one of my favorites. It's "fort" not "for-tay". :-)

Irregardless is another. Most of my pet peeves at work tend to be for people who misspell words.

Fun, fun. :-)

Aug. 27th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
I confess to sometimes pronouncing the e in the imported French word, but of late I do it only to be ironic and sarcastic.
Aug. 27th, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)

Saying the t in often is perfectly acceptable English.
Aug. 27th, 2009 04:45 am (UTC)
Not to me.
Aug. 27th, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
Well until the Foomf Abridged Dictionary becomes standard use at Oxford, I'll keep happily pronouncing it ofTen just as the rules for the English language allow me to. :P
Aug. 27th, 2009 07:32 am (UTC)
Bugger off.
Aug. 27th, 2009 06:57 am (UTC)
"I need you to ..."

No, you'd like me to, and if you ask nicely and I'm in a good mood I might, but I might also refuse simply because you're trying to pressure me into it.
Aug. 27th, 2009 07:31 am (UTC)
Well, "need" is legitimate in a very few situations, but most people are not in those situations.
Aug. 27th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
I "need" you to recognize that just because the Yanks drop certain letters in practice doesn't make them silent in proper English. ;) ("Bly, I like yer fancy suit, is that what they're wearing up in Yorkshire now?")
Aug. 27th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
No you don't, it isn't just "yanks" and it's not been "proper" english since the 1700s.

It's just as reasonable for me to start pronouncing the e at the end of all words, and the k in knife. (NOT, in both cases.)
Aug. 27th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
No it's not reasonable for you to do that, but it's also highly unreasonable for you to proclaim invalidity of other people's speech patterns and dialects when they're listed as perfectly acceptable English in any standard dictionary. You cannot make up the rules as you go along and then get annoyed when someone doesn't follow your rules.
Aug. 27th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
To back up Foomf's assertion, 'ave at this link:


Specifically, "We have mastered the spelling of this word so well, its spelling influences the pronunciation: DON'T pronounce the [t]! This is an exception to the rule that spelling helps pronunciation."
Aug. 27th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Interesting.

Doing some more research (mostly language forums, where this topic seems to pop up a lot) reveals a pretty wide debate on this, but it would appear that the pronunciation of the 't' dates back to around 1800. Before that it WAS silent... just like 3/4 of the letters in Worchester (which I *can* pronounce right, being from Boston and all...).

However, the pronounced 't' seems to have become quite acceptable language a while ago and is listed in every dictionary I've seen printed, both paper and online. It's become an issue of dialect, not "proper" English.

Amusingly, the more common debate about the word often is how to pronounce the 'o'... hard or soft. Again, just like the 't', it seems to comes down to dialect. And just like the 't', both pronunciations are in the dictionary.

So at this point telling someone to stop pronouncing the 't' in often is about as useful as telling a Boston resident to pronounce their 'r's... with the exception that the 't' is actually in the dictionary.

Oh, BTW, thank you for backing foomf up. If one is going to make a bold declaration, one should be prepared to defend it with evidence and logic.
Aug. 27th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
I think the same thing myself. Quite "offen", in fact.
Aug. 28th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
Oh, we do love a dry sense of humor.
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Hard or soft O? Ooofen? OH-fen? Aw-fen? I dun get it.

It's not really dialect so much as class and education that drives this one, and it's common to find the enunciated t in the middle-class with public education, which slanders the people who don't pronounce it as uneducated. The thing is, it's also pretty common to find it pronounced differently based on the consonantal context - if it's easier to say "offen" then it'll be pronounced that way even by people who otherwise make it a point to pronounce the t in other places.

So besides coming off as a bit pretentious sometimes, it makes the word more complicated to parse and use.
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Of course I can. This is my journal, I can say whatever the hell I want to in here, and I am now formally requesting that you drop this discussion here. I may or may not continue it elsewhere.
Aug. 27th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
Just promise me you won't start doing that "Silent-H" thing at the beginning of words. Last thing we need around here is an afternoon of Lady Eliza and her "ers," "ars" and "'alf a pound of ha'penny rice." Just funning on ya.
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
Pbbt. (The 't' is also silent here.)
Aug. 28th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
hwatever do hyou mean, silent haitch?
Aug. 28th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
"'Cool Whip.'"
"'Cool H-Whip.'"
"You're eating hair!"

-Brian and Stewie-
Aug. 27th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
"It is what it is."

I use this myself, but am trying to wean myself off it.
Aug. 27th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
OH MAN! Fake Marketing Zen! So much hate I nurture in my heart for this thing.

At least "que sera, sera" sounds good as a song.
Sep. 7th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
"It is what it is"
Hey, sometimes we all need to be reminded that much of life comes down to axioms. Even the Vulcans say something like "Nothing unreal exists." Without the axiomatic, there would be no postulates.

I am such a geek.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


Steve Hutchison

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