Starting off our pet peeves this week are two about fake words. Julie Vails gives us
Anyways. That is not a word!
Anyways is a dialect entry in Webster's. Certainly it does not belong in business writing.
Lisa Blaski calls out
Made-up words--for example making the word "solicit" into "solicitating."
That is a great example of a "back formation." People invent incorrect verbs by working backward from the noun form, in this case, solicitation. Since the noun has that extra syllable in it, they put that syllable into the verb form, or in some cases just make up a verb that does not exist. Here are a couple of others:
Conversate, conversating (from conversation)
commentate (from commentator)
emote (from emotion)
What happens next is that the dictionary writers observe these words and some of them become accepted usage, like curate (from curator).
That extra syllable creeps into some other words as well, such as preventative (should be preventive), but that is not even a back formation from anything!
Stacey Edwards gives us a wordy phrase as a pet peeve:
I frequently see the phrase "in order" added to a description of how to accomplish a particular task. For example, in order to bake a cake, you must have an oven. I cannot think of an example when "in order" actually adds any information or is required for clarity.
And rounding out this week's batch, Mary Gerhardt gives us another example from a regional dialect:
My pet peeve is when people pair the verb need with a past-tense verb, for example, "Those dishes need washed," or "This project needs finished." I respect and appreciate regional dialects, but I cringe when I hear it in a formal business setting or see it in corporate documents. I believe this is just an Iowa phenomenon.
What they are leaving out, of course, is to be.
The hoard continues to grow, and I will keep sharing the peeves. In a few weeks we will try another direction; but for now, stay peeved, my friends, stay peeved.