Emails--I have given up using the original form with a hyphen (e-mail) because the Microsoft Manual of Style finally capitulated, but it drives me crazy to see the word emails used for multiple email messages. I don't get "mails" from the U.S. Postal service, I get mail.
Right, Geri! Some editors used to say that email is only an adjective, not a noun, so that it should always have the word messages after it. I think we mostly gave up on that idea long ago, but email as a noun should certainly parallel the usage of mail!
Anita Weiler brings us an incorrect pronoun usage, a substitute word, and a misspelling, followed by a pronunciation peeve:
- Saying myself instead of me. It isn't more polite, it's just wrong!
- Ask as a noun: "That's a good ask.: (Makes my skin crawl.) [I received other complaints on this one-you are not alone.]
- Loose instead of lose: when did you loose your keys? [I hate it when people unleash their keys and loose them upon the world!]
- Mispronouncing nuclear as "noo-kyoo-lar"
I understand that language evolves. I just don't like many of the changes. Often the result is language that is less clear, or just ugly. For example, I really detest when people say (and mispronounce) INvite to mean invitation. "Did you get the invite I sent you?" However, after checking some online dictionaries I see that invite is now listed as an informal word for invitation. Which means eventually it will likely be considered standard usage. Ugh!
Barbara Kennedy takes us into a more esoteric realm: the use of the subjunctive mood. She is peeved by these errors:
Incorrect: "If he would have"
Incorrect: "If I was you"
Incorrect: "I suggest is that he is removed."
Incorrect: "I recommend they do not enter the competition."
She says she is afraid she'll have to let this bit of grammar go, but I think it is not on the brink quite yet. These incorrect uses would be corrected in any professionally edited context, I hope!
A few weeks ago, I asked people to send in their memory aids.Julie Robertson has one that she would like to ask all of you about. She remembers one that started like this:
Have you heard this one? she asks. It is not familiar to me. If you know this one, please help us out by filling in the gaps.
I'm sure there are more peeves out there, free to add them as comments below.