Destroy All Blogs…

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…in the Best Group Blog contest. We're entering the home stretch, or getting toward the end of the middle stretch, or something. In any event, ThinkProgress has been rallying in the last day or so, getting close to knocking Redstate out of second place. Before either of those jokers gets up a head of steam, go vote for Hit & Run, and make sure we keep growing the lead. We don't need a victory. We need a Roman triumph.

NEXT: Man-Made Cancer Epidemic Fizzles

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  1. Is that…is that a nit I see? I’d better pick it. The triumph, which is the parade and celebration, would come after the victory. Besides, since only Senators and Councilors could hold a triumph, doesn’t it kinda go against the grain?

    Sorry, not only am I somone who grits their teeth whenever someone uses “decimate” to mean “totally wiped out”, I’ve also got a boring meeting going on around me.

  2. TL:

    cool band name.

    why don’t you pass the time by playing a little

    BULLSHIT BINGO!!!!!

    it livens up a meeting.

    (and no, you’re not the only one about “decimate”)

  3. “Decimate” meaning “to wipe out” is perfectly cromulant.

    Main Entry: dec?i?mate
    Pronunciation: ‘de-s&-“mAt
    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): -mat?ed; -mat?ing
    Etymology: Latin decimatus, past participle of decimare, from decimus tenth, from decem ten
    1 : to select by lot and kill every tenth man of
    2 : to exact a tax of 10 percent from
    3 a : to reduce drastically especially in number b : to destroy a large part of

  4. the ‘decimate’ thing gets me too. i can’t ever bring myself to correct anyone though.

  5. I even get tweaked by totally lost causes like “nauseous” and “hopefully.”

    Re: the contest, incidentally, it’s interesting to note that Boing Boing–which is the most widely read of the “best blog” contenders by a significant margin, if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t really seem to be in the running. I’m guessing that the reason is that the Malkin/Kos fans are the ones who keep coming back again and again in hopes of “beating” the other team’s champion. Boing Boing fans may be as enthusiastic about their own favorite, but they don’t have that extra edge of loathing for the enemy to send them back again and again.

  6. Julian,

    Any real numbers on BB’s readership vs. that of Malkin and Kos? Just curious.

  7. VM: Thanks, I need to update the site, though. Actually somewhat relevant to this site, considering that our song “Fuck Your Drug War” has actually been getting some club play out here in Cali.

    Mr. Nice Guy: I am embiggened by your information, thank you.

  8. I agree with the decimate nit-pickers. The misuse of ‘tragic’ and ‘tradgedy’ also irritates me. Nothing, however, is an infuriating as “impact” when used to mean “affect.”

  9. pragmatic –> practical
    utilize –> use

    badly instead of bad (other hypercorrections, too)

    🙂

    TL:
    very cool about fucking the drug war, btw. awesome.

    check out fyodor’s site, too littlefyodor.com. he’s one of the board’s favorites. he’s out of the denver area.

  10. “Octomate” needs to be a word.
    So does “Sexmate.”

  11. Redstato delenda est

  12. Tim:

    We need a Roman triumph.

    “We have no king but Ceasar!” err… “We have no king but H&R!”

    Tell your friends to vote for H&R. They’ll be impressed and you can bask in the glory of this stellar blog. Go ahead, you deserve it. You’re here, aren’t you? Just send em the voting link.

  13. Tim:

    We need a Roman triumph.

    “We have no king but Caesar!” err “We have no king but H&R!”

    Tell your friends to vote for H&R. They’ll be impressed and you can bask in the glory of this stellar blog. Go ahead, you deserve it. You’re here, aren’t you? Just send em the voting link.

  14. “Nothing, however, is an infuriating as ‘impact’ when used to mean ‘affect.'”

    The OED’s first example of that sort of usage of “impact” dates to 1817. Exactly how many centuries have to pass for people to get over it?

  15. What really bothers me is people who misuse the words “regulate” and “commerce”. Especially when those people have been appointed to the Supreme Court.

  16. My latest pet peeve is “as per”, as in “I set up the machine as per Dave’s instructions.” “per” MEANS “as”, you nitwits! Gaaah.

  17. If you want people to vote daily, wait 24 hours between posts. I saw this but can’t vote till later b/c I did yesterday. Good luck anyway.

  18. Irregardless of what the proper phrasing may be, I could care less.

  19. School Marms,
    and you know who you are. English is a living language! Get use to it. Words mean whatever people think they mean. And that meaning can change. And if when you do decide to get pedantic, for Zog’s sake, pick your battles.

    Sure decimate once meant reduce by a tenth, but how often do you need that word? I think I’ve seen it used ‘correctly’ once in the past 25 years. Hopefully; common usage is superior to ‘correct’ usage which is just inane.

    The ones that sadden me are when a perfectly good word is overused and it loses it’s flavor and it’s definition becomes washed out over time. For example ‘ironic’. Irony should convey a sense of ‘against it’s intended purpose’ but I see it used simply to mean ‘witty’, ‘clever’, and even just ‘funny’.

  20. It always suprises me how uptight libertarians are about word usage. We recognize the inefficiency of centralized control in other realms, why not in the language?

  21. I could care less

    Talk about the ultimate lost cause…

  22. Number 6,

    Nothing, however, is an infuriating as “impact” when used to mean “affect.”

    Or when used to mean “effect” for that matter. 🙂

    Then again, being a language marm is pretty silly.

  23. check out fyodor’s site, too littlefyodor.com. he’s one of the board’s favorites. he’s out of the denver area.

    Speaking of Denver, SR and I are also both here in Denver and we did a simultaneous post. What are the odds?

  24. My ignorance was quite blissful on the matter of the proper usage of ‘decimate’. Now i will never use it again for fear that one of you will be reading it. thanks assholes. robble robble robble.

  25. Hak: nay, “impact” and “effect” are nearly the same, as both are nouns. “Affect” is the verb. Number 6 was objecting to impact-as-verb, which is indeed infuriating.

  26. No t-shirts, no votes, no shit.

  27. Talk about the ultimate lost cause…

    I agree. When people used to tell me that they could care less about something, I used to tell them (in my head, I’m way too polite to say it out loud) that then they probably SHOULD.

    Eventually I finally gave up.
    Maybe Warren is right and the english language has changed to a point where yes means no and could means couldn’t.

  28. A “tad bit” of something.

    Thatisall.

  29. After the total victory, shall we pour salt on the servers hosting the other blogs?

  30. Um:

    You shall infibulate the sysadmins and bring them before us in chains.

  31. For example ‘ironic’. Irony should convey a sense of ‘against it’s intended purpose’ but I see it used simply to mean ‘witty’, ‘clever’, and even just ‘funny’.

    I think I hear it mis-used most often as meaning “coincidentally.” Like when a sports announcer says something like “How ironic that he got his first rushing touchdown in the same stadium where his father sold hot dogs!”

    And ditto on the “impact” annoyance. Ugh.

    Being a language marm might be silly but it is fun, until you’re the one getting marmed.

  32. Personally, I still refuse to use that bastard “enthuse”.

  33. “nay, “impact” and “effect” are nearly the same, as both are nouns. “Affect” is the verb.”

    Effect can also be a verb, and is often misused in that capacity. The problem is it doesn’t mean “to produce an effect” (that one is affect), which is why it is misused so often.

    http://www.dict.org/bin/Dict?Form=Dict2&Database=*&Query=effect

  34. Following the Roman triumph, will there be a Roman orgy?

    JMJ

  35. It’s not so much marmishness for me. It’s only on certain things, I don’t really care about, for instance, the whole “impact” thing. It’s more the greying of the language. “Decimate” is such a specific concept, why use it when there’s so many good words…annihilate, devastate, demolish, eradicate, massacre, obiterate, ruin, slaughter, etc. etc. etc. Kind of like a “Roman Triumph” is such a specific celebration, I wouldn’t have been bothered by the general term “triumph”. Actually, I wasn’t even really bothered by “Roman Triumph” so much as really bored at work. As, obviously, I still am.

  36. This is a slight digression from the digression at hand, but I am sick to death of “famously.” I wish never to read it again. And like most of my wishes, this one is futile.

  37. Two pet peeves of mine:

    “it’s” for the possessive and “its” for the contraction.

    “Hak insulted joe and I.”

  38. And while we’re at it, the subjunctive mood for the verb “to be” is still “were” – not fucking “was”.

  39. We’re entering the home stretch, or getting toward the end of the middle stretch, or something.

    “My days of not taking you seriously have definitely come to a middle.” 🙂

    After the total victory, shall we pour salt on the servers hosting the other blogs?

    We shall torch their servers and trample their keyboards beneath our feet. We shall make a pyramid of their tinfoil hats, twenty spans high. We shall take the fairest of their women as our own. And they shall bear us many strong sons — sons who will grow to become libertarian conquerors in their own right, and the very blogosphere shall tremble beneath their gaze.

    It always suprises me how uptight libertarians are about word usage. We recognize the inefficiency of centralized control in other realms, why not in the language?

    Because our multitudinous carping is not centralized control, but a polycentric, ground-up, market-based (in a broad sense) response.

    On nitpickery:

    I have given up and embraced the Dark Side, and I use “hopefully” all the time now. But I consider it an interjection and contraction for “I say this hopefully” rather than literally functioning as the adverb “hopefully.”

    I try to replace every “utilize” I can with “use.”

    I don’t mind “impact” in the place of the verb “affect” or the noun “effect,” but “impactful” is an abomination. So is “enthuse.”

    I despise “irregardless” and “could care less.”

    I also hate it when people write “I would of” when they mean “I would’ve.”

    And of course, as a libertarian, I hate “social justice” or “economic justice” — when people modify “justice” to describe unjust and antisocial interference in economic transactions.

    I am sick to death of “famously.”

    Why? I almost never used the word, but an hour or two ago I used it in sense 1 below, in another thread.

    1) In a way or to an extent that is well known: ?his famously neurotic mannerisms [are] lampooned in the novels of Evelyn Waugh? (James Atlas).
    2) With the result of becoming famous: ?Frost had famously declared that poetry is what gets lost in translation? (David Lehman).
    3) Excellently; splendidly: We got along famously.

    Source: The American Heritage (c) Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright (c) 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    PS: I also dislike “above” or “below” when used to refer to material that is not literally above or below on the same page. You could use “earlier” or “later.”

  40. >I am sick to death of “famously.”

    >Why? I almost never used the word, but an hour or two ago I used it in sense 1 below, in another thread.

    Because it seems to be a trendy word to use these days and it…just annoys me. I don’t know why, really. It could cease to bother me one day.

    Anyhow, I guess I just wanted to express it and the “make us first” thread seemed as good a place as any.

    BTW, the third usage —

    3) Excellently; splendidly: We got along famously.

    — doesn’t bother me at all. But then, I like excellently and splendidly too.

    >when people write “I would of” when they mean “I would’ve.”

    Yeah, we agree there!

  41. robble robble robble

    That’s awesome. I don’t understand why you typed it, but frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a damn.

    I don’t frankly get some of your problems with certain uses of words. For example, what’s wrong with using:

    1.) nauseous (you mean as opposed to “nauseated”?)
    2.) hopefully
    3.) ‘tragic’ and ‘tragedy’
    4.) badly
    5.) pragmatic
    6.) impact (as verb)
    7.) enthuse

    Since we’re discussing language peeves, how about “the hoi polloi”

    “hoi” IS the article “the” in Greek.

    …Unless we’re trying to emphasize these people’s distinction here: “the THE people”. (most effective when typed in ALL CAPS)

    We shall make a pyramid of their tinfoil hats, twenty spans high.

    Lol!!

    We shall take the fairest of their women as our own.

    None so fair as the libertarian women, of course.

  42. Smacky: I’ve heard or am conjecturing these explanations:

    1. Nauseous is sometimes used in place of nauseated, as in “that food made me feel nauseous.
    2. “Hopefully it will rain tomorrow” means “Tomorrow it will rain in a hopeful manner,” not “with luck, tomorrow it will rain.”
    3. I’ve heard at least some people point out that “Tragic” does not mean “sad”; it refers to a specific pattern of events, as exhibited in a Greek tragic play, which involves a tragic flaw and catharsis.
    4. “I feel badly” is a hypercorrection. “I feel well” is correct not because you need an adverb, but because well is a separate adjective appropriate for that construction. “I feel badly” means that you do a poor job of feeling.
    5. Not sure; might be that pragmatic evaluates a state of mind/character, and not a type of action. But not sure.
    6. “Impact the bottom line” only makes sense if you’re talking about something slamming into it. You can “have an impact” on a goal, but you “affect” it instead of “impacting” it.
    7. “Enthused” means “caused to feel enthusiasm,” not “spoke enthusiastically.” Thus you can’t “enthuse over a new table,” or some such.

    And I agree with you on the “hoi polloi” thing.

  43. Huh. I didn’t know “enthused” was even a legitimate word. I thought it was just an erroneous back-formation.

    smacky:

    robble robble robble is something the Hamburglar used to say on commercials for MacDonalds, probably back when you were a wee small bairn. It was all he could say, actually. The Onion once did an article, “Hamburglar Addresses Congress on Need for Prison Reform,” and all his quotes consisted of, “Robble robble robble. Robble robble robble robbled.”

    We shall take the fairest of their women as our own.

    None so fair as the libertarian women, of course.

    Of course. Those others will be mere concubines, pressed into service only when our true libertarian queens have been exhausted by our manly appetites and must needs rest for a time.

  44. robble robble robble is something the Hamburglar used to say on commercials for MacDonalds, probably back when you were a wee small bairn. It was all he could say, actually.

    I know that! I’m not as young as my flawless, ivory skin would have you believe. :p

    I should have been more explicit: I wasn’t sure why The Great Ape used it specifically in his post. But again, I don’t really care.

  45. I’ve voted for you jackasses about nine times so far — vote early and often! — and I hope, if you win the coveted prize, that Reason coffee cops (or bongs, whatever) will be sent to all those who supported the Roman Victory.

  46. er, coffee “cups” … we have enough coffee cops in the world.

  47. Following the Roman triumph, will there be a Roman orgy?

    Carpets for everyone!

    _
    /|
    /
    /
    /
    /

  48. The La Brea Tarpits = The The Tarpits Tarpits! Weeee!

  49. How much further can this thread go?

  50. I tend to marm people like the best of them (irregardless, I could care less), but honestly, English is a really fucked up language. Most often, people on the outside have a much harder time learning English then the other way around. It’s thoroughly inconsistent. I’ve been told that to a non-speaker, we sound like we have marbles in our mouths.

    But we still rule.

  51. I agree with Thomas Paine’s Goiter: Carpet’s for everybody!

    After they lose to us, their only hope for improving their blogs will be to read some Hit and Run and pick up some tips before they embarass themselves any further!

  52. Enthuse:

    en – in
    thuse – theos – god/spirit

    “bring/put in the spirit”

  53. I’ve been inspired to release my inner schoolmarm. I can get as pedantic as the next fellow over language usage. The goal is, or as I see it should be, to maximize communication, to express oneself clearly and accurately. Rules that aid in specificity and clarity are to be embraced. However, rules which arise from precedent and function more to preserving tradition than to facilitating clarity, serve only to enable the defective psyche of linguiphiles. (Heh, see what I did there)

    The abhorrence of ‘hopefully’ is the height of such destructive pedantry. ‘Hopefully’ in its common usage is a perfectly good word, for which there is no adequate substitute (see the usage note at dictionary.com). ‘Impact’ likewise needs to be embraced. On the one hand the supposed heretical use of ‘impact’ has legitimate citations going back a hundred years, therefore is a lost cause. Furthermore, ‘impact’ functions as a perfectly good word (which conveys a more visceral feeling than does ‘affect’) that does not detract from its more traditional, accepted meaning. Indeed a whole host of word usage despised by the marms, arises out of nouns being used as verbs, and vice versa. The addition of suffixes leads to the creation of adjectives, adverbs, etc. in a self-suggested way. But this is the natural evolution of a living language. The only reason to resist such usage, is a Luddite’s fear of change.

    ‘Decimate’ is more of a pity. The common usage has robbed ‘decimate’ of its character. Furthermore, there are ample synonyms to choose from. ‘Decimate’ as traditionally defined, suffers from over specificity, there are just no opportunities to use it. It would have been preferred that ‘decimate’ had evolved into “significantly but not critically damaged” as in “the fender-bender decimated both vehicles”, but alas such is not the world we live in. Therefore, I join with those who would erase ‘decimate’ from the language (this being a more thoughtful comment than my earlier one).

    ‘Could care less’ and ‘irregardless’. I feel your pain, but these are also lost causes.

    I think my choice of ‘ironic’ as an example of where more marming (heh) is needed is a good one. There are others, instances where a useful word is loosing its character from abuse. Unfortunately I can’t think of any at the moment.

    Addendum: The thing that is really sending the schoolmarms into epileptic fits these days, is chat. I M TTLY CRUS. Well bend over my friends, because it’s coming and nothing can stop it. IMHO chat is just a new form of the language. Just as written and spoken English have different rules so too does chat. The rules for chat are still very much in the brewing stage, but they are beginning to solidify. It will probably take another generation of ENG-LIT majors to; grow up, graduate, wind up settling for unfulfilling lives as teachers, and die off, before their students take over and begin teaching chat as part of an arcane and tedious syllabus.

  54. Carpet’s for everybody!

    thoreau,

    Was that intentional, or are you asking for a beating?

    I think this comment reminded me that my top pet peeve in language is misused apostrophes!!

    Also, chat *is* a legit form of the language. I think on certain ancient inscriptions, even back then, vowels were left out of words.

    YA RLY!

  55. Oooo. I just thought of one at the top of my list.

    Scan

    Commonly uses as a synonym for ‘skim’, ‘scan’ in fact means the opposite. I max-marm (hee) on ‘scan’ abuse. It can cause the vein in my temple to throb.

  56. i seen.

  57. For a large class of cases ? though not for all ? in which we use the word ?meaning? it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language. — Wittgenstein

  58. and might i add that nowhere is this more true than in Baltimore, where you wash dishes in the “zinc” and get books from the “liberry”.

  59. the use of “less” instead of “fewer” as in “Ten items or less”

  60. Oh, and let’s not forget, “Enter your PIN number” — that is, “Enter your personal identification number number.”

  61. Oh, and let’s not forget, “Enter your PIN number” — that is, “Enter your personal identification number number.”

    Take it to the next level (now there’s a phrase that I can’t stand!): “Enter your PIN number into the ATM machine keypad.” =’s “Enter your personal identification number number into the automated teller machine machine keypad.”

    As I myself always and continuosly say out loud:
    Never be afaid to be repeatedly redundant instead of simply repeating something more than once when trying to attempt to make your point so that people that your talking to understand what you’re saying.

  62. I I love love double double chex chex
    Better better than than the the rest rest

    All together now!

  63. Stevo and Peevish Dwarf: one day my econ teacher was using ATMs in an example, and he was saying and writing “ATM machine.” This annoyed me enough that I was really paying attention when he wrote on the whiteboard the cost of an ATM’s “withdrawl fee.” I really wanted to ask him if he’d encountered ATMs with a surcharge for southerners.

    Warren: Why doesn’t “with luck” substitute for “hopefully”? Totally agree with you on “ironic.” And even if chat is a legitimate dialect, so, they say, is Ebonics; pardon me if I prefer not to speak either.

  64. Jadagul,
    ‘With luck’ would not be apt in “Hopefully, he will quit drinking”. Sobriety is to be hoped for, but not a matter of luck. One could say “It is to be hoped that…” but how awkward.

    I think chat is fundamentally different from Ebonics. Ebonics is the spoken dialect of the inner city. Not only is there no reason to formulize its vernacular and construction, but it would be futile to attempt it because they are in a constant state of flux. The same may also be true for chat, time will tell.

    At one end is the language of the street, constantly changing, and highly varied from one set of speakers to the next (and often with complex rules and conventions). At the other end is formal written English, here is where the rules are rigid, well documented, and stable. But even here, they do change, albeit very slowly and by consensus. Yet, the English language spans one end to the other seamlessly, and its participants influence one another. The spoken dialect of a street corner can come to dominate the lyrics of popular performers, and the prose of zine writers, and so on until becoming the standard of the language as a whole.

    As self selected gardeners of English, we must be aware of this process. It is our duty to help guide and direct it, but we must not, indeed can not, stop it.

  65. Warren, what’s wrong with “I hope he will quit drinking”?

  66. Jadagul, your story about your econ teach reminded me of something.

    When I was a sophomore in high school, our social studies teacher was teaching us about China. He said the country was divided into state-like subdivisions called provinces. Only he pronounced it “providences.” Repeatedly.

    He was from Kentucky. Maybe that had something to do with it. 🙂

    Warren, what’s wrong with “I hope he will quit drinking”?

    I think that “hopefully” is used when the meaning is less personal and more generalized. It’s more like, “It is widely hoped by many unspefied persons that he will quit drinking,” which is still awkward.

  67. UNSPECIFIED

  68. Fair enough. I just find that, while “hopefully” never used to bother me, it’s become increasingly grating ever since a friend’s mother pointed it out. Since there’s usually a good substitute (which varies with context), I try to avoid it, even if I’m not always successful.

    And don’t get me started on the singular “their.”

  69. I just find that, while “hopefully” never used to bother me, it’s become increasingly grating ever since a friend’s mother pointed it out.

    There’s your problem, Jadagul. Never listen to parents of any sort, under any circumstances!

    And smacky gets comment #69. How about that.

  70. Ah, Smacky, it gets worse. She was also an elementary school English teacher.

    And damnit, I wish I’d been counting.

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