Petty Peevishness II

Friday April 15, 2005 @ 08:53 AM (UTC)

This annoyance is not brought to you from the web, but rather from the Wide World of Business. At my first permanent job, I thought this error was simply a strange mistake of a co-worker’s; now that I have entered said w.w. of b., I seem to see it everywhere.

upcoming: Occurring soon; forthcoming.

up and coming: Showing signs of advancement and ambitious development (often, something which has achieved some measure of success — ‘up’ — and is on its way to more.)

This really, truly, does not seem so difficult to me. And yet it seems that every single bleedin’ thing that will happen soon is ‘up & coming’. Well, world, let me inform you (by posting it on the internet where you won’t see it) this week’s lunch specials are NOT marked by signs of ambitious development! Neither is a meeting of store managers on its way to greatness merely because it will transpire this month! Promising band? Up and coming. Bad movie release? Upcoming. Christopher Nolan? Up and coming. Trip to the grocery store? Upcoming. I know you can do it, world!


I believe you could compile one of those, actually, on wich words and phrases people are unable to discriminate between. For starters, I might suggest:

  1. there vs. they’re
  2. its vs. it’s
  3. your vs. you’re
  4. cant vs. can’t
  5. send vs. sent
  6. to vs. too

I’m sure you (perhaps with help from your readers) will be able to complete the list, and probably even expand it to a top 25 or top 100. Gruesome prospect, I know.

I have seldom seen #4 or indeed #5…but some of those, such as #s 2 and 3, put my teeth on edge!

However, people’s inability to use apostrophes, and even the common nature of the confused words, make me understand the confusion a little better. For some reason, I really don’t UNDERSTAND ‘up & coming’ for ‘upcoming’. This thing is ‘coming up’! It’s not ‘up’ already! sniffle

Maybe I have just run with the wrong crowd, but I can’t say I have ever heard this grammatical slip. It is also possible that I filtered it out, as I am inclined to do from years of practice living in a region where bad grammar was much more prevalent than proper grammar.

As I said, when first I encountered it I thought it was just one person. But it is fairly pervasive, at least within the Business World. Perhaps it’s a propagating error-meme within the capitalist organism.

I hate it when people say “I could care less” in a sneery superior way, in an attempt to say they DON’T care about something. Either they don’t understand the laws of subtraction, or they don’t understand simple English. Maybe both. Stupid sneeryness is totally unbecoming, and absolutely shatters the image of superiority they think they are projecting.

Yes, it does rather spoil the effect. I seem to recall that perplexing me as a child.

Of course, some of us have a bad habit of taking grammar at face value even when the incorrect usage is colloquially accepted; for instance, my brain always parses ‘I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you for all my life’ (in ‘So Happy Together’) literally, which rawther puts a damper on the spirit.

How about irregardles??? Hehehe. I just have to hide my chuckle when I hear that one. I suppose you could say, “I really like the squirrel’s ear, regardless of its mutant qualities…” HA!

Ooh yeah…I especially like how that’s a mistake people make when they are trying to be more ‘proper’ or ‘formal’ than usual…there are some other ones like that, though I can’t think of another example just at present.

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