Everything Language and Grammar

Why Do They Hate Us?

Posted by languageandgrammar on July 29, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Why do they hate us (U.S. citizens)?

The most common answer has always been that they hate our freedom, but I have breaking news from across the pond: It might be because of our language.

The BBC recently posted an article on the 50 most noted (a polite British way of saying annoying) Americanisms.

Dare I say that I must be British at heart since they make many excellent points, including:

  • Reach out instead of “ask.”
  • It is what it is, which is what it is: a phrase that says NOTHING.
  • Where’s it at? instead of the grammatically correct “Where is it?”
  • Ridiculousity, which the contributor hopes is being done tongue-in-cheek, but I wouldn’t bet on that–based on how often I hear the next one.
  • Physicality, which isn’t a word despite its growing use. (Note: People in the U.S. love to make up -ality words since it makes them sound so smart, at least to those who think anything ever uttered instantly becomes an acceptable word.)
  • Least worst option; the contributor suggests asking what the “most best option” might be.
  • Going forward instead of the standard “in the future.”

I could go on, but I don’t want anyone to get his knickers in a bunch.

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