Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Pet Peeves

Here are a few things that have irritated me lately:
  1. Letters to the editor that start "As xxx, I..." Here's a recent example from the New York Times:
    As a former journalist who is now a public relations professional, I think that...
    Forget about your credentials and qualifications and academic degrees and self-importance. Just speak your mind.
  2. Incidences as the plural of incident. The correct plural is incidents. The incidence in spoken language of incidences seems to be higher than that of incidents, even among those who should know better.
  3. The phrase nuclear option, when applied to a proposed change in the Senate's filibuster rule. Or, as our President might pronounce it, the nucular option. According to Jeffrey Toobin, we have Trent Lott to blame for first using the phrase in this way. It is a sign of the megalomania that afflicts our leaders, who view their preoccupations in cosmic terms.

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