Friday, October 16, 2015

Five surefire ways to be more amazing!

Someone thought I'd enjoy the profanity laced video at the bottom and it got me thinking about annoying idioms.
  1. Method vs "methodology". If the sentence still makes sense using "method" instead of "methodology", method is the correct term. Here's an example by Ian Cutress of Anandtech who confuses the two. Here's an illustration of the difference: if you've been reviewing cars by measuring 0-60mph times and have decided to now review them by measuring miles per gallon instead, that's a new testing method. But if you are comparing the two methods, e.g. asking the question "Which of the two methods is better for reviewing cars?", that's methodology. You wouldn't say "my methodology" unless you were actually talking about your way of examining methods.

    It especially doesn't make sense to talk about a new testing methodology.
  2. Problem vs "problematic". For example "the death penalty is a problem" and is "the death penalty is problematic" There's no meaningful difference except problematic sounds uglier.
  3. Use or case vs "use case". This is common in IT writing. The writing style in IT is generally beyond redemption but hopefully this use doesn't spread. I hate to pick on Anandtech again, but here's Joshua Ho in his iPhone 6 review

    "As long as the overall average bandwidth demand doesn’t exceed the speed of the TLC, short-run bandwidth is solely limited by the speed of the SLC cache, which turns out to be the case for almost every normal use case."
  4. Using instead of "rocking". "I'm rocking a Razer Deathadder mouse"

    Guy Fieri tier.
  5. Just about anything instead of "nice". A perennial favorite among language critics, I don't know why "nice" bothers me in particular. Maybe it's because I can't say anything nice.
  6. Bonus 27 Oct:  "You do know that X, right? You do know that, right?" More passive aggressive than a Whole Foods clerk.

"Really?" and its cousin "Seriously?" have to go

* I use weasel words all the time because it is much more difficult to say what something is as opposed to merely describing it. Often, the simplest declarative requires an arsenal of qualifiers to make it completely true.

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