Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago · 2 min. reading time · ~100 ·

Renée 🐝 blog
Six Things People Say That Drive Me Nuts

Six Things People Say That Drive Me Nuts

Although I grew up in the Maritimes where people are often made fun of for their diction and pronunciation, I have to say, I was taught to speak rather well. I remember my grade two teacher in particular, telling us to pronounce the “r” in February (and I still do) and to open our vowels when we speak so that “our” doesn't sound like “are”.

While I’ll admit that I have fun slipping into Cape Bretonese on occasion, the pronunciation and grammar lessons of my youth are fully ingrained in my every day speech and were solidified even further when I became an English teacher. Grammar and pronunciation have always been important in my world. I guess that’s why hearing the incorrect use of certain words and phrases penetrates my nerves like nails on a chalkboard.

Take the term, “anyways”. OMG! There is only one way! The word is an adverb. It cannot take a plural or possessive form; hence, no “s”. I remember when I first met my husband he used to tack an “s” on “anyway” when he was speaking. I couldn’t stand it so I wasted little time correcting him. Since his mother had been quite a grammar fanatic, he considered this was correct. I challenged him to find it in the dictionary, and of course, he couldn’t so he had to humbly retreat and start using the term correctly. I love it when I am right.

Another confusion that people make is using the term “ unsatisfied ” instead of “dissatisfied”. Here’s the easiest way to tell the difference. Dissatisfied is an emotion, as in, “I was dissatisfied with his performance.” In other words, it made me feel unhappy or disappointed. Unsatisfied can only be used when you are not referring to an emotion. “His hunger was unsatisfied.”

Regardless of what you believe, “ Irregardless ” is not even a word! It is a word that is so commonly misused, uneducated people believe they sound intelligent if they use it. Can't you see they don't?

“ Orientated ” is another one of those common non-words that people use. British people consider this normal, but, ick! The proper term is “oriented” which refers to finding your direction or position. It can also refer to the way someone thinks. One might say, “I am very business oriented” or “I had to re-orient myself after nine hours of travel”. Remember, the word has four syllables, not five.

If you say, “ I could care less ”, then you are not even thinking about what you are saying. You probably mean, “I couldn’t care less”, which of course means that it isn’t even possible for you to care. Think about it. If you could care, then you have the ability to care. If you couldn’t care, then you do not have the ability to care. Trust me. I am right.

“Myself” is a reflexive pronoun. What that means, is you can only use it when you are talking about doing something alone. “I will do it myself.” In this case you are the subject and the object of the sentence. You may also use “myself” for intensity such as, “I, myself, have witnessed such atrocities.” If you are planning a meeting with another person, then you cannot correctly say, “Jerry and myself will be holding a conference call at 8:00.” If you took Jerry out of the sentence, you would have to say, “I”.  It is sadly very common to see corporate announcements stating, “John Smith will be reporting to myself.” The correct pronoun to use in this case is “me”.  It’s pretty simple, really, so stop referring to yourself in reflexive form when you are sharing space with another person.

Renée Cormier is a Communications and Public Relations Specialist, published author, former English teacher and sales/marketing strategist. If you would like Renée to help you with PR, presentations, content marketing, etc., please contact her through her website at

Follow me on Twitter! @reneecormierpr


Phil Friedman

6 years ago #24

@Renee Cormier - I agree with your ear and taste in every one of the cases cited. However, I have to point out that the so-called "rules" of grammar are like scientific "laws" -- they are NOT prescriptive, but only empirical compilations of what is currently observed. Like dictionaries, which are themselves only compilation current usage, grammatical rules are simply systematic recapitulation of what is, not what should or must be. Languages are living, evolving things that will be what they will be. And will always refuse to comply with your ear (eye) and mine, irregardless [sic - just kidding] of the fact that you and I agree on what is, and what is not the most elegant way to say things. Cheers!

mohammed khalaf

6 years ago #23

thank you Renee Cormier for pick

Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago #22

#28 Ladies, the answer to that question is not entirely clear. There doesn't appear to be any hard and fast rule (such as, after 20 years of misuse). You will usually see those terms in the dictionary marked as irregular forms. Here is an article from Oxford blogs which is related to the subject.

Pedro 🐝 Casanova

6 years ago #21

@Renee Cormier Am sorry in advanced. My english will leave you very un orientated and unsatisfied.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman

6 years ago #20

Thank you for the grammar lesson Renee Cormier. Orientated makes me nuts too.

Harvey Lloyd

6 years ago #19

Yes Ma'am just don't pop my knuckles again, anyways I will practice more better grammar. I realize today I should have paid better attention during English class. My wife and daughter keep me sounding ok when I have to write something. My daughter thinks I am the first graduate after cave painting ended.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago #18

I'll go easy on you, Harvey Lloyd. Just make sure you do as your told. :)

Harvey Lloyd

6 years ago #17

@Renee Cormier Ok I just had flash backs to fifth grade and my knuckles getting the ruler for bad grammar. Enjoyed the article but afraid you would, irregardless of your kind demeanor, give my knuckles a hit or two.

Kevin Pashuk

6 years ago #16

Inconceivable! Isn't it? Next to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it's the most quoted movie in our house... mainly by me to my wife. "As you wish..." (then under my breath, "Princess Buttercup").

Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago #15

Donna-Luisa Eversley, language is very much like an evolving organism. Meanings change, terms become obsolete, grammar also changes. The reality is that what becomes used most frequently eventually becomes acceptable. These days, our language is really evolving quite quickly because of mass media and social media. All languages experience this; not just English. I'm okay with not speaking like Shakespeare as long as I don't sound like a moron. By the way, did you know that our traditional grammar rules are written to reflect Latin grammar? There were no English rules because English is made up of so many other languages and there were so many different dialects there was no standard. If I am not mistaken, in the 15th century it was decided that since Latin was commonly used in church and internationally that Latin rules should apply to English grammar to create a standard which could be used in print material.

Kevin Pashuk

6 years ago #14

Umm... How many second dates did you have? :)

Dean Owen

6 years ago #13

I've bought at least 10 copies of that movie. It was my second date gift....

Kevin Pashuk

6 years ago #12

Renee Cormier, Let's not forget the (other) famous words of Inigo Montoya... "You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means."

Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago #11

Paul \, I find that most people who try to sound smart usually end up undermining their own efforts.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago #10

Ah, Jim Cody! Don't make me report you. lol

Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago #9

You are a man after my own heart, @Joshua Byron. I could go on all day about this subject. I had to stop at six.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago #8

When dictionaries say something is not standard, it means that it is so often misused that people can no longer tell the difference and is becoming an accepted form. That is why British people will argue about orientated. This insanity must stop! haha.
Funny and true, Renee Cormier! My only small quibble would be about irregardless, which is a word. It's even in the dictionaries (American ones, anyway), but the definition usually says "not a standard word," or something to that effect. It's real, but it's so wrong! And I agree with you when you say hearing or seeing these words makes you nuts. It does the same for me.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago #6

Yes, Kevin Pashuk I read, Robert's piece yesterday. I wrote this one a while ago and recycled it on beBee for that reason.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

6 years ago #5

Naw, Dean Owen, I ain't the fuss pot I pertend to be!

Kevin Pashuk

6 years ago #4

You have a bit of an impish streak in you Dean Owen

Kevin Pashuk

6 years ago #3

You have a bit of a impish streak in you OwenDean Owen

Kevin Pashuk

6 years ago #2

As a fellow grammar particularian Renee Cormier, I enjoyed your list of things that drive you nuts. This is a nice companion piece to Robert Cormack's recent post: Sounds like your husband is a quick learner...

Dean Owen

6 years ago #1

I have never read nothing I agree with more ! This buzz was so fun ! (am I driving you nuts?) :)

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