Linguistic Pet Peeves

Things that will disqualify you from an 'A' in my class, or get you blocked from my Facebook feed.
  1. Improper semi-colon use
    I issue my students licenses to use semi-colons; it's for their own protection.
  2. Using "utilize"
    There are no circumstances under which utilizing "utilize" fails to make you sound pompous. Use "use," you ass.
  3. Using "orientating" instead of "orienting"
    How do these people treat "orienteering"?
  4. Failure to use the Oxford comma
    Are they lazy, ignorant, or neglectful of their readers' needs? A little of columns A, B, and C, I think.
  5. Confusing "then" with "than"
    This is the quickest way to earn my linguistic disrespect. This said, I wager Oxford will be changing its dictionary to let offenders off the hook, within the decade.
  6. Confusing "less" with "fewer"
    Fewer and fewer people seem to understand the distinction, and I have less and less patience.
  7. Confusing "fleshing something (out)" with "flushing something (away)"
    I swear: the next time someone asks for help "flushing out" an idea, I'll hand him some toilet paper.
  8. Using apostrophe's to pluralize
    Simply because it ends with a vowel doesn't mean it deserves an apostrophe. If you didn't notice the error in the title of this item, your part of the problem. (And if you didn't notice the error in the previous sentence, give up entirely and switch to emoticons.)
  9. Turning off grammar check
    If you're tired of all the green squiggles under your writing, best to turn off the computer entirely (not simply the grammar check tool).