Sometimes a living language needs to be slapped

I love that English, like all living languages, grows and breathes as words fall in and out of vogue and new terms are coined and cojoined.

But I hate to see words misused. Especially if that misuse makes it into the popular lexicon.

“Blog” is one of my biggest pet peeves. This post is a part of a blog. It is on or in a blog. I was blogging when I wrote it. But, unless there’s nothing here at all except for this post, this post is not a blog. It drives me nuts to see people write “I just wrote a blog.” when they mean they just wrote a post or article on their blog. I suspect it drives me nuts less because of the actual misuse and more because I fear that the misuse will eventually become the new proper use, and that’s just wrong.

Today, while browsing through declawing articles at Suite 101, my pet peeve is “digit”, as in “Declawing a cat involves amputation of the last digit of each toe.” or  “The procedure is not a simple nail trim, it is an amputation of the first digit.” or “Basically, removing a claw requires an operation similar to amputating the third digit of a human finger.” Thankfully other writers on the site got their words straight but seriously? The fact that the first three declawing articles I read all had the same misuse of “digit” is disturbing and just about makes my head explode.

(As an aside, there is no “pro” side to declawing — there are just excuses and weak justifications that all point back to human convenience.)

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