Friday, January 18, 2013

A pet peeve .. but not "too much"

You know how some people get annoyed when they hear other people say "literally" in the wrong context?

- "he had to cut back inside on to his left, because he literally hasn't got a right foot" (Jamie Redknapp).

- "we were literally living in each other's pockets" (singer talking on a morning chat show on C4, talking about touring)
- "paper is literally the ghost in the machine" (intellectual on Radio 4 talking about the historical role of punch cards in early computing machines)

Well,  my pet peeve is with the usage of the words along the lines of "not too much", some thing I am guilty of all too often. For example, when a host is eagerly filling my plate I may say "woah, not too much". The implication is that the host was purposely going to overfill the plate, out of spite perhaps?

Elsewhere, in a recent article by NHS Choices, it is noted that "..too much caffeine is not a good idea, and can lead to a range of unpleasant side effects...". First, everything is toxic at sufficiently high doses. Second, of course too much caffiene is not a good idea. Why? Because it's "TOO MUCH".

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