More Language Pet Peeves

“NEW AND IMPROVED” has been around so long that we are used to hearing and seeing it. But think about it. A product can’t be new and improved at the same time. Either it is new, so it isn’t improved yet, or it is an improved version of an old product, so it can’t be new.

“RUN HIM OVER.” I don’t know where or how this got started. Does it just sound better than “run over him?” It leaves the preposition over hanging at the end of a phrase, and following its object. I ask, “Run him over what? A cliff, perhaps?”

CEMENT VS CONCRETE. Cement is a grey powder, which when combined with gravel, sand, and water, hardens into concrete. I knew my house did not have a cement foundation; nor did I have a cement driveway or sidewalk. And the highway to the next town was not a cement road. But I was still a bit confused about what to call a truck that is hauling a load of wet mix to be poured onto a prepared area to make someone’s new driveway. Some people call it a cement truck, or a cement mixer truck. I have never heard it called a concrete, or concrete mixer, truck.

My friend suggested comparing the cement to the flour used in making a cake. Do you call the mixture of ingredients “flour mix” or “flour batter?” No, I call it “cake mix” or “cake batter.” So, if a truck were hauling cake batter somewhere to be made into a really, really big cake, I would call it a cake mixer truck. Or, as the construction people call it, just a mixer truck.

But definitely not a “cement truck.” That might be what I’d call a truck hauling bags of cement, though.


Author: b4i4get

I am a 68-yo retired Physical Therapist Asst. living in Texas. Currently I have ~5 dozen webpages, including 3 homepages, an e-novel, and 1 blog. I love cats, writing, and thinking about the big questions. I am also a singer-songwriter, though no one has heard of me--yet.

2 thoughts on “More Language Pet Peeves”

  1. Thank you for reading my article. I enjoyed reading your suggested “Top 40.” I must admit that I am surprised to learn that the correct pronunciation of “often” is “off-ten.” I must consult a dictionary about this one.

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