Pet peeve, volume 228: ROADS are not ROADWAYS. Nobody except police, reporters, and press release-people call them ROADWAYS. They are ROADS.

Have you ever heard anybody in real-life conversation use ROADWAYS? No, you have not.

Joe: “So what happened?”
Jane: “Well, I was on my to Starbucks and then some jackass walked right out in front of me and then sat down right in the middle of the roadway! I freaked out – I nearly ran him over!”
Joe: “Seriously? What an idiot! Wait…the roadway?”

And don’t get me started on “motorist.”


As someone who spends a good deal of time every day writing headlines and copy-editing stories for reporters, this list makes me very happy – knowing that I am not alone in my quest to banish certain phrases and words!

“Tapped” (Smith tapped as next CEO, etc) makes me want to punch kittens, and “probe” used for “investigate” makes me want to…well, whatever is worse than punching kittens.

I think what irritates me more than anything, however, is the use of “to” instead of “will” in headlines. For example:

– Student loan rates to double as lawmakers continue bickering
– Obama to lay out three-part plan for addressing climate change
– Jack Hanna to host grizzly research fundraiser in Bigfork
– Temperatures to hit 120 this weekend

People, this is the web – not a dead-tree newspaper; we have unlimited space, and do not have to worry about shaving two letters off of a headline to make it fit.

Independence Day

As noted last year at this time: the correct name for the holiday we celebrate on July 4th is INDEPENDENCE DAY.

Yes, it falls on July 4th of each year, but it shouldn’t be referred to as “the fourth of July.”

The 4th of July is a date on the calendar, like August 17th, or April 29th, and so on.

Nobody says, “Hey, what kind of costume are you wearing for the 31st of October?”

Nobody says, “We’re going to Minnesota to visit family for the 25th of December holiday.”

And when’s the last time you heard anybody say, “Yeah, we got us a huge turkey to cook up on the 25th of November!”

1 2