Jennifer's biggest pet peeves…or some of them!
I read a great book* yesterday. It was one I found while browsing on Amazon by an author I’ve never heard of. The e-book was inexpensive, so I decided to try it. I began reading and loved it.
However, being an author, and in the middle of editing my own manuscript, I picked up on a few editing issues. They weren’t enough to make me stop reading the story, but they definitely irked me.
The biggest issue for me was the use of “passed” for “past.” “Passed” is a verb and means moved. “Past” is a noun and is the time period before the one in which you’re speaking. The author definitely meant the noun, but used the verb instead. It annoyed me.
And it made me think of what other word pet peeves I have. On any given day on Facebook, I run across several. I’d be mean to point them out or to comment publically about them, especially since I’m sure I make many myself (maybe even in this specific blog post). Social media is a quick thing, where you stop in, post and leave. Mistakes are a given. Books, however, are not supposed to be careless.
But I will confess to my biggest pet peeve of all—the use, or misuse, of the word “over.” As a preposition, it means extending directly upward (I saw flames over Berlin) or expressing trajectory across (she walked over the lawn). As an adverb, it means expressing passage or trajectory across an area (he leaned over and tapped me) or in or to the place mentioned (over here). It’s also a noun and refers to a cricket term.
It does not, has never, and as far as I’m concerned never will, mean “more than.” It’s not “he’s over six feet tall,” but “he’s more than six feet tall.” It isn’t “I have over 300 Facebook friends,” but “I have more than 300 Facebook friends.”
The word “over” definitely takes up less space than “more than,” but it is not a substitution for it. Ever.
Rant finished (also not “over”).
*Because I’ve made criticism of the book, I will not mention the title or author here. Sorry.