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Brian Schroer Don't Call Me Mort!

Sorry to be a grammar Nazi, but I heard the same mistake made in two consecutive presentations at the HDC: "That doesn't jive with me".

"Jibe" means "to be in harmony or accord". "Jive" kind of means the opposite. The correct term is "doesn't jibe".

A slightly more serious nit-pick: It scares me when flight attendants say "we'll be taking off momentarily". "Momentarily" doesn't mean "in a moment" - It means "for a moment". When my plane is about to take off, my hope is that it will remain airborne until it arrives at another airport, not take off "momentarily" and plunge into the lake at the end of the runway. 

 

Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2006 8:13 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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momentarily:

1 : for a moment <was momentarily delayed>
2 archaic : INSTANTLY
3 : at any moment : in a moment <will be leaving momentarily>

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Definition number three might be useful to you.

Left by George on Oct 28, 2006 12:33 PM

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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Yeah, what George said. Also princeton supports the "at any moment" definition too.

The use of "Jive" doesn't bother me, because its become so common maybe, I'm not sure. I am most bothered by this written mistake:

"You dropped you're book"
or
"Your the best"
Left by Lance on Nov 09, 2006 2:05 PM

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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Enough people misuse the word that an alternative definition is added to the dictionary. That doesn't make it correct.
Left by Brian Schroer on Nov 09, 2006 5:30 PM

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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You wrote: "Enough people misuse the word that an alternative definition is added to the dictionary. That doesn't make it correct. "

Uh... Yes it does. It most certainly does.

We have many words that have changed definitions over the years. "Fag" comes to mind. I mean, should a dictionary include the definition "offensive term for an openly homosexual man" or should we disclude it because that definition is a newer one?

The dictionary is our guide to the language. If the dictionary says so, it most certainly does make it correct.
Left by Michael George on Aug 18, 2009 5:05 PM

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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"You wrote: "Enough people misuse the word that an alternative definition is added to the dictionary. That doesn't make it correct. "

Uh... Yes it does. It most certainly does."

Ugh. What sorry excuse of a rationalization. Often what a change of use indicates is mass laziness and stupidity. But then, this is the same society that doesn't know there's a difference between 'take' and 'bring'.

'Idiocracy', anyone...?
Left by schmadrian on May 13, 2010 5:08 PM

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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I've been gramacing over the misuse of "momentarily" since the sixties. When I mentioned it back then, people simply didn't understand what I was talking about.

I have heard the misuse of "bring" and "take" in movies going back to the thirties and as far as I know the dictionary hasn't changed the meaning of those words.

Some others that bother me are "I seen that" and "me and Sally went to town". I guess the "me" generation always puts "me" first. I have heard school teachers make these mistakes so it's no wonder our children never learn the difference.

Of course the misprounciation of "err" becomes self flufilling when you say "To err is human".

The one that bothers me most is the misuse of "bombast" or "bombastic". The word means talk or writing that sounds grand or important but has little meaning. It does not mean loud language.

That's enough ranting for one day. Thanks for the forum.
Left by Larry Eccleston on Aug 30, 2010 9:29 AM

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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Well I wondered after my previous rant about the meaning of "momentarily" so I looked it up in an "eighties" Webster's dictionary. Definition 3 is: "likely to occur at any moment. I then looked it up in a "sixties" Webster's and guess what. The same thing. The oldest dictionary I have is one from high school in the fifties. You guessed it, same thing.

So I'll have to cave in on that one. But if "me and Sally went to town" ever becomes proper grammar I'll roll over in my grave.
Left by Larry Eccleston on Aug 30, 2010 9:47 AM

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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I just revisited the comments I made a while back and discovered the typo I made in the first comment. Is "gramacing" grimacing about grammar?
Left by Larry Eccleston on Sep 19, 2010 9:24 PM

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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I've seen some mention online about "does'nt jive with me" being ok, since the origin of the word "jive" is obscure. But anyone who remembers the 70's knows that "Jive talking" is something you don't want done to you, because that means the speaker is trying to play you for a fool.

Since we are on the subject of annoying misuse of words, I'll throw mine in: "controversial", used badly in "Here's a look at Madonna's never-before seen controversial video." People have started thinking it means potentially or actually wild and offensive, when it just means that something is being hotly debated.
Left by Tribalnoizes on Jan 29, 2011 12:37 AM

# re: "taking off momentarily" doesn't "jive"
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First Harry Potter film: the sorting ceremony will begin momentarily! British actress, American script-writer?
Left by Chris on May 12, 2014 9:19 AM

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