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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

HOW

I've recently witnessed several incorrect uses of this word in the form of a question. Perpetrators include NPR, ESPN, CNN, and 60 Minutes. Examples (made up) of how (!) this manifests:
  • How upset are you that you've lost your precious Teddy Bear? I'm very upset.
  • How big of a concern is the subprime mortgage crisis? Very big.
  • Talk about how much of an influence Joe has had on the team. I don't know how to measure "influence." Is it metric?
This is annoying because use of the word "how" in this context is demanding that the answerer quantify the unquantifiable.

Comments welcome, but please appreciate that we don't really care if anyone agrees with us. This is strictly a cleansing exercise for us.

2 comments:

The Mumbler said...

How much does the missuse of this work annoy you?

The Mumbler said...

And how much does the misspelling of misuse annoy you further?