Peeves of the Day

Because it has been entirely too cold up here of late, and cold weather makes me peevish.

Peeve the first:  Mixing up tic and tick.

A tick is a bloodsucking parasitical insect.  (Okay.  Technically, an arachnid.)  Or the sound made by a clock.  Or a check mark against an item in a list.

A tic is an involuntary muscular movement.

So a character with a facial tick . . . no, I don’t want to go there.  Just thinking about it makes me twitch.  Gives me a tic, if you will.

Peeve the second:  Oh and O.

“Oh!” is the interjection:

“Oh, no!”

“Oh, what a day!”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake!”

O is the particle that goes in front of a noun that is the name of somebody or something that is being directly addressed by the speaker:

“O Lord, we beseech thee….”

“Hear me, O King!”

“O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches!”

If we were talking in Latin, O would go with nouns in the vocative case.  In modern English, it tends to show up in archaic or formalized or poetic speech . . . and in the manuscripts of writers who are attempting, with varying degrees of success, to write forsoothly.

To whom I can only say:  If you’re going to do it, get it right.

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