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Peeve

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Peeve

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:29 pm

• peeve •


Pronunciation: peev • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, Noun

Meaning: 1. (Verb) To vex, annoy, pester, irritate, irk. 2. (Noun) An irritation, an annoyance, something that vexes, irks, or gets on your nerves. 3. A state of irritation, as a fit of peeve.

Notes: Today's word comes with an adjective, peevish, which predates it; in other words, it is a back-derivation of peevish (see Word History). The adjective comes with an adverb, peevishly, and a noun, peevishness. We all have pet peeves, an irritation that stands out from all others. Mine is spam. Each day I must contend with 50-100 pieces of it.

In Play: Everyone has a pet peeve: "Rhoda Book's pet peeve is mixing metaphors, like, 'It's not rocket surgery'." Her sister Rita's is the mispronunciation of mispronunciation as mispronounciation. Everyone has a pet peeve, but common, ordinary occurrences can often peeve us: "Harriet was peeved at her (former) friend's mentioning Harriet's age at the office party."

Word History: Today's Word was back-formed from peevish, as mentioned above. Back-formation is a process by which speakers of a language misanalyze a word, finding another word inside it. Pea is the classic example. Historically, this word was peas, a singular noun referring to peas collectively, like wheat and rye. But speakers later took the final S as a plural marker, and soon everyone was saying, "one pea". The same happened to peeve, which was back-formed from peevish. So whence peevish? We think it might have started out as Latin perversus "askew, awry, turned the wrong way". In fact, when peevish first entered English, it meant "perverse". That meaning soon migrated to "foolish" and thence to its current sense. (We are not at all peeved at offering our thanks to Kathy McCune of Norway for finding under foot such an interesting Good Word.)
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Re: Peeve

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:59 pm

Thanks to Kathy for a good word. I just finished a Norwegian mystery by Jø Nesbø.

That's a huge amount of spam. Both Yahoo and my cable accounts filter out most spam, and I recheck it occasionally to make sure it's not filtering out the wrong thing. I have sometimes been guilty of signing up for what I thought were occasional notices that turned out to be daily. I recentloy unsubscribed from several of those at the bottom of their spam pieces. Some are more easily escaped than others.
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Re: Peeve

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:21 pm

Pet peeve? people who put on right turn signal and then
turn left, and vice versa.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Peeve

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:03 pm

One of my pet peeves is still writers who dare to unnecessarily split infinitives.
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Re: Peeve

Postby gailr » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:50 pm

English has many idioms derived from archaic technology or culture. A minor peeve for me is seeing one of these perpetrated by someone who has (mis)heard the idiom but has never seen it written, does not understand its meaning, and renders is meaningless by substituting more familiar words.

examples: rain of terror and card before the horse
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Re: Peeve

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:50 pm

gailr: The Rain of Terror could refer to the fire and brimstone that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah. I see no reason for putting a card before of behind a horse. Horses can't read cards and a card would hardly suffice as a pooper-scooper. Help!
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Re: Peeve

Postby gailr » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:38 pm

I am quite certain that the contexts in which I have seen rain of terror do not indicate subtle minds making sociological or theological puns. Just saying...

Card before the horse used by people who have had little or no contact with horses, let alone carts.

:wink:
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Re: Peeve

Postby MTC » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:32 am

Putting the cart or card before the horse could lead to a "rein of terror."
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Re: Peeve

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:26 pm

And "terror" itself is an interesting word with several relatives. The OEtymD devotes an unusual amount of space to it. The word is special to me because as a child I created my own superhero, The Terror, who always dressed in black and was superior to all the others without super powers.
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