Log in

No account? Create an account
12 July 2015 @ 12:14 pm
Quick Question for Americans  
I have a usage question, fingers crossed there are a couple of people ambling by who can answer it.

I know that the use of 'I could care less' for 'I couldn't care less' is regional in the US (it's confusing to the rest of us, but once you know it exists and isn't an ironic turning of the phrase, it's easily understood, so no wuckers (as about 11 Australians still say).)

HOWEVER, I see an enormous amount of 'That's such a cliché ending,' but I don't know whether that's US standard, like aluminum*, or US regional like could care less.


* I'd say it was all Noah Webster's fault, which it pretty much is, but Humphry Davy started the whole palaver. I read an hilarious blog about ten years ago with a British scientist ranting about the fact that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry's ruling in favour of aluminium was broadly ignored in the US. 'Fine!' he wrote. 'In that case, Sulphur! SULPHUR! Phuck you all!'
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on July 12th, 2015 02:34 am (UTC)
My hobby is setting on fire the writing of people who use "cliché" where it should be "clichéd". I was also raised by a grammar fanatic, in Alaska. It may be regionally accepted, but that doesn't make it right.

Edited at 2015-07-12 02:36 am (UTC)
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on July 12th, 2015 03:05 am (UTC)
Not much help as Canadian, but up here we say cliched (pretend there's an accent there). Although, it depends on the sentence structure. While I would say "That's such a cliched ending," I would also say, "That ending was so cliche." So I'm super not helpful! lol

Also, hi!
(no subject) - taradiane on July 12th, 2015 03:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 12th, 2015 05:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - napchic on July 17th, 2015 10:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 12th, 2015 03:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - azurelunatic on July 12th, 2015 03:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 12th, 2015 05:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - inamac on July 13th, 2015 08:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
Tarataradiane on July 12th, 2015 03:07 am (UTC)
Me and my sister once had an argument about 'could care less' versus 'couldn't care less.' I told her it made no sense to say 'could care less' when you are clearly trying to convey that the level of your caring is at zero, meaning you literally could not care less than you already do....ergo, you couldn't care less. She never did get it.

And to this day, when she says she 'could care less,' I have to dig at her a little bit and say 'okay, well let me know when you're done caring since you still clearly care a little bit.'

But I'm in Ohio, where we apparently leave out 'to be' when we say things like 'it needs cleaned' and the like. So what do I know?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 12th, 2015 05:44 am (UTC)
It confused me SO MUCH the first time I heard it because I didn't know if it was
i. a mistake, like 'If you think that you've got another thing coming', which falls into common use because it sounds OK;
ii. a perfectly acceptable variant based on regional usage, or;
iii. a cheerfully ironic use of the phrase in the way people sometimes say 'cheap at half the price' meaning much too expensive rather than getting cheap at twice the price backwards.

And I am easily confused, due to having too many Englishes in my head at the best of times!

We've all got weird local things, though. Australians run words together in different ways than I'm used to, and I still have SE English constructions that make people look at me blankly. I told Mr B "You go through these lights and take the following left" and he not only missed it but ranted, '"What's a following left? Why would it be following me? If it's following, how can it be coming up?!" I should add that he is a giant bumhead sometimes.
(no subject) - taradiane on July 12th, 2015 05:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kath_ballantyne on July 14th, 2015 03:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 01:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
khalulukhalulu on July 12th, 2015 03:42 am (UTC)
It took me a moment to see what your question was, which tells me cliché as an adjective (in place of clichéd) seems like a common or acceptable variant to me. Cliché originated as a French past participle, after all (from the verb clicher, to stereotype, Google Translate informs me), and could be considered to be borrowed as such for use as an adjective, similar to passé. So I guess it is common in the US but not universal nor universally accepted.

Here's an article that might be of interest, with an Ngram of "so cliché" vs "so clichéd" usage. http://throwgrammarfromthetrain.blogspot.com/2011/09/thats-so-cliched.html

Here's a post from someone who apparently writes a blog about grammar, which uses both forms apparently without noticing! (Compare 2nd and final paragraphs) http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2014/stay-away-from-these-5-cliche-endings/

ETA: I see you brought up the French part while I was composing my answer!

Edited at 2015-07-12 03:48 am (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 12th, 2015 05:37 am (UTC)
HEE! But it's a terrific answer, thank you for it. Good articles, too. It's so hard getting your head around an English you don't use regularly. I have read any number of people on LJ saying 'We say cliche ending' and Ben Yagoda saying the same thing in a more scholarly way, but then it occurred to me that it was likely that it wasn't universal, because even in Britglish there were years of debate of whether to hold the French or Anglicised form as accurate.

Luckily for me, I have lots of clever friends!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 01:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 02:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - khalulu on July 12th, 2015 04:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 02:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Josephine Stonejosephinestone on July 12th, 2015 06:47 am (UTC)
I have never heard or seen clichéd in my life. Only cliché. I had no idea you could put the d on the end. If its regional: mid-west and Texas.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 02:03 pm (UTC)
It's true!

I had the same thing with furor without an E; I knew the American pronunciation, but assumed it was still spelled like the Australian (same pron, spelled furore) because I had only ever heard it spoken. I remember looking at the word fur-or in print and drawing a complete blank, until about two pages later, my brain went 'DER!'
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 02:05 pm (UTC)
But I will get SENSIBLE answers there with impassioned arguments! I like flippant answers with funny anecdotes ;-) (Thank you for the link, though, it looks tremendous.)

Molberg Speak is one of my favourites!
divertazscdivertazsc on July 12th, 2015 01:01 pm (UTC)
Southerners hardly ever used cliched, we always say "that's such a cliche". But we don't really speak like anyone else in the country. Correct grammar is an anomaly in the deep south.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 02:05 pm (UTC)
But you have such attractive accents that perfect grammar would be wasted, and would only ruin the languid cadences.
ozdobeozdobe on July 12th, 2015 06:37 pm (UTC)
How about toilets? Mens and Womens. There is a lot of money invested in those signs.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC)
I have a friend, who has taken more steps down the subeditorial path of madness than I, who carries a pen to insert apostrophes in exactly those signs.

(I confess I carry a similar pen, but I use it to draw business suits on women who are patially clad in poster adverts for no reason.)
Gayle Madwinqueerbychoice on July 12th, 2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
Second-generation Californian here, and I had to click through to the comments to figure out what you thought was odd about "That's such a cliché ending."
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 02:08 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say odd, but I would say divergent usage ;-)

Funnily enough, I seem to recall that Britglish orginally used the French form, too and there was debate in the UK when it was Anglicised. I shoudl probably look that up, but it requires free time.
l.m.incandescent on July 13th, 2015 11:29 am (UTC)
Here on the East Coast, it's "I couldn't care less".

"That's so cliche" or "That's such a cliche ending" is not as frequently used. The former more in my area than the latter. It does tend to have a snobby, West Coast kind of vibe to it. So if you say it, prepare to pile on the disdain. :)
l.m.incandescent on July 13th, 2015 11:30 am (UTC)
Oh man, see above. Pffft. (Not that it's actually snobby, but that's the impression that is generally received over here.)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 02:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
auntpurl: tek captain americaauntpurl on July 13th, 2015 11:52 am (UTC)
In Philadelphia, it's cliché - never clichéd that I've seen/heard. And I had to make an adjustment when I moved to London because the American pronunciation follows the French - with the accent at the end of the word. The Brits saying CLEE-shay really confused me. :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 14th, 2015 02:13 pm (UTC)
We do it to annoy Americans, French and Italians, you know ;-)
(no subject) - auntpurl on July 14th, 2015 02:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Admiral of Strange Shipsnoeon on July 18th, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
This post is very fun to witness. *smiles and waves like a lexicographic loon*