Monday, April 17, 2006

Language Pet Peeve

Over the past year, I've noticed a particular mis-use of the English language that drives me nuts. Picture this scenario: you're in a group of people, and someone asks the group a question. The proper response, from the person who knows the answer, is: "I can address that," or "I can answer that." But what I keep hearing is: "I can speak to that." What the heck kind of English is that? Every meeting, every conference call: "I can speak to that." "Heather, can you speak to Paul's question?" "Today I'm going to speak to the new software." And so on. For a while, I thought it was an epidemic that was specific to my office. But I have heard it twice on NPR shows and once on an educational TV show on PBS. So it is a nationwide epidemic, apparently. It makes me want to scream.

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