More than 500 copy editors (over 500 copy editors? does it really matter?) attended this year's American Copy Editors Society (ACES) conference, which took place in Pittsburgh from March 26–March 28. (Yes, a conference for copy editors actually exists, and yes, it's really, really fun, in case you were wondering.)
We thought this presented a great opportunity to find out what really grinds the gears of some self-professed word nerds. The conclusion? Opinions as split as infinitives and a lot of support for the singular "they."
We asked a room full of copy editors and copyediting aficionados, "What's your grammar or word pet peeve?" Here are their responses:
1. There were strong feelings about "impact" as a verb.
3. And acceptance of the singular "they" was a running theme throughout the conference.
6. To split or not to split? Things got real.
9. Some debated whether "whom" should pack up and leave.
11. Others were incensed by phrasing that's just plain wrong.
13. There was this slayer of redundancy.
14. ...this champion of proper dash usage...
15. ...and every teacher's nightmare.
16. Others decided to focus their disdain on specific words.
20. A few hated on slang.
23. And some got fired up by misuse of certain words and phrases.
29. There was the anti–Oxford comma activist.
30. And finally, this kind peacemaker, who simply has the right idea.
All photos by Emmy Favilla for BuzzFeed.