Flutterby™! : Pet peeve OTD

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Pet peeve OTD

2006-09-25 15:34:27.594476+00 by Dan Lyke 13 comments

Yes, I know language is changing and dynamic and all of that, but there's one construct that drives me nuts: people who use "jibe" as "agree with":

In these final stages of writing a cookbook, both the editor and a copy editor goes over the book with a fine-toothed comb, looking for errors and making sure things jibe.

The word you're looking for is "jive", although I can tell from your usage that you've never been on a sailboat.

It's right up there with "cut the mustard".

[ related topics: Language ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: cut the mustard made: 2006-09-25 16:19:35.308593+00 by: Ben Williams

What's wrong with "cut the mustard"? It seems like a perfectly cromulent phrase.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-25 16:30:25.718482+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

If, as O. Henry did, you're using it as a pun, that's fine, I've nothing against puns... I just hate to embiggen the term.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-25 16:42:11.570961+00 by: ebradway

I axe dat you insure dat de reader jibes wid de imbedded meaning...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-25 17:34:49.88216+00 by: mvandewettering

I couldn't care less about misuse of the word "jibe".

Or do I mean, "I could care less"?

And does the question mark above go inside the quotes or outside?

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-25 17:43:23.261253+00 by: topspin

The oddness in my mind of the cited example is why someone discussing writing a cookbook would use the "fine-toothed comb" metaphor which conjures the image of lice and such beasties.

Better is the fine mesh sieve metaphor, methinks.

#Comment Re: Jibe made: 2006-09-25 18:44:26.107611+00 by: bobblebedma [edit history]

You should check the dictionary: [Merriam Webster] jibe 4 entries found for jibe. To select an entry, click on it. gibejibe[1]jibe[2,verb]jibe[3,intransitive verb]

Main Entry: 3jibe Function: intransitive verb Inflected Form(s): jibed; jib-ing Etymology: origin unknown : to be in accord : AGREE (1 row)

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-25 19:15:56.780371+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, just because it's been in use since 1902 doesn't make it right...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-27 17:19:01.300264+00 by: Nancy

My pet language peeve? That chicken on your plate is NOT healthy. It is dead. It might, however, be heathful.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-27 23:43:45.435332+00 by: Jerry Kindall [edit history]

According to the OED, "gibe" dates from 1813, the "jibe" spelling dates from 1894, and "jive" in this sense doesn't appear until... 1943 (though the sense of the two seems to be slightly different -- "jibe" means "agree" and is used like "jibes with," while "jive" means "make sense" and is used without the "with"). Clearly they're related though.

Not worth getting peeved about, IMHO.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-28 00:03:25.15195+00 by: Dan Lyke

Huh. Thanks for the reference, Jerry. I'd never run into jibe in any sense other than sailing.

In sailing, it's turning so that the wind shift happens across the stern rather than the bow (which is "coming about"), a move to be taken with some consideration because if there's slack in the main sheet the boom may do dynamic and potentially bad things. So when I hear someone say "...jibes with...", I have visions of that frantic scramble, when you're not sure if the call was "jibe ho... duck!" or "jibe... oh fu...", with people frantically ducking and getting clear of tackle and, from a place near the deck, hoping the mast doesn't get snapped off.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-28 00:31:12.939709+00 by: Dan Lyke

Huh, dictionary.com's entry on "gibe" says:

  1. to utter mocking or scoffing words; jeer.


  1. to taunt; deride.


  1. a taunting or sarcastic remark.

And also mentions "gibe" from 1560-70, meaning "to handle roughly, shake". It's weird that in the midst of all of those other meanings, somehow "agreement" shook out in the mid 1800s.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-29 20:45:05.749459+00 by: Jerry Kindall

Yeah, Dictionary.com generally isn't bad, but I sure am glad my local library gives its patrons online access to the OED. :)

#Comment Re: made: 2006-09-29 21:37:38.166303+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, that'd get me to get a library card!