Renaming its more oppressive features, similar to People's Republic of Tyranny - the Berlin Wall was officially referred to as the Anti-Imperialistischer/Antifaschistischer Schutzwall (anti-imperialist or anti-fascist protection wall), both terms targeted at West Germany.
Many items related to religious holidays were renamed to comply with secular ideology. Easter bunny-shaped chocolate was called a Frühlingsschokoladenhohlkörper (springtime chocolate hollow body) and angel figurines on Christmas trees were called geflügelte Jahresendfigur (winged end-of-the-year figurines). Even for a language like German that's used to long concatenated words, they sound rather ridiculous. Scholarship is divided about how much these terms really caught on.
Foreign (especially American) words that entered German parlance, even those that were in use before WW 2, were replaced with Exactly What It Says on the Tin German words. Darts became Wurfspiel ("throwing game"), Supermarkt became Kaufhalle ("purchasing hall"), Comics became Bildergeschichten ("picture stories") etc. This was to emphasize that their versions were completely different from the corrupting capitalist counterparts.
West Germany wasn't shy of returning this in kind. In the early years after WW 2, the West German administration considered itself the only legitimate German state and refused to recognize even the existence an East German state. It used alternative names, such as Ostzone ("Eastern zone") or Sowjetische Besatzungszone ("Soviet Occupation Zone"). They also refused to recognize any country that maintained diplomatic relations with East Germany, with the exception of the Soviet Union (which was too big and important to piss off in this way) until Willy Brandt's Neue Ostpolitik (New Eastern Policy) of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
General Motors insists that you call the Chevrolet Volt an "extended range electric vehicle" instead of a hybrid, thanks.
Most runners object to being called "joggers", though the exact difference between "jogging" and running is unclear.
Anime fans do not like anime being referred to as "cartoon" because of the Animation Age Ghetto. However, referring to non-Japanese animation as "anime," no matter what its style or content, is also incorrect.
"They're graphic novels, not comics!" as well as "Manga is so not the same things as comic books!"
When the government allowed the production of comics in the GDR, the acceptable term for them was "Bildergeschichten" (picture stories). "Comics" was reserved for those nasty, capitalist products that corrupted the mind.
In France, "comics" is reserved for American comics, "manga" for Japanese comics or comics produced in that style, while the general term is "bandes dessinées". Although if you talk about "bandes dessinées" or BD (that's pronounced bay-day), people will most likely assume you're talking about Franco-Belgian comics.
Different sides of political issues usually have their own terminology that reflects and supports their underlying assumptions. This is known as "framing the debate."
A good case in point is waterboarding, which has shifted from "torture" (Khmer Rouge, Vietnam) to "enhanced interrogation technique" (War on Terror, Spanish-American War) several times in the past century and a half depending on whether the US government or its enemies were using it.
Actually the use during the Spanish-American War was never denied as being torture, and in fact American soldiers were court-martialed for using it. The War on Terror "enhanced interrogation" program is quite possibly the first time in history that anybody has denied that it's torture.
Another good example is the British Labour Party insisting the current government is not a "coalition", it's a "Conservative-led government" to focus attention on their old enemies rather than their sometime allies.
In current American politics, the health care legislation passed in 2010 (formally known as "the Affordable Care Act" or ACA) was christened "Obamacare", primarily by those who saw it as an albatross to hang around President Obama's neck—however "Obamacare" caught on to the extent that only a minority of Americans could even guess the real name now. During the re-election campaign, there has been a conscious effort by the Democratic party to use "Obamacare" when referring approvingly to the legislation, to try and counterweight the original negative connotation.
Richard M. Stallman refers to "GNU/Linux", the free operating system preferred by Playful Hackers everywhere. Many call it "Linux". He wants to differentiate the kernel (Linux), the program that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that are running, from the operating system as a whole; he claims that the GNU project deserves credit for writing much of the "userland", the part of the operating system made of libraries and utilities outside the kernel. He also wants people to recognize the idealism behind the project and community.
Since the rationale is that Linux is only a gear in the box while the "userland" is mostly, when not completely, GNU made, just like you say "Windows 7" not WINNT or "Mac OS X" not XNU, you should say GNU, not Linux, not even "GNU/Linux", that was actually a concession because of how popular that name is, it has a nice ring to it. Of course current distributions are so complex that they constitute their own brand of OS altogether.
"GNU/Linux" is also useful for distinguishing desktop and server Linux distributions, which use much GNU code, from "uClinux" or Linux on embedded devices, which replace most of the GNU code with lighter-weight alternatives.
And while we're on the subject, remember that you're supposed to pronounce it GNU slash Linux, merely saying GNU Linux won't do.
Stallman also stresses the difference between "freeware", that is, software that costs $0.00 but still has some restrictions on its use, and "free software", which can be used with absolutely no restrictions and is usually, but not necessarily, free of cost. He refers to the former as "free as in beer" and the latter as "free as in speech".
Also, staff and students Oxford Brookes University will often refer to Oxford University as "The Other University".
This is fairly common in the United States as well. If there are only a small number of major universities in a state, students and alumni of one school will often refer to the other school(s) in a similarly-derisive way.
Students and alumni of some colleges and universities are very particular about what their school should be called.
Ohio State students and graduates will insistently refer to their school as THE Ohio State University. They will also correct anyone who leaves off the "the". However, if anyone else actually does use the "the", there's a fairly good chance that they're making fun of these people and their silly insistence.
Same with the Florida State University, except it's a term without common currency outside of marketing material and sportscasts. (As an alum of FSU and resident of Tallahassee, only the school administration cares. Everyone else just calls it "FSU" or "Florida State".)
Johns Hopkins University suffers the same fate.
Some Cantabrigiens insist on "University of Cambridge" instead of "Cambridge University".
The University of Maine seems like it, but the students don't care. Unless you add an "in Machias" or a "Farmington", then most will assume you are talking about the flagship campus in Orono. Which some people call the university: simply Orono, since the town is known by most everybody who doesn't live there as "the location of the University of Maine" or "that one town near Bangor".
The athletic department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee insists that its teams be referred to as "Milwaukee" in the media. This is somewhat justified in that the school's name is a relic from the days when it was a satellite campus of the more widely-known University of Wisconsin-Madison and would be difficult to outright change for legal reasons. Still, you'd think that with all this insistence that they'd have changed the department's official domain name from "uwmpanthers.com" a long time ago.
There is only one "Mizzou": The University of Missouri - Columbia. University of Missouri - Kansas City, University of Missouri - St. Louis and Missouri State University are not Mizzou.
On the subject of universities - people from Canada (and possibly the US) use the term fairly interchangeably - calling it university, school, college, whatever. Ask a British university student "how school's going," however, and they will promptly bite your face off. They do not go to school. School is for children.
There's also the differentiation between 'university' and 'college'. Uni is where you go to get a degree (Honours, Masters, PhDs etc); college is where you go to get vocational training or high school-level qualifications. As such, there is some snobbery, so some uni students will be offended by any reference to their place of education as a college. (The exception being Oxbridge, where the unis are divided into separate colleges, which are a bit like houses in schools; the word in this context has a completely different meaning to any other context.)
Unless you go to Dartmouth College, which is, technically, a university. But don't call it "Dartmouth University" when talking to an alum. Even grad students will say, for example, "Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College."
The University of California, Berkeley discourages people from calling it UCB or The University of California at Berkeley, but calling it Berkeley, Cal, California, UC Berkeley, or by its whole name is acceptable.
Natives of the state of Indiana are not Indianans, they are Hoosiers. This despite the fact nobody actually knows what a Hoosier is. Really. There's no known etymology of the term.
American Indians would prefer you not call them "Native Americans." Call them by their tribal identities (Seminole, Arapaho, Comanche, etc.). Or if that's too much, call them "First Nations," or "Native people," or even "American Indians". But don't call them "Native Americans".
Inuit people don't like to be called Eskimo, but non-Inuit northern tribes don't like having their name subsumed.
Those Wacky Nazis got in on the act too. Joseph Goebbels apparently insisted that people refer to him by his proper title of Doctor Joseph Goebbels.
An incidence which occurs quite regularly within academia. A doctor is someone who holds a PhD, a professor is someone who holds the position of professor at a university (often the instructors are not technically professors, but lecturers).
Also, a Professor will bite your head off if referred to as "Doctor". A Doctor will be pretty chuffed to be called "Professor".
In title-obsessed Germany, none of a typical professor's titles are considered to subsume or supersede any of the others, and they should be formally addressed as "Herr *
Professor Doktor", with all their titles listed on descending order following "Herr" *
For example, the eminent, if slightly ludicrous, "Herr Professor Doktor Docktor Honorius Kausar Multiplex Paul Krutzen"
. And traditionally, Herr Doktor Professor's wife would be formally addressed as "Frau Professor", though this does not traditionally apply the other way around ("Herr Professor" for the husband of a female professor).
Irish millionaire Michael Smurfit insists on being referred to as "Dr. Smurfit", even though his Doctor of Law is only an honorary degree and honorary doctors rarely use the title. And people with a JD never use the title "doctor" anyway.
Hormel, the maker of SPAM luncheon meat, really hate that one of their brand names has been co-opted to mean "unsolicited e-mail advertising". So much so that they used to threaten to sue anyone who used "spam" in a name for a computer program.
They've relaxed a little bit; now they allow "spam" (no caps) to mean junk mail while "SPAM luncheon meat" (all caps) is the meat product.
U.S. Marines prefer to be called "Marines" rather than "soldiers." Those who have been honorably discharged also reject the phrase "ex-Marine," because "Once a Marine, always a Marine." "Retired", "veteran", "inactive", and so on are variously preferred.
Not all Naval junior rates are "Seamen." The rate of Seaman is a particular specialisation dealing with on deck evolutions and maintenance.
Naval aircraft pilots prefer the term "aviators."
Members of the Air Force are not "soldiers", they're "airmen". Which becomes more confusing because "Airman" is also a title of address for the four most junior ranks. Referring to a particularly touchy Staff Sergeant as "Airman" instead of "Sergeant" may get you a cross reaction. Similarly, Air Force personnel are reminded not to address airmen as "troops".
Some creators of anthropomorphic animal illustration are very insistent on not being called "furry artists."
As of sometime in 2008, the official term for people serving in AmeriCorps is "AmeriCorps members." Many individuals serving in AmeriCorps* VISTA, a Johnson-era program specializing in indirect service that was brought under the AmeriCorps banner in the 90s (and continues to use separate and frequently more restrictive training, rules and procedures from standard AmeriCorps) insist on being called Vistas, or at least on adding VISTA to whenever referring to themselves as AmeriCorps members.
Hacking is a clever use of computer code. Scamming is the use of techniques to get users to divulge their own passwords. What laypeople refer to as "Hacking" is often just them just having their poor computer security habits being taken advantage of by a scammer. The word "hacking" has no security connotations at all among IT professionals and computer scientists, and is rarely even used in that context.
Expect a polite correction if you refer to a Central European country from the former Soviet bloc as being in Eastern Europe in the presence of a resident of one of these countries, especially the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland or Hungary. Czechs will point out that Prague is west of Vienna and nobody calls Austria Eastern Europe, and Poles will point out that the geographical centre of Europe is arguably located in their country. Although most people would argue it's in Lithuania.
In places that have changed hands often or recently, the name by which you call a country or city has a chance of offending the listener. It might well be Istanbul, not Constantinople ... but I don't recommend using the former among a crowd of Greeks. Nor would it be a smart move to refer to "Gdansk" in the presence of anyone whose grandparents were forcibly expelled from what had been the German city of Danzig for the millennium preceding WWII.
The British art gallery brand Tate once asked taxi drivers to correct passengers wanting to go to "the Tate"; they actually wanted to go to "Tate Britain". Spell My Name Without a The, to distinguish the original gallery (now Tate Britain) from the newer Tate Modern gallery which is a couple of miles away from the original gallery. To which a snarky fare might reply, "OK, take me to the British Museum instead."
Never call a zoophile a "bestialist". They love their animals, and bestialists are simply perverts who only use animals for sex.
In the American South, the Civil War is often called "The War Between the States," "The Second War of Independence," or the "War of Northern Aggression" instead, depending on the politics of the Southerner.
Battles often have different names depending on the side:
Two American Civil War engagements fought in 1861 and 1862 at a strategic railroad junction in northern Virginia are either called the First and Second Battles of Manassas, or of Bull Run, depending on whether they are being described from the Confederate or the Union perspective. (There are a couple other discrepancies of this type in Civil War military history, as the Union tended to use local rivers or streams to identify battlefields and the Confederacy usually went with the name of the nearest town.)
The battle that resulted in the defeat of the Teutonic Knights by a Polish-Lithuanian army is known as Grunwald by the Poles and (the first battle of) Tannenberg by Germans.
One big English victory in the Hundred Years War is called the battle of Poitiers in English, but that of Maupertuis in French (probably to avoid association with the earlier battle of Tours and Poitiers, in which Charles Martel defeated the Arabs).
Napoleon's first defeat in the field is called the battle of Aspern by the victorious Austrians and pretty much everybody else, while many French to this day persist on calling it the battle of Essling.
One of the early battles of the Wars of Liberation is called Lützen by the victorious French, but Großgörschen by the Prussians and Russians, probably to avoid confusion with the battle of Lützen in the Thirty Years' War in which king Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was killed.
Napoleon's defeat on 18 June, 1815, is called the battle of Waterloo after the town several miles from the battlefield where Wellington had his HQ before and after the battle. (Actually, the first impulse had been to call it the battle of Mont Saint-Jean, after the ridge where Wellington's allied army made its stand). However, the Prussians insisted on calling it the battle of La Belle Alliance after the farm where Blücher and Wellington met in the late stages of the battle.*
Blücher liked the name's symbolism "beautiful union". Non-British writers have kept it alive to remind people that it was a victory for 2 armies (something English historians have been known to forget). Wellington's army itself was a hodge-podge of (mostly raw) British and (sometimes unreliable) allied Dutch, Belgians, and assorted non-Prussian Germans.
The Battle of the Bulge is called the Ardennes Offensive in German.
The Eastern Front of World War II is known as "The Great Patriotic War" in Russia.
Similarly, the Pacific Front of World War II is known as "The Asia-Pacific War" in Japan.
Citizens can finally get a taste of American-style fast food in a new restaurant opened in the capital of the isolated country, as long as they do not ask for a hamburger. Instead, patrons of the Samtaeseong diner, which opened in Pyongyang in July 2009, have to order a suspiciously similar "minced beef with bread".
North Koreans reject the name "North Korea" due to their non-recognition of South Korea. They insist that their country is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the DPRK, or simply Korea. In the Korean language, they also use different words for Korea: "Joseon" in the North and "Hanguk" in the South.
As seen on the documentary series Vice, North Korean officials will insist that their "Supreme Leaders" be referred to by title rather than just by their names.
South Koreans reject the term South Korea, instead officially calling themselves the Republic of Korea.
The use of the word "American" to mean people from outside of the United States can be a complicated prospect. Some Canadians and Mexicans don't like it, while others think that they're just as much "American" as any other person from the American continents. South American Spanish speakers actually have a distinct word for people just from the United States: "estadounidense," which is sort of like "United Statesian."
If a Canadian lives in BC or Alberta, Ontario is very much an Eastern province. If they live in Nova Scotia, then they might go "out West", while referring to anywhere from Ontario to BC, although most often Alberta.
Don't call an Afrikaner "Dutch" or even "kind of like the Dutch". Even though they're normally the first to mention their Dutch heritage or explain themselves to foreigners, if a foreigner then comes to the conclusion that they're "basically Dutch people in Africa" it tends to get them very upset. The very fact that they call ourselves Afrikaners (Dutch and old Afrikaans for "African") comes from a time when they were trying to make it very clear that they didn't want to pay taxes to a bunch of Europeans. In the old days, they were "Boers", which means "farmers"—"Afrikaner" referred to black Africans.
Many holders of PhD degrees, as well as MD, DDS, and similar medical degrees are emphatically insistent on being referred to as Dr. Your Name Here, not Mr./Ms./Mrs.
In the UK, there is no legal protection for the term Engineer, so anyone can call themselves one. In an attempt to correct this problem, people with actual engineering degree will insist on calling the man that comes to fix your washing machine a 'technician' rather than an engineer.
The term Brontosaurus is a now obsolete synonym for Apatosaurus. Paleontologists will be quick to correct anyone that uses the term Brontosaurus.
Pastor Ernie Sanders, a right wing fundamentalist radio preacher in the Cleveland area, has a version of this trope that many people will find offensive. According to Sanders, Democrats are "socialists" and/or "communists", homosexuals are "sodomites", etc.
Incidentally, most actual socialists/communists/assorted other far left groups object to being compared to the Democratic Party, the mainstream of which is too conservative for their tastes. Center-lefties tend to return the favor, as the center left tends to have no particular problem with (properly regulated) capitalism and don't tend to hold the more collectivist principles of socialism and Communism as gospel. (Also, Communists are a radical subset of socialists, etc.)
so people would have to address him as "Mr." This came out of watching people call his grown male relatives "boy" due to the institutional racism of the day:
"I think about my father being called 'boy,' my uncle being called 'boy,' my brother, coming back from Vietnam and being called 'boy.' So I questioned myself: 'What does a black man have to do before he's given the respect as a man?' So when I was 18 years old, when I was old enough to fight and die for my country, old enough to drink, old enough to vote, I said I was old enough to be called a man. I self-ordained myself Mr. T so the first word out of everybody's mouth is 'Mr.' That's a sign of respect that my father didn't get, that my brother didn't get, that my mother didn't get."
B.C. and A.D. versus B.C.E. and C.E. is a particularly odd one. Using one of those terms might prompt someone to "correct" you to the equivalent from the other set, but the fact of the matter is that a vast majority of people don't really care. Oftentimes there are people who aren't even aware one or the other exists: B.C/A.D for younger generations, B.C.E/C.E. for older ones.
People who work for the ChaCha search engine, known as "guides", are forbidden from not adhering to ChaCha's original spelling. chacha, Chacha, Cha Cha, etc. are NOT okay.
Dick Gregory would rather be known as a humourist than a comedian, the former being less elitist and planned out than the latter.
In the theater world, there is a clear distinction between a soundboard operator and sound engineer. An operator simply operates, and often does little more than turn mics on and off at the beginning and end of the show, with a little bit of pre-show music. An engineer fiddles with the settings of every mic, sometimes mid-show, runs a complex set of music and sound effects, and will be very offended if you call them an operator.
In 2009, US Senator Barbara Boxer caught some heat while holding a congressional hearing. When Brigadier General Michael Walsh addressed her as "ma'am", she requested that he address her as "Senator". This touched off a nationwide debate as to whether it was acceptable for the officer to abide by military conventions (in which "ma'am" is an accepted term for all women) or if he should address the senator by her preferred honorific.
Walmart has no employees. They call them "associates". Also, they don't make profit, but "surplus".
Medical marijuana users don't get high, they medicate. "Getting high" refers specifically to consuming it for the recreational side effect, rather than for any medicinal reason. This is similar to how taking a dose of cough syrup is "fighting a cold" and chugging the bottle is "attempting an hallucinogenic trip."
You better be careful if you're at Augusta National Golf Club, host site of The Masters Tournament. Those rich folks don't like you calling their "second cut" as the rough (granted it is much shorter than the rough on most golf courses) or their Masters "patrons" as the gallery, fans, or so on. CBS' Gary McCord even got a lifetime ban from the course by comparing the greens to a bikini wax. They also prefer "flagstick" to "pin" and insist on the name Augusta National, instead of just Augusta.
Call someone who is into trains a trainspotter, and they will nearly always correct you that they are a railway enthusiast or "railfan". This is actually more accurate in most cases, as many are not trainspotters in the traditional sense, preferring to travel on or photograph trains as opposed to simply collecting numbers. The negative connotations of the term "trainspotter" (especially in the UK) of course are a big factor. The same can apply to any other "spotters".
Birdwatchers are emphatically not twitchers. Birdwatchers study birds, twitchers only want to count how many species they can lay claim to. Or so birdwatchers say.
In the UK, several supermarkets have recently started referring to their staff as "colleagues". (E.g. restricted areas will be labelled "colleagues only" rather than "staff only", staff announcements issued over the PA system will be described as "colleague announcements", and signs will tell customers that if they need help they should "ask a colleague", rather than "ask a member of staff"). The last example is particularly stupid, as a shoppers' colleagues are the people they themselves work with, not the staff in the supermarket they're shopping in.
This is presumably intended to mimic the large department store chain John Lewis Partnership (colloquially referred to as Lewis'), which refers to its staff as Partners. Unlike the supermarkets above, JLP is slightly more justified in this respect, as technically its staff are also the owners of the company, so to speak, and are entitled to a share of the profits.
Nationalists in Northern Ireland (and most residents of the republic as well) refer to the city in the west of Northern Ireland as "Derry". Unionists (and most residents of the rest of the UK) refer to it as "Londonderry". The distinction is so well-known in Ireland that it's often a convenient shortcut of figuring out an individual's political allegiances (and often their religion too).
The Nationalist community tend to self-identify as "Irish", while the Unionist community self-identify as "British" (or "Ulster" / "Ulster Scots"). As such, Nationalists insist on referring to the Six Counties as "Northern Ireland", while Unionists often prefer "Ulster", stressing what they see as a distinct, non-Irish identity. For those unsure of the identity of any one individual "Northern Irish" and "Northern Ireland" are generally considered acceptable neutral terms, at least until any particular preferences are highlighted. (For nitpickers, Ulster also includes Donegal, which is part of the Republic of Ireland and extends farther north than Northern Ireland does.)
The insistent theatrical terminology carries further: uniforms are "costumes", places visible to guests are "onstage" while places not visible to guests are "backstage". When you factor in the high frequency of acronyms, you basically need to learn a new language to work there.
Also, Cast Members have "roles" rather than job descriptions.
Not just at the parks: employees of the publishing arm, a thousand miles from Florida, are Cast Members.
Most Quebec sovereigntists don't like to be called separatists because that term has a negative connotation; it puts emphasis on the destruction of the country by separation, and is reminiscent of terrorism.
Interestingly, while the term was first used by sovereigntist politicians who wanted to avoid the negative connotations of "separatist", it has now become the most widely used term, including by most federalists. "Separatist" is now often (especially in sovereigntist circles) associated with fear-mongering and demagogy.
Trostkyite is a right-wing and/or Stalinist term of abuse. Trotskyist is someone who agrees with the political theories of Leon Trotsky.
Except in the real Stalinist USSR they were called "trotskisty", literally "trotskyists", even in the most accusing official press.
Not uncommon in the retail industry, at least when referring to part-time employees, salespeople become sales associates, stylists, style consultant and so on. Generally, the more high end the retailer the more important-sounding your job title becomes.
On that note, Starbucks does not have small/medium/large drinks. It has Tall, Grande, and Venti. Cue eye-rolling across America.
People who have no problem being a "minority" will object to being called "abnormal" or "unusual", because of the negative connotations of the latter. Let's leave it at that.
Police officers are known for stressing that Tasers and the such are less lethal weapons, as opposed to non-lethal weaponry. After all, lucky shots (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) can happen. Or the target may have a heart problem.
There is also no such thing as a Bulletproof Vest — only bullet-resistant vests, or body armor.
From an etymological standpoint, there's nothing wrong with calling a particular protective garment bulletproof, providing you remember a proof is a test, not a guarantee it will stop a bullet. Well, it also needs to have had a test round fired at it. And due to the way modern body armor works, the vest is only good for that kind of treatment once before it's no longer useful.
Vegetarians and vegans often refer to meat as "corpses" or "cadavers" and animal testing as "vivisection."
Non-meat-eaters who eat fish and non-meat-eaters who don't eat fish both claim that "vegetarian" refers primarily to their group. This is because, while there are words for the finer distinctions, "vegetarian" is the only term that will be familiar to most people. Vegetarians who do not eat fish may insist that anyone who does is technically a pescetarian, not a vegetarian.
If it has flips, it's not Parkour, it's free-running.
By definition, parkour applies jumping, climbing and similar acrobatics to reach a destination as efficiently as possible. Flips, seen more in free-running, don't usually help your speed.
To many pro-life/anti-abortion activists, an unborn human is a "baby" — not a "fetus".
That said, nobody really objects if the word "baby" is applied to a fetus outside of the abortion context - how many people have you heard say "the fetus just kicked"? In this case and many others, both sides tend to be guilty of getting into pointless semantic rows.
Along the same lines, "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are the correct terms to use — not "anti-abortion" or "pro-abortion".
If one really wants to set them off, refer to them as "anti-life"/"pro-death" and "anti-choice". This is true of nearly any political debate; the prefix "anti-" carries an air of negativity, and the suffix "-ist" suggests that this one behavior or belief is the person's only defining characteristic.
For reference, a magazine is a container of ammunition. On a gun, it's the part of the gun that stores the bullets that will be fired, which on some guns is removable so you can replace an empty one with a full one. A clip is multiple bullets held together by a piece of metal, designed for quickly refilling a magazine (handy if you need to reload your spent magazines while you are being shot at.)
On a similar note, it's not a silencer, it's a suppressor. There's no such thing as a true "silencer"; you can't completely muffle the sound of a gun firing, only suppress it. This is a nearly equally effective methods of trolling firearms enthusiasts as the clip/magazine distinction.
Although the man who invented (Hiram Percy Maxim) it called it the Maxim Silencer.
Xerox used to take out ads saying "'Xerox' is a registered trademark of the Xerox Corporation and as such should only be used to refer to its products and services." Those associated with the company tend to develop a rather alarming twitch when they hear someone refer to photocopying a document as "xeroxing" it. This is rather common because of how American trademark law works; see Stuck on Band-Aid Brand for more examples.
People don't die of certain diseases, such as AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, or Diabetes, but instead they die of complications of those diseases. For medical examiners, proximate vs. ultimate cause of death is an important issue that has bearing on whether a death is natural, accidental, or intentional. For example, with a death from hypoglycemic coma, the proximate cause is asphyxiation due to respiratory failure while the ultimate cause is diabetes leading to a major drop in blood sugar. If the drop in blood sugar may have been intentionally induced, then the death is a potential homicide.
Many self-proclaimed "geeks" don't like being mistaken for "nerds", which is a whole other thing, and vice versa.
Target (the department store) thrives on this trope. Customers are "Guests". Employees are "Team Members". Bosses are "Team Leaders". Meetings are "Huddles". The manager is the "Leader on Duty". Human Resources is the "Team Service Center". This also leads to a mouthful of saying things like "Guest Service Team Leader", so acronyms are heavily employed.
There's a reason people jokingly refer to it as "Targét"; the company seems to really think it's higher-class than it really is.
People from outside of the United States refer to Association Football as "football" for short, while Americans use the term "soccer" instead, preferring to use "football" to describe American Football. Both sides seem to hate the term "football" being used for the "wrong" sport. Ironically, the nickname soccer originated in Britain, not America.
British sports fans refer to "ties" as "draws" and American fans use the opposite.
"I do not play villains... I play very interesting people."
Apple's retail stores are quite fond of this trope. They're Geniuses, not technicians. They're Specialists, not sales associates. It's not selling; it's "presenting solutions." Metrics are "results," not numbers.
9/11 Truthers claim for their Conspiracy Theories that the demolitions that bought down WTC 1,2, and 7 were caused by a substance known as "nano-thermite". Their opposition will derisively refer to it as "super-thermite", one of its other names. The Truthers will almost inevitably "correct" their opposition with "nano-thermite".
One common Truther claim was that the Twin Towers and WTC 7 fell "into their own footprint", as proof positive of controlled demolition. Problem is, they didn't. The Truther will promptly move the goalposts to some variant of "almost in their own footprint". Not even close; the debris field of the Towers was over five times the size of their footprint, and the WTC 7 debris hit several buildings all around it.*
At this point, Truthers either ignore this information, or just repeat their earlier claim.
Some Truthers have switched to saying the Towers fell "directly downward". This is really the same thing as the "own footprint". For fun times, ask the Truthers if the Towers fell directly downward into their own footprint (which is provably false), or if they fell directly downward outside their own footprints(a contradiction in terms).
The words "obsession" and "passion" mean pretty much the same thing — but the former word has more of a negative connotation, while the latter is more positive sounding. Many will argue that an "obsession" is a "passion taken too far", but the issue of just how far is too far is a matter of debate.
Likewise, the words "fantasize" and "imagine" mean pretty much the same thing. People are usually encouraged to have an "imagination", but are usually discouraged from "fantasizing".
Formula One races; it's not "[proper adjective] Grand Prix", or "[name of country] Grand Prix", it's "Grand Prix of [name of country]".
Try calling a full Doctor Who story from the classic era an "episode" around an elitist fan. None will miss a chance to correct your blunder and insist you call it a serial.
Or go onto any Doctor Who message board and refer the main characters as "Doctor Who" (or, god forbid "Dr. Who"). They will remind you that he is "The Doctor".
The Times, British newspaper of record, may be printed on tabloid sized paper, but don't you dare call it a tabloid. It's a "quality compact", thank you very much!
The same is true of The Independent. The Guardian would also like to remind you that it is in the slightly-larger Berliner format.
If you're talking to or around a person from England, never refer to the most commonly known accent from that place as 'a British accent' unless you want to start a flame war. Its correct name is Received Pronunciation and it is most commonly used these days by Her Majesty the Queen and certain members of the House of Lords.
In addition, do not refer to the overall land area of the United Kingdom as "England" or British people as "English". The UK consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Especially not the Scots. They often don't like that.
EMTs and paramedics do not appreciate being called "ambulance drivers," and the titles "EMT" and "paramedic" are not interchangeable—paramedics have more training and can perform more procedures.
Actually until recently, Paramedics were officially EMT-Paramedic (as opposed to the lowest level EMT, who is an EMT-Basic). You'd probably still have been corrected if you called a Paramedic an EMT, but now it's a moot point.
When in doubt, "medical first responders" is a decent umbrella term.
Telecommuters are often now using the term "teleworking" because of the stigma the former term has accumulated.
Adult men who enjoy looking at pictures of nearly-naked fourteen year old girls frequently have a habit of responding to shrieks of disgust by explaining that they're not pedophiles, they're ephebophiles, as though explaining the semantic difference will mollify their critics.
They will often defend themselves by saying that teenagers are old enough to have sex, seeming completely oblivious to why it's wrong.
A rifle is a contraption containing a metal tube, which itself contains a spiral-shaped groove or grooves ("rifling") on the inside meant to increase the efficiency of straight-line projectiles fired through the tube. A gun is a contraption containing a metal tube through which straight-line projectiles are fired, or a masculine primary sexual characteristic (as referenced in a little poem that starts, "Thisis my rifle,thisis my gun"). Calling a rifle a gun is likely to irk any pedants with formal firearms training. Calling a smooth-bore gun a rifle is just wrong.
A "gun" is a large military weapon that fires in a relatively, for the most pedantic.
Pan Am chairman Juan Trippe never referred to his aircraft as planes; they were "ships". The pilot and copilot were the captain and first officer, and the speed was measured in knots. In fact, any time a nautical term appears in aviation, it can probably be traced back to Juan Trippe and Pan Am.
Airspeed is always measured in knots. Indeed, most aviation terminology has always borrowed from nautical terminology, due to the comparisons being so apt, and in many cases, being used for thigns that serve the same purpose, such as the rudder. That said, Pan Am had a long history of keeping the association far closer to heart, with individual aircraft having names in the fashion of sailing vessels rather than being referred to by tail codes or radio callsigns.
American football announcers — presumably fearful lest those of us watching/listening to the games get confused as to exactly which sport is being played — take great pains to insert the word football into as much of their commentary as possible. So instead of saying, "These players need to move the ball down the field if they're going to win this game", they'll go with something like, "These football players need to move the football down the football field if they're going to win this football game," and so forth.
Here's a supercut video an intrepid fan made of every time CBS analyst Phil Simms said "football" during a single telecast of an NFL game. (Total count: 58.)
Baseball announcers, by contrast, will often call entire games without mentioning the name of the sport. Instead, it's "the ballgame", "the ballpark", "the ballplayers", etc.
An inversion occurs in real life with the Super Bowl. "Super Bowl" is a trademarked phrase and can't be used in advertising without a nod from the NFL, hence the alternate term "The Big Game."
Many pro sports teams have gold as an official color. Almost none have yellow as an official color ("yellow" can also mean cowardly). Even teams whose shade of "gold" is very obviously yellow, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Athletics, Green Bay Packers, LA Lakers, and so on. Do not refer to those teams' colors as "yellow" around ardent fans; they will quickly correct you.
Billy Birmingham on his The Twelth Man sports and commentary parody cd's has an example where one commentator refers to the Australian Cricket team playing in "Canary Yellow." He is quickly rebuked:
"That's not Canary Yellow, that's Australian Gold my friend and don't you fucking forget it!"
The University of Michigan, whose colors are to sane people "yellow and blue", is very insistent that the proper term is "MAIZE and blue".
For the 2012 PGA Championship, any sandy area was literally called a "sandy area" by the announcers as opposed to the more common "bunker" or "sandtrap". This served a purpose though—to use the word "bunker" or "sandtrap" would explicitly imply the sand as a hazard (where golfers can't ground their club, remove loose impediments such as pebbles, etc.), but local rules for the tournament and prior events at that course state that all sandy areas were not to be treated as hazards.
Augusta National Golf Club, which hosts the Masters each year, has strict rules regarding what nomenclature CBS and its announcers can use when televising the event. It's the second cut, not the rough, and patrons, not spectators or fans. (One CBS commentator, Jack Whitaker, made the mistake of referring to a "mob" of patrons during a '60s Masters telecast, and was effectively barred from the event thereafter.)
It was once common for American broadcast and print media to refer to the third golf major of the year as the "British Open". At some point in the '90s somebody from the Royal & Ancient must have sent a memo out, because the event is now routinely called "The Open Championship" on both sides of the pond.
For right-wing Israelis, the West Bank is "Judea and Samaria". From this perspective, these territories are also not occupied by Israel, but rather "disputed" between Israel and a certain group of Arabs who call themselves Palestinians but (they say) are actually Jordanian.
The whole Arab-Israeli conflict may be the Most Triumphant Example of this trope. It often seems that the two sides cannot agree on the names for any of the important events or places in the conflict. A short list:
The 1948 war is called the War of Independence by the Israelis and the Catastrophe by the Arabs.
The 1956 war is called the Sinai Campaign by the Israelis, the Tri-Partite Aggression by the Arabs, and the Suez Crisis by the British and French (and by extension the rest of the West).
The 1967 war is called the Six Day War by the Israelis and the Setback by the Arabs.
The 1968-1970 war is a rare exception: both sides seem to agree on calling it the War of Attrition.
The 1973 war is called the Yom Kippur War by the Israelis and the Tenth of Ramadan War, or simply the Ramadan War, (or sometimes just the October War) by the Arabs.
The 1982 war is called the Lebanon War by Israelis, the Invasion by Arabs.
The 2000 war is usually called the Second Intifada or the al-Aqsa Intifada, although some Israelis will insist on calling it the Oslo War; this is a rare case where the Arab name has caught on more in the west.
When it comes to places, the capital of Israel is called Jerusalem by the Israelis, al-Quds by the Arabs. The land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is called Israel by the Israelis (duh), Palestine by the Arabs. What Israelis call the Temple Mount (a term that Westerners, especially Western Christians, also generally use) is called the Noble Sanctuary by Arabs (or, more precisely, by Muslims, although many Arabic-speaking Christians will use that term too, at least some of the time). The freshwater lake that feeds into the Jordan River is called the Kinneret by Israelis, but Lake Tiberias by the Arabs, and usually the Sea of Galilee by Westerners. The dispute over whether a certain bloc of territory is properly termed the West Bank or Judea and Samaria, and whether those territories are "occupied," "disputed," or "administered" has already been mentioned; this is another example where the terms generally more popular with the Arabs have caught on more in the West. Then there is the dispute over whether the barrier that the Israelis built on or near the Green Line is more properly a "wall" or a "fence." And this is hardly an exhaustive list.
Much like the distinctions between "graphic novel" and "comic" above, a serious writer produces "literary fiction", not "novels" (which refer to despicable genre or pulp fiction). This behavior dates back to the original, derisive use of the word novel—which meant "new thing"—at a time when interpersonal domestic fiction stories were things only written by women/for women. REAL (read: educated white male upper-class) authors wrote epic poetry or treatises.
For years, PETA has attempted to get the term "pet" replaced because they claim it's insulting to the animals. Their latest suggested replacement is "Animal Companion", causing gamers and snarks the world over to declare "If it doesn't grant me a Buff, it's not an Animal Companion."
They also wanted to people to call fish "sea kittens", because eating a kitty is a horrible thing to do.
Almost all pessimists will always call themselves realists. Occasionally they will refer to themselves as a cynic or skeptic, at least if it's clear they have tried to have a positive outlook and failed.
White supremacists often insist on referring to themselves as racialists or racial separatists, as if that makes their ideas any more respectable. Similarly, they often insist that they advocate "European-American pride" rather than "White pride".
In the same vein, members of organizations that officially deny the Holocaust (or claim that it wasn't as serious as the history books say) will insist that they are "Holocaust revisionists" rather than "Holocaust deniers".
BANG! The Entertainment Paper is not a newspaper, since the people who make the stories and comics within strive to entertain, not to detail current events.
TV Tropes has a few. For example, British television show Doctor Who 's main character (other than the companions, according to Word Of God) is named "The Doctor" as is Star Trek: Voyager 's holographic doctor who never settled on a proper name for himself. Any reference to "The Doctor" of Voyager will be followed by "no not that Doctor."
It is bus rapid transit (BRT)stations, not BRT stops. BRT has been gaining prominence through notable examples such as the Transitway in Ottawa, Canada, the TransMilenio system in Bogotá, Colombia, the Orange Line in Los Angeles (which was formerly a rail line), and other BRT systems in cities such as Mexico City and Curitiba, Brazil.
Taken to a logical extreme, some BRT proponents have resorted to calling the buses as "BRT vehicles". Even more so, Ottawa's bus system, OC Transpo, has considered the Transitway as the foundation of Canada's capital city's "Rapid Transit Network".
Until 1999, France officially used the expression "Événements d'Algérie" ("Algeria Events") instead of "Guerre d'Algérie" ("Algerian War"). During more than forty years, this conflict (which killed more than 150,000 people) wasn't considered to be an official war.
The USA does not use "Torture"; it uses "Aggressive Interrogation Methods".
In the U.S., "community service" is a term applied to forced labor on public causes as a punishment for a crime (often in lieu of prison time or a fine). In other countries, "community service" has a connotation more like the American term "volunteer hours".
Biologist Richard Dawkins insistently corrects people who say that they "believe in evolution", because evolution is a scientific principle. "Belief" is often used in a religious context and implies being rooted in an unchanging article of faith. Science, however, is always incomplete, meaning it is always subject to change based on new evidence. This is also applied to any other field of science by many anti-Science groups, who insist in using "believe" and refuse to recognize the distinction.
In Spain, two of the national languages, Spanish and Basque, are named in European Spanish as Castellano and Euskera and it's considered a disrespect in Spain if someone uses the names Espańol and Vasco instead, especially if you're from Latin America.
Many LARPing organizations that use Nerf guns in their events (particularly those based on college campuses) insist that their members refer to their guns as "blasters" so that police and administration don't think that they're using firearms in public.
China refers to Taiwan (or The Republic of China) as "the Taiwanese Authority," since they don't like anyone considering Taiwan an independent state.
Similarly, China officially refers to itself in English as the People's Republic Of China, despite everyone in the English speaking world calling it China.
Although this is more a case of using the common name versus the full official name. Almost nobody in China will call China 中华人民共和国 (the People's Republic of China) on a regular basis either, preferring the shorter 中国 (China).
"Organic" food, meaning food grown with no synthetic aids such as artificial fertilizers and pesticides, can raise quite a few hackles with chemists and biochemists since organic in the scientific sense refers to organic compounds. Scientifically, any food that is grown is organic, and any artificial or genetic enhancements won't change that unless they somehow suck out all the carbon—in which case it won't be food anymore.
This happens a lot when it comes to referring to military hardware and organizations, due to various requirements, restrictions, or even just circumstances and traditions. The Royal Navy originally described the Invinvible class aircraft carriers as "Through-Deck Cruisers", partly due to political fallout from the recent cancellation of a more ambitious class of fleet carriers.
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force itself fields a class of aircraft carriers that are referred to in English as "Helicopter Destroyers" (in Japanese, they are referred to, like all combatant ships in the JMSDF, as "Goei-kan", or "Escort Ships").
A recent trend in the US military is the rebranding of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as Remote-Piloted Aircraft. They are exactly the same thing, and both names can be taken to be accurate of what the actual vehicle is, but the new name highlights the fact that these aircraft are, by design, under human remote-control, possibly to avoid some of the stigma of Attack Drones.
You're not a customer at In-'N-Out Burger, you're a "guest". There are no employees either, there are "associates."
Many people who strive for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States are quick to remind people that they advocate "marriage equality", not "gay marriage". The key difference being that "gay marriage" implies that they only want special privileges for homosexuals, whereas "marriage equality" stresses the belief that marriage is a universal right that should be extended to all people.
And likewise, people opposing legalization of same-sex marriage are not "against gay marriage" but "in favor of traditional marriage", or, in some cases, "against redefinition of marriage".
In the Catholic Church, there are two Sundays (the third Sunday in Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday, and the fourth Sunday in Lent) where the priests wear rose-colored Mass vestments. Many homilies on those days emphasize that the vestments are rose and NOT pink.
Many people involved in debates over immigration policy in the United States will insist on referring to the subjects of the debates as "undocumented immigrants" or "undocumented workers" rather than "illegal immigrants" or "illegal aliens", since "undocumented" is a much more neutral term that helps keep discussions objective.
It can also be applied to entire countries: Case in point, the Macedonia naming dispute. People from Greece feel the heritage from the ancient kingdom of Macedonia belongs to Greece, and object people from Macedonia (the country) naming themselves Macedonian, since that could be used later to support a claim of a part of Greek territory also named Macedonia. So they prefer calling Macedonia "Vardaska" or, as a compromise "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", and its people "Macedonian slavs".
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States implemented a "quarantine" on shipments to Cuba, since a blockade is an act of war.
The guerlla war fought in what is now Malaysia from 1948 to 1960 between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army (a communist insurgency group that previously fought Japanese occupation forces in World War 2) was termed by the colonial government the Malayan Emergency - calling it a war would have meant the rubber plantations and tin mines would no longer have been insured from damage by Lloyd's insurers.
Stella Artois' ads refer to the glass as a "chalice"
Subverted with The Troubles from Northern Ireland: While in English (American, British and Irish) are refered as such, outside the English-speaking world (excluding Japan, China (and Chinese-speaking countries) and Israel), they're refered as a conflict or a war instead.