Catch-up wrote:Here are a couple that have been driving me crazy. I don't know if it's a (U.S.) regional thing or what? The first is the strange use of the phrase "speak to", as in "I cannot speak to the menu changes." with the meaning that they cannot comment on it because they didn't experience it. "I cannot speak OF the menu changes" makes sense to me.
It's a phrasal verb that I believe began with bureaucrats, or at least with some group that thought it sounded sophisticated. I agree with you, it doesn't make sense.
Catch-up wrote:The other one is saying that you are or were standing "on line" to refer to being IN a line or queue. Unless there's a line painted on the ground, under your feet, you are standing IN a line, not ON a line.
I agree 100%. I believe that came from computer people talking about being online and having to wait for the system to do something (back when you could go get a cup of coffee from another room waiting for your email program to load). Then people imitated the sound without paying attention to the sense. It's still foolish.
On the other hand, it sounds odd to me when people from the UK refer to living "in" a street when they mean they live in a house that is alongside the street. To me, being "in" a street means literally standing on the tar surface and at risk of being hit by a car. Technically, the American idiom of living "on" a street should mean the same thing, but it's the idiom I'm familiar with; note that living "on the street" is not the same as living "on [specific name] street."