Language matters to me, a lot. And because language matters to me, I'm sensitive to misuse. In a way this is ideal, because I'm an editor. When I read things aloud, the errors practically jump at me from the page. Don't misunderstand, I'm not claiming perfection: into every editor's life, some typos must fall. I'm just trying to convey how attuned to language I am.
And sometimes I wish I wasn't, because listening to the news, or reading the newspaper can be painful.
My current pet peeve is the now common usage of the word "troop" as a synonym for "soldier". A "troop" is a group of soldiers. It's like saying six pack is another word for beer. Think about it. Having 2-3 beers is a fun night out, having 2-3 six packs is a drinking problem.
So when I hear reporters (who should know better) say we're sending 50,000 troops to Afghanistan, I want to throw things at the television. This is counterproductive and just raises the blood pressure. I'm going to try and be more like Stephen Fry, who I think has the right idea.