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rekirts
05-13-2006, 01:44 AM
I've seen so many people say the jest of it when they mean the gist of it that I'm afraid it will be one of those things that comes into common use, not because it makes any sense, but because everybody's doing it.

If someone says something and you get the essence of it, you get the gist of it. A jest is a joke. You can only get the jest (of it) if someone was being funny.

CaroGirl
05-13-2006, 01:57 AM
I didn't even know that was a "thing" (meaning a common misconception) until I read it online a few times. Like "than" instead of "then". Apparently people mix those up a lot (seems clear to me).

One that really bugs me is "for all intensive purposes". I worked with a woman who used to write that and had no idea it was wrong. It doesn't even make sense. It's "for all intents and purposes".

arrowqueen
05-13-2006, 05:39 AM
And here was me thinking they were making an amusing pun.

Jamesaritchie
05-13-2006, 08:29 AM
What you see online is only a reflection of the general illiteracy of the public at large. So many people are online that the majority are going to be functionally illiterate. That's just how it is.

As writers, all we can really do is get it right ourselves. There's no way on earth to make everyone else get it right.

reph
05-13-2006, 09:13 AM
As writers, all we can really do is get it right ourselves. There's no way on earth to make everyone else get it right.That fact has frustrated me since early childhood.

aruna
05-13-2006, 12:52 PM
Another thing I oftensee misused: the use of "literally".
So often I've heard people say things like; "She was quite literally bouncing off the walls," when in fact they mean figuratively.
"Literally" would mean she really was a ball bouncing around the room.

trumancoyote
05-13-2006, 01:54 PM
That's just used for emphasis, though. It doesn't really make sense, but to say that someone was bouncing off the walls, you automatically take it figuratively -- if you say someone was literally bouncing of the walls, however, the implication is that they weren't ACTUALLY bouncing off the walls, but that they were more than just, say, your average dose of hyper.

aruna
05-13-2006, 04:20 PM
That's just used for emphasis, though. It doesn't really make sense, but to say that someone was bouncing off the walls, you automatically take it figuratively -- if you say someone was literally bouncing of the walls, however, the implication is that they weren't ACTUALLY bouncing off the walls, but that they were more than just, say, your average dose of hyper.

Yes, the implication is there, but I know they weren't doing it literally - so why add "literally"? I've often heard people say something they mean figuratively, and then they add, for emphasis, "Literally!" It doesn't make sense...

aruna
05-13-2006, 05:13 PM
A blog on the (ab)use of literally:
http://literally.barelyfitz.com/

maestrowork
05-13-2006, 07:58 PM
Many people do use "literally" too liberally. "She literally died" doesn't make sense unless she really died. I think people confuse "literally" with a simple "really" or "nearly."

Another word that a lot of people misuse is "jell" as in "Mark and Josh don't jell." Many people write "they don't gel" or, worse, "they don't gell." "Gel" simply doesn't make sense.

And it's "pique" not "peek" or "peak" or "pick."

CaroGirl
05-13-2006, 08:28 PM
And, it's "run amok" not "run amuck" (what's that, running about covered in mud?).

Christine N.
05-14-2006, 12:16 AM
Crap, I spelled it jist. I know it's not jest, but... dummy.

Thanks.

rekirts
05-15-2006, 03:08 AM
While we're at it, it's moot point, not mute point. The point is debatable, not silent.

reph
05-15-2006, 04:55 AM
And a moot point is one that can be debated but need not be, because the decision has been made.

Christine N.
05-15-2006, 05:17 AM
And a moot point is one that can be debated but need not be, because the decision has been made.
Or, as Joey says, it's like a cow's opinion. It's a moo point. :)

rekirts
05-15-2006, 08:33 PM
And a moot point is one that can be debated but need not be, because the decision has been made.Aha! Now I suddenly get why the classroom court proceedings that law students take part in is called a 'Moot Court.' It's because they use cases that have already been decided, but they can still argue the points for practise.

reph
05-15-2006, 09:15 PM
It's because they use cases that have already been decided, but they can still argue the points for practise.Yes, exactly. "Moot" in general use came from legal uses of this kind.