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View Full Version : Commonly misused words: grumble here.



Cat Scratch
03-20-2007, 12:38 AM
I want to tear my eyes out and peel and boil them when people use the word "tangent" to mean "tantrum." It happens most often on message boards. People will write "My husband came home and went off on a little tangent because my car leaked oil in the driveway." I want to say "Really? What was he talking about before he noticed the oil? Did he ever get back on topic?"

Not on this message board, of course. We're all good little grammarians. (insert smiley emoticon here, which I won't, because emoticons generally frighten me)

Sassenach
03-20-2007, 12:46 AM
Simple & Simplistic.

Uninterested & Disinterested.

scarletpeaches
03-20-2007, 12:47 AM
People who say "mischeevious" instead of mischievous.

maestrowork
03-20-2007, 12:50 AM
there and their

sous chef and soup chef

compliment and complement

command and commend

TrainofThought
03-20-2007, 01:12 AM
The two I misuse all the time: then and than. It drives me nuts, but I still use them because… I can? I like punishing myself? I’m indirectly trying to learn?

I haven't figured out the why.

Shwebb
03-20-2007, 01:21 AM
Dragged and drug.

I hear "He drug her body to the shallow grave," or some such thing. No, he dragged her. He could have drugged her before he dragged her. Or given her a drug before he dragged her.

scarletpeaches
03-20-2007, 01:23 AM
...Which reminds me, 'jamp' for 'jumped'.

No, you cannot say "I jamp across the puddle." Idiot.

Sandi LeFaucheur
03-20-2007, 01:27 AM
Jamp? Are you kidding? I've never heard that one!

Judg
03-20-2007, 01:33 AM
Must be a Scottish thing.

Who's instead of whose.

Its'

loose instead of lose

momentarily instead of soon

On the other hand, I'm kind of fond of "It's a whole nother". A girl has to be inconsistent now and again to keep up the charm quotient. I know, I know, I won't ever use it in writing unless it's dialogue.

scarletpeaches
03-20-2007, 01:40 AM
Oh good god, yes. The amount of times I've heard, "Look after your purse, you might loss it." GAH!

Also, in Dundee, there's a habit of saying 'how' for 'why'...short for how come, I guess.

"I went to the shops."

"How?"

"By walking."

"No, I mean how?"

"Oh, you mean why did I go to the shops?"

"Yeah, that's what I said. How did you go?"

Medievalist
03-20-2007, 01:41 AM
I just about foam at the mouth on planes when a member of the flight crew says that "we'll be touching down momentarily," which, when you're traveling with a spouse who dislikes flying intensely, is enough to induce panic at the thought of a Boeing jet doing touch-and-gos.

I'm still upset at the American Heritage Dictionary's caving in regarding compose and comprise, and don't get me started on "impacted."

Medievalist
03-20-2007, 01:42 AM
I just now heard, on the radio, someone indicating that they preferred "expresso" coffee.

scarletpeaches
03-20-2007, 01:47 AM
The fewer/less thing at the checkout. "Five items or less MY ARSE!"

JanDarby
03-20-2007, 01:48 AM
"Begs the question" is more and more used (incorrectly) for "raises the question."

Another one that's gaining in popularity, I fear, is "amplify," used to mean "expand on" or "explain."

The one that makes me most insane, though, is my local mayor (and his henchmen who've picked up the misuse) who frequently requests a motion to "revert from" the regular order of business, instead of "divert from."

JD

scarletpeaches
03-20-2007, 01:49 AM
Oh! I bet Medievalist will agree with this one:

Decimated.

Shwebb
03-20-2007, 01:50 AM
Expresso, as in "I really need this coffee now?"

Heh. People say that around here all the time. Right along with "ain't."

But then, we mountaineers were never accustomed to high-class coffees! This place is Starbucks-deficient, whether that be a good or a bad thing.

And what're them lah-tays y'all keep talking about? Are they made with expressos?

I like my milk coffee-flavored. No espresso, thanks.

Medievalist
03-20-2007, 01:55 AM
I can't say I've ever had expresso; it's not allowed at the libary where I do a lot of my work.

Cat Scratch
03-20-2007, 01:55 AM
This may be a regional thing, but my inlaws are extremely lax in their use of the word "whenever." They use it to mean when. As in "Whenever Uncle Mark came home from work yesterday, he brought that cake." I picture Uncle Mark coming home from work repeatedly, carrying the same cake.

maestrowork
03-20-2007, 02:54 AM
Gel and jell -- a lot of people get confused by that one.

Compost and composed -- I'm compost. LOL.

absitinvidia
03-20-2007, 03:12 AM
Conversate.

Oh, and suckle instead of suck. ::shudders::

maestrowork
03-20-2007, 03:15 AM
Peak my interest. ARGH!

It's "pique."

scarletpeaches
03-20-2007, 03:15 AM
Normalcy. It's NORMALITY!!!

Cat Scratch
03-20-2007, 03:44 AM
Did anyone catch on American Idol last week when Diana Ross kept instructing the kids to pronunciate? Certainly she's no word-smith, but you'd think after 40 years in the biz someone would have corrected her...

Cat Scratch
03-20-2007, 03:49 AM
Often happens in business settings--copious misuse of term "myself." I think people think it's correct because it sounds smarter, bur there's nothing correct about "Quarterly sales reports should be e-mailed to Suzie and myself by noon tomorrow." What? You're going to e-mail the reports to yourself?

Silver King
03-20-2007, 05:00 AM
This thread reminds me of when people order a "jyro" in a Greek restaurant. I tried to correct a friend once, and he said, "A Hero? I don't want a sandwich. I ordered a jyro."

CaroGirl
03-20-2007, 05:02 AM
I'm just an old fashioned gal. I guess I should get with the times, but these really bother me.

Nauseous instead of nauseated (or maybe you really are nauseous <gag>).
Regime instead of regimen, as in "my fitness regime", in which I picture the dictatorship of your fitness.

Wow. I must be tired because that's all I can come up with right now. I'm sure there'll be more later.

maestrowork
03-20-2007, 05:10 AM
lie, lay, laid, lied, lay, lain... you name it. ;)

Cat Scratch
03-20-2007, 05:15 AM
Your nice.

davids
03-20-2007, 05:16 AM
All the above plus----real good---argh!!!!

maestrowork
03-20-2007, 05:22 AM
More important vs. more importantly.

benbradley
03-20-2007, 07:01 AM
"Your story doesn't jive with the facts." The word is jibe! Jive is a perfectly good word if you're talking crap in a playful or fancy way (or whatever the exact meaning of jive is), but it doesn't mean to compare.

maestrowork
03-20-2007, 09:43 PM
Morality vs. morale vs. moral.

I hate when people say "the morale of this story is..." or "We have to change policies to boost employee moral."

jnesvold
03-20-2007, 09:59 PM
Things like "could of" instead of "could've." Yeesh, that one's even in the liner notes on a Garth Brooks album.

Also, "wrecking havoc" instead of the proper "wreaking." That one is usually heard as opposed to written.

And "I was taken back" rather than "taken aback."

Lastly, whether written or spoken, "Daylight Savings Time." It's "Saving," no plural.

I could go on, since my instructor at broadcasting school was a real stickler for pronunciation, to the point of fining you actual money if you pronounced something wrong.

scarletpeaches
03-20-2007, 10:02 PM
Ah, but is it proNOUNCEiation or proNUNCEiation?

giftedrhonda
03-20-2007, 10:05 PM
These are HILARIOUS. I'm so with you on them!!

Here are a few I've seen done incorrectly:

"SUPPOSEDLY," not "SUPPOSABLY." (I hear this one ALL the time)

"TOWARD," not "TOWARDS." (for US only)

"ANYWAY," not "ANYWAYS." (for US only)

"I COULDN'T CARE LESS," not "I COULD CARE LESS."

"FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES," not "FOR ALL INTENSIVE PURPOSES."

LOL good times...

scarletpeaches
03-20-2007, 10:07 PM
Toward/towards is a US/UK difference, so I'd say 'towards' was correct.

giftedrhonda
03-20-2007, 10:09 PM
Good point on that--US/UK differences don't really count except for the place you're in. :D

maestrowork
03-20-2007, 10:10 PM
"Anyway" and "anyways" as well (US vs. UK).

giftedrhonda
03-20-2007, 10:12 PM
cool--not being a UK'er myself, it's good to know the difference. Thanks, guys! I updated my original post to indicate US only on those.

Judg
03-20-2007, 10:20 PM
How about: "take a different tact". And its close cousin "It survived in tack."

maestrowork
03-20-2007, 10:29 PM
Tug and tuck.

benbradley
03-20-2007, 10:30 PM
Ah, but is it proNOUNCEiation or proNUNCEiation?
I see you have a pronounced interest in this topic, but pronunciation doesn't have an e in it.:tongue:D

giftedrhonda
03-20-2007, 10:30 PM
"duck tape" and "duct tape"...LOL

and, courtesy of my kids: valentime's day.

Judg
03-20-2007, 10:53 PM
Rhonda, you've inspired me. This doesn't fit in this thread, because I'm not grumbling, but one of my boys was very fond of Rice Christmaspees for a while...

giftedrhonda
03-20-2007, 10:56 PM
HAHAHAHAHAAHAH - my kids used to say, "rice christmastrees..." too funny...

batgirl
03-21-2007, 12:23 AM
reticent when reluctant is meant - "I'm reticent to get involved in that" - okay, then keep quiet about it.
gifted when gave is meant "He gifted me with a new watch" - you were born with it? Your poor mother.
impacted, unless you're a dentist talking shop
crumbled for crumpled - "her new skirt was a crumbled mess" - my god, it actually fell to bits?
-Barbara

AnnieColleen
03-21-2007, 01:58 AM
One I heard today..."I find that disarming"...meant for something that scared him.

Umm, "alarming" maybe?

scarletpeaches
03-21-2007, 02:13 AM
"Anyway" and "anyways" as well (US vs. UK).

Not forgetting anyhoo...

maestrowork
03-21-2007, 02:36 AM
Of course by that you mean "anyhow." :) Don't talk rubbish now.

Flay
03-21-2007, 02:38 AM
"Toothsome" used as a synonym for "toothy".

"Fulsome" used as a synonym for "abundant".

Hundreds, perhaps thousands more....

scarletpeaches
03-21-2007, 03:12 AM
Of course by that you mean "anyhow." :) Don't talk rubbish now.

Bite me!

Cat Scratch
03-21-2007, 03:13 AM
As is common with local dialect, I've grown so accustomed to people dropping the "ed" from past-tense verbs, that I barely notice it anymore. "I'm sorry, we have no appointments for tomorrow, we're completely book." "I ask him yesterday, but I don't remember the answer."

Shady Lane
03-21-2007, 04:49 AM
Not so much a word, but I hate when people say "could care less" when they mean "couldn't care less." It drives me absolutely crazy.

kborsden
03-21-2007, 04:55 AM
Shit-shat

I once had a very long discussion about whether or not 'shat' is the past tense 'shit', it isn't, I'm sure of it.

Judg
04-02-2007, 02:03 AM
Any of the many incorrect permutations of "champing at the bit". Chomping is wrong. Chafing is wronger.

"I'm exited." Oh really, who kicked you out? ;)

weatherfield
04-02-2007, 02:16 AM
"Impacted" is one of my pet soapboxes, as is "loose" for "lose," but people have already been thorough with those, so I'll add another big one: "infer" for "imply." It absolutely makes me cringe.

maestrowork
04-02-2007, 06:15 AM
"peace of mind" vs. "piece of mind."

"die" and "dye" (can you die my hair please?)

Medievalist
04-02-2007, 06:46 AM
Shit-shat

I once had a very long discussion about whether or not 'shat' is the past tense 'shit', it isn't, I'm sure of it.

Shat is legit; it's the past participle. Here's an American dictionary (http://www.bartleby.com/61/15/S0351500.html), but shat is listed as OK in the OED as well, with a long history of literary use.

Mandy-Jane
04-02-2007, 08:46 AM
I'm currently reading plays submitted as part of a playwriting competition. Generally, most of them are fairly well okay, but one of them has to be seen to be believed. Just out of interest, I've been writing down the incorrect words as I come across them. Get a load of this:

incomprehecibly - incomprehensibly (I think)

deb in air - debonair

rued - rude

compertition - competition

bordered - bored

And I'm only up to page 15. This is unbelievable! Add to all this, the fact that the (writer?) cannot write dialogue to save herself (all her characters sound like the same person and they all have a tendency to say "So I see"); every second or third word starts with a capital letter; there is a sex? scene that comes straight out of the soppiest, most disgusting movies you've ever seen (lines like "kiss me Phillip"); sick toilet humour that is supposed to be funny, but is just tacky.......I could go on and on. The play is to be set in the 1800's and this person obviously has no idea of how people behaved back then. There are men swearing in front of women they've just met; inappropriate kissing which would not have happened back then, oh and not forgetting, stage directions such as "Tammy's thinking about Ned". Oh my God! To top it off, it's set in a river on a steamboat, complete with bedrooms, loungerooms, and a scene where a kid falls into the river. Oh yeah, we can do all that on stage!

Sorry. This has turned into a full-on vent, but at least I can say all this here and you all know what I'm talking about.

I don't know if I have the strength to get through it. Send me some courage please.

ErylRavenwell
04-02-2007, 09:59 AM
Among(st)/between

triceretops
04-02-2007, 10:07 AM
Lightening and lightning

bowl and bowel

champayne and champaign--don't even know if these are even spelled right.

Tri

Popeyesays
04-02-2007, 05:43 PM
Champagne

Regards,
Scott

Popeyesays
04-02-2007, 05:48 PM
It's actually rued, rude and rood. I've seen ocular, oscular and oracular confused. How about rowed and road" And most often bear and bare; the difference between 'More than I can bear' and 'More than I can bare' can get you locked up for lewd behavior.

Regards,
Scott

maestrowork
04-02-2007, 07:30 PM
Bored vs. Board. :D Seriously, I have seen many people write "I am so board I want to do something."

scarletpeaches
04-02-2007, 07:32 PM
Lightening and lightning

bowl and bowel

champayne and champaign--don't even know if these are even spelled right.

Tri

Whenever I do the washing up I move my bowls. :)

maestrowork
04-02-2007, 08:11 PM
Baited vs. bated breath.

zahra
04-02-2007, 08:21 PM
I hate it when people use the phrase 'willy-nilly' to mean 'haphazardly'. No-one these days seems to realise it means 'with or without permission'. The clue is in the phrase itself, orig. 'will he, nil he.'

And 'complement' and 'compliment' being mixed up.

A certain UK Sunday tabloid drives me crazy with its incessant spelling mistakes, especially in the TV column, which has spelt 'heifer' as 'heffer' and 'pores' as 'pours' amongst other howlers. And the writer once went through a phase of trying to be all American and using the phrase 'shoo-in.' He spelt it 'shoe-in.'

I swear they don't learn them kids nuffink at school these days.

zahra
04-02-2007, 08:32 PM
Ooh, and I recently heard the voiceover on a BBC programme called 'The Baby Borrowers' say, "Jane is sulking because she's used to being the object of Ian's dotage." BBC, guys. BBC.

WriterChick
04-02-2007, 09:11 PM
I presume the abuse of apostrophes has been done in another thread so I won't go there.

"I would of" instead of "I would have". (Same as the "could of" somebody else mentioned.)

And a particular pet hate is people pronouncing bruschetta incorrectly in Italian restaurants. But that's me just being mean.

BottomlessCup
04-03-2007, 02:19 AM
The constant shortening of 'night' to 'nite' in signs drives me crazy. Do we really need to shave a letter off that one? And if you're not talking about cocoa, 'quick' has a 'c' in it, dammit!

Borrow/lend mistakes.

"Nervous" as a verb. "She nervouses me."

Also, the slang "on the D.L." is the stupidest abbreviation ever. "Down low" = two syllables. "D.L." = two syllables. You're not really saving any time.

My favorite grammar error, however, is when someone incorrectly -publicly - corrects someone else on their pronouns. There seem to be people everywhere who don't actually know the rules, they just think "me" sounds wrong.

maestrowork
04-03-2007, 10:00 AM
Faze vs. phase. It really bugs me when people write "fame doesn't phase me." It's "faze," Ms. Hilton.

Angelinity
04-03-2007, 10:58 AM
solice / solace -- just found this one in the title of a published piece in a web mag i'd been considering submitting to... not any more!

what, not even the editors caught on??

zahra
04-03-2007, 03:15 PM
I always understood that the title 'Reverend' took the article 'the', just as the title 'Honourable' does. But whilst people never say, "Here's Honourable Sneerington-Bastard", instead of "Here's the Honourable..." they're quite happy to say "Here's Reverend Nice-Guy".

Totally agree about the prejudice against 'me'. In the UK, there also seems to be a feeling that the words 'you' and 'us' are not quite posh enough. 'You' plural seems to have become 'yourselves', and 'us' is now 'ourselves'. I call it (snobbishly, I know) 'customer-service-speak'.

jnesvold
04-03-2007, 05:48 PM
Daylight Savings Time. Said properly, it is not pluralized.

I have people correct me on the use of "me" all the time, even when they are wrong. It's frustrating.

Torin
04-03-2007, 06:28 PM
Pored and poured. I had someone "correct" one of my sentences from "He pored over the map" to "He poured over the map". I asked what, exactly, he was pouring over his map: his coffee?

jnesvold
04-03-2007, 07:49 PM
Sorry to be a pest and post again, but I just stumbled across a post on another board that read:

"I love how everything he says is so tongue and cheek." That's a whole different thing there, isn't it?

zahra
04-03-2007, 09:13 PM
Sorry to be a pest and post again, but I just stumbled across a post on another board that read:

"I love how everything he says is so tongue and cheek." That's a whole different thing there, isn't it?
That's just funny! We like! (Unless it becomes widespread, then we gnash teeth).

Rosamund
04-03-2007, 09:14 PM
"off of"

As in 'I lifted my purse off of the table'.

At the moment, if I see those two words together one more time, this frustrated teacher will be lifting a head 'off of' a neck with her red pen.

As everyone here knows, 'off' is never followed by 'of' in this situation.

spike
04-03-2007, 09:35 PM
I know it's my geographic area, but here are a few:

"Is the cake all?"
"Turn left where the fence ain't"
"Will it make wet?"
"It's making down good, say?"

absitinvidia
04-03-2007, 11:44 PM
While editing, I once stumbled across a character who had "a polka face."

zahra
04-04-2007, 12:19 AM
I know it's my geographic area, but here are a few:

"Is the cake all?"
"Turn left where the fence ain't"
"Will it make wet?"
"It's making down good, say?"
I'm sorry, I think that's fantastic! I love it. I've never come across this geographical speech pattern before. Is that really how people talk in Pennsylvania? Now I wish I could write a whole screenplay set there.

pink lily
04-04-2007, 01:49 AM
Not so much a word, but I hate when people say "could care less" when they mean "couldn't care less." It drives me absolutely crazy.

For those who "could care less," yes, you could, in fact, care less. This means you care. As illustrated:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/elgs/care-less.png



My big pet peeve is seeing people write "I am weary of doing that" when they mean leery, or suspicious, not tired.

weatherfield
04-04-2007, 02:28 AM
My big pet peeve is seeing people write "I am weary of doing that" when they mean leery, or suspicious, not tired.

I see this one a lot. I always assume they just don't know that wary doesn't have an e in it.

Tiger
04-04-2007, 04:59 AM
I can't say I've ever had expresso; it's not allowed at the libary where I do a lot of my work.

Well... Ever hear someone order one biscotti? How about someone acting like a paparazzi?

Tiger
04-04-2007, 05:01 AM
I get driven nuts by "fortuitously," "jive" instead of "jibe" and just about any noun used as a verb.

Anyone get "disrespected" lately?

Judg
04-04-2007, 07:13 AM
Well... Ever hear someone order one biscotti? How about someone acting like a paparazzi?
Funny you should mention that. I did precisely that the other day and then said, "Wait a minute. Biscotti is plural. What's the singular of that?" The girl behind the counter claimed she couldn't hear me. I suspect she didn't know. And I also suspect that the correct form is biscotto, but if I'd ordered that she probably would have been lost...

benbradley
04-04-2007, 07:22 AM
squirmish/squeamish?

<g,d&r>

benbradley
04-04-2007, 07:27 AM
Anyone get "disrespected" lately?
Nah, but I get dissed all the time...

Funny you should mention that. I did precisely that the other day and then said, "Wait a minute. Biscotti is plural. What's the singular of that?" The girl behind the counter claimed she couldn't hear me. I suspect she didn't know. And I also suspect that the correct form is biscotto, but if I'd ordered that she probably would have been lost...

I went to the IT department the other day and ordered a datum.

And shouldn't that Star Trek/New Generation robot character be named Datum? There's only one of it/him.

Judg
04-04-2007, 07:34 AM
:roll:

jnesvold
04-04-2007, 09:30 PM
Yesterday, my sister-in-law informed me that her kids were "not being have (hayv)," which I had to explain to her was something I didn't understand. Apparently, she doesn't know the term "misbehaving," or even "not behaving."

Duncan J Macdonald
04-04-2007, 09:35 PM
Funny you should mention that. I did precisely that the other day and then said, "Wait a minute. Biscotti is plural. What's the singular of that?" The girl behind the counter claimed she couldn't hear me. I suspect she didn't know. And I also suspect that the correct form is biscotto, but if I'd ordered that she probably would have been lost...Ciao bella. Si, si; uno biscotto, due biscotti.

Duncan J Macdonald
04-04-2007, 09:37 PM
I went to the IT department the other day and ordered a datum.
Did they ask if you wanted a 1 or a 0?

Tish Davidson
04-04-2007, 11:15 PM
I know it's my geographic area, but here are a few:

"Is the cake all?"
"Turn left where the fence ain't"
"Will it make wet?"
"It's making down good, say?"

You must be from Pennsylvania Dutch country. Do they also "run the blind up the window" (as my father does) or " take the dog a walk"?

Pomegranate
04-05-2007, 01:14 AM
weather vs whether. It's not "weather or not." Weather is the stuff outside.

jnesvold
04-05-2007, 01:21 AM
Anti-climatic. They used this one once on "Joan of Arcadia. She told God something was anti-climatic and God said that meant "against the climate."

Of course, the intended term was "anti-climactic."

benbradley
04-05-2007, 03:04 AM
Did they ask if you wanted a 1 or a 0?
I wanted a 1 if the news server was up, and a 0 if it wasn't. I suppose if I told them exactly what I wanted, it wouldn't be a datum.

PattiTheWicked
04-05-2007, 04:02 AM
I'm tired of people who use the word "extreme" as a synonym for "really exciting and cool".

I also think anyone who uses "dialog" as a verb should be poked repeatedly with a pointy stick.

Noddy Rider
04-05-2007, 08:14 AM
Hopefully when it's not used as an adverb:

"Hopefully, the agent of my dreams will offer to represent me."

No, it's not the agent who is doing the hoping these days.

"Hopefully, I check my email every day."

absitinvidia
04-05-2007, 08:30 AM
People who use "methodology" instead of "method."

Sandi LeFaucheur
04-05-2007, 01:53 PM
Awesome.

Everything is awesome these days. Awe is a feeling of great respect mixed with fear. So did you have an awesome weekend, an awesome hamburger, an awesome commute to work? Unlikely.

pink lily
04-05-2007, 11:34 PM
Awesome.

Everything is awesome these days. Awe is a feeling of great respect mixed with fear. So did you have an awesome weekend, an awesome hamburger, an awesome commute to work? Unlikely.
I don't think that slang use is the same as misuse.

I think people say "awesome" because it's a pop culture reference from the movie Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and because it's slang for "very good." I don't think that this is a technical misuse of the word, although I suppose it could qualify as "abuse" if you don't care for slang.

Back to the incorrect word/spelling issue... I just came across misuse of the word "principle" when the author meant "principal," saying "the school principle should <take this action>." Don't these people know that the principal is your pal?

maestrowork
04-05-2007, 11:53 PM
"Awesome" is a slang; it means impressive. "Awe-inspiring" is a different thing.

dobiwon
04-06-2007, 12:21 AM
Here are three examples of local misuse of words (maybe my locale even covers the whole southern US):

Brought as in "I brought this table yesterday" for "...bought..."
Carry as in "I had to carry my children to school because they missed the bus."
"Did you cut off the light when you left the room?"

Sandi LeFaucheur
04-06-2007, 01:32 AM
"Awesome" is a slang; it means impressive. "Awe-inspiring" is a different thing.

It may be slang now, but that is only through misuse. IMO. The whole meaning of the word has been watered down--a bit like American beer.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

pink lily
04-06-2007, 01:34 AM
It may be slang now, but that is only through misuse.
I guess I just don't see slang use on the same level as "to, too, two," "there, their, they're" and "then, than" mistakes.

BardSkye
04-07-2007, 03:40 AM
A local one from my childhood in rural Quebec: "more better."

"Good, better, best," idiot cousins!

Does anybody but me find "wellness" for "health" reason to take out the shotgun?

Mud Dauber
04-07-2007, 05:29 AM
It may be slang now, but that is only through misuse. IMO. The whole meaning of the word has been watered down--a bit like American beer.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif
Hey now, what's wrong with American beer? I love me some Miller Lite.;)

maestrowork
04-07-2007, 05:16 PM
Economic vs. economical.

Astrology vs. astronomy.

Maryn
04-07-2007, 08:00 PM
I heard one last night but was unable to race to this thread at the time.

"He told a bold-faced lie." Does that mean he told a lie?

The term is bald-faced lie, meaning a falsehood which makes no attempt at disguise or is brash and unapologetic for being a lie. Most of us need only a moment to think of a bald-faced lie told to us by our government or other authorities. ("This won't hurt a bit!")

It's interesting to note that several blogs and personal websites claim bald-faced is incorrect, backing up the opinion with various non-facts such as lies appeared in a darkened font (huh?).

Maryn, word freak

Sandi LeFaucheur
04-07-2007, 08:50 PM
I heard one last night but was unable to race to this thread at the time.

"He told a bold-faced lie." Does that mean he told a lie?

The term is bald-faced lie, meaning a falsehood which makes no attempt at disguise or is brash and unapologetic for being a lie. Most of us need only a moment to think of a bald-faced lie told to us by our government or other authorities. ("This won't hurt a bit!")

It's interesting to note that several blogs and personal websites claim bald-faced is incorrect, backing up the opinion with various non-facts such as lies appeared in a darkened font (huh?).

Maryn, word freak

This really got me thinking--since I've never used either phrase! So I did a Google, and it seems the American Heritage Dictionary recognizes both. I dug further, and found a site that said that bald-faced dates back 60 years or so, whereas bold-faced dates 400 years, and bare-faced dates a year previous to that.

Actually, neither bald-faced nor bold-faced trip off my tongue.

Jersey Chick
04-07-2007, 08:51 PM
Good vs well - this one drives me batty!

And this isn't really grammar, but I hate when couples tell you that "we're pregnant". Umm... when did biology change? I remember being pregnant, but I'm pretty sure my husband's part was finished long before anyone else could tell...

J. Weiland
04-07-2007, 08:56 PM
Good vs well - this one drives me batty!

And this isn't really grammar, but I hate when couples tell you that "we're pregnant". Umm... when did biology change? I remember being pregnant, but I'm pretty sure my husband's part was finished long before anyone else could tell...

But we ARE.






I'm just being supportive. I know my sweeter half does all the lifting.

Jersey Chick
04-07-2007, 09:00 PM
OK - I'll let it slide....

for now ;)

zahra
04-07-2007, 10:57 PM
"It's not that big of a deal." Argh! "It's not that big a deal", please, for my sanity.

Arkie
04-08-2007, 03:59 AM
The post above on bald faced lie reminded me of the song lyric from years past: "She lied straight faced while I cried."

I don't think anyone has mentioned quite/quiet yet, which gives me problems with quit sometimes getting in the mix.

Judg
04-08-2007, 05:50 AM
Straight-laced (you reminded me, Arkie). These same people probably sail through the Straights of Gibraltar wearing straightjackets...

Strait, please, in all three instances. Meaning narrow, tight, constrained. Detroit comes from the French version of the same word, so I assume it's situated on a narrow passage of water.

Jersey Chick
04-08-2007, 06:20 AM
Oohh... what about probalee instead of probably?

or one that bugs me compliments of my husband - lech when he means leech. He calls people leches all the time and it drives me bonkers.

he's also king of "point in case" instead of "case in point"

grrrr.....

Shady Lane
04-08-2007, 06:26 AM
For those who "could care less," yes, you could, in fact, care less. This means you care. As illustrated:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/elgs/care-less.png



My big pet peeve is seeing people write "I am weary of doing that" when they mean leery, or suspicious, not tired.

I'm definitely going to find a permanent place to post that graph.

Silver King
04-08-2007, 06:42 AM
The post above on bald faced lie reminded me of the song lyric from years past: "She lied straight faced while I cried."
I can never tell a bald-faced lie, as I'm bearded.

Dobiwon brought up a good one upthread related to how folks in the south extinguish lights. I've also heard, "Shut off the light!"

My mom is French Canadian and often mixes how things are translated into English. She'll say, "While you're here, run out and check to see what's in my box of mail."

In the long run, maybe it doesn't matter so much how things are said, as long as we understand what people are talking about.

Sandi LeFaucheur
04-08-2007, 03:25 PM
Straight-laced (you reminded me, Arkie). These same people probably sail through the Straights of Gibraltar wearing straightjackets...

Strait, please, in all three instances. Meaning narrow, tight, constrained. Detroit comes from the French version of the same word, so I assume it's situated on a narrow passage of water.

Well! I've learned something there! I thought it was straight-laced and straightjacket. (obviously NOT straits of Gibraltar...) So I looked it up in the Collins, and found straight-laced and straightjacket are variant spellings. Fancy that.

pink lily
04-08-2007, 10:11 PM
Oohh... what about probalee instead of probably?
"Probally" and "supposably" are popular misused words. It's so sad.

My favorite (to hate) is "alot." Hello, people, "a" and "lot" are two separate words! I also see people using "aswell" when they mean "as well." Drives me bonkers.

annie.rushden
04-08-2007, 10:29 PM
From another forum:

"Where eagles dare to sore"

"IF I were to allow you to correct me,It would be on my spelling,and my use,s of coma's.Spell Check is my best friend when it comes to spelling.The rest is for you to figure out.How dare you belittle yourself and other women in such a way.Because you choose to suppress your mind,and not expand it.THE BIBLE was writen to expand ones mind,to question its content's grow from it.You choose to fall prey to the negative,human mind is like a sponge,wet with knowledge,or dry,hard,crumbly.(i believe what the bible says)look at your very words and what doe's that tell you? Here something that you can think on.If evil all ways wins,and for good to over come evil,what does good have to become? The greater evil.Theres your greater good.It was not mean't for us to live without one or the other,but both,one can not exist with out the other,such as other things in life.People such as your self jump over it questions and use it as an answer.Thus,I say this for the "Greater Good" of things.You read,and react.You don't read and think.Sad "Fly to a Picnic" You can not expand a closed mind,but you can drive it "insane" Einstein used women as human calculators,add that to Roberts list."

pink lily
04-08-2007, 10:33 PM
That's both hysterical and very sad.

annie.rushden
04-08-2007, 10:48 PM
There are about 30 posts on that forum like the one. In some cases she puts an apostrophe before the S in her own name. It's quite frustrating because she tries to make some good points.

benbradley
04-08-2007, 11:11 PM
And to think I've been accused of wearing a pedant around my neck!

pink lily
04-08-2007, 11:15 PM
I just came across "makes piece with God" instead of "makes peace."

Silver King
04-08-2007, 11:21 PM
I just came across "makes piece with God"
It makes sense if you want a slice of Heaven. :)

Maryn
04-08-2007, 11:50 PM
It makes sense if you want a slice of Heaven. :)Isn't that what I'm getting here?

Maryn, total suck-up

Judg
04-10-2007, 06:02 AM
Well! I've learned something there! I thought it was straight-laced and straightjacket. (obviously NOT straits of Gibraltar...) So I looked it up in the Collins, and found straight-laced and straightjacket are variant spellings. Fancy that.
I guess once a mistake has been made often enough... ah well

Cat Scratch
04-10-2007, 06:45 AM
My current boss has perfect grammar. He is the first boss I can say this about. Since English is not his first language, I want to go around throttling people who are born and raised in the US and still don't get it.

Maryn
04-10-2007, 07:18 PM
I'm with you, Cat Scratch. I'm amazed on a daily basis at the terrible grammar of wanna-be screenwriters (at another board, not AW's) raised in the US. Today's lulu:
Mark and Adam are software-engineering workers, who works with Jake, a new but somewhat experienced software engineer. When the boss of the company they work for dies, the boss leaves them $150 million dollars to split between the three of them, since they were the main reasons for the company's uprising. I checked the member profile, thinking this had to be someone writing in a second language. Nope.

It's pretty sad, that this young writer thinks he's pretty good.

Maryn, disheartened

annie.rushden
04-10-2007, 09:23 PM
Here's one that just posted on a jewelry group.

I have some lovely bone pendants for sale, I rather overspent and these are surplice to requirements.

Tiger
04-11-2007, 05:32 AM
People who use "methodology" instead of "method."

Ah, yes. Interesting phenomenology, that...

Tiger
04-11-2007, 05:34 AM
a bit like American beer.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Blech! Put it back in the horse, willya!

pink lily
04-11-2007, 05:40 AM
The "its/it's" war lost yet another battle on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2007/AUTOS/04/09/car_colors/index.html): "Black is going to get more special and its going to surprise and delight," said Susan Lampinen, Ford's chief designer for color and materials. Its WHAT is going to surprise, CNN?

Dear CNN, "Its" means "of or belonging to it," and "it's" is a contraction meaning "it is." Please make a note of it.

Edited to add: Yes, I sent my comment to CNN.

----- Original Message -----
From: Janice Rael
To: autos@cnnmoney.com
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 9:46 PM
Subject: CNN Auto story loses battle in the "its/it's" war

ETA: Yes, my email client has the incorrect time; my computer clock runs fast.

ErylRavenwell
04-11-2007, 08:01 AM
On the street/in the street.

Comma/coma

Of course lie/lay and fell/fall

Allegra Lunesta
04-25-2007, 11:09 PM
Too many people say: "I feel "badly" about...whatever." What they mean is they feel "bad," have guilt about...whatever.

Feeling "badly" actually means they have little or no feeling in their fingers touching...whatever.

And we can't forget "irregardless." It's a classic.

Pomegranate
04-25-2007, 11:48 PM
I had a pip at work today:

"This will greatly complexify the [issue]".

ARGH! Complicate just isn't good enough I guess.

Devil Ledbetter
04-26-2007, 07:40 PM
I hate it when people say "myself" when they're not sure whether to use "I" or "me." John and myself will be taking suggestions.

I also go nuts when people say "real-IT-or." It's Realtor.

pink lily
04-26-2007, 11:21 PM
I've been plagued by "aswell" and "infact" sightings recently. :(

jnesvold
04-27-2007, 01:43 AM
I also go nuts when people say "real-IT-or." It's Realtor.

There used to be a guy working here that did that, so you can probably imagine how crazy you'd go listening to a high school ball game and hearing that particular realtor's ad every other inninng. He said both "real-i-tor" and "real-i-dee."

Judg
04-27-2007, 08:02 AM
Or people who make Detroit rhyme with Destroy it.

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-27-2007, 09:31 AM
useless imaginary word: alot

pernicious misstatement: The exception proves the rule.

words that, if one is employed by someone educated (so to speak) in the United States, & you change it to the other, will thus be made correct about seven out of ten times: comprise / compose

Jo
04-27-2007, 12:25 PM
On the Behind Big Brother forums in Australia:

"Pack" instead of "pact" (as in an alliance), and the usual misuse of their/there (no they're in sight), hear/here, your/you're. Oh, and sight/site.

Thread titles:
Poor Bodies anal problems.
Bodies ugly face

The housemate being discussed in these threads is Bodie (Bo-dee). Apostrophe, anyone...?

Not that I'm watching BB... *giggle*

Devil Ledbetter
04-27-2007, 03:24 PM
Or people who make Detroit rhyme with Destroy it. Yes, and people who make Illinois rhyme with "noise."

I prefer the French pronunciation of Detroit: Dey-twa. ;)

Nolita
04-27-2007, 05:39 PM
Has anyone mentioned bear? I actually like this stuff, it's good for a giggle, and I'm sure I'm as guilty as anybody. My favorite is when bare replaces bear.

Example: Bare with me folks.

Whenever I see that in a blog, I can't help but blush. I'm so tempted to comment: "But I don't even know you", I don't, but I'm tempted.

dobiwon
04-27-2007, 08:13 PM
I hate it when people say "myself" when they're not sure whether to use "I" or "me." John and myself will be taking suggestions.


Yeah, people need better larning of their grammer. It should be "John and iself" when used as the subject or "John and meself" when used as the object. "John and myself" should be used only for the possessive. ;) :D

Risen_Flower
04-27-2007, 09:27 PM
Sadly I use to be confused with the use of:

"Past" and "pass" and "budge" and "bulge".


oh and.. "waist" and "waste"


I'm all good now. :)

Carmy
04-28-2007, 10:07 AM
It bugs me when I read "tow the line" instead of "toe the line". No less a writer than Norah Roberts fouled up on that one.

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-29-2007, 09:57 PM
Sports writing in general:

"They've got a tough road to hoe."

"Sqeaked by by a hare's breath."

"First they have to notch a few more wins under their belt."

The reluctance to use the words WON and LOST when terms of mayhem & destruction are so much handier, which strikes me as silly for baseball & ludicrous for golf -- good heavens, it'd maybe work out if duffers were allowed to whack at each other with their clubs...

Devil Ledbetter
04-30-2007, 12:12 AM
"I've got a new gold." Instead of goal.

benbradley
04-30-2007, 04:23 AM
I just thought of an incredibly dystopian misquote from the Bible (are we allowed to make these up?): Man does not live by dread alone.

freshpencils
04-30-2007, 06:06 AM
Somewhere in Ohio, a teacher or professor or school or university or all of the above, must be teaching that the word "timely" is an adverb. I've read it in a manager's email at a Fortune 100 company here in Ohio. I've heard it on the local television news. I've read it in correspondence from the city where I live in Ohio. I've read it in a pamphlet published by the State of Ohio!! Here is a quote from the "State of Ohio Worker's Guide to Unemployment Compensation." "If you do not file a claim for a week of employment timely, you will not receive benefits for that week."

Now, here's some info from Merriam Webster online about "timely" as an...adverb!!! (I've never, ever come across this as a valid use of the word "timely.")

I search "timely" at M-W online and a choice between use as an adjective and use as an adverb (!!) came up. I clicked on the adverb - usage #2. Here's what came up:

2 : in time : OPPORTUNELY <the question was not...timely raised in the state court -- W. O. Douglas>

"Timely raised?" You've got to be kidding me. Am I crazy? Since when is "timely" an adverb? The correct construction is "...was not raised in a timely manner."

Help! What's happening here?

Maryn
05-03-2007, 10:43 PM
[Maryn shudders at timely as an adverb. She doesn't think opportunely has any right to exist, either.]

Twice in recent weeks I've read manuscripts in which the author--neither of them dolts--used plaintiff when they meant plaintive. If this keeps up, I'll need to think of a gentle joke to use as I note it.

Maryn, who uses much honey in critique when the person is young

Bartholomew
05-03-2007, 10:57 PM
Your nice.

No, my bad.

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-04-2007, 12:13 PM
Not totally appropriate to the thread, but...

What's the proper word for "in a timely fashion" -- timelily??

Ditto "leisurely".

When I encounter either in that fashion in my own writing, I rewrite the whole phrase.

Maryn
05-04-2007, 05:57 PM
Rewrite the phrase, as you said, unless your narrator is the kind of character who invents words without annoying the bejesus out of the reader.

Although depending on context, you might be able to substitute promptly for in a timely fashion.

Maryn, who should be writing

Woof
05-05-2007, 04:23 PM
Two annoying things:

disorientated instead of disoriented.

Using the possessive case instead of using a contraction, as in : "Your right, my grammar sucks" instead of "You're right..."

Devil Ledbetter
05-05-2007, 04:44 PM
If it's not been mentioned yet, irregardless is a self-contained redundancy. The word is regardless.

My old boss always wrote "for your pursual" when he meant "perusal," leaving me to picture the recipient chasing a sheaf of papers around his office.


Using the possessive case instead of using a contraction, as in : "Your right, my grammar sucks" instead of "You're right..."I make this mistake all the time, not because I don't know the difference, but because I keyboard rapidly. The less coffee I've had, the more likely I am to humiliate myself with this one.

Maryn
05-05-2007, 07:15 PM
In that case, here, have a cup of coffee!

Someone may want to smack me upside the head for saying this aloud, but in my experience screenwriters in particular seem to have a real fondness for pluralizing with apostrophe-s and for your right kinds of goofs. They're common on most screenwriting forums (and far less so on fiction and non-fiction forums). I hope their scripts are more carefully proofread, although maybe it doesn't matter since the end product isn't written.

Maryn, who can't stand phrases like All the kid's left and the playground stood empty

Woof
05-05-2007, 11:27 PM
I make this mistake all the time, not because I don't know the difference, but because I keyboard rapidly. The less coffee I've had, the more likely I am to humiliate myself with this one.


http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

blacbird
05-06-2007, 07:49 AM
"I submit"

Addressed to any agent or editor.

caw

Storyteller5
05-06-2007, 07:52 AM
"literally"

trumancoyote
05-06-2007, 09:42 AM
My old boss always wrote "for your pursual" when he meant "perusal," leaving me to picture the recipient chasing a sheaf of papers around his office.

Even perusal would be used incorrectly there, unless he wanted you to read them carefully.

freshpencils
05-06-2007, 07:50 PM
Maryn - It's so funny you should say that. A few years ago I went to a screenwriting forum (My readers say my book reads like a screenplay. Just what I need.) for the first and last time. The first thread I read began "Me and my friend are in talks with the BBC..."

If you're on a writing forum, especially if you're claiming to be in talks with the BBC wouldn't you want to sound at least somethat literate?! Why would you compose a post so well suited to a 4th grader?!

newmod
05-18-2007, 01:48 AM
Don´t know if this has been mentioned yet, if so apologies, but "would of", "could of", "should of" ... you get the idea.