Author Topic: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly  (Read 20602 times)

Offline longknife

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20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« on: November 20, 2015, 06:35:08 PM »
Affect vs Effect
Lie vs lay
Ironic vs coincidental
Nauseous vs. Nauseated
Comprise vs compose

Do YOU know the difference? Check out all of them @ http://qz.com/432285/20-misused-words-that-make-smart-people-look-dumb/
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Offline quiarahb

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2015, 09:00:15 PM »
This is so good! One of the pairs I usually have trouble with is farther vs. further. Drives me crazy!! Lol! Lie and Lay used to be hard for me, but I understand those two a lot more.  :)

Offline 007 fan

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 05:36:33 AM »
Nice post. I went and fixed all the nauseous to nauseated in my MS. Haha And I'm sure I've been silly with some of the other ones. Link saved!

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Offline Falthor

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2016, 08:21:54 AM »
oh, the discussions I've had with people trying to explain the correct use of Irony and Coincidence...

Sometimes I want to just hit my head against something and change the meaning of Irony to fit this new Universal misunderstanding.
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Offline AlythiaB

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2016, 10:58:46 AM »
Can we add words to this that aren't even words, that people still seem to think are words? Like conversating. That one is my pet peeve. I've heard way too many adults use this one.

This is so good! One of the pairs I usually have trouble with is farther vs. further. Drives me crazy!! Lol! Lie and Lay used to be hard for me, but I understand those two a lot more.  :)

I just had a discussion about this one with my fourth grader! Quick trick: I told him to think of "far" from "farther" as in distance, and thereby the one you'd use for measurable comparisons. "Ed went farther over the hill than William." vs "We will discuss this point further at another time."
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Offline MookyMcD

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2016, 11:45:29 AM »
I'll add a personal peeve: bad vs. badly.

Badly is an adverb, so "I feel badly about your problem," means "I suck at feeling and am doing a bad job doing so with respect to your problem." That's probably closer to the truth most of the time but it's still not what the speaker intends.
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Offline Curious Author

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 07:11:28 PM »
My pet peeve? Misusing fewer/less.

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2016, 05:41:28 AM »
oh, the discussions I've had with people trying to explain the correct use of Irony and Coincidence...

Sometimes I want to just hit my head against something and change the meaning of Irony to fit this new Universal misunderstanding.

Comedian Ed Byrne on Alanis Morissette's song "Ironic"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT1TVSTkAXg


Offline Falthor

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2016, 07:41:58 AM »
so many comedians have taken issue with "Ironic"   pretty funny stuff usually.
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Offline Wayward Son

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 06:53:56 PM »
amount vs. number

"There's a large amount of people who agree with him." No, there isn't. There is a large number of people who agree with him.

ensure vs. insure

This one makes me grind my teeth. "I want to insure that you have the right amount of books." Yaaarggggghhhhh!

I'm a copy editor, and this stuff drives me nuts!

Offline Scottish Guy

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Re: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2019, 04:55:51 AM »
Deteriated instead of Deteriorated
also misuse of 'momentarily', which I hear on TV all the time.
As in 'I'll be with you momentarily' rather than 'I'll be with you in a moment'.