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This is the new website featuring Brians' Common Errors in English Usage, photography, and various Read more about the book on the William, James site. Common Errors in English Usage book. Read 8 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Mixed-up, mangled expressions; foreign-language faux. Mixed-up, mangled expressions; foreign-language faux pas; confused and confusing terms; commonly mispronounced words - they're all explained in this.
It's because when you "shoo" something you're urging it in a certain direction. Emigrated to "Emigrate" and "from" always go together, as do "immigrate" and "to. Overuse of apostrophes These little guys are ubiquitously misused. Apostrophes indicate one of two things: possession or letters missing, as in "Sara's iPad" and "it's" for "it is" second i missing.
They don't belong on plurals. Also, people often make a mistake with their own last name. If you want to refer to your family but don't want to list everyone's first name write "The Johnsons" not "The Johnson's.
For example, "s" is correct but "'s" is not.
Prostrate cancer This one is a simple spelling mistake resulting from an extra r. The "prostate" gland is a part of the male reproductive anatomy. Slight of hand A "slight" is an insult, whereas "sleight" indicates dexterity or cunning.
It's why "sleight of hand" is commonly used in the world of magic and illusion. Honed in Just know that to "home in" on something means to move toward a goal, such as "The missile homed in on its target. Baited breath When I think about bait, worms and lures come to mind.
The first word should actually be "bated," which stems from the verb "abate," meaning to stop or lessen.
So, if you're trying to say that someone is holding his breath, you can see that "bated breath" makes the most sense. Piece of mind If you want to share what you're thinking with someone, this could work if you add "my" before "mind.
Wet your appetite "Whet" means to sharpen or stimulate. As such, the latter spelling is more appropriate. Make due "Due" means "owed," and that's not the intent with this idiom. Do diligence "Due diligence" is the proper business and legal term. It means you will investigate an individual or company before signing a contract. Peaked my interest To pique means to arouse, so the correct phrase is "piqued my interest," meaning that my interest was stimulated.
While the incorrect way it's written in the heading may suggest that someone's interest was taken to a high level, it's still wrong. Must of, should of, would of, and could of All those ofs should be "have. Per say or persay Both are incorrect because the Latin phrase which means "in itself" or "intrinsically" is spelled "per se.
All the sudden Whether you say "all of a sudden" or "all of the sudden," the preposition "of" must be involved either way.
But if you're really trying to say "suddenly," just do.
The first-year anniversary The use of the word "year" is redundant. Worse comes to worse "Worse comes to worst,"--note the t--is better because it indicates something has degraded from one negative plane to the lowest possible.
Unthaw Even though people use this word as a verb all the time, the best way to "un-thaw" something would be to put it in the freezer. Is freezing what you mean, or thawing?
I think my job is not to tell people this is absolutely right or this is absolutely wrong, but [to tell them] some people will disapprove or think less of you if you say it this way.
And that's just information, and then you do with the information what you want.
If you still feel more comfortable saying 'could care less,' then go ahead. Young people particularly have begun to say 'at all' in very inappropriate ways. You hear it most often from grocery-store checkout clerks. They'll say 'Do you want any help out with that at all?
And so it's right up there with saying 'no problem' instead of 'you're welcome' when somebody thanks you for something. That's not an error, but it's not traditional and sounds less polite to people who aren't used to it. And those people are often interviewers for jobs.
Don LePan Publication Date: April 17, ISBN: Comments Comments on the fifth and previous editions: Who Cares About Whom? Part of Speech Conversions: A Question of Principle? Word Meanings: