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Author Topic: Common Errors in the English Language  (Read 5188 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

Common Errors in the English Language
« on: October 21, 2010, 08:40:20 PM »
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html

Lots of nifty little tidbits here for people to polish their writing.

Offline Haipeabyss

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 03:06:18 AM »
This is awesome!
Anything that can help my English is appreciated since is not my native language!

Offline Lilias

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 04:55:54 AM »
Text version saved. I'm going to make a PDF of it and store it on my Kindle, next to the pre-loaded OED.

Offline DudelRok

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 07:52:48 AM »
Wish-washy

This would help if writing an essay paper, or something, as "formal writing" doesn't typically apply to anything you'll see on E as that's all fiction in nature. So I'm kinda meh?

Although it IS my go-to for flip flopping words and checking actually common grammar mistakes quite a few of the rules don't really apply, anymore -if ever.

Example: I do life/live a lot but not on purpose. Is usually a typo and I just don't re-read to catch it. XD
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 07:55:13 AM by DudelRok »

Offline alxnjsh

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2010, 09:05:09 AM »
Woot! I love this. I will fully admit to one bane of my existence...

Complement/Compliment

My confession...I'm so bad at remembering which is which that I use the word "kudos" instead.  :o

The other one that is slightly annoying is knew/new. Now these I completely know the difference, but sometimes I type so fast that it just gets placed incorrectly.

For those that also suffer from the bane...

Quote
Originally these two spellings were used interchangeably, but they have come to be distinguished from each other in modern times. Most of the time the word people intend is “compliment": nice things said about someone ("She paid me the compliment of admiring the way I shined my shoes.”). “Complement,” much less common, has a number of meanings associated with matching or completing. Complements supplement each other, each adding something the others lack, so we can say that “Alice’s love for entertaining and Mike’s love for washing dishes complement each other.” Remember, if you’re not making nice to someone, the word is “complement.”


A complement can also be the full number of something needed to make it complete: “my computer has a full complement of video-editing programs.” If it is preceded by “full” the word you want is almost certainly “complement.”

Offline mystictiger

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2010, 10:58:26 AM »
I compliment you on this link, and I share Alxnjsh's issue.

One thing that I also wish was addressed was the use of 'however'.

When used at the start of a sentence and not followed by a comma, it is my understanding that it means 'no matter how much' - e.g. However many times this is explained to me, I always get it wrong. When used in the middle of a sentence, however, it illustrates a diference. Is this correct?

Offline Will

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2010, 05:33:39 PM »
Either could still be used at any point in the sentence.  You can only make the distinction by context.

Offline Host of Seraphim

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2010, 02:32:10 AM »

Offline Sashira

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2010, 02:35:28 AM »
I've been a professional copy editor, and there was one that I was getting wrong for years!

AFFECT: Verb
EFFECT: Noun

It has nothing to do with the different meaning of "effected" vs. "affected", but instead has to do with parts of speech. So you will affect the outcome of something, to create an effect.

Offline Will

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2010, 02:40:33 AM »
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/care.html

This is my pet peeve!

OMG!  Thank you.  That seriously drives me crazy.
I've been a professional copy editor, and there was one that I was getting wrong for years!

AFFECT: Verb
EFFECT: Noun

It has nothing to do with the different meaning of "effected" vs. "affected", but instead has to do with parts of speech. So you will affect the outcome of something, to create an effect.

I have seen people use effect as a verb, as in to create or bring about a thing.  It's a slightly different meaning from affect, so it may be appropriate, I dunno.

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Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2010, 11:12:31 AM »
To further confound things, there is the psychological term 'affect' (pronounced with the stress on the first syllable).  Usage:  The defendant had a flat affect, due to his mental illness.

Offline DudelRok

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2010, 10:53:38 PM »

Offline Remiel

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2010, 02:10:00 PM »
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/care.html

This is my pet peeve!

I've caught myself doing this from time to time.  But then I think, "but wait! If I could care less, then that means I do care after all, and that isn't what I meant to say."

Offline Host of Seraphim

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2010, 02:53:05 PM »
I've caught myself doing this from time to time.  But then I think, "but wait! If I could care less, then that means I do care after all, and that isn't what I meant to say."

I think this helps most people:

« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 05:04:22 PM by Host of Seraphim »

Offline Will

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2010, 04:50:08 PM »
Unfortunately, I had a history teacher who used the phrase incorrectly, and often at that.  It took a lot of self-control to keep from correcting her.  She had a short temper. :(

Offline Star Safyre

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Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2010, 05:02:50 PM »
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html

Lots of nifty little tidbits here for people to polish their writing.

I need to work this into my sig or something.  This must be seen!

Offline Host of Seraphim

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2010, 09:49:30 PM »
Unfortunately, I had a history teacher who used the phrase incorrectly, and often at that.  It took a lot of self-control to keep from correcting her.  She had a short temper. :(

'Bout a week ago, I went to a new dentist. During the get-to-know-you chit-chat he said that he "could care less" about something and I was thiiiiiis close to saying "Okay okay YOU ARE NOT PUTTING YOUR HANDS IN MY MOUTH."
« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 05:05:09 PM by Host of Seraphim »

Offline Paradox

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2010, 04:29:48 PM »
I have lived and breathed that site since discovering it two and a half years ago, so I'm glad to see it's making the rounds.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2010, 02:31:45 PM »
Urgh. This one annoyed me.

Quote
Interestingly, the Scots themselves often use the “S” pronunciation, notably in referring to the Glasgow soccer team, the “Celtic Football Club.”

Only when referring to the football club (and the Oban Celtic Shinty club too!), and at no other time.

Both the S and K sound are 'valid'. The S comes from the French pronunciation ('celtique') while the K comes from the Greek (Keltoi, those that hide) and Latin (Celticus I suspect).  Clearly demonstrates that we Scots are the true heirs of the Roman Empire! Ahem.

The other expanation is that they're Glaswegian, and therefore cannae tak proper, ye ken? ;)

This somes up the issue quite well.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 02:34:21 PM by mystictiger »

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Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2010, 05:48:29 PM »
Urgh. This one annoyed me.

Only when referring to the football club (and the Oban Celtic Shinty club too!), and at no other time.

And that Boston basketball team.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2010, 06:59:32 PM »
Basketball doesn't really play a major part of life in Scotland. Unless, maybe, if you could fill the basketball with lard and then deep fry it...

What annoyed me was the reference to Scottish practice.

Offline DudelRok

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2010, 02:35:46 AM »
Urgh. This one annoyed me.

Both the S and K sound are 'valid'.

My main issue with a majority of "common English grammar mix-ups" is that a majority of times both are perfectly valid, depend on cultural interference (mostly notable American/British) or...

Either could still be used at any point in the sentence.  You can only make the distinction by context.

..depend on context.

Not to mention you can use certain things ironically and be grammatically incorrect.

I could care less; not much less, mind you. :p

English irks a nerve, man. I need to learn something more simple.... like Mandarin Chinese. Semi-rant bleed over from another forum where everyone there is totally oblivious to everything.

Apologies.

Online Vandren

Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2010, 02:07:45 PM »
When used at the start of a sentence and not followed by a comma, it is my understanding that it means 'no matter how much' - e.g. However many times this is explained to me, I always get it wrong. When used in the middle of a sentence, however, it illustrates a diference. Is this correct?

Yep, that is indeed correct.  The same is true if the "however" is set off with a comma at the beginning of a sentence.  However, English is a difficult language in that nearly every rule has an ungodly amount of exceptions, so few rules are 100% hard and fast.  :)

Personally, the one that's driven me the most insane on E. is "who" v. "whom".  People think these words can be indiscriminately interchanged . . . they can't! 

Who = subject
Whom = object (direct or indirect)

-Dr. Van, PhD (English)
Composition Instructor

Offline Star Safyre

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Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2010, 02:53:43 PM »

Who = subject
Whom = object (direct or indirect)

I teach my students this:

Who?  He.  Whom?  Him.


It's fun to get them chanting it loudly.  My neighboring teaching was wondering why I was teaching them about owls.   XD

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Re: Common Errors in the English Language
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2010, 03:02:52 PM »
Wouldn't owls be 'To who, to who' - which is incorrect?  ;D