Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, Swell (and other Fabulous Words) + emergent/emergency

emergent/emergency 
The error of considering “emergent” to be the adjectival form of “emergency” is common only in medical writing, but it is becoming widespread. “Emergent” properly means “emerging” and normally refers to events that are just beginning—barely noticeable rather than catastrophic. “Emergency” is an adjective as well as a noun, so rather than writing “emergent care,” use the homely “emergency care.”



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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/
This week on the podcast we discuss “swell” (and other fabulous words).

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, Trump, the name + aisle/isle

aisle/isle
An aisle is a narrow passageway, especially in a church or store; an isle is an island. Propose to the person you’re stranded on a desert isle with and maybe you’ll march down the aisle together after you’re rescued.


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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we discuss Trump, the name.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, the names of the nominated + face the piper/pay the piper, face the music



face the piper/pay the piper, face the music  
When it comes time to accept the consequences of your actions you may have to pay the piper or face the music, but you don’t have to “face the piper.”


 
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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we discuss the names of the nominated.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, more words often confused + PC computer/PC

PC computer/PC 
The phrase “PC computer” is a bit awkward and redundant since “PC” stands for “personal computer.” The problem is that originally the label “PC” meant not personal computers generally, but computers compatible with the IBM PC introduced in 1981. By the time IBM adopted the abbreviation for a specific model there had been many earlier personal computers like the Commodore PET and the Apple II. Now IBM doesn’t make PCs and none of today’s popular personal computers is compatible with the original PC. The label is still used to distinguish between computers running some version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system and the Macintosh computers made by Apple, even though Macs are certainly personal computers and the newer ones can also run Windows. No wonder people forget what “PC” stands for. If you want to use the abbreviation to indicate that your computer is not a Mac, “PC” alone will do, despite its literal inaccuracy.


 

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This week on the podcast we discuss Melania Trump, labyrinths, and words often confused.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, more misconceptions about The Bible + first come, first serve/first come, first served



first come, first serve/first come, first served  
It might seem logical to put both verbs in the same form, as in “first come, first serve,” but actually the phrase means something like “the first to come will be the first to be served.” Early comers do not do the serving; they are served.

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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we conclude our discussion of passages and phrases from The Bible.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, more misconceptions about The Bible + gender

gender
When discussing males and females, feminists wanting to remove references to sexuality from contexts which don’t involve mating or reproduction revived an older meaning of “gender,” which had come to refer in modern times chiefly to language, as a synonym for “sex” in phrases such as “Our goal is to achieve gender equality.” Americans, always nervous about sex, eagerly embraced this usage, which is now standard. In some scholarly fields, “sex” is used to label biologically determined aspects of maleness and femaleness (reproduction, etc.) while “gender” refers to their socially determined aspects (behavior, attitudes, etc.); but in ordinary speech this distinction is not always maintained. It is disingenuous to pretend that people who use “gender” in the new senses are making an error, just as it is disingenuous to maintain that “Ms.” means “manuscript” (that’s “MS”). Nevertheless, I must admit I was startled to discover that the tag on my new trousers describes not only their size and color, but their “gender.”


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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we continue our discussion of passages and phrases from The Bible.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, misconceptions about The Bible + factoid

factoid
The “-oid” ending in English is normally added to a word to indicate that an item is not the real thing. A humanoid is not quite human. Originally “factoid” was an ironic term indicating that the “fact” being offered was not actually factual. However, CNN and other sources took to treating the “-oid” as if it were a mere diminutive and using the term to mean “trivial but true fact.” As a result, the definition of “factoid” is hopelessly confused and it’s probably better to avoid using the term altogether.


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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we discuss some history of The Bible and begin a conversation about some misunderstood passages therein.