Tuesday, January 27, 2015

impact: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Tuesday, January 27, 2015

impact
One (very large) group of people thinks that using “impact” as a verb is just nifty: “The announcement of yet another bug in the software will strongly impact the price of the company’s stock.” Another (very passionate) group of people thinks that “impact” should be used only as a noun and considers the first group to be barbarians. Although the first group may well be winning the usage struggle, you risk offending more people by using “impact” as a verb than you will by substituting more traditional words like “affect” or “influence.”

 

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Paul Brians' latest blog post really airs it out.

This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

Enjoy the calendar? Buy the book!

Monday, January 26, 2015

blunt/brunt: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Monday, January 26, 2015

blunt/brunt
Some people mistakenly substitute the adjective “blunt” for the noun “brunt” in standard expressions like “bear the brunt.” “Brunt” means “main force.”




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This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

Enjoy the calendar? Buy the book!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

your/you’re: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Sunday, January 25, 2015

your/you’re 
“You’re” is always a contraction of “you are.” If you’ve written “you’re,” try substituting “you are.” If it doesn’t work, the word you want is “your.” Your writing will improve if you’re careful about this.

If someone thanks you, write back “you’re welcome” for “you are welcome.”




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This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

Enjoy the calendar? Buy the book!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

salsa sauce/salsa: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Saturday, January 24, 2015

salsa sauce/salsa
Salsa is Spanish for “sauce,” so “salsa sauce” is redundant. Here in the US, where people now spend more on salsa than on ketchup (or catsup, if you prefer), few people are unaware that it’s a sauce. Anyone so sheltered as not to be aware of that fact will need a fuller explanation: “chopped tomatoes, onions, chilies, and cilantro.”


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This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

Enjoy the calendar? Buy the book!

Friday, January 23, 2015

overdo/overdue: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Friday, January 23, 2015

overdo/overdue
If you overdo the cocktails after work you may be overdue for your daughter’s soccer game at 6:00.



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This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

Enjoy the calendar? Buy the book!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

incent/incentivize: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Thursday, January 22, 2015

incent/incentivize
Business folks sometimes use “incent” to mean “create an incentive,” but it’s not standard English. “Incentivize” is even more widely used, but strikes many people as an ugly substitute for “encourage.”

 

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This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

Enjoy the calendar? Buy the book!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

click/clique: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Wednesday, January 21, 2015

click/clique
Students lamenting the division of their schools into snobbish factions often misspell “clique” as “click.” In the original French, clique was synonymous with claque—an organized group of supporters at a theatrical event who tried to prompt positive audience response by clapping enthusiastically.

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This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

Enjoy the calendar? Buy the book!