Wednesday, March 4, 2015

cite/site/sight: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Wednesday, March 4, 2015

cite/site/sight
You cite the author in an endnote; you visit a Web site or the site of the crime, and you sight your beloved running toward you in slow motion on the beach (a sight for sore eyes!).

You travel to see the sights. It’s called not “siteseeing” but sightseeing.


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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.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

for sale/on sale: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Tuesday, March 3, 2015

for sale/on sale
If you’re selling something, it’s for sale; but if you lower the price, it goes on sale.



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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!

Monday, March 2, 2015

shutter to think/shudder to think: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Monday, March 2, 2015

shutter to think/shudder to think
When you are so horrified by a thought that you tremble at it, you shudder to think it.

 
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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, March 1, 2015

online/on line/in line: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Sunday, March 1, 2015

online/on line/in line 
The common adjective used to label Internet activities is usually written as one word: “online”: “The online site selling banana cream pies was a failure.” But it makes more sense when using it as an adverbial phrase to write two separate words: “When the teacher took her class to the library, most of them used it to go on line.” The hyphenated form “on-line” is not widely used, but would be proper only for the adjectival function. However, you are unlikely to get into trouble for using “online” for all computer-related purposes.

As for real physical lines, New Yorkers and Bostonians wait “on line” (in queues), but most Americans wait “in line.”

 

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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, February 28, 2015

gratis/gratuitous: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Saturday, February 28, 2015

gratis/gratuitous
If you do something nice without being paid, you do it “gratis.” Technically, such a deed can also be “gratuitous”; but if you do or say something obnoxious and uncalled for, it’s always “gratuitous,” not “gratis.”

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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, February 27, 2015

intrigue: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Friday, February 27, 2015

intrigue
Something fascinating or alluring can be called “intriguing,” but “intrigue” as a noun means something rather different: scheming and plotting. Don’t say people or situations are full of intrigue when you mean they are intriguing. The name of the Oldsmobile car model called the Intrigue is probably based on this common confusion.


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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, February 26, 2015

in the fact that/in that: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Thursday, February 26, 2015

in the fact that/in that
Many people mistakenly write “in the fact that” when they mean simply “in that” in sentences like “It seemed wiser not to go to work in the fact that the boss had discovered the company picnic money was missing.” Omit “the fact.” While we’re at it, “infact” is not a word; “in fact” is always a two-word phrase.


___________
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!