Friday, June 29, 2012

individual/person: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Friday, June 29, 2012

Law-enforcement officers often use “individual” as a simple synonym for “person” when they don’t particularly mean to stress individuality: “I pursued the individual who had fired the weapon at me for three blocks.” This sort of use of “individual” lends an oddly formal air to your writing. When “person” works as well, use it.

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