Monday, April 1, 2013

allusion/illusion: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Monday, April 1, 2013

An allusion is a reference, something you allude to: “Her allusion to flowers reminded me that Valentine’s Day was coming.” In that English paper, don’t write “literary illusions” when you mean “allusions.” A mirage, hallucination, or magic trick is an illusion. (Doesn’t being fooled just make you ill?)


  1. To the person who writes these: Is it legal for me to reproduce what you write? I do not know how to give proper credit. -- I am a member of a Toastmasters group, and I would like to include two or three of your posts in a bi-monthly newsletter. Am I permitted to do that? I don't want to find myself unexpectedly embroiled in a copyright violation lawsuit. -- Jim

    1. Hi OldGuy1940: I believe that would fall into the category of fair use. If you do use some of these, it would be nice to cite the source (from Paul Brians' book and Web site, "Common Errors in English Usage"). I'm not Paul, but I am his editor and publisher, reachable at tsumner /at/ fbeedle /dot/ com if you have other questions.