Wednesday, September 2, 2015

done/finished: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Some claim “dinner is done; people are finished.” I pronounce this an antiquated distinction rarely observed in modern speech. Nobody really supposes the speaker is saying he or she has been roasted to a turn. In older usage people said, “I have done,” to indicate they had completed an action. “I am done” is not really so very different.

This is the tenth year 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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