12 July 2006

Bad Language

Attn: Everyone

Please read and digest this list of Common Errors in English compiled by Paul Brians, Professor of English at Washington State University.

Paul’s managed to include just about all the incorrect usages of words and phrases that really get on my nerves. (I disagree with him in some cases, but I'll forgive him for those since he’s done such a good job with the rest!)

In particular, please pay attention to the following errors:

Another peeve of mine, similar to the “logon” example, is when those ridiculous T.V. adverts for insurance or loans tell me to “click on” their website. They say things like, for example, “Just click on www dot we can help you get into debt dot com for more information!” Why do I need to “click on” your website? Why can’t I just “visit” it like I do other websites?

And finally, taken from the Common Errors in English website (the emphasis being mine):

But isn’t one person’s mistake another’s standard usage?

Often enough, but if your standard usage causes other people to consider you stupid or ignorant, you may want to consider changing it.

Absolutely! I couldn’t agree more!

[Via Google Operating System Blog]

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This begs the question, do you get upset by almost everyone in the English speaking world using the phrase "this begs the question" incorrectly (which I just did in an oh so clever and ironic fashion)?

Not really. Unless they type it like this, of course:

"This beg's the question..."