12 July 2006
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:
alot – you wouldn’t write “alittle” so you shouldn’t write “alot”
apostrophes – no need to explain this one; see also the Apostrophe Protection Society
could of/should of/would of – you would never write “would’f” instead of “would’ve” and yet people still write “would of”
home page – when used to refer to an entire website when the phrase refers to a single page – i.e. the “home page” of a particular website
it’s/its – this one’s especially for Riley who’s having problems getting to grips with this at the moment!
logon – as used incorrectly by thick TV presenters who say, “Logon to our website at www...” when all they really want me to do is visit their website; if they really wanted me to “logon” they should also have provided me with a user name and password or something!
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]
Bad Language posted by Tony Ruscoe 3 comments Add your comments