Sunday, 17 January 2016

» 20 Silly Grammar Mistakes That Even Smart People Make

When you hear someone using
grammar incorrectly, do you make
an assumption about his or her
intelligence or education?
There’s no doubt that words are
powerful things that can leave a
lasting impression on those with
whom you interact.
In fact, saying an idiom incorrectly
or screwing up your grammar is
akin to walking into a meeting with
messy hair.
That’s according to Byron Reese CEO
of the venture-backed Internet
startup Knowingly, which recently
launched Correctica, a tool that scans
websites looking for errors that spell
checkers miss.
And the business world is no
exception. “When I look for these
errors on LinkedIn profiles they’re
all over the place — tens of
thousands,” he says.
Correctica recently scanned a
handful of prominent websites and
you might be surprised at how many
errors it found. Here’s Reese’s list of
the some of the most commonly
misused words on the web.
1. Prostrate cancer
It’s an easy misspelling to make, just
add an extra “r” and prostate cancer
becomes “prostrate” cancer which
would translate to “cancer of lying
face down on the ground.” Both the
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and the Mayo
Clinic websites include this
misspelling.
2. First-come, first-serve
This would suggest that the first
person to arrive has to serve all of
the others. The actual phrase is
“first-come, first-served” to indicate
that the participants will be served
in the order in which they arrived.
Both Harvard and Yale got this one
wrong.
3. Sneak peak
A “peak” is a mountain top. A “peek”
is a quick look. The correct
expression is “sneak peek” which
would mean to have a secret or early
look at something. This error
appeared on Oxford University’s site
as well as the National Park Service
website.
4. Deep-seeded
This should actually be “deep-
seated” to indicate that it is firmly
established. Though “deep-seeded”
could theoretically make sense,
indicating something is planted deep
in the ground, this is not the correct
expression. Correctica found this
error on the Washington Post as
well as the White House site.
5. Extract revenge
To extract something is to remove it,
like a tooth. The correct expression
is “exact revenge” which means to
demand revenge. The New York
Times as well as the BBC made this
error.
6. I could care less
“I couldn’t care less” is what you
would say in order to express
maximum apathy toward a situation.
Basically you’re saying, “It’s
impossible for me to care less about
this because I have no more cares to
give. I’ve run out of cares.” Using the
incorrect expression “I could care
less” indicates “I still have a few
cares left to give, would you like
some?”
7. Shoe-in
“Shoo-in” is a common idiom which
means a sure winner. To “shoo”
something is to urge it in a
direction. As you would “shoo” a fly
out of your house, you could also
“shoo” someone toward victory. The
expression started in the early 20th
century, relating to horse racing and
broadened to politics soon after.
It’s easy to see why the “shoe-in”
version is so common, perhaps
derived from the door-to-door sales
practice of moving a foot into the
doorway to make it more difficult
for a prospective client to close the
door. But “foot in the door” is an
entirely different idiom.
8. Emigrated to
With this one there is no debate. The
verb “emigrate” is always used with
the preposition “from,” whereas
immigrate is always used with the
preposition “to.” To emigrate is to
come from somewhere, and to
immigrate is to go to somewhere.
“Jimmy emigrated from Ireland to
the United States” means the same
thing as “Jimmy immigrated to the
United States from Ireland.” It’s just
a matter of what you’re emphasizing
— the coming or the going.
9. Slight of hand
“Sleight of hand” is a common
phrase in the world of magic and
illusion, because “sleight” means the
use of dexterity or cunning, usually
to deceive. On the other hand, the
noun “slight” means an insult.
10. Honed in
First, it’s important to note that this
particular expression is hotly
debated. Many references now
consider “hone in” an alteration of
“home in.” That said, it is still
generally accepted that “home in” is
the more correct phrase. To home in
on something means to move toward
a goal, such as “The missile homed
in on its target.”
To “hone” means to sharpen. You
would say, “I honed my resume
writing skills.” But you would likely
not say, “The missile honed in on its
target.” When followed by the
preposition “in,” the word “hone”
just doesn’t make sense.
11. Baited breath
The term “bated” is an adjective
meaning suspense. It originated
from the verb “abate,” meaning to
stop or lessen. Therefore, “to wait
with bated breath” essentially means
to hold your breath with
anticipation. The verb “bait,” on the
other hand, means to taunt, often to
taunt a predator with its prey.
A fisherman baits his line in hopes
of a big catch. Considering the
meaning of the two words, it’s clear
which is correct, but the word
“bated” is mostly obsolete today,
leading to the ever-increasing
misuse of this expression.
12. Piece of mind
This should be “peace” of mind,
meaning calmness and tranquility.
The expression “piece of mind,”
actually would suggest doling out
sections of brain.
13. Wet your appetite
This expression is more often used
incorrectly than it is used correctly
— 56% of the time it appears online,
it’s wrong. The correct idiom is
“whet your appetite.” Whet means to
sharpen or stimulate, so to whet
your appetite would mean to
awaken your desire for something.
14. For all intensive purposes
The correct phrase should be “for all
intents and purposes.” It originates
from English law in the 1500s that
stated “to all intents, constructions
and purposes,” which basically
means “officially” or “effectively.”
15. One in the same
One in the same would literally
translate that the “one” is inside of
the same thing as itself, which makes
no sense at all. The proper phrase is
“one and the same,” meaning the
same thing or the same person. For
example, “When Melissa was
homeschooled, her teacher and her
mother were one and the same.”
16. Make due
When something is due, it is owed.
To make due would mean to make
owed, but the phrase to “make do” is
short for “to make something do
well” or “to make something
sufficient.” When life gives you
lemons, you make do and make
lemonade!
17. By in large
The phrase “by and large” was first
used in 1706 to mean “in general.”
It was a nautical phrase derived
from sailing terms “by” and “large.”
While it doesn’t have a literal
meaning that makes sense, “by and
large” is the correct version of this
phrase.
18. Do diligence
While it may be easy to surmise that
“do diligence” translates to doing
something diligently, it does not.
“Due diligence” is a business and
legal term that means you will
investigate a person or business
before signing a contract with them,
or before formally engaging in a
business deal together. You should
do your due diligence and
investigate business deals fully
before committing to them.
19. Peaked my interest
To “pique” means to arouse, so the
correct phrase here should be
“piqued my interest,” meaning that
your interest was awoken. To say
that something “peaked my interest”
would mean that it looked at my
interest.
20. Case and point
The correct phrase in this case is
“case in point” which derives its
meaning from a dialect of Old
French. While it may not make any
logical sense today, it is a fixed
idiom.

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