English non-errors

I try to be very precise in my use of language, primarily because, to me, people who use language poorly seem genuinely unintelligent. (Or, as I prefer, “stoopid”.) However, I’ve learned to not try to correct people when they do go astray. No one likes a know-it-all. Besides, for many people I’ve encountered online English is not their native language, so I try to cut them a break. For those others, I generally find that it’s better for me to just skip their message and move on. Unless it’s someone speaking to me who I need to pay attention to anyway, such as a supervisor. Or a mugger.

Anyway, Paul Brians, a professor of English at Washington State University, has a list of English “non-errors” that, while perfectly valid American English, get some people in a tizzy. A few I just don’t like even though they’ve been in general use for decades and can be considered correct. One or three are actually things for which I was corrected by English teachers or, worse, corrected someone else for using. It’s interesting, anyway. While you’re there, check out his article on common English errors.

(Via: Boing Boing, where Cory Doctorow described English as a “brawling, promiscuous drunkard of a language made up of mispronounced and stolen words from other languages, and that’s what makes it such a glory to speak.”)


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Geek. Gamer. Dad. Husband. Beer drinker. Football fan. Blogger.

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