Wednesday, May 21, 2014

No, that's not right!

Lee Huang told me about this helpful TIME article:

20 More Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Horrible

While none of the good writing/speaking tips in the link is new to me, the article is worth a read for its easy style. There was an earlier article:

30 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Horrible


I have my own examples culled from the local newspapers. But, first, I think this cartoon I found sets the tone:

Literally means literally!

The tagline reads fine simply as "You [but not your skin] will feel over the moon". That's because "over the moon" is being used idiomatically here. Just don't add in "literally"!

A person can have many talents but you can't say five talented persons are "five talents"!

NAFA, unfortunately, named one of its schools "School of Young Talents" (instead of the correct phrasing, "School of Young Talent"). So, now, its ads look ridiculous...

The newspapers sometimes get it wrong too...


There's no such word as "momento". The correct word is "memento"!
(Some dictionaries, however, have caved in to this misspelling.)

It is jargon, not jargons!

I don't blame Ms Tin Pei Ling. The sub-editors should have made the change.

It is "unique", not "very unique"!
(Just as someone is pregnant, not very pregnant).

Mr Shinzo Abe got it right...

Similarly, someone or something may be "ideal", not "more ideal" or "less ideal"

There is no such word as "surgeries". It is always "surgery"

A "condo" (condominium) is the entire development. These are "condo unit owners"!

Last one... just what on earth is "Please RSVP"??
(and the perpetrator of this wrong usage of "RSVP" is a university! Use "Please respond...")

Here is a good example of the correct usage of "RSVP":

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