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January 27, 2011



I've never heard that last one used incorrectly.

Seth Lipkin

I once wrote to the local paper about their use of "notoriety" to mean "fame". I'm like that.


I really could care less about all of this.

Seth Lipkin

Random House 2nd Edition disagrees about "entitled." Defintion 2 allows "The book was entitled 'Moby-Dick'."


Now I'm not sure my last comment really applies, since I wasn't actually using an expression incorrectly, I was just using an incorrect expression. Guh.

I'll try to make up for that by mentioning that I worked with a woman who would confuse "deadpan" with "punny." Drove me nuts.


I am with Scott - I have never heard "sight for sore eyes" used incorrectly. Perhaps it is a regional thing?


Didn't you post something recently about the correct usage of "begs the question?" I think you did, because I was embarrassed to discover I've been using it incorrectly my entire life. Oops!

So now I'll use it correctly: I've been using it wrong because the way I was using it wasn't right. There! I've begged the question properly at last. ;)


"On the up and up." I've always used it to signify "above board; with integrity," but some people believe it means "improving" or "on the rise." Linguist Geoff Nunberg did a Fresh Air commentary about the phrase several years ago: http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/upandup.html


I have stopped using "entitled" on your recommendation, but now maybe I'll go back! Seriously, though, I recently caught my son using "entitled" in one of his English essays (as in "a book entitled (whatever)"). I wonder where a high school kid picked up the incorrect usage.


To echo another poster: "I could care less."

So, like, does that mean one is middling on the whole thing?

I also worked with a guy who identified a lot of "mute" issues. I finally fired him. Not solely for his misuse of words, but that certainly played a role in my decision.

Crystal Arcand (3Stairs)

"I could care less" instead of "I couldn't care less" is a hug pet-peeve of mine - drives me nuts!


"Irregardless" and "supposably" are the words my mom hates to hear the most. My husband's family has some doozies, like they say, "slither" instead of "sliver" as in "I'll just take a slither of pie." And they "stump" their toes rather than "stub". Oh, they drive me crazy. And there are more!


I have often seen "tow the line" used rather than the correct "toe the line" (to obey the rules or conform to a standard). Often the writer means something completely different, as in, "he didn't tow the line" for "he didn't do his part."


Random House 2nd Edition is WRONG WRONG WRONG.

The definitive dictionary for everyday use is Merriam-Webster's Collegiate, I also occasionally consult American Heritage.


I think using the word actionable to mean something one might take action on should be actionable.

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