Incorrect usages!!! Pet Peeves!

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  1. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
    DzyMsLizzyposted 9 years ago

    There are a few glaring errors I've been seeing too often lately.  Some are here; others are elsewhere on the Internet.  There's no accounting, of course, for the comments on such places as Face Book; it's not a writing site.  But on writing sites, it drives me cuckoo to see such blatant misuses as those that follow.

    Wheel barrel ...   ACK!  I cringe at the sound; it's like fingernails on a chalkboard.  The word is "WHEELBARROW,"  and it's all one word.

    People mixing up "Flaunt" and "Flout."  I have read all too often that someone was 'flaunting the law.'

    No!  Wrong!!  Disobeying the law is FLOUTING the law. 

    Flaunting is showing off.  For example, "She FLAUNTED her diamond ring in a most obnoxious manner."

    Then there are the people who mix up "formally" and "formerly."  Ugh!

    "FORMALLY" means in a formal manner; you address the President in a formal manner.  "Good morning, Mr. President, it is a pleasure to meet you."  (You wouldn't say, "Hey there, old boy! and offer a fist-bump!)

    "FORMERLY' means "used to be; in the past." 
    "Mrs. Carlson, formerly Miss Edwards, will be our new secretary."

    **End rant**

    1. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Maybe that presents opportunity for an editor or becoming an editor formal or otherwise. I know with my writing experience at HP to be specific I have learned much from forums such as this as well as at answers regarding spelling, grammar, and language usage. With that thank you for sparking this forum topic as well as those others I have learned from smile

      Sharing is I don't have that as a pet peeve, although I do notice. For me it is a learning experience seeking becoming a better writer. As I see the errors or improper usages I realize I too error and use language improperly. Those experiences reading others while discovering such offers to me I am becoming more skilled as a writer and too, having the additional benefit of editing with a greater proficiency.

    2. B. Leekley profile image85
      B. Leekleyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Please don't be mad at me that till now I have at times said flount when I meant flout.

      Wheelbarrow is well established but other word combinations are not. Like, many writing style guides say website but web page. I say webpage.

      Why is it dinner plate but dinnerware and bookplate?

      Is it put-downs or putdowns? Step-children or stepchildren? Part time or part-time or parttime?

      English is a Germanic language, and combining two words to make one comes  easily.

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
        DzyMsLizzyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Whether it is true, I know not, but I heard an English teacher once state that the reason English is so confusing is because it is largely a Germanic language, trying to apply Latin-language rules!
        That said, while its roots may be Germanic, it is also a 'bastard language,' having borrowed words from many others, including the Latin languages.

        1. B. Leekley profile image85
          B. Leekleyposted 9 years agoin reply to this


  2. profile image0
    Bob Bambergposted 9 years ago

    I'm with you, Lizzy.  Here's another one:  using the word "that" instead of the word "who" when referring to, "people that use the word "that" instead of the word "who."   You got it right in your "formally/formerly sentence."  That makes me so happy!  smile

    1. MizBejabbers profile image87
      MizBejabbersposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Except with the law a "person" can be a business, corporation, or other entity as well as an individual. "Who" and "that" drive me crazy when I'm editing our bills and acts for the law books. I have to stop and decide if the person is an individual or else before I correct "that" to "who". The law can have "a person who" and "a person that" in the same paragraph, and both are correct. Grrrr.

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
        DzyMsLizzyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        And that is a problem created by large corporations buying off legislators with the horrible "Citizens United" bill that never should have passed! 
        IMO, a corporation is a "that," no matter what!  I look forward to the overturning of that law!

  3. Thelma Alberts profile image90
    Thelma Albertsposted 9 years ago

    I agree with you. That is why I have my dictionary near me when writing. Sometimes I have to Google the word to be sure that it is correct.

    1. bravewarrior profile image87
      bravewarriorposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I do the same thing, Thelma. Although the words Lizzy cites above have clear meanings - at least to me.

      Speaking of which, here's another to add to your rant, Lizzy: cite, site and sight. Cite means to name or issue. Site is a place or location. Sight is what the use of our eyes gives us.

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
        DzyMsLizzyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Oh, yes, bravewarrior!  That's another annoying trio!  You've got it spot on.  To me, that is similar to people who cannot seem to grasp the difference between  their, there and they're.

        1. bravewarrior profile image87
          bravewarriorposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Right on my friend! Misuse of those words really irks me. That's basic English that we learned in grammar school! Oh, ha ha. Today it's called elementary school. When we were kids, it was grammar school. Maybe that's the problem - grammar is no longer a part of the Three R's!

  4. MizBejabbers profile image87
    MizBejabbersposted 9 years ago

    Love your rant, rave on. I think my pet peeve is the misuse of "comprise" for "compose". It is never correct to say " the herd is comprised of seven jerseys and two Holsteins." It is "the herd is composed of seven jerseys and two Holsteins," or "the herd comprises seven jerseys and two Holsteins." A good way to remember it is that the whole comprises the parts and the parts compose the whole.

    I've never seen "wheel barrel", and I hope I won't.

    I'll never forget a lesson my mama taught me when I was, oh, I guess junior high age. After visiting someone's house, I told mom that Blank's house was so "homely". She said, "Was it really that ugly?" She let me know right quick like that I had misused the word and that I had meant "homey". I was sooo embarrassed. I still see those words misused today in peoples' writing. Remember:  Aunt Beulah may be a homely woman but she keeps a homey house.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
      DzyMsLizzyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      LOL, MizBejabbers!  Indeed, homey and homely are very different. 

      As for 'wheel barrel,' this rant was inspired because I saw that very usage in someone's post on my news feed!  And I've heard it used that way in spoken language as well.
      As my father used to say, "That wrinkles my bones!"

  5. Chriswillman90 profile image90
    Chriswillman90posted 9 years ago

    I just become obsessed with getting the grammar and spelling right to the point where I make obvious mistakes. As for grammar annoyances, anything people get words like there and their mixed up is irritating. Even things like using your versus you're becomes grating.

  6. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
    DzyMsLizzyposted 9 years ago

    Supplemental rant:

    A friend of my mother's used to say things incorrectly.  She mixed up the usages of "fray" and "frail."

    She would comment about an older garment by saying, "The sleeves on this coat are frailing."

    There's no such word!  (Dictionary lookup offers, "Did you mean, 'flailing?' ")
    A person can become FRAIL in their old age, but fabric FRAYS.

    And a friend of mine used to use a horrible construction that made me cringe every time I heard it!

    She would say, "The floor needs swept."  UGH!!
    It's "The floor needs sweeping," or "The floor needs to be swept."
    She would use this construction with any verb indicating something that needed to be done, as "...clothes need washed," etc.  I wanted to shake her!

    1. MizBejabbers profile image87
      MizBejabbersposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I can't break my husband, who has a master's degree, from saying "I have an ideal," "It's your ideal." etc. I don't know where he got it. He basically grew up in the Ozarks but spent a few teenage years in Boston, so where did it come from?

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
        DzyMsLizzyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        My husband also has a master's degree, yet he is terribly challenged with spelling!  I serve as a 'living dictionary' to him when he is making comments on Face Book posts!  LOL
        He, too, has words he gets wrong, but I expect it is because he has a degree of hearing loss, going back to his childhood, so he perhaps cannot hear the words properly pronounced, and therefore cannot replicate the sound correctly, either.

        1. brakel2 profile image72
          brakel2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Affect and effect. Effect is the noun, and affect the verb. This can be a difficult one.
          A trick is to use the words "the effect" and use the last letter of "the" and first letter of "effect" which are the same letter to remember the noun.

          1. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
            DzyMsLizzyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Indeed!  I see that pair confused all too often!  And the other, that I totally fail to understand, is how on Earth people can mix up then and than!  Yet, it is one of the most common errors I see!

  7. Danny Cabaniss profile image69
    Danny Cabanissposted 8 years ago

    This makes for interesting reading!  Thank you so much for getting the ball rolling.  I was taught that the word "unique" never needs a modifier.  The idea, as I have understood it, is that unique means "one of a kind" and something either is or isn't a one of a kind.  These days, it seems that I hear more and more mainstream, respected news anchors and announcers and such modify unique.  These are people who usually get words right.  The ship may have sailed on this one.  Still, for me, nothing is somewhat, kinda, sorta, mostly, or very unique.  It is either unique, or it isn't.


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