Questions arising from error (real or perceived): solecism, malapropism, mondegreens, eggcorns, disputed usages, so-called "corruption", folk etymologies, but also requests for interpretation when the text in question arguably contains an error, and questions which stem from a misunderstanding. Do ...

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0
votes
2answers
659 views

How can you encourage native speakers to correct mistakes non-native speakers make? [closed]

My English is pretty advanced, yet I still make mistakes (not many, but some). I am constantly talking to native speakers and always tell them to correct my mistakes. My problem is that in most ...
0
votes
2answers
329 views

Has the contraction “you’re” finally been replaced by “your”?

Your is almost universally used these days for you’re (“you are”). Is the misuse of your a result of ignorance, or is the contraction now formally dead?
1
vote
3answers
275 views

The use of question formation in non-question phrases?

I have read the following text some time ago: [...] Only here can you enjoy dazzling entertainment, get the thrill of your life on the exciting rides, and be face-to-face with some of the ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a name for misusing a word (e.g., saying “Provincially, yes”)? [closed]

I read a mail in which someone replied to the question "Will he be attending the party?" by saying "Provincially, yes". Provincial means "of or concerning the regions outside the capital city of a ...
2
votes
2answers
665 views

What's the origin of the phrase “God's clean earth”, and how long has it been around? [closed]

"It isn't every day a man wakes up to discover he's a screaming bender with no more right to live on God's clean Earth than a weasel." - Dr. Leech, "Blackadder II" What's the origin of that ...
1
vote
1answer
221 views

Is there a word like applicality? [closed]

I have seen the word applicality being used at some places but couldn’t find its meaning when I looked it up on the internet. Example usage: But because law doesn’t exist doesn’t mean it can’t be ...
-2
votes
1answer
1k views

Word pairs that are both synonyms and antonyms [closed]

The words "catholic" and "parochial" are synonyms or near-synonyms meaning "pertaining to the Catholic Church" (e.g., a parochial school is a Catholic school) but they're antonyms in a different ...
7
votes
2answers
516 views

Are there names for consonant-shifts when suffixes are added?

I saw a spelling mistake on an SO question: submittion. That got me wondering, is there a name for the shift of ‑mit‑ to ‑miss‑ in submission, permission, admission and so on? Are there other patterns ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Is this a complete sentence or two? [closed]

Given the example (from a British novel, The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life) Well what did I expect who said it would be easy? I will not let this defeat me. I will persist. Is the first ...
3
votes
3answers
620 views

Contexts where a comma means “and”

A comma is commonly used as a short form of the word and in newspaper headlines. In what other contexts is this convention common? This question came to mind as I was trying to parse the following ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is there a difference between “brainstorming” and “mindstorming”? [closed]

Some people use brainstorming, others use mindstorming. I could not find the difference between the two words.
-1
votes
2answers
372 views

What does “pre-delay” mean in this conversation?

This short piece of dialogue appears in the movie "Faces in the Crowd": Bryce: Shouldn't you be handing out gold stars instead of earning yellow ribbons on FarmVille? Anna: I was just ...
6
votes
1answer
165 views

Is ‘Today, Japan’s old age social security system is running at a deficit, is the whole country” in Forbes magazine a right sentence? [closed]

I’m puzzled about the meaning of “is the whole country” in the following sentence of the article titled “Japan’s choice: Sink the welfare state or collapse – Whither Japan,” in October 21 Forbes ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

“More that” vs. “more than” [closed]

Here is an example of something I occasionally encounter, and it always trips me up. The title of an applied mathematics book from Stanford University in 1959 is (bold mine) Partial Differential ...
0
votes
4answers
2k views

Synonym for “do you mean” without negative connotations [closed]

Whenever I use the phrase "do you mean to say", I notice that the word "mean" has a variety of negative connotations (cruelty, harshness, etc.) Is there any alternative for this phrase that doesn't ...
1
vote
1answer
230 views

What does “nukulate” mean?

What does nukulate mean in the following sentence from a question on Cooking SE? Nukulate for 3 minutes on high.
15
votes
1answer
2k views

“Soft-peddle” vs. “Soft-pedal”: eggcorn blunder or sly play on words?

In chat the other day I asked the following question: "Recently I've been seeing writers using "soft-peddle" in print (in reputable publications, to boot) when I am certain the trope is ...
1
vote
3answers
732 views

What does the usage of “under” in this context mean? [closed]

What does under mean here, how do you define it? From a biography: Shum graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 2000. He started dancing with his high school dance company team and ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

Apostrophe and plurals of abbreviations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? I was in Middlesbrough yesterday and spotted: CJ’s Cafe So far, so good, I thought. A selection of the delights within ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Is “Was” needed in the sentence “The woman, who was had married John Lennon has been blamed for pulling the group apart.” [closed]

I found the following paragraph in the article with the caption, "That Settles It: Yoko Ono Did Not Break Up Beatles” in Entertainment section of October 30 Time magazine: The Japanese artist and ...
2
votes
1answer
438 views

What does custom mean when it comes to parties? [closed]

I've seen different sets of people from around the country mention a "custom party" on written Halloween invitations. Does it simply mean costume (and just intentionally mis-spelled)? Or some specific ...
0
votes
2answers
818 views

Romney, “regards to”, and disfluency

This is kind of a follow up to "in regard to" or "in regards to". I have always considered that regards to means sending well wishes, while regard to means "concerning". Hence with regards to or in ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How widely-accepted is “What do you got?” to Americans?

Watching A Stranger Among Us, I noticed that Melanie Griffith twice asked "What do you got?" I recognise this as an American construction which sounds strange to me — Brits invariably say either ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Contrary-to-fact conditionals usage error [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I would have lost you” vs “If I had lost you” My question is about a usage error involving contrary-to-fact conditionals. Instead of something like this: If I knew ...
0
votes
1answer
183 views

Cromogenism, Chromudgeonism?

In one of the commentary tracks for Hellsing Ultimate OVA, English dub director Tallison Jaffe boasts using a few rare words now and then, so the fans have something to look for in their dictionaries. ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the “overseas” bushism really so absurd? [closed]

A famous quote by George W. Bush is More and more of our imports come from overseas. Which is spread with the implication of being particularly stupid because "overseas" is a term to describe ...
2
votes
2answers
40k views

“Dilemma” vs. “dilemna” [closed]

I understand the correct spelling is 'dilemma' but many people I've spoken with, including myself, were convinced the spelling was 'dilemna'. A quick search on google shows this is not isolated to ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Alleged misuse of the word 'respective'

I was told I misused the word respective in the sentence 'If bilingual, please list the respective languages.' My understanding is that the word points to the prior mentioned subjects. Here's a ...
4
votes
2answers
694 views

What is the error called when numbers are confused with letters?

In serial numbers etc., there are many cases where you can't tell if the intended character is a number or a letter. For example, the number 0 and the letter O, the number 1 and the letters l or I, ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What does “randomically” mean?

I've just read an O’Reilly book and encoutered the word randomically. I highly suspect this is a made up word, but a quick google found it in use here, here, and here. Is this some obscure technical ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

expression “something beyond your kin” [closed]

I heard the expression "something is beyond your kin", see an example: Woman, you're playing with forces beyond your kin. I can't find a way to fit any of the entries of the definition of 'kin' ...
1
vote
1answer
413 views

How common is the misuse of “literally” to mean “figuratively”? [closed]

This question "Literally" and "Decimate" misuse addresses the misuse of the word "literally" to mean its opposite. I am curious as to how prevalent is such misuse. My hunch ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

Is “make due” now considered acceptable?

Whilst plodding through Patrick Rothfuss' "The Name of the Wind", I came across: Our dinner was nowhere near as grand as last night's. We made due with the last of my now-stale flatbread, dried ...
4
votes
2answers
344 views

What is a “wreckless careerism”? [closed]

I have come across the following sentence: The quickness of her ascent, and the fact that she revamped each orchestra’s administration before suddenly moving on, has led some in music business ...
1
vote
4answers
426 views

Can you say “Why Tom let Katie win”

Some one pointed to me that in this Star magazine from cover, the editor used the sentence "Why Tom let Katie win" instead of "Why did Tom let Katie win". Is it a correct form or is the grammatical ...
7
votes
7answers
516 views

How to assess “an access of butchness”

I read this phrase in Alan Bennett’s Diary years ago and found it so unusual I’ve never forgotten it. Italics mine: 8 December. Trying to find someone a Meccano set for Christmas, I’m reminded ...
0
votes
1answer
650 views

“Piece of mind”

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “Personal Health: Diagnosing PMS” in The New York Times, Women's Health, (August 28, 1996). Experts insist that no ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

If “latter” comes first, and “former” comes second, what comes third? Or fourth? [closed]

If we had an hour long discussion, and discussed 5 topics: A, B, C, D and E in order, to the extent that we are talking about "E" right now, if "D" is the latter, and "C" is the former, what is "B" to ...
4
votes
4answers
547 views

What does “Toff's error” mean?

"He's invited the wife and I" and other similar sentences are referred to as Toff's error. What is, precisely, the meaning of this term?
5
votes
2answers
778 views

Meaning of “panegoric”

What does panegoric mean? Yes, it’s panegoric and not panegyric. The word is given in my module with the meaning “medicine that allays pain”, but I can’t find any reference. Is it correct?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the meaning of the phrase 'listing off'?

services Listing off registered services (nova-scheduler, nova-compute and so on) and their current state. The updated_at field is used to determine if a given service is considered healthy ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Use of “conscience” as verb

I’ve heard conscience used as a verb, in the phrase can’t conscience. For example, I can’t conscience taking credit for what I didn’t do. Is this use of conscience correct? From a Google search ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

“Key thob” and “key fob”

I've been receiving emails at work inquiring about registering our key fobs. This is slightly disturbing to me as I've always called it a key thob. An internet search for thob tells me I really mean ...
4
votes
2answers
365 views

What is the name of combination, in error, of similar or related words? (E.g.: segueway)

Is there a technical term for combination, in error, of similar or related words? This question is prompted by the following malapropism or solecism, from an article by Elizabeth Montalbano in ...
2
votes
2answers
797 views

Does ‘long-molared’ have any special meaning?

“You’re joking, Weasley!” said Malfoy, behind them. “You’re not telling me someone’s asked that to the ball? Not the long-molared Mudblood?” (Harry Potter 4 [US Version]: p.404)[Bold font is mine] ...
65
votes
3answers
15k views

What is the error called when two letters are mistakenly swapped?

Generally this may be called typo but when particularly two letters of a word are mistakenly swapped, what is this error called? Some examples: teh > the fromat > format comptuer > computer
7
votes
5answers
13k views

Is incorrect capitalization considered a spelling error?

Is incorrect capitalization, such as the lowercase "i" in can [this is not the sic you're after] i [this sic] have an if statement within a dialog box code? considered a spelling mistake, or ...
3
votes
3answers
715 views

Isn’t a word missing?

I’m quoting a part of the article titled “Pakistan Sees Shared Intelligence Lapse” written by Alan Cowell in today’s (May 4) New York Time’s Asia Pacific section (online edition) simply by ...
2
votes
1answer
612 views

What does “It dopes it really really well. Dope even” mean? [closed]

Recently I came across a stackoverflow comment for a post. It goes something like this. Dojo has an UpgradeBar that dopes this: Blah Blah Blah and then somebody commented the post It ...
3
votes
5answers
22k views

Mixing up “quiet” and “quite”: spelling or grammar error?

Look at this sentence: It wasn't quiet what I wanted And this one: The music was too quite for me Obviously quiet and quite are mixed up. Is this considered a spelling mistake? In both ...