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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-1
votes
2answers
63 views

The expression “Call off” as a meaning of “Postpone” [closed]

As a synonym of "postpone", "call off" can be used. But, I can't understand why "call off" has a meaning of "postpone". Please tell me its origin.
12
votes
9answers
20k views

Word for when one uses the wrong word in a sentence

Specifically, I'm looking for the term for when a person uses a word correctly, but intends a different meaning. For example: I empathize with you. When the person really means: I ...
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 ...
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
0answers
46 views

What is implied in this sentence? [closed]

In "How to write mathematics" by Halmos I came accross the following fragment: "A credit line from me here wouldn’t add a thing to their stature, but my possible misunderstanding, misplacing, and ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

What does the word “nanities” mean? [closed]

I found the word "nanities" in some Marvel fanfic about Tony Stark. I know Helen said he [Tony] would be better than new after the nanities finished doing their job, but we are all worried. But ...
11
votes
5answers
399 views

What's the term for introducing an error when you edit a sentence?

Several years ago, I recall learning an English term that described the following sort of error: I write (or begin writing) a sentence without error. I decide to change something in the sentence. I ...
-4
votes
1answer
33 views

Spotting error of the sentence [closed]

Another baffling change that I notice in hin now-a-days is that he avoids to speak to me. Please spot the error in above sentence nd explain plz.
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Is there a typo in this sentence? If not, help me understand it [closed]

I'm having trouble parsing this sentence: (I hope I used "parsing" correctly.) Now, the history of Eliza Doolittle, though called a romance because of the transfiguration it records seems ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Is there a linguistic term the type of solecism of using “more X” when “Xer” is the established comparative?

So I posted a joke on Facebook, and one of the peanut gallery chimed in that where I'd used vaster, he would have preferred more vast. Leaving aside the question of whether vaster itself is ...
2
votes
2answers
379 views

Origin of the “triple comma” or “comma ellipsis”

Occasionally I see someone write out sentences,,, like this,,, with exactly three commas. The first time I saw it I thought it was a personal idiosyncrasy, but I've seen it enough times now that I ...
1
vote
4answers
774 views

Renumeration vs Remuneration (reimbursed financially), which is correct?

For my entire life, I thought the correct word was Renumeration. But after reading a document that used Remuneration I checked google and apparently I was wrong. The oxford dictionary has a link to ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
527 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

What kinds of phonetic or phonological linguistic gaffes are there? (mondegreens, eggcorns, spoonerisms) [closed]

I was wondering what other sorts of phonetics-based linguistic gaffes there are. I don't mean the typical grammatical or syntactic error. Rather, I mean things like "eggcorns": eggcorn ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Usage of Past Perfect in “After something…”

I have been doing a couple of SAT and exam writing problems and I have noticed this following trend. Usually you have a couple of sentences like this: "After she had eaten her food she went ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

SAT Grammar - Gerunds vs. Parallelism

Hello everyone I was working on the following question: I said the error was A, because it should be how to preserve right? But apparently that is not the error, I cannot seem to find any other ...
5
votes
3answers
112 views

“Typo” for speech?

Is there a word that describes a spoken error wherein the speaker accidentally replaces a phoneme with an incorrect one? For example, an English teaches I had in high school once uttered the response ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Is there room for improvement in this sentence? Complex sentence [closed]

The sentence is the following: Along the years, I've developed a keen computational thinking which in addition to my sharp aesthetic judgment made me a really valuable player for any ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Is there a word for misusing or adding letters to words/names?

Some people add or change letters that aren't in a word or name, i.e., "Simonese" cat instead of "Siamese" cat, and French "provinincial" furniture instead of French "provincial" furniture. Also ...
28
votes
7answers
45k views

Is “substract” (versus “subtract”) a proper word?

I read an article recently where the author used "substract" instead of "subtract". I'm more familiar with the latter word but after doing a bit of googling, it seems that both words are being used, ...
0
votes
3answers
45 views

only that … or only that's …?

I have never seen the following expression : only that’s ….. ( I understand “only that” grammatically instead of “only that’s “….. ) ‘Have you seen her yet?’ he asked. ‘Not yet.’ ‘But ...
2
votes
2answers
485 views

Is 'Mochup' the same as 'Mock-up'?

I recently came across the word 'mochup'. I am unsure if this is simply a spelling mistake of the term 'mock-up', or if it is a technical neologism with a slightly different meaning. Searching on ...
2
votes
4answers
342 views

Noun to describe a “typo-filled” letter

I am changing my e-mail signature on my phone to read: Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4. Please do not mistake my brevity and/or misspellings for apathy and/or ignorance. I am looking for a ...
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votes
1answer
60 views

Identifying sentence error

M.J. Hyland, who authored the acclaimed 2003 novel How the Light Gets In, is often praised to be a subtle and complex portrayer of human psychology. What is wrong with the bolded construction ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

Why is one construction incorrect in this sentence?

Archaeological evidence shows that Viking ships were lighter, slimmer, and faster than that of the English vs those used by the English? Why is the first underlined form incorrect while the second ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

native-speaker's errors? [closed]

I suspect that the following opening paragraph in an email is not written by an educated native speaker of English. It has come to my attention that there has been several times whereby students ...
-1
votes
2answers
60 views

help message using maybe (most probable reason) [closed]

I am developing a software where the user can save his work. But for some reasons the save task can fail. One of the most probable reason is the fact that his document is already open. I want to help ...
-1
votes
1answer
263 views

Lowercase “moon”, “sun” and “solar system”? [closed]

From a grade school textbook: Good morning, children. I'm an astronomer. I study the stars and the planets. They're amazing! We live on the Earth. The Earth is a planet. It rotates all ...
1
vote
1answer
199 views

Detection of dangling modifier

Sentence that needs correction : "For building vocabulary skills, students should try to speak and write new words in appropriate contexts, rather than merely memorizing definitions". How is ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Cannot understand sentence mistake? [closed]

Until it can be replaced by a faster, more efficient, and more economical means of transportation, trucks will Cary most of the freight within and through metropolitan areas. Why is the 'Until it' ...
8
votes
2answers
791 views

Correct usage of SIC to express verbatim statements expressed vocally?

Taken literally, sic erat scriptum would imply that "[SIC]" is to be used only when expressing a written statement. Can it also be safely applied to express that which has been expressed vocally? i.e, ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Book: There Are Two Errors in the the Title of This Book [closed]

There Are Two Errors in the the Title of This Book is a book by Robert Martin about philosophical puzzles. Obviously the first error in the title is the repetition of the word "the". What is the ...
1
vote
4answers
430 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
300 views

Misinterpretation / Misrepresentation of statistics?

I'm looking for a single word or and expression for a faulty use of statistics. It can involve poor interpretation or representation of statistics or the false assumptions or logic that cause those ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How many types of errors are there in English language? [closed]

I was lately reviewing a book and had to tell about the errors. It was on C++, so I had to differentiate between the kinds of errors so that people don't get terrified like "OMG 50 errors? Bad book." ...
1
vote
1answer
497 views

Where can I find examples of really bad writing? [closed]

Do you know where I can find examples of really bad writing? I'm looking for garbled sentence structure, errors in spelling, grammar, and vocabulary, redundancy, tautology, internal contradictions, ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

“a wottle of bine”, “a can of boot reer” and “holed and sealed” - What types of speech errors are these?

People often make these mistakes in speech on purpose, just for amusement. Sometimes, however, they are unintentional and prove even funnier. In this case, is there a specific term for them? e.g. ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Is there a word to describe this linguistic error?

Francis Galton originally used the term "regression to mediocrity" to refer to the phenomenon that children of very tall parents were on average less tall. More generally, the heights of children over ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why “broke” and not “broken” in “If it ain't broke, don't fix it”?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it an idiom says. Why isn't it If it ain't broken, don't fix it On the other hand the lyrics of a song "Victory" played by a band "Deliverance" are as follows: ...
4
votes
4answers
567 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?
2
votes
1answer
505 views

Use of [sic] when correcting factual errors in reprinted work

I have had to write a review of an interview, as the article's author has not given me permission to fully reprint it (I did ask, they didn't respond). I have instead quoted from the article and ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Wherefore/whence the incorrect grammatical use of “code” (“a code was written”)?

I've noticed a seemingly increasing number of students now refer to the end result of programming to be "a code" rather than "a program", "a script", or even "some code". For example, taken from a ...
0
votes
2answers
43 views

Is 'we thought your pharmacy would be interested' wrong?

Let's say I'm a person who's sending an e-mail to a person or a company who owns a pharmacy - I'm trying to promote my medical device to them. Would the following be considered wrong or "bad" English? ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Would the rejection of an argument because of a grammatical error be a type of logical fallacy?

Many people may have experienced situations (often online) where someone dismisses another's argument not on the merits of the argument, but because of a grammatical (or, more generally, mechanical) ...
3
votes
3answers
10k views

Is there a comma before the word until in the sentence below?

In this sentence: They are not taking their team photograph until Friday at 7:30. On my son’s punctuation test, he did not use a comma after photograph, and his teacher marked this “missing” ...
-1
votes
1answer
312 views

Using a pronoun and a proper noun with a descriptor

With the sentence: "If he was Little Freddie, the apple of Vinnie's eye, would have told him." Does it mean if he was Little Freddie, or was he referring to Little Freddie? I think the meaning is for ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
753 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 ...