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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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 "...
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. ...
10
votes
2answers
918 views

What do you call it when someone misunderstands a homonym? [duplicate]

I once ran across a term for the error of misunderstanding the meaning or sense of a word because one doesn't know exactly what the word is. For example, someone mistakenly thinks that the phrase is "...
12
votes
9answers
22k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
295 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 ...
66
votes
3answers
17k 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
28
votes
7answers
47k 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, ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
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: ...
2
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
535 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
374 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
1answer
167 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 ...