Making a spelling mistake is called "misspelling".

It obviously can't be "misgrammaring"...

Here's the full context:

“codes”. This might be considered a “minor grammatical error”, only it isn't. This book deals with code... our profession is creating code. Being a web developer makes you interact with thousands of people online over time, everyone saying “code”, the right way. Why consistently misspell or make a grammatical error with this?

I'd like to condense make a grammatical error with into a single word, a verb that describes the act of "misgrammaring".

  • Grammatical error?
    – user44758
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 4:53
  • If the sample paragraph is about a person referring to a group of programs as codes (rather than code), that is not an error; it is use of acceptable but uncommon nomenclature. Being uncommon does not make it wrong. Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 7:22
  • No. A line of code like this: <?php $ugly_code = "But can't do much about it."; ?> is also called "codes" in this book. Even in the few cases where the usage is permissible, I believe conformity is the better approach considering the book is meant for English speaking audiences.
    – Aditya M P
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 7:44

1 Answer 1


Solecism (in the sense “Error in the use of language”), a rather general term that encompasses grammar mistakes, is one possibility. Another general term is infelicity. A few dozen quite-specific kinds of language errors (mostly stylistic rather than grammatical) are explained in BYU's Stylistic Vices webpage, for example pleonasm, “Use of more words than is necessary semantically. Rhetorical repetition that is grammatically superfluous” or acyrologia, “An incorrect use of words, especially the use of words that sound alike but are far in meaning from the speaker's intentions” (like malapropism, eggcorns, etc) and many more.

For verbs, consider misspeak (“To fail to pronounce, utter, or speak correctly”). A wikipedia article called Misspeaking says

Misspeaking is a word used to describe the act of speaking “incorrectly, unclearly, or misleadingly”, to “fail to convey the meaning one intends by one’s words”

Also consider the form to err grammatically. Verb err means to make a mistake; to err grammatically is to make a mistake in grammar.

  • Is there a verb I can use? For example: What makes a person consistently misspell or *make a grammatical error* with this?. I want to condense the 4 words to one.
    – Aditya M P
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 6:32
  • Thanks for answering, upvoted. I've updated my question with full context, if it would help with answering...
    – Aditya M P
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 6:38
  • To err is human; to err grammatically answers the O.P.'s question.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 18:09
  • @J.R., I agree. Considering that there is no single word for this, saying Why consistently misspell or err grammatically with this? is the best I can do.
    – Aditya M P
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 20:14
  • 1
    Actually, my remark was meant to be humorous, a play off a famous quote. I think better ways to say it would include Why consistently misspell or make grammatical errors? and Why continue to make grammar and spelling mistakes?
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 21:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.