Questions tagged [catachresis]

Use this tag for questions regarding the use of a word in an incorrect way, for example using 'militate' for 'mitigate'.

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29 votes
6 answers

Is it common for native English speakers to confuse "18th century" with "the 1800s"?

As a non-native English speaker, I've only ever referred to "1700-talet", meaning "the 1700s" or "the 18th century". In English, it's by far most common to say "18th ...
1 vote
2 answers

What's the term for a word used in casual conversation that differs from its actual meaning, e.g. using "rim" to mean "wheel" [closed]

It could be: catachresis: A misuse of a word; an application of a term to something which it does not properly denote. e.g. Using 'rim' instead of 'wheel' is a catachresis, a misnomer used in casual ...
3 votes
1 answer

Name of a misusage

What do you call the catachresis(? or misusage) when one uses an unreasonably extreme form of an attribute or adjective in a sentence where a more moderate one would be correct? (e.g.there are two ...
4 votes
3 answers

Term for the blatant use of the wrong word?

In my line of work I am confronted with people who blatantly or ignorantly misspeak. Ex: Customer - "Hi. Can I get a bagel" Me - "I'm sorry, we only sell pretzels here sir." Customer - "Yeah, ...
  • 49
2 votes
0 answers

"Season's greetings" or "Seasoned greetings" [closed]

Today I heard the phrase "Seasoned greetings." Is this just some clever word play on the traditional "Season's greetings," meant to mean greetings spiced up with seasoning, or is it a legitimate ...
19 votes
10 answers

Is there a word to describe someone who often inaccurately uses words?

Or a word to describe the act of inaccurately using complicated or unusual words (often in an attempt to sound more intelligent)? I considered 'bombastic' but it doesn't have that quality of ...
  • 191
25 votes
4 answers

What's up with the word "egregious"?

According to Google's dictionary (and MacOS/iOS dictionary), egregious has the following definitions: I've seen words with multiple definitions, but not ones that are exact contradictions. Some ...
  • 735
9 votes
3 answers

A word for when a word is used incorrectly (grammatically) but can still be parsed in a grammatically correct way?

Does such a word exist? An example: Do good. Supposing that my intention in saying "Do good!" was actually "Do well (on your test)!", the sentence still parses correctly as "Do good (deeds)!" I ...