Questions tagged [errors]

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 not use when an error has not been made: for example, "which is correct" questions arise from uncertainty, not error.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1 vote
1 answer
26 views

Like a Spoonerism but within one word

Spoonerism is the transposition of sounds or morphemes across two words. Think "Pheasant Plucker" But is there a name for doing a similar thing within a word. E.g. 'north' for 'thorn'?
  • 6,408
18 votes
7 answers
3k views

Word for heavily foreign-influenced speech?

Is there a word for when someone uses words wrongly, or uses outright nonexistent words, due to influence from foreign languages? Examples: I thought she loved me, but she bedragged me. (<- bedra(...
  • 183
1 vote
0 answers
28 views

Strategy to write error free english [closed]

When I write a document I make different kind of errors. I do check for such errors like running Spelling and Grammar checks using MS Word etc. however many times I catch such error only after I share ...
21 votes
3 answers
5k views

Where are the people writing "would of" from?

As a non-native speaker, I would never have guessed that this mistake was a thing before I read it on the web. Since it makes no grammatical sense, I can guess that it can only be seen in the writing ...
  • 329
-2 votes
1 answer
65 views

Did the UN make a grammar error here? [closed]

I was reading about some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). While researching their goal to end poverty on this site, https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal1, I came across this odd ...
  • 127
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Do you think 'alone' can be used as an attribute adjective, ie. before a noun

OED concludes it to be "rare" now. I'm wondering if native English speakers find these quotes too dated and unacceptable for today's English. 1668 Howe - Had this been the alone folly. 1873 ...
  • 143
2 votes
4 answers
76 views

Is the semantics of this sentence correct?

The speaker tries to say that I could have explained what I mean more accurately which would increase the chances of him solving my problem. He says the following: "Your attempt at explaining ...
2 votes
2 answers
107 views

"Consent" in passive voice to refer to subject giving consent?

I noticed a usage I consider odd while copy editing, and I'm hoping someone can explain it. Here are two examples from published academic work: Participants were consented to the study between 13 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
75 views

Spotting error in the sentence " India has a long way to go to reach environmental quality similar to those enjoyed in developed economies."

I am required to indicate whether the sentence " India has a long way to go to reach environmental quality similar to those enjoyed in developed economies." contains any error or not. I am ...
0 votes
1 answer
50 views

Use of recurring words - 'somebody who' [closed]

Think of somebody who takes you for granted, somebody who is treating you with disgust, somebody who thinks about you as a thing to use. Is that sentence well written? I mean the recurring part '...
39 votes
1 answer
3k views

Etymology of *spreadsheet* / an anachronistic use

Near the middle of chapter 14 of Murder Under A Blue Moon (2019, Abigail Keam) a character (Dexter) says, "It is an up-to-date spreadsheet of all your assets and liabilities." The story is ...
3 votes
3 answers
546 views

poetic license or incorrect mixed conditional

Recently, I have been reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and encountered the following boldfaced sentence: Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed? It was a bold question, ...
  • 1,901
5 votes
2 answers
113 views

"Crossed-referenced", "Crashed-landed", and other twice-inflected verbs

For about a month now, I've been cataloging every compound verb I encounter that, for whatever reason, causes some people to inflect both of its components in the past tense (see title for examples). ...
1 vote
2 answers
478 views

How is the sentence "This land is peaceful, its inhabitants kind" grammatically correct?

This might seem like a weird question, but how is the sentence: This land is peaceful, its inhabitants kind. grammatically correct? Shouldn't it be "...its inhabitants are kind"? The sentence is ...
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

Conjuring is listed as a noun on Google and Longman but then why does it appear as an adjective in the examples listed at these places?

E.g., on Google, the meaning is: "the performance of tricks which are seemingly magical, typically involving sleight of hand." But the given example is: "a conjuring trick". Similarly, the example in ...
  • 27
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

NORMINAL — normal or with nominal mistake?

At the very end of the live-stream for the nominal SpaceX STP-2 mission, the presenter places what appears to be a baseball cap onto the table. It reads "NORMINAL" (sic). My first thought was how ...
  • 906
2 votes
1 answer
123 views

Do you need to use "sic" for every error, or just the first occurrence?

I am typing into a computer a Civil War diary. The (unknown) author's spelling errors are actually quite consistent. Example: "Troutman told Doug and me to ride ahead and riddjup an area to make ...
1 vote
1 answer
36 views

What is the error name of "incorrect" but semantically valid variations of fixed expressions (e.g., “false news” instead of “fake news”)?

What is it called when one says "false news" but they mean "fake news" and just didn't notice the difference or didn't realize it mattered? It's like an eggcorn but the way it sounds is not quite the ...
  • 13
1 vote
1 answer
71 views

An unfamiliar word ‘raked’

I had something weird happened to me not too long ago, I was texting a friend and was asking a question that isn’t super illegal but it didn’t cross any lines within the law. To cut a long story ...
1 vote
3 answers
388 views

Why do some people misspell "kernel" with an "a"?

Sometimes when working with servers, one may encounter a problem with the kernel. I have noticed many times when participating in support groups on IRC, that some people type "kernal" instead of "...
  • 127
1 vote
2 answers
164 views

What word describes this verbal slip-up?

I just overheard my officemate, while she was on a conference call, say "My muke was mited", and I've said before "We need some more print for the inker". These aren't quite spoonerisms, as far as I ...
  • 113
2 votes
3 answers
696 views

Scimitar or Cimitar?

I'm a cook at a restaurant. My liberal arts education combined with a classical culinary education helps me figure out most stuff on my own, but occasionally I'm unsure. The grey area, fuzzy logic. ...
10 votes
3 answers
11k views

Is "his husband" valid? [duplicate]

I was surprised to see "his husband" in the Cambridge dictionary’s entry for compliment: He complained that his husband never paid him any compliments anymore. Isn't that a mistake? ...
0 votes
2 answers
325 views

What type of error is this? [closed]

What's a name for mistakes like in the following sentence: "time flies even faster as a parent"? Requested edit to clarify where the error is: time as a parent is the subject in the sentence above, ...
  • 103
1 vote
1 answer
77 views

Use of sophisticated words (to muddy the waters?) [closed]

EXAMPLE: In probability theory and statistics, variance is the expectation of the squared deviation of a random variable from its mean. Generally, it measures how far a set of (random) numbers are ...
  • 121
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

The usage of "who knows" [duplicate]

Is the second sentence correct English? What is the grammatical role and meaning of "who knows how many jobs"? ...Traditional cars happen to be human sized to transport humans but tiny autos can ...
  • 55
-2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Spot the error: I wish he was as good as you when it came to managing finances [closed]

Spot the grammatical error, if any?
0 votes
1 answer
90 views

how can i write it You username has been updated or Your username has been updated [closed]

Which is correct? You username has been updated or Your username has been updated or something else i am not sure i dont speak very well english so making sure i am writing right
-2 votes
1 answer
156 views

Spot the error in the sentence below

The long-awaited moment at last came and we set out for the station as merry a band of children as I have ever seen before or since? I think it should be in "before or since", but I am confused.
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

How would you explain these mistakes to an adult language learner? [duplicate]

what is the mistake in "I Have visited washington two years ago"?
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

finding the error

Her aunt didn't (a)/ give me (b)/ a minute of peace (c)/No error (d). This question of finding error came into my semester exam, the answer is in part (c) but i didn't get any error in it, Kindly ...
0 votes
1 answer
146 views

Help understanding errors from English exam in Cyprus

I had the following questions on an exam: SECTION 1: GENERAL ERRORS The following sentences contain ONE grammatical or vocabulary error that has been underlined. Briefly explain why it is an ...
-4 votes
1 answer
396 views

Does inserting 'had' between 'they' and 'ever' make this sentence correct ? Or there is no error in the sentence [closed]

Organic pulses are so popular today that people wonder how they ever lived without them.
0 votes
1 answer
9k views

Dead as a doorknob: idiom changes due to misuse

Most (if not all) of us have likely heard the phrase "dead as a door-nail." However, I have noticed that a large portion (ok, all) of my American university students of the last 5 years ...
3 votes
2 answers
664 views

What did President Trump mean by "crusty voice"?

Trump recently referred to John McCain as a "crusty voice in Washington." "I can tell you, we hope John McCain gets better very soon because we miss him. He's a crusty voice in Washington, plus we ...
0 votes
1 answer
137 views

What is wrong with this sentence? "Of all the places he vacationed, Ian's favorite is the time when him and his best friend went to Virginia."

Of all the places he vacationed, Ian's favorite is the time when him and his best friend went to Virginia. I just was asked in an exam to identify the error in this sentence. I think the error is "is"...
2 votes
1 answer
117 views

Mordecai Richler essay - what's the grammar error?

I was reading "Maple Leaf Culture Time", an essay by Mordecai Richler, and came across this page: Here is the text in question, transcribed: Neither is Mavis Gallant included among the more than ...
  • 123
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

motherload – a common mistake or slang word?

I am a bit unsure about how the word "motherload" should be seen – as a common mistake or slang word or both. I've encountered the word the first time in a recent Guardian article, but to my surprise ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is "giddy" derived from "Gid" which was Middle English for "God"?

Recently I posted an answer about the etymology of goodbye, in that answer I included a reference that cited Gid be with you, which was dated 1400-1499. The phrase was mentioned in Diachronic ...
  • 86.3k
2 votes
4 answers
287 views

Is “... microphones don't have cameras” a Freudian slip, intentional, or [sic]? How to tell?

In response to Kellyanne Conway's observations that microwave ovens can turn into cameras: There was an article this week that talked about how you could surveil someone through their phones, ...
  • 86.3k
-1 votes
2 answers
38k views

Chairman, chairwoman or chairperson? [closed]

In India, a male public official elected to chair a committee is still called Chairman, while a female official is nowadays called Chairperson. The term 'chairwoman' is never used, but a male official ...
1 vote
4 answers
544 views

Is it all right to use the term "infant child" in writing?

(EDITED minimally 5 hours after posting, to apply corrections in terminology suggested by members in comments -- the original question was "is 'infant child' grammatically correct?") Infant is one of ...
2 votes
1 answer
340 views

Why do many foreigners forget to say 'it' while speaking English?

"Is often seen -- you know -- these foreign players, they forget to say "it" -- I mean, while speaking in English... is odd to hear, you know... is peculiar, is that how you say? Even I forget to say,...
-2 votes
2 answers
564 views

Where is the mistake in "It's essential for us to book tickets for the theatre in advance"? [closed]

Find the mistake: It's essential for us to book tickets for the theatre in advance . I see no mistake here, can anybody help me find the mistake?
4 votes
2 answers
574 views

Norman Mailer's famous sentence -- where is the grammatical error?

The great American novelist Norman Mailer apparently began his rather brilliant novel 'HARLOT's GHOST' with a 'major grammatical error.' The sentence is as follows: "On a late-winter evening in ...
0 votes
1 answer
586 views

Which part of the given sentence has an error and why? [closed]

Below is the sentence, divided into four parts: (a) I will try (b) to be on time (c) but do not worry (d) when I am late.
1 vote
1 answer
341 views

Which part of the given sentence has an error and why? [closed]

Below is the sentence divided into four parts, indicated as (a), (b), (c), (d): (a) Another baffling change (b)that I notice in him (c) nowadays is that he (d) avoids to speak to me.
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Germanic vs. Germaic [closed]

My son was just describing something as being germaic and I corrected him to say germanic, at which point he pulled up germaic on the internet. Is there any reason to use germaic instead of germanic?...
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Deliberately mispronouncing words

Is there a word for the deliberate mispronunciation of words in order to confuse people, or to start a new trend of pronunciation? Ex. He often tried to impress us with his wit and wordplay, but his ...
5 votes
2 answers
12k views

What does the phrase "yet alone" mean?

I cannot find the phrase "yet alone" in any online dictionaries. What does the phrase "yet alone" mean in the following sentences: The fact that small rural communities are often ...