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.

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51 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 ...
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32 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 ...
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4answers
60 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 ...
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2answers
71 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 ...
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1answer
56 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 ...
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1answer
48 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 '...
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1answer
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 ...
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3answers
524 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, ...
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2answers
106 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). ...
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2answers
223 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 ...
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0answers
38 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
96 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 ...
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1answer
29 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 ...
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1answer
59 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 ...
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3answers
371 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 "...
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2answers
130 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 ...
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3answers
646 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. ...
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3answers
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? ...
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2answers
274 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, ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Spot the error: I wish he was as good as you when it came to managing finances [closed]

Spot the grammatical error, if any?
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72 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
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1answer
143 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.
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33 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"?
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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 ...
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1answer
138 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 ...
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384 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.
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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 ...
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2answers
610 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 ...
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1answer
132 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"...
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1answer
113 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 ...
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1answer
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 ...
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1answer
966 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 ...
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4answers
269 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, ...
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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 ...
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4answers
456 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 ...
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1answer
286 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,...
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2answers
552 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?
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2answers
512 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 ...
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1answer
556 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.
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1answer
336 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.
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1answer
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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?...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
10k 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 ...
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0answers
61 views

Difference between “I only have 10 dollar on me and ”I have only 10 dollar on me" [duplicate]

Is there any grammatical correctness in either of these expressions: "I only have 10 dollar on and "I have only 10 dollar on me" ?
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93 views

Into which category does the phrase “middle end” fall?

In compiler design, you can sometimes read the phrase middle end. In that context "front end" and "back end" are natural combinations, where "end" denotes the position in the chain and "back/front" ...
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2answers
2k views

Name for misused idioms

I come across many kinds of English mistakes that fall under the heading of misused idioms and expressions. Here's one I came across completely at random from a gaming forum post. ...the game ...
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1answer
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Etymology of “marketing:” how/when did it change meaning? [closed]

The best etymology I could find says the definition of marketing has changed like this: 1560s, "buying and selling," verbal noun from market (v.). Meaning "produce bought at a market" is from ...