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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43 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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3answers
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Does ‘long-molared’ have any special meaning?

“You’re joking, Weasley!” said Malfoy, behind them. “You’re not telling me someone’s asked that to the ball? Not the long-molared Mudblood?” (Harry Potter 4 [US Version]: p.404)[Bold font is mine] N....
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4answers
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What does “randomically” mean?

I've just read the O'Reilly book Getting Started with Storm and encoutered the word randomically. I highly suspect this is a made up word, but a quick google found it in use here, here, and here. Is ...
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2answers
1k 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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3answers
57k 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 ...
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2answers
103 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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3answers
9k 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? ...
39
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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
370 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
73 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
37 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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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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1answer
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“Soft-peddle” vs. “Soft-pedal”: eggcorn blunder or sly play on words?

In chat the other day I asked the following question: "Recently I've been seeing writers using "soft-peddle" in print (in reputable publications, to boot) when I am certain the trope is "soft-...
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2answers
10k 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 ...
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2answers
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“More that” vs. “more than” [closed]

Here is an example of something I occasionally encounter, and it always trips me up. The title of an applied mathematics book from Stanford University in 1959 is (bold mine) Partial Differential ...
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3answers
951 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 ...
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6answers
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Mixing up “quiet” and “quite”: spelling or grammar error?

Look at this sentence: It wasn't quiet what I wanted And this one: The music was too quite for me Obviously quiet and quite are mixed up. Is this considered a spelling mistake? In both cases ...
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2answers
10k 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: The ...
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1answer
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“Piece of mind”

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “Personal Health: Diagnosing PMS” in The New York Times, Women's Health, (August 28, 1996). Experts insist that no ...
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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 ...
2
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1answer
78 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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2answers
20k views

Origin of the “triple comma” or “comma ellipsis” [closed]

Occasionally I see someone write out sentences,,, like this,,, with exactly three commas. The first time I saw it I thought it was a personal idiosyncrasy, but I've seen it enough times now that I ...
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1answer
54 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
356 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
113 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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2answers
548 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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3answers
442 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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2answers
239 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
69 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
119 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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9answers
62k 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 sympathize ...
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1answer
925 views
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1answer
66 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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7answers
35k views

Is incorrect capitalization considered a spelling error?

Is incorrect capitalization, such as the lowercase "i" in [Can] i [this sic] have an if statement within a dialog box code? considered a spelling mistake, or some other type of error?
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31 views
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1answer
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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2answers
5k views

What is the meaning of the phrase 'listing off'?

services Listing off registered services (nova-scheduler, nova-compute and so on) and their current state. The updated_at field is used to determine if a given service is considered healthy or not. “...
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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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2answers
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expression “something beyond your kin” [closed]

I heard the expression "something is beyond your kin", see an example: Woman, you're playing with forces beyond your kin. I can't find a way to fit any of the entries of the definition of 'kin' in ...
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1answer
365 views
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3answers
4k views

Correct usage of SIC to express verbatim statements expressed vocally?

Taken literally, sic erat scriptum would imply that "[SIC]" is to be used only when expressing a written statement. Can it also be safely applied to express that which has been expressed vocally? i....
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1answer
129 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
112 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 ...
7
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1answer
873 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
40k 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 ...
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4answers
265 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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1answer
789 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
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3answers
750 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 ...