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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20
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1answer
2k views

“a wottle of bine”, “a can of boot reer” and “holed and sealed” - What types of speech errors are these?

People often make these mistakes in speech on purpose, just for amusement. Sometimes, however, they are unintentional and prove even funnier. In this case, is there a specific term for them? e.g. ...
2
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1answer
532 views

Is there a word to describe this linguistic error?

Francis Galton originally used the term "regression to mediocrity" to refer to the phenomenon that children of very tall parents were on average less tall. More generally, the heights of children over ...
4
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4answers
1k views

What does “Toff's error” mean?

"He's invited the wife and I" and other similar sentences are referred to as Toff's error. What is, precisely, the meaning of this term?
3
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1answer
3k views

Use of [sic] when correcting factual errors in reprinted work

I have had to write a review of an interview, as the article's author has not given me permission to fully reprint it (I did ask, they didn't respond). I have instead quoted from the article and ...
2
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1answer
330 views

Wherefore/whence the incorrect grammatical use of “code” (“a code was written”)?

I've noticed a seemingly increasing number of students now refer to the end result of programming to be "a code" rather than "a program", "a script", or even "some code". For example, taken from a ...
0
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2answers
52 views

Is 'we thought your pharmacy would be interested' wrong?

Let's say I'm a person who's sending an e-mail to a person or a company who owns a pharmacy - I'm trying to promote my medical device to them. Would the following be considered wrong or "bad" English? ...
7
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2answers
7k views

Would the rejection of an argument because of a grammatical error be a type of logical fallacy?

Many people may have experienced situations (often online) where someone dismisses another's argument not on the merits of the argument, but because of a grammatical (or, more generally, mechanical) ...
-1
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1answer
699 views

Using a pronoun and a proper noun with a descriptor

With the sentence: "If he was Little Freddie, the apple of Vinnie's eye, would have told him." Does it mean if he was Little Freddie, or was he referring to Little Freddie? I think the meaning is for ...
2
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1answer
9k views

Why do lots of people use “seperate” instead of “separate”? [closed]

Catalan: "separar" English: "separate" French: "séparer" Galician: "separar" Italian: "separare" Latin: "separo" Portuguese: "separar" Romanian: "separa" Spanish: "separar" Sweedish: "separera" Then, ...
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3answers
541 views

What type of word is “abnomaly”?

I've got a coworker that frequently uses the word, "abnomaly", not "abnormal" and not "anomaly", but "abnomaly". While the types of these words differ (i.e. adjective versus noun), the meanings are ...
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2answers
829 views

Is a bare infinitive acceptable as the object of a verb? [duplicate]

I came upon the phrase, "writing helps develop a child analytically thinking." Is this grammatically correct? Is it OK to use just develop instead of to develop?
0
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1answer
68 views

Is there a term for spelling errors that occur when heterographs are mixed up?

For example: "I am quitting this job with immediate affect."
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3answers
19k views

How to use [sic] at the end of a quote?

The OpenStreetMap Sign Up page advises new users on its password policy: With OpenID a password is not required, but some extra tools or server [sic] may still need one. I've added [sic] ...
16
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2answers
48k views

Erroring or Erring? [duplicate]

Is it more correct to say a computer program is erroring out, or it is erring out? Or are both statements grammatically incorrect?
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2answers
28k views

what does “Needy-Greedy” mean? [closed]

Hi I was watching a online video and the lecturer mentioned "here comes the needy-greedy detail of this lecture" after the introduction. And I am not quite sure what does the needy-greedy mean here? ...
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1answer
123 views

What does “values that visitors seek the park mean” in this sentence mean? [closed]

This is from Garett Hardin's essay on the Tragedy Of Commons. The National Parks present another instance of the working out of the tragedy of the commons. At present, they are open to all, without ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What do you call it when someone misunderstands a homonym? [duplicate]

I once ran across a term for the error of misunderstanding the meaning or sense of a word because one doesn't know exactly what the word is. For example, someone mistakenly thinks that the phrase is "...
0
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2answers
673 views

Meaning of 'pedal' in sentence?

What does the following sentence mean: “Mattan and the yellow jersey were right in the middle of the pack as it peddled hard in the blistering heat.”? I don't understand what "peddle" means in ...
0
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1answer
1k views

respectful owners ? Is that right?

I am reading on many many websites or videos something like: "All rights goes to their respectful owners" "Jack and other characters mention are property of Dreamworks and respectful owners" "...
2
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2answers
214 views

Is this a complete sentence or two? [closed]

Given the example (from a British novel, The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life) Well what did I expect who said it would be easy? I will not let this defeat me. I will persist. Is the first ...
2
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1answer
837 views

Usage of “accrue” in “it accrued to me to gently ask” [closed]

A newage hippie Facebook friend just sent me this. I was just wondering if it was syntactically correct, It accrued to me to gently ask if you could consider extending the same respect, you would ...
73
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3answers
30k views

What is the error called when two letters are mistakenly swapped?

Generally this may be called typo but when particularly two letters of a word are mistakenly swapped, what is this error called? Some examples: teh > the fromat > format comptuer > computer
0
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1answer
1k views

Which is right: “what pants is he wearing” or “what pants are he wearing”? [duplicate]

Since 'pants' is one of those always plural words, I can't figure out which sounds right.
0
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2answers
789 views

How can you encourage native speakers to correct mistakes non-native speakers make? [closed]

My English is pretty advanced, yet I still make mistakes (not many, but some). I am constantly talking to native speakers and always tell them to correct my mistakes. My problem is that in most ...
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2answers
481 views

Has the contraction “you’re” finally been replaced by “your”?

Your is almost universally used these days for you’re (“you are”). Is the misuse of your a result of ignorance, or is the contraction now formally dead?
6
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5answers
7k views

Use of “conscience” as verb

I’ve heard conscience used as a verb, in the phrase can’t conscience. For example, I can’t conscience taking credit for what I didn’t do. Is this use of conscience correct? From a Google search it ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Meaning of “panegoric”

What does panegoric mean? Yes, it’s panegoric and not panegyric. The word is given in my module with the meaning “medicine that allays pain”, but I can’t find any reference. Is it correct?
3
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1answer
12k views

If “latter” comes first, and “former” comes second, what comes third? Or fourth? [closed]

If we had an hour long discussion, and discussed 5 topics: A, B, C, D and E in order, to the extent that we are talking about "E" right now, if "D" is the latter, and "C" is the former, what is "B" to ...
3
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1answer
4k views

Is there a name for misusing a word (e.g., saying “Provincially, yes”)? [closed]

I read a mail in which someone replied to the question "Will he be attending the party?" by saying "Provincially, yes". Provincial means "of or concerning the regions outside the capital city of a ...
2
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2answers
2k views

What's the origin of the phrase “God's clean earth”, and how long has it been around? [closed]

"It isn't every day a man wakes up to discover he's a screaming bender with no more right to live on God's clean Earth than a weasel." - Dr. Leech, "Blackadder II" What's the ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What is the error called when numbers are confused with letters?

In serial numbers etc., there are many cases where you can't tell if the intended character is a number or a letter. For example, the number 0 and the letter O, the number 1 and the letters l or I, ...
1
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1answer
305 views

Is there a word like applicality? [closed]

I have seen the word applicality being used at some places but couldn’t find its meaning when I looked it up on the internet. Example usage: But because law doesn’t exist doesn’t mean it can’t be ...
3
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3answers
932 views

Contexts where a comma means “and”

A comma is commonly used as a short form of the word and in newspaper headlines. In what other contexts is this convention common? This question came to mind as I was trying to parse the following ...
2
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1answer
5k views

What does “It dopes it really really well. Dope even” mean? [closed]

Recently I came across a stackoverflow comment for a post. It goes something like this. Dojo has an UpgradeBar that dopes this: Blah Blah Blah and then somebody commented the post It ...
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2answers
545 views

What does “pre-delay” mean in this conversation?

This short piece of dialogue appears in the movie "Faces in the Crowd": Bryce: Shouldn't you be handing out gold stars instead of earning yellow ribbons on FarmVille? Anna: I was just ...
2
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2answers
4k views

Is there a difference between “brainstorming” and “mindstorming”? [closed]

Some people use brainstorming, others use mindstorming. I could not find the difference between the two words.
6
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1answer
176 views

Is ‘Today, Japan’s old age social security system is running at a deficit, is the whole country” in Forbes magazine a right sentence? [closed]

I’m puzzled about the meaning of “is the whole country” in the following sentence of the article titled “Japan’s choice: Sink the welfare state or collapse – Whither Japan,” in October 21 Forbes ...
0
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4answers
7k views

Synonym for “do you mean” without negative connotations [closed]

Whenever I use the phrase "do you mean to say", I notice that the word "mean" has a variety of negative connotations (cruelty, harshness, etc.) Is there any alternative for this phrase that doesn't ...
1
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3answers
2k views

What does the usage of “under” in this context mean? [closed]

What does under mean here, how do you define it? From a biography: Shum graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 2000. He started dancing with his high school dance company team and continued ...
3
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1answer
436 views

Apostrophe and plurals of abbreviations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? I was in Middlesbrough yesterday and spotted: CJ’s Cafe So far, so good, I thought. A selection of the delights within were ...
3
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1answer
186 views

Is “Was” needed in the sentence “The woman, who was had married John Lennon has been blamed for pulling the group apart.” [closed]

I found the following paragraph in the article with the caption, "That Settles It: Yoko Ono Did Not Break Up Beatles” in Entertainment section of October 30 Time magazine: The Japanese artist and ...
2
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1answer
708 views

What does custom mean when it comes to parties? [closed]

I've seen different sets of people from around the country mention a "custom party" on written Halloween invitations. Does it simply mean costume (and just intentionally mis-spelled)? Or some specific ...
0
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2answers
1k views

Romney, “regards to”, and disfluency

This is kind of a follow up to "in regard to" or "in regards to". I have always considered that regards to means sending well wishes, while regard to means "concerning". Hence with regards to or in ...
4
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0answers
56 views

Contrary-to-fact conditionals usage error [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I would have lost you” vs “If I had lost you” My question is about a usage error involving contrary-to-fact conditionals. Instead of something like this: If I knew French,...
0
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1answer
326 views

Cromogenism, Chromudgeonism?

In one of the commentary tracks for Hellsing Ultimate OVA, English dub director Tallison Jaffe boasts using a few rare words now and then, so the fans have something to look for in their dictionaries. ...
8
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2answers
108k views

“Dilemma” vs. “dilemna” [closed]

I understand the correct spelling is 'dilemma' but many people I've spoken with, including myself, were convinced the spelling was 'dilemna'. A quick search on google shows this is not isolated to ...
0
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2answers
2k views

Is the “overseas” bushism really so absurd? [closed]

A famous quote by George W. Bush is More and more of our imports come from overseas. Which is spread with the implication of being particularly stupid because "overseas" is a term to describe ...
4
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2answers
436 views

What is a “wreckless careerism”? [closed]

I have come across the following sentence: The quickness of her ascent, and the fact that she revamped each orchestra’s administration before suddenly moving on, has led some in music business ...
8
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3answers
9k views

“Key thob” and “key fob”

I've been receiving emails at work inquiring about registering our key fobs. This is slightly disturbing to me as I've always called it a key thob. An internet search for thob tells me I really mean ...
3
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2answers
568 views

What is the name of combination, in error, of similar or related words? (E.g.: segueway)

Is there a technical term for combination, in error, of similar or related words? This question is prompted by the following malapropism or solecism, from an article by Elizabeth Montalbano in ...