Thursday, January 7, 2010

Words routinely misused by people I know

Now, now. If you see yourself here, don't worry, don't apologize, don't even admit it. Just know.
  • It's. This only means "it is." It doesn't ever mean "belonging to it." Many people, including me, slip on this occasionally. One person of my acquaintance misuses it always.
  • Lightening. The word you're looking for is "lightning." No "e." "Lightening" is a real word, but that's not what you mean.
  • Lead. It's pronounced like "leed" when you're using it as a verb. Its past tense is "led." Go check your résumé right now.
  • Jive. Our opinions don't "jive" with each other; they "jibe" with each other.
OK, I'll admit it. There were two words on this list that, when I went to double check, I was wrong-ish about, and therefore had to cut. So now it's a pretty short list. What do you see in your acquaintances? Or in, God forbid, me?

11 comments:

Joe said...

I'm guilty of misusing "jive."
But it sounds so much cooler than "jibe."

bzzzzgrrrl said...

That's funny. I think "jibe" sounds cooler. But I am a big nerd.

Cousin Mouse said...

Of course "jibe" is cooler, it's a sailing term, matey!

And how about "lede?"

Midnight Rambler said...

Something that irks me: "I could care less." Well, if you could care less, then you would, wouldn't you?

cubeangel said...

I actually have a problem with three made-up words that I hear constantly. Each sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me.
1. 'posta (as in, "supposed to ... ")
2. supposively (no no no no no)
3. irregardless

d ogo said...

very cool

godofredo

Hadany said...

Thanks for that, since English is not my native language, it becomes even more helpful :)

ta soeur said...

Okay, so are you saying that I supposively have to remove all the led paint from my house, now???

But seriously,folks, for my two cents, I think people write "everyday" when they mean "every day"... I think everyday is an adjective, right?

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Ma souer-
So NOW you're reading the blog? Guess I have to go back and delete all the smack I've been talking about you. But yes, you are correct about everyday. And though you see it less often, people often write "nevermind" when they mean "never mind."

CM- When I was a new journalist, it took me a LOOOOOOONG time to get comfortable with all the clever/ironic references to ledes and grafs. It did not so much bother me when other people did it, I just couldn't do it myself, because I was worried about doing it wrong. Especially because I was the copy editor. I still think of it as evidence that people are in the journalist cool-kid club that I never thought of myself as quite in.

ta soeur said...

Of course I am right about everyday! An the Nevermind thing--that's just made up...unless it's a place, like Neverland or the Nevermind Ranch.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

...or pay someone no nevermind.