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Thread: Common Errors made while writing n speaking

  1. #61
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    FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME

    Stephen Hawking writes about the beginning of time, but few other people
    do. People who write "from the beginning of time" or "since time began"
    are usually being lazy. Their grasp of history is vague, so they resort
    to these broad, sweeping phrases. Almost never is this usage literally
    accurate: people have not fallen in love since time began, for instance,
    because people arrived relatively late on the scene in the cosmic scheme
    of things. When I visited Ferrara several years ago I was interested to
    see that the whole population of the old city seemed to use bicycles for
    transportation, cars being banned from the central area. I asked how
    long this had been the custom and was told "We've ridden bicycles for
    centuries." Since the bicycle was invented only in the 1860s, I
    strongly doubted this (no, Leonardo da Vinci did not invent the
    bicycle--he just drew a picture of what one might look like--and some
    people think that picture is a modern forgery). If you really don't know
    the appropriate period from which your subject dates, you could
    substitute a less silly but still vague phrase such as "for many years,"
    or "for centuries"; but it's better simply to avoid historical
    statements if you don't know your history.


    BEGS THE QUESTION

    An argument that improperly assumes as true the very point the speaker
    is trying to argue for is said in formal logic to "beg the question."
    Here is an example of a question-begging argument: "This painting is
    trash because it is obviously worthless." The speaker is simply
    asserting the worthlessness of the work, not presenting any evidence to
    demonstrate that this is in fact the case. Since we never use "begs"
    with this odd meaning ("to improperly take for granted") in any other
    phrase, most people now suppose the phrase implies something quite
    different: that the argument demands that a question about it be
    asked--raises the question. Although using the expression in its
    original sense is now rare, using it in the newer sense will cause
    irritation among traditionalists.

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    BEHAVIORS

    "Behavior" has always referred to patterns of action, including multiple
    actions, and did not have a separate plural form until social scientists
    created it. Unless you are writing in psychology, sociology,
    anthropology, or a related field, it is better to avoid the use of
    "behaviors" in your writing.

    BEING THAT/BECAUSE

    Using "being that" to mean "because" is nonstandard, as in "Being that
    the bank robber was fairly experienced, it was surprising that he showed
    the teller his ID card when she asked for it." "Being as how" is even
    worse. If "because" or "since" are too simple for your taste, you could
    use "given that" or "in that" instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRIncess
    1. "Why don't he get married?"

    The term 'don't' applies when discussing a plural subject. For instance, "Why don't they get married?" The right way to phrase that sentence would be:

    "Why doesn't he get married?"

    360 DEGREES/180 DEGREES

    When you turn 360 degrees you've completed a circle and are back where
    you started. So if you want to describe a position that's diametrically
    opposed to another, the expression you want is not "360 degrees away"
    but "180 degrees away."

    f the word following begins with a vowel sound, the word you want is
    "an": "Have an apple, Adam." If the word following begins with a
    consonant, but begins with a vowel sound, you still need "an": "An X-ray
    will show whether there's a worm in it." It is nonstandard and often
    considered sloppy speech to utter an "uh" sound in such cases.

    When the following word definitely begins with a consonant sound, you
    need "a": "A snake told me apples enhance mental abilities."

    See also "an historic."

    A.D.

    "A.D." does not mean "after death," as many people suppose. "B.C."
    stands for the English phrase "before Christ," but "A.D." stands
    confusingly for a Latin phrase: anno domini ("in the year of the
    Lord"--the year Jesus was born). If the calendar actually changed with
    Jesus' death, then what would we do with the years during which he
    lived? Since Jesus was probably actually born around 6 B.C. or so, the
    connection of the calendar with him can be misleading.

    Many Biblical scholars and historians, and archeologists prefer the less
    sectarian designations "before the Common Era" (B.C.E.) and "the Common
    Era" (C.E.).

    All of these abbreviations can also be spelled without their periods.

    AM/PM

    "AM" stands for the Latin phrase "Ante Meridiem"--which means "before
    noon"--and "PM" stands for "Post Meridiem": "after noon." Although
    digital clocks routinely label noon "12:00 PM" you should avoid this
    expression not only because it is incorrect, but because many people
    will imagine you are talking about midnight instead. The same goes for
    "12:00 AM." Just say or write "noon" or "midnight" when you mean those
    precise times.

    It is now rare to see periods placed after these abbreviations: "A.M.",
    but in formal writing it is still preferable to capitalize them, though
    the lower-case "am" and "pm" are now so popular they are not likely to
    get you into trouble.

    Occasionally computer programs encourage you to write "AM" and "PM"
    without a space before them, but others will misread your data if you
    omit the space. The nonstandard pattern of omitting the space is
    spreading rapidly, and should be avoided in formal writing.


    ABJECT

    "Abject" is always negative, meaning "lowly" or "hopeless." You can't
    experience "abject joy" unless you're being deliberately paradoxical.

    ABLE TO

    People are able to do things, but things are not able to be done: you
    should not say, "the budget shortfall was able to be solved by selling
    brownies."

    ABOUT

    "This isn't about you." What a great rebuke! But conservatives sniff at
    this sort of abstract use of "about," as in "I'm all about good taste"
    or "successful truffle-making is about temperature control"; so it's
    better to avoid it in very formal English.

    ABSTRUSE/OBTUSE

    Most people first encounter "obtuse" in geometry class, where it labels
    an angle of more than 90 degrees. Imagine what sort of blunt arrowhead
    that kind of angle would make and you will understand why it also has a
    figurative meaning of "dull, stupid." But people often mix the word up
    with "abstruse," which means "difficult to understand."

    When you mean to criticize something for being needlessly complex or
    baffling, the word you need is not "obtuse," but "abstruse."

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    Hey ppl ... I'm BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACKKK!!!

    ACCENT MARKS

    In what follows, "accent mark" will be used in a loose sense to include
    all diacritical marks that guide pronunciation. Operating systems and
    programs differ in how they produce accent marks, but it's worth
    learning how yours works. Writing them in by hand afterwards looks
    amateurish.

    Words adopted from foreign languages sometimes carry their accent marks
    with them, as in "fiance" "protege," and "cliche." As words become more
    at home in English, they tend to shed the marks: "Cafe" is often spelled
    "cafe." Unfortunately, "resume" seems to be losing its marks one at a
    time (see under "vita/vitae").

    Many computer users have not learned their systems well enough to
    understand how to produce the desired accent and often insert an
    apostrophe (curled) or foot mark (straight) after the accented letter
    instead: "cafe'." This is both ugly and incorrect. The same error is
    commonly seen on storefront signs.

    So far we've used examples containing acute (right-leaning) accent
    marks. French and Italian (but not Spanish) words often contain grave
    (left-leaning) accents; in Italian it's a caffe. It is important not to
    substitute one kind of accent for the other.

    The diaeresis over a letter signifies that it is to be pronounced as a
    separate syllable: "noel" and "naive" are sometimes spelled with a
    diaeresis, for instance. The umlaut, which looks identical, modifies the
    sound of a vowel, as in German Fraulein (girl), where the accent mark
    changes the "frow" sound of Frau (woman) to "froy." Rock groups like
    "Blue Oyster Cult" scattered umlauts about nonsensically to create an
    exotic look.

    Spanish words not completely assimilated into English like pinata and
    nino retain the tilde, which tells you that an "N" is to be pronounced
    with a "Y" sound after it. In English-language publications accent marks
    are often discarded, but the acute and grave accents are the ones most
    often retained.

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    ACADEMIA

    Although some academics are undoubtedly nuts, the usual English-language
    pronunciation of "academia" does not rhyme with "macadamia." The third
    syllable is pronounced "deem." Just say "academe" and add "ee-yuh."

    However, there's an interesting possibility if you go with
    "ack-uh-DAME-ee-yuh: although some people will sneer at your lack of
    sophistication, others will assume you're using the Latin pronunciation
    and being learned.

    ACCEDE/EXCEED

    If you drive too fast, you exceed the speed limit. "Accede" is a much
    rarer word meaning "give in," "agree."

    ACCEPT/EXCEPT

    If you offer me Godiva chocolates I will gladly accept them--except for
    the candied violet ones. Just remember that the "X" in "except" excludes
    things--they tend to stand out, be different. In contrast, just look at
    those two cozy "Cs" snuggling up together. Very accepting. And be
    careful; when typing "except" it often comes out "expect."

    ACCESS/GET ACCESS TO

    "Access" is one of many nouns that's been turned into a verb in recent
    years. Conservatives object to phrases like "you can access your account
    online." Substitute "use," "reach," or "get access to" if you want to
    please them.

    ACCESSORY

    There's an "ack" sound at the beginning of this word, though some
    mispronounce it as if the two "C's" were to be sounded the same as the
    two "SS's."

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRIncess
    ACADEMIA

    Although some academics are undoubtedly nuts, the usual English-language
    pronunciation of "academia" does not rhyme with "macadamia." The third
    syllable is pronounced "deem." Just say "academe" and add "ee-yuh."

    However, there's an interesting possibility if you go with
    "ack-uh-DAME-ee-yuh: although some people will sneer at your lack of
    sophistication, others will assume you're using the Latin pronunciation
    and being learned.

    ACCEDE/EXCEED

    If you drive too fast, you exceed the speed limit. "Accede" is a much
    rarer word meaning "give in," "agree."

    ACCEPT/EXCEPT

    If you offer me Godiva chocolates I will gladly accept them--except for
    the candied violet ones. Just remember that the "X" in "except" excludes
    things--they tend to stand out, be different. In contrast, just look at
    those two cozy "Cs" snuggling up together. Very accepting. And be
    careful; when typing "except" it often comes out "expect."

    ACCESS/GET ACCESS TO

    "Access" is one of many nouns that's been turned into a verb in recent
    years. Conservatives object to phrases like "you can access your account
    online." Substitute "use," "reach," or "get access to" if you want to
    please them.

    ACCESSORY

    There's an "ack" sound at the beginning of this word, though some
    mispronounce it as if the two "C's" were to be sounded the same as the
    two "SS's."
    Am i halucinating? or i have seen these posts earlier too...i think you have already posted this princess
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumit2goody
    Quote Originally Posted by PRIncess
    ACADEMIA

    Although some academics are undoubtedly nuts, the usual English-language
    pronunciation of "academia" does not rhyme with "macadamia." The third
    syllable is pronounced "deem." Just say "academe" and add "ee-yuh."

    However, there's an interesting possibility if you go with
    "ack-uh-DAME-ee-yuh: although some people will sneer at your lack of
    sophistication, others will assume you're using the Latin pronunciation
    and being learned.

    ACCEDE/EXCEED

    If you drive too fast, you exceed the speed limit. "Accede" is a much
    rarer word meaning "give in," "agree."

    ACCEPT/EXCEPT

    If you offer me Godiva chocolates I will gladly accept them--except for
    the candied violet ones. Just remember that the "X" in "except" excludes
    things--they tend to stand out, be different. In contrast, just look at
    those two cozy "Cs" snuggling up together. Very accepting. And be
    careful; when typing "except" it often comes out "expect."

    ACCESS/GET ACCESS TO

    "Access" is one of many nouns that's been turned into a verb in recent
    years. Conservatives object to phrases like "you can access your account
    online." Substitute "use," "reach," or "get access to" if you want to
    please them.

    ACCESSORY

    There's an "ack" sound at the beginning of this word, though some
    mispronounce it as if the two "C's" were to be sounded the same as the
    two "SS's."
    Am i halucinating? or i have seen these posts earlier too...i think you have already posted this princess
    Lol... yea.. Apparently I'm da 1 hallucinating, I'll post a fresh article..

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    BELIEF/BELIEVE

    People can't have religious "believes"; they have religious beliefs. If
    you have it, it's a belief; if you do it, you believe.

    BELIEF TOWARD/BELIEF IN

    You may have a positive attitude toward an idea, but you have a belief
    in it.

    BELOW TABLE/TABLE BELOW

    When calling your readers' attention to an illustration or table further
    on in a text, the proper word order is not "the below table" but "the
    table below."

    BEMUSE/AMUSE

    When you bemuse someone, you confuse them, and not necessarily in an
    entertaining way. Don't confuse this word with "amuse."

    BENEFACTOR/BENEFICIARY

    Benefactors give benefits; beneficiaries receive them. We expect to hear
    of generous benefactors and grateful beneficiaries.

    BESIDE/BESIDES

    "Besides" can mean "in addition to" as in "besides the puppy chow, Spot
    scarfed up the filet mignon I was going to serve for dinner." "Beside,"
    in contrast, usually means "next to." "I sat beside Cheryl all evening,
    but she kept talking to Jerry instead." Using "beside" for "besides,"
    won't usually get you in trouble; but using "besides" when you mean
    "next to" will.

    BETTER

    When Chuck says "I better get my research started; the paper's due
    tomorrow," he means "I had better," abbreviated in speech to "I'd
    better." The same pattern is followed for "he'd better," "she'd better,"
    and "they'd better."

    BETWEEN

    "Between 1939 to 1945" is obviously incorrect to most people--it should
    be "between 1939 and 1945"--but the error is not so obvious when it is
    written thus: "between 1939-1949." In this case, the "between" should be
    dropped altogether. Also incorrect are expressions like "there were
    between 15 to 20 people at the party." This should read "between 15 and
    20 people."

    BETWEEN YOU AND I/BETWEEN YOU AND ME

    "Between you and me" is preferred in standard English.

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    BEYOND THE PAIL/BEYOND THE PALE

    A pale is originally a stake of the kind which might make up a palisade,
    or enclosure. The uncontrolled territory outside was then "beyond the
    pale." The expression "beyond the pale" came to mean "bizarre, beyond
    proper limits"; but people who don't understand the phrase often alter
    the last word to "pail."

    The area of Ireland called "the Pale" inside the Dublin region formerly
    controlled by the British is often said to have been the inspiration for
    this expression, but many authorities challenge that explanation.

    BIAS/BIASED

    A person who is influenced by a bias is biased. The expression is not
    "they're bias," but "they're biased." Also, many people say someone is
    "biased toward" something or someone when they mean biased against. To
    have a bias toward something is to be biased in its favor.

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    BIBLE

    Whether you are referring to the Jewish Bible (the Torah plus the
    Prophets and the Writings) or the Protestant Bible (the Jewish Bible
    plus the New Testament), or the Catholic Bible (which contains
    everything in the Jewish and Protestant Bibles plus several other books
    and passages mostly written in Greek in its Old Testament), the word
    "Bible" must be capitalized. Remember that it is the title of a book,
    and book titles are normally capitalized. An oddity in English usage is,
    however, that "Bible" and the names of the various parts of the Bible
    are not italicized or placed between quotation marks.

    Even when used metaphorically of other sacred books, as in "The Qur'an
    is the Bible of the Muslims," the word is usually capitalized; although
    in secular contexts it is not: "Physicians' Desk Reference is the
    pharmacists' bible." "Biblical" may be capitalized or not, as you choose
    (or as your editor chooses).

    Those who wish to be sensitive to the Jewish authorship of the Jewish
    Bible may wish to use "Hebrew Bible" and "Christian Scriptures" instead
    of the traditionally Christian nomenclature: "Old Testament" and "New
    Testament." Modern Jewish scholars sometimes use the Hebrew acronym
    "Tanakh" to refer to their Bible, but this term is not generally
    understood by others.

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    BICEP/BICEPS

    A biceps is a single muscle with two attaching tendons at one end.
    Although "bicep" without the S is often used in casual speech, this
    spelling is frowned on in medical and anatomical contexts.

    BIT THE BULLET/BIT THE DUST

    Someone of whom it is said "he bit the bullet" has made a tough decision
    and decided to act on it. The expression is derived from the old
    practice of having a wounded soldier bite down on a bullet to brace
    himself against the pain of undergoing an amputation or other painful
    operation. Some people confuse this with "bit the dust," which means
    simply "died" (or more often, "was killed").

    BIWEEKLY/SEMIWEEKLY

    Technically, a biweekly meeting occurs every two weeks and a semiweekly
    one occurs twice a week; but so few people get this straight that your
    club is liable to disintegrate unless you avoid these words in the
    newsletter and stick with "every other week" or "twice weekly." The same
    is true of "bimonthly" and" semimonthly," though "biennial" and
    "semi-annual" are less often confused with each other.

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    BLATANT

    The classic meaning of "blatant" is "noisily conspicuous," but it has
    long been extended to any objectionable obviousness. A person engaging
    in blatant behavior is usually behaving in a highly objectionable
    manner, being brazen. Unfortunately, many people nowadays think that
    "blatant" simply means "obvious" and use it in a positive sense, as in
    "Kim wrote a blatantly brilliant paper." Use "blatant" or "blatantly"
    only when you think the people you are talking about should be ashamed
    of themselves.

    BLOCK/BLOC

    "Block" has a host of uses, including as the spelling in the phrase
    "block of time." But for groups of people and nations, use the French
    spelling "bloc": "bloc of young voters," "Cold War-era Eastern bloc of
    nations." Don't be confused by punning names for groups and Web sites
    like "Writer's Bloc."

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    BOARDERS/BORDERS

    Boarders are residents in a boarding house or school paying for their
    room and board (food), fighters who board ships, or more recently,
    people who go snowboarding a lot. You can also board animals, though
    usually only people are called "boarders." All of these have some
    connection with boards: hunks of wood (the planks of a table, the deck
    of a ship, a snowboard).

    All uses having to do with boundaries and edges are spelled "border":
    border collies, Doctors Without Borders, borderline disorders, border
    guard.

    BONAFIED/BONA FIDE

    "Bona fide" is a Latin phrase meaning "in good faith," most often used
    to mean "genuine" today. It is often misspelled as if it were the past
    tense of an imaginary verb: "bonafy."

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRIncess
    BOARDERS/BORDERS

    Boarders are residents in a boarding house or school paying for their
    room and board (food), fighters who board ships, or more recently,
    people who go snowboarding a lot. You can also board animals, though
    usually only people are called "boarders." All of these have some
    connection with boards: hunks of wood (the planks of a table, the deck
    of a ship, a snowboard).

    All uses having to do with boundaries and edges are spelled "border":
    border collies, Doctors Without Borders, borderline disorders, border
    guard.

    BONAFIED/BONA FIDE

    "Bona fide" is a Latin phrase meaning "in good faith," most often used
    to mean "genuine" today. It is often misspelled as if it were the past
    tense of an imaginary verb: "bonafy."
    can you tell any sentence using bona fide
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumit2goody
    Quote Originally Posted by PRIncess
    BOARDERS/BORDERS

    Boarders are residents in a boarding house or school paying for their
    room and board (food), fighters who board ships, or more recently,
    people who go snowboarding a lot. You can also board animals, though
    usually only people are called "boarders." All of these have some
    connection with boards: hunks of wood (the planks of a table, the deck
    of a ship, a snowboard).

    All uses having to do with boundaries and edges are spelled "border":
    border collies, Doctors Without Borders, borderline disorders, border
    guard.

    BONAFIED/BONA FIDE

    "Bona fide" is a Latin phrase meaning "in good faith," most often used
    to mean "genuine" today. It is often misspelled as if it were the past
    tense of an imaginary verb: "bonafy."
    can you tell any sentence using bona fide
    Hope dis suffices:

    Charlie is a grammar school boy in Lewiston, and in a certain direction has developed more ingenuity than any other scholar in school. The bona fide example appeared Tuesday in the follownig correction of a sentence given by the teacher in the grammar class.
    (New York Times Archives)

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    BORN/BORNE

    This distinction is a bit tricky. When birth is being discussed, the
    past tense of "bear" is usually "born": "I was born in a trailer--but it
    was an Airstream." Note that the form used here is passive: you are the
    one somebody else--your mother--bore. But if the form is active, you
    need an "E" on the end, as in "Midnight has borne another litter of
    kittens in Dad's old fishing hat" (Midnight did the bearing).

    But in other meanings not having to do with birth, "borne" is always the
    past tense of "bear": "My brother's constant teasing about my green hair
    was more than could be borne."

    BORN OUT OF/BORN OF

    Write "my love of dance was born of my viewing old Ginger Rogers-Fred
    Astaire movies," not "born out of." The latter expression is probably
    substituted because of confusion with the expression "borne out" as in
    "my concerns about having another office party were borne out when Mr.
    Peabody spilled his beer into the fax machine." The only correct (if
    antiquated) use of "born out of" is in the phrase "born out of wedlock."

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    Hi

    I have a question here....What of the following is the correct way of saying 'Hi' ??

    Is it 'Hi' OR 'Hi,' ??

    and also while ending the mail

    Is it 'Regards' OR 'Regards,' ??

    i.e. do we have to include a comma at the end or not ??

    Thanks
    PGDIM NITIE Mumbai 2011-13

    CAT 2011 : Quant |DI/LR/DS

    New thread : Word Usage

  19. #79
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    Post Common Errors made while writing n speaking

    Hi Princess,
    i m new joinee here.You have written on page 1st 'Why doesn't he get married?' Don't u think it is wrong .The right way is 'Why does he not get marry?'

  20. #80
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    Post Common Errors made while writing n speaking

    Hi Princess.

    I'm Pankaj and new to TF... u doing a good job..
    thanks dear.. its really helpful to me...

    thanks gain.

    plz do carry on posting and a bit fast as well...

  21. The Following User Says Thank You to aggpankaj2 For This Useful Post:

    PRIncess (04-Feb-09)

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