I understand that natural languages are evolving constantly and that new
words, new expressions and new spellings trickling into our everyday speak is
what makes the language alive. It also explains why artificial languages
such as Esperanto have utterly failed to gain momentum.
I am ready to endure a certain amount of abuse when I listen to the TV or to
people. Fair enough.
But something that really irritates is me when these blatant misuses of
English creep into written text.
Here is a short list of that
improprieties I have noticed these past years:
- Don’t start an article or a blog post with "so". Ever.
- "Anyways" is barely a word and it’s dubbed
archaic. But can I
interest you in "anyway", "either way" or "at any rate"?
- As for "irregardless", even the
dictionary says "don’t use
it". So don’t.
- "Criteria" is plural. The word you are looking for is "criterion".
- When something doesn’t matter to you, you "couldn’t care less".
Note the negation. Just think about it for a minute and it will make
- In "weird" and "receive", the e comes first. I know, it’s weird.
Just learn it by heart and don’t think twice.
- If you’re not sure if you should use "its" or "it’s", replace it with "it
is". If the sentence still makes
sense, then "it’s" is correct. Otherwise, use "its".
- In "gauge", the ‘a’ comes first.
- A pandemic is global, by definition. If you really want, you can say
"global epidemic" but "pandemic" by itself is enough.