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Grammar Errors and Goofy Mistakes

We can avoid common blunders.

Opinion page by Duane Alan Hahn.

Page Table of Contents

I'm bad at spelling and grammar and I need to be constantly reminded of even simple things that will just not sink in, such as remembering the correct usage of lay and lie and were and was. Luckily, many others aren't that great at spelling and grammar either, so it's possible to get away with a lot, but there are some things even they will catch. We can seem smarter than we actually are by avoiding some of the more common mistakes because those are the ones most people will recognize (probably from being yelled at so much in school).

 

 

 

a - an

Google Search

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a lot < Correct

allot < Correct

alot < Wrong

Google Search

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accept - except

Google Search

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affect - effect

For those who only look up the psychiatric version of affect and claim that's the only way to use it, try to remember that affect has two different pronunciations and two different main meanings to go along with those pronunciations. Uh-fekt is different from af-ekt.

Google Search

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ahead of the curve < Correct

ahead of the curb < Wrong

Google Search

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all of a sudden < Correct

all of the sudden < Wrong

If you replace that mess with the word suddenly, you won't have to worry about it.

Google Search

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as well < Correct

aswell < Wrong

Google Search

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awhile - a while

Google Search

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barefaced lie < Correct

bald-faced lie < Correct

boldfaced lie < Wrong

Google Search

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bated breath < Correct

baited breath < Wrong

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boughs of holly < Correct

balls of holly < Wrong

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biding his time < Correct

biting his time < Wrong

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bring - take

Google Search

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buck naked - butt naked

Why say either? If you were really butt naked, only your butt would be sticking out and that's called mooning. The word naked should be good enough by itself.

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cool, calm, and collected < Correct

cool, calm, and collective < Wrong

Google Search

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champing at the bit < Correct

chomping at the bit < Wrong

chopping at the bit < Wrong

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chicken pox < Correct

chicken pops < Wrong

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chromosome < Correct

chromosone < Wrong

chromozone < Wrong

chromazone < Wrong

Google Search

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collard greens < Correct

colored greens < Wrong

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common sense < Correct

command sense < Wrong

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continual - continuous

Google Search

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could have < Correct

could of < Wrong

Google Search

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definitely < Correct

definally < Wrong

definately < Wrong

definantly < Wrong

definetly < Wrong

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dependent - dependant

Google Search

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dog-eat-dog < Correct

doggy dog < Wrong

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due to

Google Search

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duct tape < Correct

duck tape < Wrong

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egg him on < Correct

edge him on < Wrong

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farther - further

Google Search

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fathom < Correct

fantom < Wrong

phantom < Wrong

“I can't fathom” means that you can't understand. “I can't phantom” means that you need to look up the word phantom.

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fetal position < Correct

fecal position < Wrong

You can try to get into the fecal position if you want, but you better do it in private so you won't get arrested.

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fewer - less

Google Search

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for - four - fore

Google Search

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for all intents and purposes < Correct

for all intensive purposes < Wrong

Google Search

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fringe benefit < Correct

French benefit < Wrong

A French benefit is something that actually exists, but if you mean a generic additional benefit, then French benefit is wrong.

Google Search

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good - well

Google Search

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guy wire < Correct

guide wire < Wrong

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here - hear

Google Search

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in case < Correct

incase < Wrong

Google Search

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in fact < Correct

infact < Wrong

Google Search

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innocent bystanders < Correct

innocent bystandards < Wrong

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it was a ruse < Correct

it was a rouge < Wrong

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its - it's

Google Search

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jibe - jive

Google Search

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just - only

Google Search

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kind of - sort of

Google Search

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lay - lie

Google Search

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library < Correct

lieberry < Wrong

libary < Wrong

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lose - loose (losing - loosing)

Google Search

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maybe - may be

Google Search

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moot point < Correct

mute point < Wrong

Google Search

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Morse code < Correct

Morris code < Wrong

Google Search

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nip it in the bud < Correct

nip it in the butt < Wrong

Please do not nip at my butt.

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no one < Correct

noone < Wrong

It's two words, not one. Example: I saw no one at noon.

Google Search

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old wives' tale < Correct

old wise tale < Wrong

old wives' tail < Wrong

old rice trail < Wrong

Google Search

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onto - on to

Use onto when you mean “on top of.”

Google Search

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our - are

The word our as in "give us our freedom" sounds like the word hour. The word are as in "we are free" is pronounced like the letter R. That might help when deciding which word to use.

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perimeter - parameter

If you mean the border, use perimeter. Searching along the border or the edge is searching the perimeter. Parameter is a mathematics and computer science term.

Google Search

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personal - personnel

If you're talking about people who work for an organization, use personnel.

Google Search

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precarious situation < Correct

precurious situation < Wrong

procurious situation < Wrong

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probably < Correct

prolly < Wrong

probally < Wrong

probly < Wrong

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regardless < Correct

irregardless < Wrong

Google Search

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rue the day < Correct

rule the day < Wrong

Google Search

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same < Correct

exact same < Wrong

Google Search

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Sanskrit < Correct (talking about the classical language)

Sandskrit < Wrong

Sanscript < Wrong

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sense - since

sence < Wrong

Google Search

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separate the wheat from the chaff < Correct

separate the wheat from the shaft < Wrong

Google Search

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small in stature < Correct

small in statute < Wrong

small in statue < Wrong

Instead of saying small in stature, why not say small or short instead?

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so - sew - sow

Google Search

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spend the night < Correct

spin the night < Wrong

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state of the art < Correct

state of the ark < Wrong

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Star Trek < Correct

Star Track < Wrong

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statute of limitations < Correct

statue of limitations < Wrong

There might be a "statue of limitations" somewhere in the world that pigeons poop on daily, but you probably mean statute, not statue.

Google Search

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supposed to - used to

supposed to be < Correct

suppose to be < Wrong

so post to be < Wrong

expose to be < Wrong

exposed to be < Wrong

Google Search

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supposedly < Correct

supposably < Wrong

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take it for granted < Correct

take it for granite < Wrong

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than - then

Google Search

The Wire: Then versus Than

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their - there - they're

Google Search

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to - too - two

Google Search

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versus < Correct

vers < Wrong

verse < Wrong (if you mean “playing in opposition to.”)

verses < Wrong (if you mean “playing in opposition to.”)

Google Search

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waive your right < Correct

wave your right < Wrong

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were - where - we're - wear

Google Search

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wheelbarrow < Correct

wheel barrel < Wrong

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whose - who's

Google Search

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why do < Correct

tell me why < Correct

aware me on < Wrong

aware me about < Wrong

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yeah - yea - yay

Google Search

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your - you're

Google Search

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Related Links

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Non-Errors

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Top Ten Grammar Myths

Almost everyone believes at least one of these myths.

 

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Disclaimer

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