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July 20, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 40

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    • My job is my avocation.  (wrong)
    • My job is my vocation.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Your avocation is jut your hobby; don't mix it up with your job: your vocation. 
    • Small children should ride in the backseat.  (wrong)
    • Small children should ride in the back seat.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Although you will often see people writing about the 'backseat' of a car, the standard and still most common spelling of the noun form is as two words : 'back seat'. Small children should ride in the back seat. 
    • The lady tried to barter a pair of jeans.  (wrong)
    • The lady tried to haggle for a pair of jeans.  (correct)
      • Explanation : When you offer to trade your vintage jeans for a handwoven shirt, you are engaged in 'barter' - no money is involved. One thing (of service) is traded for another. But when you offer to buy that shirt for less money than the vendor is asking, you are engaged in 'haggling' or ' bargaining', not bartering. 
    • He bought a shirt from the bizarre.  (wrong)
    • He bought a shirt from the bazaar.  (correct)
      • Explanation : A 'bazaar' is a market where miscellaneous goods are sold. 'Bizzare', in contrast, is an adjective meaning 'strange', 'weird'. 
    • Try to boast your confidence.  (wrong)
    • Try to bolster / boost your confidence.  (correct)
      • Explanation : A bolster is a large pillow, and when you bolster something you support it as if you were propping it up with a pillow. Thus the expression is 'bolster your confidence'. People unfamiliar with the word sometimes say instead 'boast your confidence.' They may also be confusing this saying with 'boost your confidence.'
    • He wrote a blatantly brilliant paper.  (wrong)
    • He told a blatant lie.  (correct)
      • Explanation : The classic meaning of 'blatant' is 'nosily conspicuous', 'but it has long been extended to any objectionable obviousness. A person engaging in blatant behaviour 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 'He wrote a blatantly brilliant paper.' Use 'blatant' or 'blatantly' only when you think the people you are talking about should be ashamed of themselves. 
    • I have CD-ROM disc.  (wrong)
    • I have a CD-ROM.  (correct)
      • Explanation : 'CD-ROM' stands for Compat Disc-Read Only Memory so adding another 'disc' or 'disk' is redundant. The same goes for 'DVD' (from Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc - there are non-video versions). Don't say 'Give me that DVD disk,' just 'Give me that DVD'. 
    • We were in close proximity.  (wrong)
    • We were in proximity.  (correct)
      • Explanation : 'Close proximity' is a redundancy. 'In proximity to' means 'close to'. 
    • I made a concerted effort.  (wrong)
    • We made a concerted effort.  (correct)
      • Explanation : One cannot make a 'concerted effort' all by oneself. To work 'in concert' is to work together with others. One can, however, make a 'concentrated' effort. The prefix 'con-' means 'with'. 
    • I cut and paste the matter.  (wrong)
    • I copy and paste the matter.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Because 'cut and paste' is a familiar phrase, many people say it when they mean 'copy and paste' when working on a computer. This can lead to disastrous results if followed literally by an inexpert person. If you mean to tell something to duplicate something rather than move it, say 'copy'. And when you are moving bits of computer information from one place to another, the safest sequence is often to copy the original, paste the copy elsewhere, and only then delete the original. 
    • The dateline was Delhi, July 20, 2016. (wrong)
    • The deadline was Delhi, July 20, 2016. (correct)
      • Explanation : The word 'dateline' is used today mainly to label the bit of a text at the top of a printed news story that indicates where and - often, but not always - when it was written. Probably because this rather obscure word has been popularized by its use for the name of an NBC television news show, some people confuse it with 'deadline,' which is most often the date by which something must be accomplished. You can miss deadlines, meet deadlines, or have to deal with short deadlines - but not datelines.
Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri

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