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July 25, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 45

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    • Can I have some scramble egg ? (wrong)
    • Can I have some scrambled eggs ? (correct)
      • Explanation : When you scramble eggs they become scrambled eggs. 
    • He went scotch free.  (wrong)
    • He went scot free.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Getting away with something 'scot free' has nothing to do with the Scots (or Scotch). The 'scot' was a medieval tax; if you evaded paying ity you got off scot free
    • I was taken back by his sudden change in behaviour.  (wrong)
    • I was taken aback by his sudden change in behaviour.  (correct)
      • Explanation : When you're startled by something, you're taken aback by it. When you're reminded of something from your past, you're taken back to that time. 
    • The spot was a good vintage point.  (wrong)
    • The spot was a good vantage point.  (correct)
      • Explanation : The spot from which you have a good view is a vantage point. 
    • He was wrapped in thought.  (wrong)
    • He was rapt in thought.  (correct)
      • Explanation : When you get deeply involved in a project, you may say you're wrapped up in it; but if you are entranced or enraptured by something, you are 'rapt' not 'wrapped'. The word means 'carried away' and is used in expressions, like listening with rapt attention, rapt expression, and rapt in conversation. 
    • He spoke on ying and yang. (wrong)
    • He spoke on yin and yang.  (correct)
      • Explanation : The pair of female and male terms in Chinese thought consists of 'yin and yang', not 'ying and yang'.
    • The magistrate issued order for his arrest.  (wrong)
    • The magistrate issued orders for his arrest.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Orders in this sense should always be used in the plural, e.g., orders for expulsion, orders for execution, orders for promotion, orders for dismissal, etc. 
    • My father is leaving for Delhi by the 8:30 o'clock bus. (wrong)
    • My father is leaving for Delhi by the 8:30 bus.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Don't use 'o' clock when minutes are also mentioned, e.g., 'by the 9:45 train', or 'by the 9 o'clock train'.
    • He has built a new home for himself.  (wrong)
    • He has built a new house for himself.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Whereas a house is any building meant for residence, a home is a place of residence with long associations. A 'home' may also mean 'one's' country. 
    • His family members are coming by this train.  (wrong)
    • The members of his family are coming by this train.  (correct)
      • Explanation : The correct usage is a member of the family, not 'a family member'. 
    • Goodnight, Rita; where have you been all these days ? (wrong)
    • Good evening, Rita; where have you been all these days ? (correct)
      • Explanation : It is sometimes forgotten, that ; 'goodnight' is a parting salutation, 'good evening' is the proper salutation to be used when two people meet for the first time in the evening. One cannot make any further conversation after saying 'goodnight'.
      Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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