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July 22, 2016

Common Errors in English Usage with Explanations - Part 42

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    • She is my fiance.  (wrong)
    • She is my fiancee.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Your 'fiance' is the man you plan to marry; your 'fiancee' is the woman you plan to marry. 
    • I am developing a feeling about you.  (wrong)
    • I am developing feelings for you.  (correct)
      • Explanation : When someone says 'I'm developing feelings for you,' the message is 'I'm falling in love with you'. Feelings for  are always positive feelings. In contrast, feelings about  something or someone can be either positive or negative. 'I've got a bad feeling about this.'
    • He tried to garnish attention.  (wrong)
    • He tried to garner attention.  (correct)
      • Explanation : 
        •  A garner was originally a granary, and to garner something is to gather it in. Today the word rarely has to do with agriculture : we garner attention, praise, awards, evidence, and sympathy. 
        • To garnish something is to decorate it. You can garnish a dish. Quite a few people use  'garnish' when they should be using 'garner'. 
    • He is hairbrained.  (wrong)
    • He is harebrained.  (correct)
      • Explanation : Although 'hairbrained' is common, the original word 'harebrained means 'silly as a hare' (little rabbit) and is preferred in writing. 
    • Poverty goes hand and hand with malnutrition.  (wrong)
    • Poverty goes hand in hand with malnutrition.  (correct)
      • Explanation :  Poverty goes hand in hand with malnutrition. ' The image here is of the two subjects holding hands, one hand in  the other. The phrase is very frequently misspelled 'hand and hand', which is incorrect. 
    • Friend, Happy Belated Birthday.  (wrong)
    • Friend, Belated Happy Birthday. (correct)
      • Explanation : When someone has forgotten your birthday, they're likely to send you a card reading 'Happy Belated Birthday'. but this is a mistake. The birthday isn't belated; the wishes are. Better-phrased cards read 'Belated Happy Brithday'. 
    • He spoke on HIV virus.  (wrong)
    • He spoke on HIV.  (correct)
      • Explanation : 'HIV' stands for 'Human Immunodeficiency Virus', so adding the word 'virus' to the acronym creates a redundancy. 'HIV' is the name of the organism that is the cause of AIDS, not a name for the disease itself. A person may be HIV-positive (a test shows the person to be infected with the virus) without having yet developed AIDS (acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV is the cause, AIDS the result. 
    • He don't have no money.  (wrong)
    • He doesn't have any money.  (correct)
      • Explanation : In formal English, 'don't' is not used in the third person singular. 'I don't like avocado ice cream' is correct, and so is 'they don't have their passports yet' but 'he don't have no money', though common in certain dialects, is non-standard on two counts: it should be 'he doesn't' and 'any money'. The same is true of other forms : 'she don't' and 'it don't' should be 'she doesn't' and 'it doesn't'. 
    • I am heading northbound on NH 24. (wrong)
    • I am heading north.  (correct)
      • Explanation : If you're reporting on traffic conditions, it's redundant to say 'heading northbound on 1-5'. It's either 'heading north' or 'northbound'. 
    • He is the hero in the film (wrong)
    • He is the protagonist in the film.  (correct)
      • Explanation : In ordinary usage, 'hero' has two meanings : 'leading character in a story' and 'brave, admirable person.' In simple tales, the two meanings may work together, but in modern literature and film the leading character or 'protagonist' (a technical term common in literary criticism) may behave in a very unheroic fashion. 
    • This is a highbred plant.  (wrong)
    • This is a hybrid plant.  (correct)
      • Explanation : 'Highbred' (often spelled 'high-bred') is occasionally used to label animals with superior ancestry. Snobs used to refer to members of the nobility as 'highbred'. But this rare word is often confused with 'hybrid', which describes plants, animals, and people that are the product of mixed heritage. 
    Shared by Bhargav Gupta Yechuri
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