Thursday, May 04, 2006

Watch your language!

From Monday's The Guardian:

If you believe the internet is the fount of all wisdom, giving free rein to bloggers to exercise their vocal cords, think again. Ancient English cliches and expressions are being mangled by the culture of cut and paste and the spread of unchecked writing on the internet.

According to the Oxford English Corpus, a database of a billion words, dozens of traditional phrases are now more commonly misspelled than rendered correctly in written English.

What phrases? Well, for starters:


just desserts

font of knowledge (or wisdom)

free reign

vocal chords

If you don't know why all of the above are incorrect (and even if you do), click over and read the article. And if you have anything to contribute to this list, tell us in the Comments.


Susan Kaye said...

Everything old is new again, as in the shoe-in/shoo-in/shoe-in cycle.

My particular pet peeve reared its ugly head before we were web savvy: "I could care less."

So you do care somewhat, right?


Brenda Coulter said...

The one that always gets me is, "Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast." It's breast, people. Breast.

Kristin said...

How about "For all intensive purposes," instead of the correct version: "for all intents and purposes." Seen that mistake more times than I can remember!

Oh, and the made-up word of the century: irregardless! ARGH!!!!!!!

Mirtika said...

Okay, I used one of those improperly. "Free rein." I thought it had to do with horses and stuff. Heh.

Oh, yeah, I hate seeing that "intensive purposes."

Chomping at the bit vs. Champing at the bit?


Queen Mir of the Free REIGN

pacatrue said...

Well, you know that's how language works. As the wrong forms become adopted and everyone uses them, at some point in 50 or 100 years someone will write on their blog about the old archaic way people used to say this and all the readers will giggle at those silly people from the 21st century.

Old English used to stick the verb at the end at one point.

Danica/Dream said...

But the WORST, the very worst, my friend, is the flagrant misuse of apostrophes. :)