I constantly run into mistakes in English here and elsewhere that you'd think people would have got right eventually simply by listening or reading. Following are some examples. Got some examples that drive you nuts?

I use to drink too much.
In this sentence, "use" needs a final "d." This mistake is most likely made by people who learn their English from tweets or chats, not from reading actual literature, much less paying attention in class.

I would of helped, but I was pressed for time.
It should be "have" not "of." Otherwise, same speculation as before.

My intervention had the desired affect.
His unplaceable accent and hesitant way of walking gave him a strange effect.
They are somewhat confusing in that both "effect" and "affect" can be used as verbs as well as nouns, but the difference isn't all that hard to learn.

The city gave Mary many kudos for her efforts.
The Greek word "kudos" is singular, not plural. "The city gave Mary kudos for her efforts" is correct. Maybe it's simply best to use words that are familiar rather than going beyond your everyday vocabulary into the dark territory of foreign words, and Greek is much further into that dark territory than, say, Spanish or German.

If you want a price, ask the manager or myself.
Only use "myself" when you've already used "I." Otherwise, plain old "me" will do.

Me and Jeff are going to the concert together.
I typically remember that "me" needs a preposition: with me, for me, to me. In the example sentence, "me" should have been "I." "I and Jeff are going to the concert together " sounds wrong, you say. Well, it is, but only because of poor sentence construction. "Jeff and I are going to the concert together" or, better yet, "I am going to the concert with Jeff" are both correct in every way and won't have literate people wishing they could unhear what you just said.

Sign at cash register: Ten items or less.
When talking about a count or enumeration of things, it should be "fewer" not "less." "Less" is for a gross quantity not an enumeration. "Less sugar in my coffee next time" is an example of how to use "less."

Purple is different than/to violet.
We talked about this here recently. If "Purple is different from violet" sounds wrong to you, you need to go back to school and take English over again.

He returned to the scene continually.
The term "continually" refers to something done without interruption. When expressing that something happens repeatedly, "continuously" is the word to use.

Tags: English, grammar, usage

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I'm fix'in to learn ya some English because If'n I woulda knowed ya wanted ta go'ed I woulda seen ya gotten ta went.

Bit off topic but let's see can anybody understand this:

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on!

It's well-known that the human mind has a phenomenal ability to figure out most jumbled words as long as the first and last letters are in place. But it sure doesn't make a paragraph read more quickly and easily if you jumble the letters.

Try this:

"Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke."

It's English, G.N. - 14th century English (Chaucer) - we're the ones who have strayed from the path.

You msut be form  Frcnae. Wluod you lkie smoe Fedroem Fiers?

I'd rather have some pmsome fertis.

I can't. There is a comma splice, a missing apostrophe, missing commas and lack of proper capitalizations rendering it unreadable. It also seems that the word 'researcher' has been mispelled, or that I truly cannot read the word.

Well, kris, I admire you for plowing through the whole paragraph. I stopped as soon as I realized what he had done.

I skimmed it quickly and got it all, and was pretty impressed with meeself. But reading an example like that years ago felt like plowing, or stumbling.

Of course it's easier to skim text when it's obvious that none of it will require deeper analysis of semantics, metaphors, ambiguities, higher concepts, and so on. Anything written to be taken seriously by a wider audience cannot require the reader to decipher every piece of it, unless it's a literary device with higher purpose.

(As far as actually rooting for The Snobs or The Slobs, I'll just take pot shots from the sidelines until the wrestlers tire of each other.)

He did misspell "researcher" - he doubled up on the "ch" and is missing "er". Or he could drop the extra "ch" from the word and the "a" from in front to read: "according to research at"

It's worth mentioning that the English language has no official regulatory body. English dictionaries and style guides are widely presumed to be authoritative and to be following some canonical definition of what is correct in the language. In fact, no such canonical definitions exist and the grammaticality of English is governed only by the bulk of actual usage. Dictionaries and style guides are indicators of this. New words or different spellings are added to dictionaries as they appear in other literature. Style guides are changed as the use of the language changes, such as for example the way email and web links supplanted typewritten documents. 

English grammar really has just one, loose rule: do not distract or confuse your intended audience. Write for them using the language in ways appropriate for them. This of course still means having at least basic literacy with the "standard" English of your country as a starting point.

One wants to know the widely-accepted rules if one wants a better job than making burgers. Most corporations don't function on street corner English, and certainly if one wants to make it academically, it pays to know standard English. This is why we have English classes.

No, there is no single committee deciding what is right and wrong, but there are accepted style guides used by academicians and editors.

Besides, not knowing the difference between, say, accept and except is just dumb. Confusing the two and using them interchangeably certainly doesn't make what one says easier to understand.

Standardization contributes to understandability.

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