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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Not a problem, glad to help, but if you're from Melbourne, you speak the Queen's English as well as I do.


and what about numbers - has anyone mentioned those?

When the letter 'O' is used instead of saying zero.

That gets up my nose.


I'm sorry about the nasal location, but I see it as nothing more than an abbreviation.

The comma, is used, to take, a breath, since, I was out, of breath, when, I, wrote this, I used, a comma, or two.

I, often, use, too, many,

I had a pet chameleon once, poor thing went insane when I put him on a plaid shirt. He was never the same again.

They don't actually change colour according to their background.  Apparently its a mood thing, not camouflage as originally believed :)

Yo, Buzzkill! You just blew my joke! Who wants to do stand-up to a room full of nuclear physicists? Where would we be if "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" had to pass muster before a committee of English teachers?

And how about my crazy chameleon? I'm with Bill O'Reilly, "You can't explain that!"

Throw logic at "Oh, Susanna," and all you have left is the title:

"It rained all night, the day I left,
The weather, it was dry.
Sun so hot, I froze to death,
Suzanna, don't you cry --"

Would you destroy ALL Americana? I know what you're up to, you Brits want this country back, admit it!

I'm...gonna go lie down now --

Truth doesn't care whether you believe it or not.  However, the Mimic Octopus might fit your criteria :)

That was SO cool - OK, all is forgiven, you can have America back --

Moody chameleons? Who knew!


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