Give pet peeves and discuss.
"I'll take who's next."
If that sounds right to you, you have a tin ear. It should be "I'll take whoever is next" or "I'm ready for the next person."
Checkout signs that say something like "Ten items or less."
No, no, no. It's "fewer," not "less."
Here's a biblical one:
"The wages of sin is death." What the hell? Plural noun and singular verb?
It should be "The wage of sin is death" because "The wages of sin are death" is just as messed up as the original and for the same reason.
Don't be such a prescriptionist. Refutiate this: there is NOT ONE word which can have only one possible meaning. What do words offer that is not, in some respect, ambiguous. Much of our humour and poetry derives from ambiguity.
In Google, the word, "Refute", gets (among others):
deny or contradict (a statement or accusation).
"a spokesman totally refuted the allegation of bias"
deny, reject, repudiate, rebut, declare to be untrue;
Perhaps you were thinking of "refudiate". :-)
"Strictly speaking" was modified by "in logic and science." I already admitted that common usage had given in on the ambiguity.
There is little advantage in terms of communication to letting words become ambiguous.
Often, context helps us understand what's meant, but not always.
I hate how, "go ahead and ..." is SO overused.
"Ok, now go ahead and push the red button then go ahead and flip the switch."
I've heard and used that one a lot, wondering why it feels so natural. It feels like a way to affirm either "after due consideration or experience, let's do this like it's our best option", or it's a firm but polite way of saying "please, just do it".
I don't think I've ever encountered it twice in a row in the same sentence... it's more of single step by single step procedure.
But I can see how sometimes it could sound pretentious or dismissive, say when used by an incompetent tech support dude trying to help you solve a problem over the phone. Or (e.g.) you're just tired of repeating this step time after time, with different techs or script-following agents at level one in the call queue (sp?).
Would it sound better if one just said "let's" instead of "go ahead and"? I think we use "let's" when we're more familiar with each other.
People mishear an expression and a new expression happens.
More and more people use the expression "to hone in" which is a mishearing of "to home in."
Likewise, the tradition expression "buck naked" has largely become "butt naked."
...which is how "should of" and "could of" happened, too.
One I'm suddenly seeing a lot of:
Writing "populous" when "populace" is meant. The first clue ought to be that "populous" clearly has the form of an adjective.