5 English errors that drive us nuts

7 Jan

We agree that English is a nutty language. To be fluent in English also means you have a smattering of German and French. But, there are still rules about good usage which we need to recognize, just as there are common ways to flout them. If you’re wondering what they are – here are common errors that make up our top five pet peeves.

Waive off. When you request your college or university for exemption from a rule or fee, just ask them to waive it, not waive it off. “Waiving off” is not a thing. “Waving off”, on the other hand, is a thing, but you always wave someone off, which is a way of saying goodbye. Next time you hear someone say “waive off”, you might want to wave them off.

Dispose off. This happens because people pronounce “of” (as in “The Secret Life Of Pets”; usually pronounced “uv”) so that it sounds like “off” (as in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”). If you really must murder the language, at least do it the honor of disposing of the body, rather than disposing off it (or even worse, “disposing it off”).

Revert. Some people use it as a synonym for “reply”, apparently because “reply” isn’t good enough. But “revert” doesn’t even mean reply. It means to return to a previous state or practice. The minimum requirement for people who promise to “revert” should be truly dramatic, like becoming a baby again, or going back to the Paleolithic era. If they are unwilling to oblige, they should just say “reply”.

Updation. Banks love doing this to your account, have you noticed? Why can’t they just say they need to “update records” instead of needing to do “updation of records”? Do they enjoy causing vexation, consternation, frustration, and discombobulation to their customers?

Your / you’re. If you’re careless, your writing will reflect it, and your readers may conclude that you’re not very smart.

Got any pet peeves to share? Email us or leave a comment below! Check out previous Word Nerd posts here!

By: BrainGain Staff Writer

One Response to “5 English errors that drive us nuts”

  1. Edward Chambers October 27, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

    My gripe is people who use the word ‘less’ when the correct usage is ‘fewer’.

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