Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Words You May Misuse

Authors are word guys. Word Nerds, if you will. We respect words almost to reverence. We look to jump into a pile of words and roll around in them and toss them about.

Well, or something like that.

It drives me berserk to hear words used incorrectly. “irregardless”, “nuculer”, and  “Febuary” are just plain wrong. They are not words. And no, you can cast them as neologisms (for which I have a particular fondness). No, “chinique” (chic and unique) and “fantabulous” (fantastic and fabulous) are creations for fun. They are not for everyday speech.

By the same token, I take exception when people misuse “affect/effect”, “your/you’re”, “eager/anxious”, and others of that ilk. That is just plain laziness not to learn the accurate use of these common words. Lil Bro told me, after one of Big Mama’s spells, that her heartbeat was “erotic”. Well.

Am I smug? Of course. Arrogant even about my level of word usage and vocabulary store.

So imagine my distress when someone posted words on FB these words that many people use incorrectly--and I was among them. Well, not for all the words on the list or even most of them. But that there were any on the list bothered me immensely.

I mean the enormity* of it struck me full-face. (Uh oh. Misuse!)

It was enough to make one nauseous*. (Oops! There’s another one.)

Anyway, here are some links for you to explore and see if any of these words are your nemesis (“undoing, ruination”) [but NOT, as you might think, bĂȘte noire (“a person or thing one especially dislikes”)].

Did I make a plausible argument (“convincing, believable”; NOT “possible”, as you may think) for attention to word accuracy? What words others use incorrectly drive you nuts or what words do you struggle with? Let’s make our own list!

Sites for word use/misuse:

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