Common errors in English – the extended version

owl.gifI generally speak pretty good English. (As far as I know,) I make few mistakes, and those that I do make, I am aware of. It doesn’t really excuse me, but I know when I say The Ukraine, it should just be Ukraine (although they used to use the article, so…partial credit?). Then there’s the none is versus none are argument, but I stand firm that none are is OK.

So imagine my delight when I came across a comprehensive list of common errors in English Usage by Paul Brians, Emeritus Professor of English at Washington State University. It has an easily navigable list, with each link leading to a simple explanation of what is correct and what should be steered clear of (no in depth grammar lectures here). Of course, it is not an exhaustive list, but I guess that depends on your definition of common. The list covers some of my pet peeves (e.g. could of, would of, should of; accept/except; affect/effect), as well as some that I didn’t even know were issues, like pre-Madonna instead of prima donna. Did you know that the original phrase is you’ve got another think coming”, not “you’ve got another thing coming”?

So, if you want to have a bit of a laugh at the people who make some ridiculous mistakes, or just check you’re not about to make one yourself, check out the list. Did anything surprise you?

Edit: After checking, it appears there is no entry for the often misspelled Valentimes Day. Happy St Valentine’s Day! Have some good Valen-Times!

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