Category: Grammar

I had forgotten this amazing piece from Joseph O’Connor on the topic of being inordinately fond of the word “like” RSS readers may need to click through to the post Big hat-tip to Matto for reminding me of this one – it really, like, brightened up, like, my day? Ya know?

I have noticed a problem when interviewing entry-level candidates in the recent past. These are well-educated, beautifully-presented candidates, with good CVs; but they have a problem.  The problem is they sound like morons.  Why? Because they pepper their speech with qualifiers and irritators and because they don’t seem to be capable of uttering simple, emphatic, […]

IT looks like Verizon are dodging a bullet caused by a typo in their pension plan that could have cost them $1,670,000,000 – and no, that figure is not a typo. Full story here. Meanwhile, The Telegraph publishes’s list of the most commonly mis-spelt words in the UK. The top 10 are: Separate Definitely […]

Loose / Lose  It would appear that there is a gargantuan, international conspiracy afoot, a conspiracy pursuing, with ruthless efficiency, the goal of causing a major blood vessel in my head to EXPLODE! Some examples of my latest bugbear, randomly grabbed from Twitter [emphasis mine]: jobrosupdates_n Joe admitted he was the first of his 3 […]

I read a CV last week that had 17 spelling errors over the course of 4 pages. Most of them were underlined errors in MS Word – by which I mean that the software realised that they were mistakes and highlighted them to me by underlining them. The remainder were transposition errors – “form” instead […]

“And you’re definitely definite about that; like, for definite?” D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y Not definately. Not definatly. Not definently. Not definantly. Not definetly. And you could try defiantly, but I wouldn’t recommend it. There’s only one way to spell that word and it is is d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y. Up with this I will not put! Vizzini: “He didn’t fall? In-con-ceiv-able!” […]

Then/Than When did this one start happening? “It’s better to do it this way then that way.” “I’d rather do a phone interview then do a face-to-face interview.” Then? Whaaaaaaaaaaat!? It’s than! With an “AN.” … THAN! Than is usually used for introducing the second part of a comparison, or for introducing exceptions or contrasts. “John […]

Could of I see this one all the time. “Could of … might of … should of” “I could of been a contender!” I can only guess that this arises because the writers perpetrators haven’t spent much of their lives doing any reading at all. Yes, I realise it sounds like “could of” to your […]

The extraordinary Taylor Mali. ‘Nuff said. RSS Readers may need to click through to the post

Compliment or Complement? I am so tired of seeing these mixed up. Complimentary – Relating to a pleasant remark given to another person Complimentary – Something given at no charge “She complimented me on my new haircut.” “Please accept this wine with our compliments.” “Frequently complimented by customers for prompt and courteous service.” Complementary – […]