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Common Usage Errors 41-60. 41. NAUSEATED/NAUSEOUS Many people say, when sick to their stomachs, that they feel “nauseous” (pronounced “NOSH- uss” or “NOZH-uss”)

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Presentation on theme: "Common Usage Errors 41-60. 41. NAUSEATED/NAUSEOUS Many people say, when sick to their stomachs, that they feel “nauseous” (pronounced “NOSH- uss” or “NOZH-uss”)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Common Usage Errors 41-60

2 41. NAUSEATED/NAUSEOUS Many people say, when sick to their stomachs, that they feel “nauseous” (pronounced “NOSH- uss” or “NOZH-uss”) but traditionalists insist that this word should be used to describe something that makes you want to throw up: something nauseating. They hear you as saying that you make people want to vomit, and it tempers their sympathy for your plight. Better to say you are “nauseated,” or simply that you feel like throwing up. Many people say, when sick to their stomachs, that they feel “nauseous” (pronounced “NOSH- uss” or “NOZH-uss”) but traditionalists insist that this word should be used to describe something that makes you want to throw up: something nauseating. They hear you as saying that you make people want to vomit, and it tempers their sympathy for your plight. Better to say you are “nauseated,” or simply that you feel like throwing up.

3 42. NAVAL/NAVEL Your bellybutton is your navel, and navel oranges look like they have one; all terms having to do with ships and sailing require “naval.” Your bellybutton is your navel, and navel oranges look like they have one; all terms having to do with ships and sailing require “naval.”

4 43. OPPRESS/REPRESS Dictators commonly oppress their citizens and repress dissent, but these words don’t mean exactly the same thing. “Repress” just means "keep under control.” sometimes repression is a good thing: “During the job interview, repress the temptation to tell Mr. Brown that he has toilet paper stuck to his shoe.” Oppression is always bad, and implies serious persecution. Dictators commonly oppress their citizens and repress dissent, but these words don’t mean exactly the same thing. “Repress” just means "keep under control.” sometimes repression is a good thing: “During the job interview, repress the temptation to tell Mr. Brown that he has toilet paper stuck to his shoe.” Oppression is always bad, and implies serious persecution.

5 44. PASSED/PAST If you are referring to time or distance, use “past”: “the team performed well in the past,” “the police car drove past the suspect’s house.” If you are referring to the action of passing, however, you need to use “passed“: “when John passed the gravy, he spilled it on his lap,” “the teacher was astonished that none of the students had passed the test.” If you are referring to time or distance, use “past”: “the team performed well in the past,” “the police car drove past the suspect’s house.” If you are referring to the action of passing, however, you need to use “passed“: “when John passed the gravy, he spilled it on his lap,” “the teacher was astonished that none of the students had passed the test.”

6 45. PEACE/PIECE It’s hard to believe many people really confuse the meaning of these words; but the spellings are frequently swapped, probably out of sheer carelessness. “Piece” has the word “pie” buried in it, which should remind you of the familiar phrase, “a piece of pie.” You can meditate to find peace of mind, or you can get angry and give someone a piece of your mind. Classical scholars will note that pax is the Latin word for peace, suggesting the need for an “A” in the latter word. It’s hard to believe many people really confuse the meaning of these words; but the spellings are frequently swapped, probably out of sheer carelessness. “Piece” has the word “pie” buried in it, which should remind you of the familiar phrase, “a piece of pie.” You can meditate to find peace of mind, or you can get angry and give someone a piece of your mind. Classical scholars will note that pax is the Latin word for peace, suggesting the need for an “A” in the latter word.

7 46.PHENOMENA/ PHENOMENON There are several words with Latin or Greek roots whose plural forms ending in A are constantly mistaken for singular ones. See, for instance, criteria and media and data. it’s “this phenomenon,” but “these phenomena.” There are several words with Latin or Greek roots whose plural forms ending in A are constantly mistaken for singular ones. See, for instance, criteria and media and data. it’s “this phenomenon,” but “these phenomena.”

8 47. PERSONAL/PERSONNEL Employees are personnel, but private individuals considered separately from their jobs have personal lives. Employees are personnel, but private individuals considered separately from their jobs have personal lives.

9 48. PRECEDE/PROCEED “Precede” means “to go before.” “Proceed” means to go on. Let your companion precede you through the door, then proceed to follow her. Interestingly, the second E is missing in “procedure.” “Precede” means “to go before.” “Proceed” means to go on. Let your companion precede you through the door, then proceed to follow her. Interestingly, the second E is missing in “procedure.”

10 49.PRODIGY/PROGENY/ PROTÉGÉ Your progeny are your kids, though it would be pretty pretentious to refer to them as such. If your child is a brilliantly outstanding person he or she may be a child prodigy. In fact, anything amazingly admirable can be a prodigy. But a person that you take under your wing in order to help promote his or her career is your protégé. Your progeny are your kids, though it would be pretty pretentious to refer to them as such. If your child is a brilliantly outstanding person he or she may be a child prodigy. In fact, anything amazingly admirable can be a prodigy. But a person that you take under your wing in order to help promote his or her career is your protégé.

11 50. PRINCIPAL/PRINCIPLE Generations of teachers have tried to drill this one into students’ heads by reminding them, “The principal is your pal.” Many don’t seem convinced. “Principal” is a noun and adjective referring to someone or something which is highest in rank or importance. (In a loan, the principal is the more substantial part of the money, the interest is—or should be—the lesser.) “Principle” is only a noun, and has to do with law or doctrine: “The workers fought hard for the principle of collective bargaining.” Generations of teachers have tried to drill this one into students’ heads by reminding them, “The principal is your pal.” Many don’t seem convinced. “Principal” is a noun and adjective referring to someone or something which is highest in rank or importance. (In a loan, the principal is the more substantial part of the money, the interest is—or should be—the lesser.) “Principle” is only a noun, and has to do with law or doctrine: “The workers fought hard for the principle of collective bargaining.”

12 51. REGARD/REGARDS Business English is deadly enough without scrambling it. “As regards to your downsizing plan...” is acceptable, if stiff. “In regard to” “and “with regard to” are also correct. But “in regards to” is nonstandard. You can also convey the same idea with “in respect to” or “with respect to.” Business English is deadly enough without scrambling it. “As regards to your downsizing plan...” is acceptable, if stiff. “In regard to” “and “with regard to” are also correct. But “in regards to” is nonstandard. You can also convey the same idea with “in respect to” or “with respect to.”

13 52. REIGN/REIN A king or queen reigns, but you rein in a horse. The expression “to give rein” means to give in to an impulse as a spirited horse gives in to its impulse to gallop when you slacken the reins. Similarly, the correct expression is “free rein,” not “free reign." A king or queen reigns, but you rein in a horse. The expression “to give rein” means to give in to an impulse as a spirited horse gives in to its impulse to gallop when you slacken the reins. Similarly, the correct expression is “free rein,” not “free reign."

14 53. RISKY/RISQUÉ People unfamiliar with the French-derived word “risqué” ("slightly indecent” ) often write “risky” by mistake. Bungee-jumping is risky, but nude bungee-jumping is risqué. People unfamiliar with the French-derived word “risqué” ("slightly indecent” ) often write “risky” by mistake. Bungee-jumping is risky, but nude bungee-jumping is risqué.

15 54. SAIL/SALE/SELL These simple and familiar words are surprisingly often confused in writing. You sail a boat which has a sail of canvas. You sell your old fondue pot at a yard sale. These simple and familiar words are surprisingly often confused in writing. You sail a boat which has a sail of canvas. You sell your old fondue pot at a yard sale.

16 55. SOLE/SOUL The bottom of your foot is your sole; your spirit is your soul. The bottom of your foot is your sole; your spirit is your soul.

17 56. SHIMMY/SHINNY You shinny—or shin (climb)—up a tree or pole; but on the dance floor or in a vibrating vehicle you shimmy (shake). You shinny—or shin (climb)—up a tree or pole; but on the dance floor or in a vibrating vehicle you shimmy (shake).

18 57. SOMETIME/SOME TIME "Let's get together sometime." When you use the one-word form, it suggests some indefinite time in the future. "Some time" is not wrong in this sort of context, but it is required when being more specific: "Choose some time that fits in your schedule." "Some" is an adjective here modifying "time." The same pattern applies to "someday" (vague) and "some day" (specific). "Let's get together sometime." When you use the one-word form, it suggests some indefinite time in the future. "Some time" is not wrong in this sort of context, but it is required when being more specific: "Choose some time that fits in your schedule." "Some" is an adjective here modifying "time." The same pattern applies to "someday" (vague) and "some day" (specific).

19 58. SUIT/SUITE Your bedroom suite consists of the bed, the nightstand, and whatever other furniture goes with it. Your pajamas would be your bedroom suit. Your bedroom suite consists of the bed, the nightstand, and whatever other furniture goes with it. Your pajamas would be your bedroom suit.

20 59. THAN/THEN When comparing one thing with another you may find that one is more appealing “than” another. “Than” is the word you want when doing comparisons. But if you are talking about time, choose “then“: “First you separate the eggs; then you beat the whites.” Alexis is smarter than I, not “then I." When comparing one thing with another you may find that one is more appealing “than” another. “Than” is the word you want when doing comparisons. But if you are talking about time, choose “then“: “First you separate the eggs; then you beat the whites.” Alexis is smarter than I, not “then I."

21 60. THAT/WHICH If you are defining something by distinguishing it from a larger class of which it is a member, use “that”: “I chose the lettuce that had the fewest wilted leaves.” When the general class is not being limited or defined in some way, then “which” is appropriate: “He made an iceberg Caesar salad, which didn’t taste quite right.” Note that “which” is normally preceded by a comma, but “that” is not. If you are defining something by distinguishing it from a larger class of which it is a member, use “that”: “I chose the lettuce that had the fewest wilted leaves.” When the general class is not being limited or defined in some way, then “which” is appropriate: “He made an iceberg Caesar salad, which didn’t taste quite right.” Note that “which” is normally preceded by a comma, but “that” is not.


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