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August 30, 2008 at 5:32 am #587920
I keep seeing supposedly literate people, (journalists even!) using “then” when they should be using “than”. It really bugs the hell out of me!!!
Rule of thumb:
THEN: connotes TIME
THAN: connotes COMPARISON
SO if you want to compare something then use the right word!
1 a– used as a function word to indicate the second member or the member taken as the point of departure in a comparison expressive of inequality — used with comparative adjectives and comparative adverbs (older than I am) (easier said than done) b– used as a function word to indicate difference of kind, manner, or identity — used especially with some adjectives and adverbs that express diversity (anywhere else than at home)
1: at that time
2a: soon after that : next in order of time (walked to the door, then turned) b: following next after in order of position, narration, or enumeration : being next in a series (first came the clowns, then came the elephants) c: in addition : besides (then there is the interest to be paid)
3a (1): in that case (take it, then, if you want it so much) (2)– used after but to qualify or offset a preceding statement (she lost the race, but then she never really expected to win) b: according to that : as may be inferred (your mind is made up, then) c: as it appears : by way of summing up d: as a necessary consequence (if the angles are equal, then the complements are equal)August 30, 2008 at 5:51 am #636531
I love word rants. Could do an entire website about them. I had an entire website about typos once upon a time, and one that still makes me cringe:
No, it’s sneak PEEK. Unless you are discussing mountains.August 30, 2008 at 5:52 am #636532August 30, 2008 at 5:57 am #636533
my boss mixes up sell and sale i just got an email telling us to sale sale sale next week rather than sell sell sell! it kills me and i dont want to be the one to correct her shes my boss and i love her!!August 30, 2008 at 6:04 am #636534
my all time favorite is Nordstroms. IT IS Nordstrom no s. that one makes me crazy!!!August 30, 2008 at 6:22 am #636535
oh, I’m anal about this. I’ll forgive typos, but..their, there, and they’re…people should learn the difference.
I read professional websites that use these words incorrectly all the time. Spell check won’t catch it, because the words are spelled right, just used wrongly. It really reflects on the website, and not in a good way.
HP..yes…my daughter works at Nordstrom…took me a while to learn to leave the “s” off :)August 30, 2008 at 6:23 am #636536
Ms Evans, my fourth grade teacher is tossing in her grave at the very idea that it would be a rant to expect proper use of the english language.
she said you are either literate or you’re not..
i am sure flipjack has caught me wrong worded more than once… unfortunately my swiss cheese brain makes me sound and look illiterate some days:(
but i cringe every time my nephew writes. He is intelligent, imaginative, insightful and illiterate… as are the majority of those i correspond with.August 30, 2008 at 6:50 am #636537
As a teacher of grammar and language arts, I see a ton of mis-usage and mis-spelling. Some of them are quite funny. I had one student from Asia who couldn’t wrap his head around “housewife” – he always thought is was “wifehouse”. (Of course easily done when converting native language to English).
I also had a student ask to have another student “circumcised” instead of “chastised”.
One of my pet peeves is people who say “revelant” instead of “relevant”.August 30, 2008 at 6:56 am #636538August 30, 2008 at 6:59 am #636539
I also love malaproprisms – one of my favorites is from the old Mayor Daley in Chicago:
“I resent that insinuendo”.August 30, 2008 at 7:01 am #636540
thanks for this thread.. i needed intelligent conversation and good giggle before i turned in.
i hate to go to bed angry:)August 30, 2008 at 7:04 am #636541
This one (a misspelling) makes me crazy and I see it every day: definatelyAugust 30, 2008 at 7:06 am #636542August 30, 2008 at 9:27 am #636543
Oh, I’ll throw in a kudo here that I haven’t had another chance to mention.
A local business had its front window painted recently. We drive by said window all the time. We did horrified double-takes as we saw the painter completing the job with one of the words spelled this way:
I have come to expect so little from the grammar/spelling deficiencies of this time in history, that I fully expected it to remain that way.
But no – within a few days it had been fixed to REJUVENATE. Bravo.August 30, 2008 at 1:58 pm #636544
Oooh, what a great thread! This kind of misusage drives me nuts, but I’m willing to overlook a lot in casual email. People are in a hurry, people make typos, they don’t reread their message before sending. What really gripes me is published books with this kind of mistake. Don’t they have copy editors anymore? One of the most frequent I see is scholars who pour over old books.August 30, 2008 at 2:22 pm #636545
For some reason, I’ve always tacked on an “s” to the names of department stores – Penney’s, Frederick & Nelson’s, and Nordstrom’s. The possessive form just sounds right.
A high school teacher tells me that text messaging and spell check are creating a generation of poor spellers. Kids don’t make the effort to spell correctly. I wonder how often they pick up a dictionary to check the spelling of a word.August 30, 2008 at 3:11 pm #636546August 30, 2008 at 3:15 pm #636547
I have a friend who used to get the word meet mixed up with meat. Good grief!August 30, 2008 at 3:27 pm #636548
I am embarrassed to admit that I am so exhausted lately that instead of typing “once this is over,” I typed “wants this over”. I need sleep!August 30, 2008 at 3:37 pm #636549
And let’s not forget our illustrious president and his use of nucular and nuclear (oops, I mean misuse)..He has butchered the English language so much that an entire industry has popped up around it and a new word was created, “Bushism”. I don’t think he has a pitcher of Putin up, either.August 30, 2008 at 3:40 pm #636550
One of my pet peeves is when people put an apostrophe-s (‘s) when making a word plural. Drives me crazy – especially on professional literature, websites, etc.!!!August 30, 2008 at 3:50 pm #636551
The good news is that spelling, grammar and intellect don’t correlate. That is, except for our president.August 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm #636552
I’ve been a bad speller all of my life. When a child I had the back of my knuckles whacked with a ruler, was called lazy and ignorant by teachers I would otherwise have admired. I had to take a spelling tutoring class in collage and in the end it didnâ€™t help. I carried a pocket dictionary with me most of time. A word may be spelled a dozen different ways on a page and they all look the same to me. I can recognize a difference only if I consciously compare them letter by letter. It wasn’t until I was about 50 when I learned there was a name for it, dyslexia!
Thank god for spell checkers, but they are not perfect. What has been irritating me more recently are those who write as though they were texting on cell phones. Shortcuts make sense when youâ€™re limited to 160 characters in a message, but nowhere else please!August 30, 2008 at 4:03 pm #636553
Magpie, do you mean, Putin, the president of GERMANY? (McCain actually said it!) Add, the random apostrophe’s really just drive me nut’s. Especially the possessive it’s when the rule is so simple and has absolutely no exception’s.
I had a grammar teacher once who carried around a Sharpie in her purse. She would actually mark out public misspellings and grammar errors. Leaving them, she said, conditioned people to wrong usage and was especially harmful to young children.
Letters from Seattle Public Schools with blatant errors do not engender confidence. I would get them routinely when my kids were students.August 30, 2008 at 4:36 pm #636554
Well, it seems I’ve stirred the sleeping dragon in some people. :-)
Hey RonM…and I mean this as a humorous jab…
It’s College not Collage. :-)
I suffer from mild dislexia too I think..just switching letters around.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for me and made me start this thread was because of this screenshot I saw a while ago:
Man that really got my goat!!
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