Let's say you're in a meeting when suddenly the door bursts open and a clown comes dancing into the room. You might go home and talk about that incident over dinner. Let's say it happens again the next day. At dinner, you might say, "I can't believe there were two incidences … Continue reading The difference between “incidences” and “incidents”
You may have read about someone "pouring over" a book, implying that they're studying its pages intently. Unfortunately, it's wrong. Someone "pouring over" their book is likely dumping the contents of a watering can over it. It's a common mistake, but the correct phrase is "pore over." It's not a … Continue reading Is it “pour over” or “pore over”?
I’ll be honest – this one gets up my nose a bit every time I hear/read it. You’ve probably heard people say they “couldn’t care less” about something, but you’ve probably also heard them say they “could care less” about something. So which one is right? The correct way to … Continue reading Why saying “I could care less” is wrong
If you're like me, you grew up hearing your parents say something like, "It's 'Mark and I', dear." Well I'm here to tell you that even in adulthood, it still feels good to learn that your parents don't know everything. The proper usage of "you and I" Your parents weren't … Continue reading The difference between “you and I” and “you and me”
The four words "anyway," "any way," "everyday" and "every day" illustrate for me just how precise and seemingly random the English language can be. It's not always easy to tell which usage is correct. Specifically, getting "everyday" and "every day" mixed up is so common, I bet many people don't … Continue reading Anyway/any way and everyday/every day
One thing that fascinates me, though the result often frustrates me, is how many of our spelling errors arise from the spoken word. The phrases "should of" and "could of" are perfect examples of this. Why "should of" and "could of" are incorrect "Should of" and "could of", if you … Continue reading “Should/could have” vs “should/could of”
I know that the English language is ever evolving (though I try in my own way to keep it from evolving into incoherency), but there are some popular phrases that just make my skin crawl. I hereby vow to never use these in any form, written or spoken: Across the … Continue reading What phrases really bug you?
I’m reading a certain novel right now. It’s good, but it uses the word “which” in a way that really bugs me. This spelling and grammar pet peeve has been a fairly recent, but intense, one of mine for the past couple of years. Dear editor of said novel: The … Continue reading Can you use “which” to signify an afterthought?
English is a notoriously difficult language to learn. My parents are Finnish and Filipino, respectively, and while I don’t speak either of those languages, I can read them aloud near-perfectly. This is because, compared to English, they are easy! There are no silent letters and each letter is pronounced only … Continue reading The nuttiness of the English language