Tag Archives: grammar error

Nip it WHERE????

No matter how many times you’ve said it—and you know who you are—nip it in the butt is NOT the correct phrase. Nip it in the butt? Ouch! If you must use this cliche, then use it properly: Nip it … Continue reading

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THAT’S Incredible; I’M Incredulous.

I’ve heard the word incredulous attributed to situations, as in That’s an incredulous story. The problem is that incredulous means skeptical or disbelieving, which is a human trait, not something that can be attributed to an inanimate object, a theory, … Continue reading

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Subordinating Conjunctions

While coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet), which connect clauses of equal importance, get a great deal of press in every grammar book on the bookshelf , they’re not the only conjunctions in town. Subordinating conjunctions connect … Continue reading

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Mmmmmm, Probly (Probably)

While this is not a terribly common written error—-although I have at times seen it spelled this way on the information superhighway—-the pronunciation of probably as probly is constant and irritating. You should probably have a good lawyer if you … Continue reading

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Waiting for You, Waiting on Table #3

There’s a song whose lyrics include Must I always be waiting on you and I can’t always be waiting on you. It’s a love song, of course. (What song isn’t a love song?) The song seems to be about a … Continue reading

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We the People…

I’ve already written about general pronoun choice, but the we/us dilemma is worth tackling separately. We is a nominative pronoun, which means that it is used as a subject, and us is an objective pronoun, which means that it is … Continue reading

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Can’t Help But Cringe at This Construction

Try to avoid the can’t help but construction. While it has been around for a while, most grammarians agree that it’s not the most logical construction. It’s considered to be a confused mix of the expressions can but and can’t … Continue reading

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Complement/Compliment

As a verb, to complement is to complete or supplement. The wine complemented the meal. As a noun, complement is something that completes something else. The addition of the B6 vitamin to my morning routine now gives me a full … Continue reading

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Is It Amount, or Is It Number?

The number of times that I’ve seen these words confused is more than I can count—and that’s actually the point of the amount/number topic. Number refers to things that can be counted as individuals. Amount refers to a mass quantity, … Continue reading

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Stationary versus Stationery

There are certain lessons—and when I say lessons, of course, I mean grammar lessons—that we always remember having been taught, and this is one of them for me. I still recall my elementary-school teacher explaining the difference between stationary, which … Continue reading

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