What are the 58 most commonly misused words and phrases?

What are the 58 most commonly misused words and phrases?

In his latest book, “The Sense of Style,” Harvard cognitive scientist and linguist Steven Pinker explores the most common words and phrases that people stumble over.

Here are the main ones to look out for:

• Adverse means detrimental and does not mean averse or disinclined.

Correct: There were adverse effects.” / “I’m not averse to doing that.”

• Appraise means to ascertain the value of and does not mean to apprise or to inform.

Correct: I appraised the jewels.” / I apprised him of the situation.”

• As far as means the same as but cannot be used the same way as as for.

Correct: As far as the money is concerned …” / As for the money …

• Begs the question means assumes what it should be proving and does not mean raises the question.

Correct: When I asked the dealer why I should pay more for the German car, he said I would be getting ‘German quality,’ but that just begs the question.”

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.