Some words seem to be manufactured from other words by using very stretchy imaginations. The more frequently they are used, the more other writers think it is okay to use them.

Enthuse is an example of this. The noun is enthusiasm; the adjective is enthusiastic; the adverb, enthusiastically. But to use enthuse as an active verb, to my way of thinking, is really stretching the boundaries of good word usage.

Yes, I was enthused (okay) by the prospect of a picnic, but I did not enthuse (not okay) about it all day.

Alright (not okay) is another one. I see it used a lot, but that doesn’t make me cringe less. It is one of those words that is being accepted more and more as being all right (okay) to use, but the correct form is still all right.

Point in time (not okay) is another of those expressions that really irks me. Which point, exactly, would that be? There is no point in time.

What a wonderful blessing it must be to be able to foresee the future. That person could legitimately use a term like the foreseeable future” (not okay).  But if you are not blessed (or cursed) with that ability, please avoid saying, “in the foreseeable future.

Have you ever heard someone try to show their indifference by saying, “I could care less (not okay)? So, under which circumstances would they care less?

What they really mean to say is that they care so little that it is hard to imagine caring any less than they do. They want to say, “I couldn’t care less(okay).


If you tend to use any of these expressions incorrectly, have a second look at them the next time you find yourself writing them and ponder whether you really want to make your readers cringe.


4 thoughts on “Annoyances

  1. These are great. You fixed one in my writing,.. I’ve forgotten what it was… It’ll come to me and I’ll pop in. I was going to say it had such an impact, but that’s probably not believable since I can’t even remember what it was!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anneli, I can feel you cringing all the way here! 😀 Some of these examples are painful. What would you say about using ‘alright’ in speech, if a character is talking in more ‘slang’ language? I find a lot of writers double up on words when utterly unnecessary as it just results in tautology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t feel there is anything wrong with saying or writing “all right.” It’s only in written work that it’s noticeable if someone writes “alright.” When we speak, unless it’s very formal, I don’t see anything wrong with saying “all right.” Is that “all right” with you? See how it goes? We use it all the time. It’s only the spelling that bothers me in “alright.” But you’re right, some of the other misuses of words do have me cringing.

      Liked by 1 person

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