More Irky Things

Some expressions are so commonly used that we have come to accept them as correct, when they really are not.

Different than” is one of those. I see it used all the time, but the correct form is “different from.” If you are comparing things and one differs from another, it is different from the other. It doesn’t differ than. It differs from.

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Now we have one that is so commonly used that many people are accepting it as correct, but it is NOT.

 “You better” should be “you had better” or “you’d better.”

Better is not a verb unless you mean “to improve,” as in to better yourself. So rather than saying, “You better be careful,” what you should be saying is, “You’d better be careful,” or “You had better be careful.”

In song lyrics, we hear “you better” used often (you better watch out, you better not cry), but I’m willing to bet that originally the words were “You’d better watch out, You’d better not cry.” Regardless, in song lyrics we allow a lot of grammatical horrors. Country music is full of double negatives and misused words but that’s what gives the music its flavour. (Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.)

Flavour up your music if you like, but if you’re doing formal writing, you had better use the correct forms of the language.

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Finally, I find that I need to make one more plea to the news anchors to stop misusing “regard/regards.”

Regards are what you send to a friend or relative when you want to send them a greeting. “Please give my regards to my Aunt Mary.”

One news anchor uses it so much that you can almost count on it popping up at least once in each news item. When she’s interviewing someone, she often uses it to segue to the next question.

With regards to the president, how to you think he will handle this situation?”  Why does she have to send the president greetings before she asks about him? Maybe they know each other well?

What she meant to say was, “With regard to the president … blahblahblahblah.”

I’m so glad I got that out of my system again. I find it awful to have to listen to people in jobs way above my paygrade misusing the most common expressions.

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “More Irky Things

    • OH YES! I run into that every day . It bugs me too. It’s an everyday mistake. Thanks for your comment, Stuart. Don’t feel bad about “you better,” although I hope you’ll change it. A lot of people do that and then they publish it like that! They don’t seem to care much about it being correct or not, and I just don’t understand that kind of thinking.

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  1. Great post. I’ve likely been guilty of the first two misuses. I rarely use the words regard and regards. I don’t write business proposals, I’m not a news anchor, and I can’t remember the last time I gave my regards. 🤷‍♀️

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    • I can’t believe how often I hear regards misused, especially on the news. Another one they do a lot is amount and less for people. There was a huge amount of people. So I’m tempted to ask, “How much? Maybe a couple of thousand pounds?” It should be a number of people, and fewer (not less) people. Thanks for your visit and comment, Lori. I’m sending you my “regards.” 😊 And btw, it’s snowing!

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      • Snow! Well, it’ll probably melt right away, no? We had snow (3 inches) on Thursday night. It should all be melted away by tomorrow. Our temps are warming up to 40f (4c) next week. Heatwave! 😉

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