Ten Misused Expressions

There are a lot more than ten misused expressions, but we don’t want to be on overload, so here are some randomly picked misused words or expressions. You may notice that some are repeated from other posts, but that is only because I keep seeing those words misused and the reminder bears repeating.

Blah, blah, blah….

Like, you know….

  1. all right – This is the correct spelling. “Alright” is a variant and not generally accepted as correct. Please try to avoid using “alright.”
  2. everyday/every day – “Everyday” (spelled as one word) means ordinary, or usual.  “Every day” (spelled as two separate words) means each day.
  3. as to whether – This is just wordy. You don’t need “as to.” Simply say “whether.”
  4. data, strata, phenomena, media – These are plurals of “datum, stratum, phenomenon, medium.” So the data “are”; not the data “is.”
  5. hopefully – In most cases, this is misused. It means to do something in a hopeful frame of mind. Most likely what you mean to say is “I hope,” or “it is to be hoped.” Be careful with “hopefully.” In most cases it is better left out.
  6. inside of/outside of – When you are referring to a location, leave out “of.” If you mean a time frame (inside of two minutes), it is okay to leave the “of” in place.
  7. like – Do not use “like” in place of “as.” Usually if it is before a phrase or clause, you should be using “as.” (“She ran like her life depended on it,” should be “She ran as if her life depended on it.”) Also, do not insert this word as a meaningless introduction to an adjective  (She was like devastated to hear the way I speak, throwing “like” into my podcast over 400 times). By the way, in a one-hour podcast filled with many uses of “like,” I began counting  and was horrified to find that the person had used 400+ likes an hour. Isn’t that well over the speed limit?
  8. nice – Avoid this tired, vague word.
  9. most – do not use this word instead of “almost.” “Most everyone” should be “almost everyone.”
  10. the foreseeable future – Avoid using this expression. The future is NOT foreseeable; at least not yet.

So blah, blah, blah … Now, you know….

(👍 ͡❛ ͜ʖ ͡❛)👍

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Annoyances

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).

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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.