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….
- all right – This is the correct spelling. “Alright” is a variant and not generally accepted as correct. Please try to avoid using “alright.”
- everyday/every day – “Everyday” (spelled as one word) means ordinary, or usual. “Every day” (spelled as two separate words) means each day.
- as to whether – This is just wordy. You don’t need “as to.” Simply say “whether.”
- data, strata, phenomena, media – These are plurals of “datum, stratum, phenomenon, medium.” So the data “are”; not the data “is.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- nice – Avoid this tired, vague word.
- most – do not use this word instead of “almost.” “Most everyone” should be “almost everyone.”
- the foreseeable future – Avoid using this expression. The future is NOT foreseeable; at least not yet.