Listed here are 13 lesser-known language mistakes that drive me batty. Things you probably didn’t know, and probably don’t care, but I am going to tell you anyway. Maybe, just maybe, you will learn a little something and will sound just a bit smarter to those around you in the meantime.
1. Entitled. Books, articles, programs and messages are never “entitled” to anything. They are “titled.” Always. This one always makes me grin when I groan because it seems people use this to try to sound just a bit more sophisticated, and they really end up sounding foolish. This is a common, common mistake I hear all the time on tv and on the radio.
2. Myself. Similarly, don’t use “myself” to try to sound sophisticated. As a general rule, only use “myself” if you’ve already used “I” in your sentence and “myself” is not the subject. “I will do it myself. I will hold myself responsible.” Not, “She and myself will be held responsible.”
3. Nauseous. People generally feel “nauseated” (literally “sick at the stomach”), unless they think they themselves are the ones who are creating nausea. “Nauseous” literally means “sickening.”
4. Literally. Unless you really are dead from being tired, you are not “literally dead tired.”
5. An historic. It’s an honor that I live in a historic district in a historic house. Use “a” when there is a hard “h” sound at the beginning of the word, and “an” when it is silent, and there is an “o” or other vowel sound.
6. Myriad of. To be honest, I don’t have definitive proof on this one but my gut says there’s no “of.” There’s myriad reasons why I think this, starting with the definition of myriad, which is “thousands of.”
7. None/neither are. This is a tricky one because it just sounds wrong. But none and neither are singular. So, “None (not one) of us is going to the movie, and neither of my kids is needing a babysitter.”
8. The reason is because. Clean up this needlessly wordy speach by using just one of the two phrases. “The reason is …” or “Because …”
9. Where are you at? This is called ending a sentence with a prepositional phrase, you might remember this from grammar school, so it is a no-no. That’s not why it bothers me so much though, it just sounds bad. Simply say “Where are you?” or “I would like to go” (without the “with”).
10. Hopefully. Unless the subject is in a state of hope, use “I hope” instead. “I hope to go to the store later.” instead of “Hopefully, I will go to the store later” (meaning, I will go to the store later feeling hopeful).
11. More importantly. Should use “more important” instead, although it’s usually best just to rewrite to avoid.
12. Irregardless. Should be “regardless.” Always.
13. Intensive purposes. Nope, it’s “intents and purposes.”
If you actually got to the end of the list, thank you! I appreciate you letting me vent. If you are a word nerd like me, feel free to post any faux pas I might have missed that are like fingernails on a chalkboard to you.