40 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Dumb

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Fewer and less
Use fewer when referring to items you can count, like "fewer hours" or "fewer dollars."

Use "less" when referring to items you can't (or haven't tried to) count, like "less time" or "less money."
40 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Dumb

Joe Mobley
  • Profile picture of the author dave147
    Here's another...

    Enquiry - Seek information about something

    Inquiry - Conduct a formation investigation
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Hell I don't need 40 words to look dumb, I can do it in 2
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
        Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

        Hell I don't need 40 words to look dumb, I can do it in 2
        Thom, by the looks of Claude's avatar, he's got you beat. He can do it in none.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joel Young
    Try to tell someone about any of those words, no matter how privately and tactfully you do it, and you're branded as a grammar Nazi, and nobody cares. Stupid is, as stupid wants to be.
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    • Profile picture of the author SilentBase14
      Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

      Try to tell someone about any of those words, no matter how privately and tactfully you do it, and you're branded as a grammar Nazi, and nobody cares. Stupid is, as stupid wants to be.
      Just be playful about it. But I never correct people in person unless I know them well.
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

      Try to tell someone about any of those words, no matter how privately and tactfully you do it, and you're branded as a grammar Nazi, and nobody cares. Stupid is, as stupid wants to be.
      Maybe in forums - all a forum should be is typed chat. If you get everything close enough that people know what you mean, that's okay for informal chatter (even when typed).

      If they don't care on formal website pages (if it's a sales page or landing page even informal style should be grammatically correct) , then they may have a problem leaving the lower socio-economic classes.

      My pet peeve is "fewer" vs "less".

      My linguistic prof bought a box of kleenex once that said on the side "compliments your bathroom decor". She wrote the company a letter telling them that the box had been sitting on the shelf for weeks and never once told her the bathroom looked nice. They sent her a whole case of tissues in boxes with the error corrected. I guess being a grammar Nazi is profitable sometimes.
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      Sal
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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        Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

        My pet peeve is "fewer" vs "less".
        This is one of mine, too. (Over here, some supermarkets still have a checkout line reserved for people with "less than 10 items").

        Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

        My linguistic prof bought a box of kleenex once that said on the side "compliments your bathroom decor". She wrote the company a letter telling them that the box had been sitting on the shelf for weeks and never once told her the bathroom looked nice. They sent her a whole case of tissues in boxes with the error corrected.
        This is wonderful!

        The confusion between "militate" and "mitigate" is another peeve of mine. "Mitigates against" is quite often used.


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        • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
          Something that comes to mind is that there may be a number-of-character constraints for signs (and Twitter.)

          "Less" has fewer characters.

          Joe Mobley


          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          This is one of mine, too. (Over here, some supermarkets still have a checkout line reserved for people with "less than 10 items").
          .
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          • Profile picture of the author dave147
            Originally Posted by Joe Mobley View Post

            Something that comes to mind is that there may be a number-of-character constraints for signs (and Twitter.)

            "Less" has fewer characters.

            Joe Mobley
            "Less" has less characters
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            • Profile picture of the author HeySal
              Originally Posted by dave147 View Post

              "Less" has less characters
              Uh, trying to grin here - you're drinking today, aren't ya?

              Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

              This is one of mine, too. (Over here, some supermarkets still have a checkout line reserved for people with "less than 10 items").



              This is wonderful!

              The confusion between "militate" and "mitigate" is another peeve of mine. "Mitigates against" is quite often used.


              .
              Our supermarkets here do, as well. Of course, we're the country that deleted the comma before the "and" in a series, and that drives me batshyte.

              I don't think I've ever heard anyone in average conversation ever use the word "militate", let alone use it wrongfully in exchange for "mitigate". Over here in Corporation speak land you will hear "facilitate" or "inadvertently facilitate" used instead.
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              Sal
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              • Profile picture of the author peter_act
                And of course the eternally irritating phrase, beloved by internet marketers - "free gift"
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              • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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                Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

                Our supermarkets here do, as well. Of course, we're the country that deleted the comma before the "and" in a series, and that drives me batshyte.
                LOL, I hear you there. That one has spread over here, too. (I think you call it the "serial comma" and we call it the "Oxford comma"?)


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                • Profile picture of the author discrat
                  ' Irregardless' of the title of your Subject , some words however misused can still be appropriate in some cases
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                • Profile picture of the author HeySal
                  Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                  LOL, I hear you there. That one has spread over here, too. (I think you call it the "serial comma" and we call it the "Oxford comma"?)


                  .

                  We call it the Oxford, too - at least at some levels of schooling. Can't remember what we called it in high school. Teachers now don't even know that it's an error in formal diction to not use it. While it's true that language morphs, there's more subconsciously going on with that one that makes it a real necessity, so to me it will just always be wrong without it. I've dropped jobs before because clients would insist I take it out. Nope. Won't do it.
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                  Sal
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              • Profile picture of the author dave147
                Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

                Uh, trying to grin here - you're drinking today, aren't ya?
                No I'll wait til Christmas
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      • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
        Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

        Maybe in forums - all a forum should be is typed chat. If you get everything close enough that people know what you mean, that's okay for informal chatter (even when typed).

        If they don't care on formal website pages (if it's a sales page or landing page even informal style should be grammatically correct) , then they may have a problem leaving the lower socio-economic classes.

        My pet peeve is "fewer" vs "less".

        My linguistic prof bought a box of kleenex once that said on the side "compliments your bathroom decor". She wrote the company a letter telling them that the box had been sitting on the shelf for weeks and never once told her the bathroom looked nice. They sent her a whole case of tissues in boxes with the error corrected. I guess being a grammar Nazi is profitable sometimes.
        Darn. Too bad I did not send "nobody dislikes Sara Lee" into the company when they were
        using "nobody doesn't like Sara Lee". I'll be carefully watching truck ads from now on.lol
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