Which Word to Use? 258 Commonly Misused Words and Their Meanings in the English Language

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It is also used in the United States to a limited extent. Slang is informal language sometimes peculiar to a particular social class or group and its use in Britain dates back to before the 15th century.

Confusing English Words! - Fix Common Vocabulary Mistakes & Errors

The language of slang, in common with the English language, is changing all the time; new words and phrases are being added and some are used so frequently by so many, they almost become mainstream. While some slang words and phrases are used throughout Britain e. London slang has many varieties, the best known of which is rhyming slang. English-speaking nations of the former British Empire may also use this slang to a cnt, but also incorporate their own slang words to reflect their different cultures. Not only is the slang used by British expats, but some of these terms are incorporated into other countries' everyday slang, such as in Australia, Canada and Ireland.

British slang has been the subject of many books, including a seven volume dictionary published in Lexicographer Eric Partridge published several works about British slang, most notably Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English , revised and edited by Paul Beale. Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's dialect or language.

Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo see euphemism. It is often used to identify with one's peers and, although it may be common among young people, it is used by people of all ages and social groups. Collins English Dictionary 3rd edition defines slang as "Vocabulary, idiom etc that is not appropriate to the standard form of a language or to formal contexts, may be restricted as to social status or distribution, and is characteristically more metaphorical and transitory than standard language".

The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar defines it as "Words, phrases, and uses that are regarded as informal and are often restricted to special contexts or are peculiar to specific profession, classes etc". Jonathan Green, in his book The Cassell Dictionary of Slang , defines slang as "A counter language, the language of the rebel, the outlaw, the despised and the marginal".

The dating of slang words and phrases is difficult due to the nature of slang. Slang, more than any other language, remains spoken and resists being recorded on paper or for that matter any other medium.

By the time slang has been written down, it has been in use some time and has, in some cases, become almost mainstream. The first recorded uses of slang in Britain occurred in the 16th century in the plays of Thomas Dekker , Thomas Middleton and William Shakespeare. The Caveat contained stories of vagabond life, a description of their society and techniques, a taxonomy of rogues, and a short canting dictionary which was later reproduced in other works.

Commonly misused words and phrases

Gent was published, which additionally included some 'civilian' [ clarification needed ] slang terms. It remained the predominant work of its kind for much of the 18th century, until the arrival in of The Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Captain Francis Grose , which ran to more than five expanded editions. Henley; the latter being published in seven volumes. It was later abridged to a single volume and released in as A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English.

There are a number of different varieties of British slang, arguably the best known of which is Rhyming slang. Chiefly associated with cockney speech spoken in the East End of London , words are replaced with a phrase which rhymes. Not a scratch on her. I got back out, opened the hood and looked at seals, hoses, and so on, then bent down to look at the tires and underbody.

The wheel wells were rusted completely through. When I asked the dealer's mechanic about repairing them, he took a look and replied, "The whole underbody is rusted out. I wouldn't feel comfortable selling this car to your daughter. Now for the other side of the picture. One of the first cars my wife and I owned was a used Buick. Mechanically, that car was wonderful. Cosmetically, it was a mess. The paint was peeling off the roof. The hood had been replaced, and its color didn't match the rest of the car.

The rear bumper was falling off and had to be held up with a rope tied inside the trunk. My wife was embarrassed to be seen in the thing, but I loved it: Good on gas, dependable starter even in the coldest weather, a smooth ride, and so on.


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Writing teachers often focus on grammar training, punctuation practice, spelling, and correct word usage, as if these were what make writing perform. But this is like paying attention to how a car looks without considering how it runs. A great paint job and leather upholstery do no good if the underbody has rusted through or the engine is broken. Business leaders often focus on content to the exclusion of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and correct usage, arguing that the only thing that really matters is communication.


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But this is like driving my old junker back and forth to work. Other people really do care how your ride looks. Having been a writing teacher, I understand that grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word usage are easiest to grade. Ideas, organization, and voice require more expertise and energy. Working in business, I also understand that communication and delivery speed are essential.

Devoting time to proofreading can seem counterproductive. And maybe we still have some slight resentment toward those teachers who marked up all our papers in school. The truth is, of course, that we need both. A piece of writing must be well designed and mechanically sound to communicate.

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It must have sound ideas, a logical organization, and an appropriate voice for its audience. But it must also look good if we are to be taken seriously. This is where editing and proofreading become important - to ensure correctness in spelling, punctuation, grammar, word choice, and sentence construction. Page design use of headings, columns, lists, graphics, and so on is also important, of course, to help readers quickly comprehend your message. You can find tips about all of these things by using the search box on this site, and more in-depth information in our print publications.

You might consider these your toolboxes. Here's wishing you the best on your writing journey. Photo by Ross Griff. Last week we celebrated the second week of the NCAA basketball tournament by creating our own " Bizzaro " version of the Sweet 16, but with business writing in mind. In part one of "The Sour Sixteen. Before we begin, here is a quick look back at the first half of the list.

The next four problems concentrate on two important traits of writing, voice and sentence fluency. The last set of errors focuses on English language rules. Business writing and business correspondence must follow the correct use of punctuation, capitalization, spelling, words, and grammar. Sometimes these language errors are hard to spot, but even the most obscure error can be bad for business.

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As you will see, the following mistakes can create confusion, which prevents clear and straightforward communication. So there you have 16 writing errors that are bad for business. Think about them the next time you're assigned a writing project at work. By making a point to avoid them, you'll improve the transparency of your communication. And that's good for business. Photo by Frank Douwes. If you're a sports fan like me, there's no sweeter time of the year than mid-March, when the NCAA tournament treats us to hours of great college basketball, torn-up bracket sheets, and repeated references to Cinderella.

It's also a heck of a time of the year for alliteration. Today the single-elimination tournament continues with the Round of 16, or as it more commonly called, the Sweet Sixteen. Alliteration again. In the spirit of this event, here are 16 errors that can make the difference between winning and losing in your business writing. Today's post will feature the first eight errors. We'll post the final eight next week. The first four errors could also be categorized as "big-picture mistakes.

The next group deals with smaller but still serious writing errors.


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These mistakes are easy to miss, so it's important to pay close attention during the revising and editing stage of the writing process. Photo by Neeta Lind. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next. Login Welcome, -. Shopping cart is empty. Write for Business - Blog UpWrite Press understands the importance of writing skills in business: We're business people just like you. Following introductory clauses and phrases: Commas are needed to set these off from the rest of a sentence.

Guide Which Word to Use? Commonly Misused Words and Their Meanings in the English Language

Example introductory Phrase: By my reckoning, we needed to obtain at least three more sales to finish the year in the black. So we have to assume that the word takes two apexes of the triangle and the line connecting them. In some versions of the triangle it is not the meaning but the concept that is placed in the apex.