There are Words You are Using Incorrectly and You Really Should Stop That

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Garry Hunter

NewsFeed is a hit at parties because we are always correcting people’s grammar and word choices. Now it appears we have a kindred spirit at Reader’s Digest.

The pint-sized mag has released its list of the 24 ways people are using the English language incorrectly. It’s perfect for passive-aggressively emailing to your ignorant friends!

Some highlights:

–Never say “I could care less,” if you mean “This isn’t important to me.” What you are saying is that you care a significant amount. You mean “I couldn’t care less.”

–You can rarely “try and” do a verb, (unless the verb is “fail,” really.) You can “try to” do something. An example: “Next time I will try to use the correct words in my sentences because I have some self-respect.”

–If you want to make a plural of a hyphenated phrase, the S does not always go at the end. “Brother-in-laws” and “Runner-ups” are both incorrect! To imprint the rule in your brain, try remembering this hilarious Onion headline: “William Safire Orders Two Whoppers Junior.”

–If you are saying that something “begs the question,” you are almost definitely using it incorrectly. Begging the question is a logical fallacy that you can read all about on Wikipedia. If you mean something brings up a concern, then you should say it “raises the question.” (This is, NewsFeed has noticed, a popular error in amateur political blog posts.)

Want to know other ways you’re accidentally revealing your ignorance? Read the rest of errors over at Readers Digest.