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March 30, 2014

Vague Words And Sloppy Grammar

Some words or sentences are technically correct but still clumsy, awkward or vague. Others are incoherent or grammatically wrong but still...

...tolerable - but perhaps only because we are accustomed to them.

Here is a list of words that you should avoid because they lack the clarity and specificity any writer should strive for in speaking or writing - http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/07/27/the-10-most-common-words-you-should-stop-using-now/.

Here's an example. If you have just seen a movie with a friend, and one of you says, "What did you think of the film?" and the other responds, "It was good".

What does "It was good" mean? Does it mean "It was OK" "It was so-so" or even "It was a waste of time"?

As to incorrect grammar or usage, do these phrases make you crazy; "PIN number" "12 items or less" or "Drive thru"?

Take this fun grammar quiz and measure your tolerance for bad grammar - http://games.usvsth3m.com/control-your-inner-pedant/.

Be sure to send us any words or phrases that puzzle you, and be sure to let us know what it is about English and language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


Posted by mmorf at March 30, 2014 11:18 PM


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