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May 16, 2014

Horrible English

The English language can be tricky. Even native speakers often have many of the same trouble areas that make English language learning particularly difficult for English language learners.

And when a major magazine has a series of articles on language usage, you know....

...that it is not just language learners that struggle with these things.

Take a look at the title of the series (you can see part one here - http://time.com/96982/incorrectly-used-words/); "30 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Horrible" - and be sure to notice the next line - "Easy to get wrong. And easy to get right".

These are, for the most part, errors that are easy to spot, and easy to correct; as long as you have the background and knowledge to look for them.

Some are common and obvious, while some are quite tricky. For example, have you considered the distinction between 'discreet' and 'discrete'?

Here's an excerpt from the website - "Discreet means careful, cautious, showing good judgment; “We made discreet inquiries to determine whether the founder was interested in selling her company.”

Discrete means individual, separate or distinct; “We analyzed data from a number of discrete market segments to determine overall pricing levels.”"

For even more examples of areas of difficulty, check out part two of the series here - http://time.com/101160/20-incorrectly-used-words/.

If you have any linguistic questions or disputes, please send them our way. We'll do our best to sort them out.

All I can say is, tread carefully through this language, and be sure to send me any language usages or historical nuances that interest you, and be sure to let me know what it is about language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

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

Morf

Posted by mmorf at May 16, 2014 12:51 AM

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