MOST COMMON MISTAKES
The following examples far and away head the list of the
most common mistakes.
Bad / Badly
Badly - This is an adverb that describes how you do something. I play tennis, but rather badly I'm afraid.
Bad - This is an adjective, meaning below standard, spoiled, not well-behaved, defective, sorry. It is the correct form to use when expressing feelings, either physical or emotional. It is the opposite of "good." Therefore, I feel bad (below standard), or I feel bad about that. After all, we don't say 'I feel goodly.' Or 'I feel goodly about that.' The funny part is that so many people try so hard to be right by adding the ly, which only makes it wrong.
I or Me
Rule No 1: If more people than yourself involved, always put the other person's name(s) fIrst. Mary and I can go together. John and Mary are going with me. Barbara, Tom, and I can go with you. If in doubt as to I or me, say the sentence without the other person's name(s). Ex, Martha and I will go to the store. You would not say Me will go to the store, so you would not say Martha and Me will go to the store -- or even worse: Me and Martha will go to the store.
Putting Me first has become a bad habit, perhaps indicating the way a lot of people are thinking. Let's correct this in our language and in our thinking.
Lay / Lie
Lay - purely transitive, meaning to cause something to lie, put, place - which always requires an object (something you put somewhere), with two exceptions: a hen can be said to 'lay' without adding the object (egg), and in nautical terms meaning 'to go' as in The ship began to lay forward. Outside of these two exceptions, lay requires an object. This should be easy for women to remember because if a man speaks of any woman as 'a good lay' she is an object to him and not a person.
Lie - 1. To be in a relatively horizontal position, often followed by down. 2. To be or remain in a specified condition ...motives that lie hidden. 3. To be situated: Canada lies to the north. 4. To extend: The road that lies before us.
Laid - The past tense and past participle of lay. The past tense of lie is lay, and the past participle is lain. Typical examples of common errors:
Let it lay Let it lie.
He laid down on the grass. He lay down on the grass
Your papers have laid there. Your papers have lain there.
When were the tracks lain? When were the tracks laid?
Lie your book down. Lay your book down.
One common error is in giving a command to an animal. "Lay down" should actually be "Lie down" unless you actually pick the animal up and put it somewhere.
SIMILAR SOUND - DIFFERENT MEANING
1. Abase 2. Abash
1. humble degrade 2. embarass
1. Abate (vb) 2. Abatement (n)
1. put an end to: decrease. 2. a reduction Punctuation is a device to clarify the meaning of written or printed language. It takes the place of gestures and inflection in speech. If you follow a trend toward less punctuation, you must consider skillful phrasing to ensure that your meaning is clear.
more A's and B - Z
SOME MOST MISSPELLED WORDS
absence all right
accompanying altar (n an elevated structure)
accomplishment alter (vb - to change; modify)
more A's and B - Z
THE PERIOD OR FULL STOP [ . ]
THE COMMA [ , ]
A period is used at the end of a sentence or any expression standing in for a sentence that is neither a question nor exclamatory. Ex: 1. Society is a wave that moves forward, but the water it is composed of does not. 2. Please close the door.
A brief pause . . . . etc., etc., etc.
Also inluded: Metaphors and Similes, Forms of Address (judge, governor, etc),
This book keeps information you needy handy,
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Copyright (c) 2009 Anne Forrest Elmore