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Showing posts with the label mistakes

Being Precise

This is a re-post from 2011. Just not up to being clever right now. I know that language changes over time. It has to. I know that clinging to the old ways is futile and might make me seem cantankerous or even silly. But it was my job, for three decades, to guard the language, to see that people under my care used it clearly rather than sloppily, thinking about what they wanted to convey as well as what other people might make of it. So I'm going to list some things that seem to me worth keeping in our language. PLEASE KEEP distinctions between similar words. People who are aware of the differences listed here are disappearing, yet there is good reason for keeping their separate meanings.                 nauseated/nauseous-People become nauseated when they encounter something that is nauseous.                 might/may-I might call and ask you if I may take you out to dinner.                 farther/further-He went farther than anyone else to further grammatical a