10 Everyday Words You’re Misusing (Including ‘Everyday’)

Grammar PeevesCertain word pairs that look or sound alike cause a lot of confusion. I’m not talking about the ones you hear about all the time, like there and their, it’s and its and to and too. Or even the more recently problematic (and inexplicable to me) lose and loose …
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About Rob Biesenbach

Rob Biesenbach is a communications expert, actor, author and public speaker. He is a former VP at Ogilvy PR Worldwide and press secretary to the Ohio Attorney General, among other positions. He is also a Second City trained actor who has appeared in more than 150 stage and commercial productions. He brings these worlds together in his workshops and book, Act Like You Mean Business: Essential Communication Lessons from Stage and Screen, published by Brigantine Media.
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6 Responses to 10 Everyday Words You’re Misusing (Including ‘Everyday’)

  1. Mark Smith says:

    How about toward/towards? Towards isn’t really a word. You don’t need the “s.” You’re wasting perfectly good esses. You’ll be sorry someday when you’ve run out of esses, and you need one, and you realize you wasted them all on towards.

  2. Todd N says:

    Good read. I learned something new with Jibe/Jive. I used that incorrectly as recently as yesterday. (I did not even know Jibe was a word.) I disagree with your lend/loan rule. Loan is a perfectly acceptable verb in America, and it used to be used in Old English. Just because Britain dropped it does not mean we must. They did the same with “have gotten;” Britain dropped the ending, saying “have got,” and then ridicule Americans for saying the “ten”, although it was once common in England and even remained on the end of “have forgotten.” (We use both, but with slightly difference connotations, one meaning possess and the other acquire.) I love these debates because of the rich history of the language and pressure on it to continually change. I can live with changes such as regard to regards or have gotten to have got. We’ve come a long way since Chaucer. But what drives me nuts is when we take a perfectly good word and use it for something else, like anxious to mean eager or ironic to mean coincidental. We end up with two words that mean the same thing and no word to describe the other concept.

    • And I did not know there was a controversy about lend/loan. Interesting! According to Grammar Girl I’m one of the picky/persnickety Americans who still prefer to use loan only as a noun. It just goes clang in my head when I hear it used as a verb.


      I totally agree about gotten though — essential word. And regarding the slippery slope of word meanings, I just read the other day that there’s a debate over the use of anticipate versus expect. That one went right over my head.

  3. judysp says:

    Thank you so much for following me Rob. I am honored.

  4. Pingback: Et tu, Game of Thrones? | Act Like You Mean Business

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