Friday, March 27, 2009

Web site: Common English Errors

Common English Errors

Even native English speakers -- me included -- struggle with grammar and word usage. This site provides an extensive list of common errors and explains their correct usage. The author, Paul Brians, is a professor in the Department of English at Washington State University.

Note: The above link takes you to an FAQ page. The link to the full list appears at the bottom of this document.

Here are a few examples.

Dual/Duel
“Dual” is an adjective describing the two-ness of something—dual carburetors, for instance. A “duel” is a formal battle intended to settle a dispute.
Due to the fact that
Although “due to” is now a generally acceptable synonym for “because," "due to the fact that” is a clumsy and wordy substitute that should be avoided in formal writing. “Due to” is often misspelled “do to.”
Oppress/Repress
Dictators commonly oppress their citizens and repress dissent, but these words don’t mean exactly the same thing. “Repress” just means "keep under control.” sometimes repression is a good thing: “During the job interview, repress the temptation to tell Mr. Brown that he has toilet paper stuck to his shoe.” Oppression is always bad, and implies serious persecution.

3 comments:

latisha said...

amazing site! thanks so much. i too struggle with some of these. great reference. and think the reader must if they don't exactly know. but as the writer we still should choose the correct one.

Jim Harrington said...

Great! Glad you like it.

Loren Christie said...

Thank you Jim!