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Some of my pet peeves in business writing:
1. MOOT, MUTE
A moot point is one that is merely academic and not practical, or (less commonly today) one that is still open to discussion.
Something is mute if it makes no sound.
2. TACK, TACT
Take a different tack [take a different approach]
Use more tact [be diplomatic]
3. INTENTS AND, INTENSIVE
For all intents and purposes
NOT "For all intensive purposes." This phrase is a horrid cliche, IMO, but if we "must" use it, it should be used correctly.
4. PRINCIPLE, PRINCIPAL
The principal taught us many principles when he re-invested our retirement fund's principle.
Only "principal" is also used as an adjective: This is our principal goal.
5. AFFECT, EFFECT
The drug affected the patient.
The drug had several side effects.
We would like to effect a change.
6. ACCEPT, EXCEPT
We will accept most contributtions, except for illegally acquired funds.
7. ILLICIT, ELICIT
Let's elicit confessions of illicit behavior.
My own writing suffers from these problems as well. So, I'm wondering about:
1. Other common examples
2. Any software or other work-flow methods devoted to catching these little corruptions. When they slip through they can really make a site sound illiterate.
Of course I am willing to admit that I don't know proper subject/verb usage in Ireland, but saying she is much more thorough and easier on the eyes than me am still doesn't sound right.
How about it Mivox, who's correct?
Another pet peeve: you cannot modify unique. There is no very unique, totally unique, absolutely unique: it's either unique or it isn't.
A female friend's peeve: the use of woman, as in woman driver. It's female driver.
Another thing that bothers me is the use of a plural verb with a singular noun. There is a tendency to say "The Government are going to do this" rather than "The Government is going to do this".
And, finally, just to prove that I really am being obsessive, split infinitives set my teeth on edge, however sentences ending in prepositions don't really bother me, though I do prefer to use the possessive case of the personal pronoun with the present participle.
The battle is already lost. Merriam Webster's online dictionary lists woman as an adjective as well as a noun.
>> e-trade, e-business, e-commerce
e-trade: an online financial transaction (stocks, futures, banking)
e-business: an online business interaction that is internal to an enterprise or between a company and its business partners
e-commerce the public sale of goods and services online
André Dion and Serge Racine saw the potential in the craft brewing industry and made a move by purchasing outstanding shares of an almost defunked brewery in 1990.
I wonder if they ever removed all the funk, or if some of it remains to give their beer extra character.
" I will compliment (praise) you on your beauty if only because it complements (makes complete) my own."
assure/insure/ensure (granted, these can be used interchangeably, but it really bugs me when they are):
"I assure (remove any doubt) you that I can ensure (make sure, certain) your future wealth if you insure (arrange insurance for) your spouse."
Also, seems and seams...
>> .. no gender non-specific singular personal pronoun.
"They" actually IS the gender non-specific personal pronoun in English. It's the way people actually speak. According to MW:
The use of they, their, them, and themselves as pronouns of indefinite gender and indefinite number is well established in speech and writing, even in literary and formal contexts.
"And every one to rest themselves betake" -- William Shakespeare
"I would have everybody marry if they can do it properly." -- Jane Austen
"It is too hideous for anyone in their senses to buy." -- W. H. Auden
"No man goes to battle to be killed -- but they do get killed" -- G. B. Shaw
I know I prefer to read "they", rather than some odd expression which draws my attention to words themselves and away from meaning. For instance, "s/he" is an abomination, and using "she" alone is just plain silly in many situations.
The strange thing here is that generations of English speech and writing had the solution, but today it's being undermined.
model: a small copy or imitation of the real thing.
P.S. To all of my English friends and readers, that was a joke (self-deprecating humor). However, I understand that NFFC might want proof that it's not true ;)
This can be one of the hardest things for non English speakers to grasp. My experience is of course teaching to Chinese where "Ta" = he, she, it and they. Ta is written differently but pronounced the same which is why they (third person plural) often use incorrect gender when speaking. Can create some very interesting and funny situations.