Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Linguistic Confusions III

This is a commercial message.

I recently read a book titled SEND: The Essensial Guide to Email for Office and Home by David Shipley and Will Schwabe.

While I haven't really learned anything I did not already know about e-mail etiquette from the abovementioned book (since I consider e-mail to be much like letter writing, which requires a certain decorum anyway...), I came across the following:

"Five Words that almost Everyone Misuses:

Disinterested - impartial or objective (not bored or uninterested).
Irregardless - not standard English; use "regardless" instead.
Nonplussed - confused (not nonchalant).
Penultimate - next to last (not last or really great).
Presently - shortly or soon (not at present or now)."

I am totally guilty of misusing three words on this list. I bet almost all of us are. And face it, EVERYONE who might be reading this is a good writer (even if some of us can't spell...)

On the other hand, I think this book should now be required in EVERY office and educational environment across the English-speaking culture. It's concise and funny.

End of shameless commercial plug.

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