Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Independent Learning Log

Meredith Teo Shuyi (08)

09:05pm - 0:30am


What I did:
I decided to do a search on commonly misused English words. Living in Singapore, I often come across people misusing words in emails, essays and everyday life. I too, am guilty of some of these mistakes.

What I learned:
Words that people often misuse:

Irregardless is not an actual word in the dictionary. Although it is widely heard, it originated in the early 20th Century and is an informal word. It is better to use regardless or irrespective.

People misuse this quite often without realisation. “I have literally received thousands of emails” Unless you’re Modern-day Santa and Christmas is right round the corner, chances are, you’re using the word ‘literally’ incorrectly. Literally means exactly what you say is accurate, no metaphors or analogies. 

Then / Than
This is quite a common mistake among some Singaporeans. Use then when referring to points in time (“I did this, then I did that”). Use than when comparing (“I’m better than that”). 
Fewer / Less
I’m personally guilty of this. If you can count it, use fewer. If you can’t, use less. “James has less incentive to do what I say.” “Miley Cyrus has fewer fans on Facebook than Grumpy Cat.”
Farther / Further
I remember writing an essay when I suddenly couldn’t decide whether to use ‘Farther’ or ‘Further’. Apparently, I ended up using the wrong word but my English teacher never penalised me for it. Farther is talking about a physical distance. “How much farther is the Cinema?” Further is talking about an extension of time or degree.“Take your future further by reading good books.”
I’ve have used this word incorrectly multiple times in my 14 years of existence. The old school rule is you use hopefully only if you’re describing the way someone spoke, appeared, or acted. This is a mistake that I make ever so often and it’s about time I corrected it. 
  • Smart: I hope she says yes.
  • Wrong: Hopefully, she says yes.
  • Wrong: Hopefully, the weather will be good.
  • Smart: It is hoped that the weather cooperates.
  • Smart: She eyed the engagement ring hopefully.

1 comment:

  1. Good job on finding out the words that Singaporeans often misuse. You can learn from this and improve the next time you are writing and essay. Keep it up!