Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mind your language: 7 commonly misused words and expressions

Me at the mic black and white

As text messaging, Twitter, Facebook and email becoming more popular, the proper use of words has become a little less popular – commonly misused words and expressions are all over the place! When I say commonly misused words and expressions, I don’t mean the use of “there,” “their,” and “they’re” or the difference between “affect” and “effect.” I’m talking about words and expressions
that aren’t so obvious, words and expressions I’m even guilty of misusing! Are you interested yet? Continue you reading to find out what words and expressions you probably misuse, too.

1. RANDOM

The word “random” is one of the commonly misused words I am definitely guilty of using. When something is random, it means that it is without definite aim, direction, rule or method. It doesn’t mean bizarre or unexpected. For something to be random, it must really be….well, random! To say “this random guy walked up to me” or that you’re “randomly eating Jello” is inaccurate. The “random guy” is called a stranger, and you aren’t eating Jello “randomly.” You specifically chose to eat it, therefore, it isn’t random. It may be surprising, but not random.

2. ANTI-SOCIAL

This is another word that is commonly misused. Many people use the expression “anti-social” to describe an introvert or a person who doesn’t like to go to parties, when in fact “anti-social” means to be contrary or hostile to the well-being of society. Meaning that your friend isn’t anti-social if she doesn’t want to hang out. If she’s trying to bring down the government and she’s breaking the law, then she’s considered anti-social.

3. IRONIC

I hear this word a lot in my group of friends, and of course it’s misused. Irony is incongruity between a sequence of events and what actually ends up happening, not an amusing coincidence. If you’re a Freshman in college and you go on Spring Break and meet a great guy that goes to your small town college and lives in your dorm hall, that’s not ironic. However, if you go on Spring Break in search of a 27 year old from Los Angeles, and you’ve met, connected with and found Mr. Right, but later you find out he actually lives in your small town, goes to your college and lives in your dorm hall, that’s ironic, really ironic!

4. PLETHORA

A plethora of something is an excess of something or an overabundance. Today, many people use the words “plethora” when they are trying to express that they have a lot of something. If you’re smiling when you say “I had a plethora of food,” then you’re misusing the word. If you had too much or an excess of food, you’d be doubled over and heading to the bathroom while saying “I had a plethora of food.”

5. I COULD CARE LESS

If you’ve heard someone say “I could care less,” they probably mean that they couldn’t care less. If you could care less it means that you care and if you wanted to, you could care a tad bit less than you do, which probably isn’t what you’re trying to say. When you couldn’t care less, it means that you are incapable of caring less because you don’t care at all.

6. IRREGARDLESS

Irregardless is not a word. Use “regardless” or “never mind” instead. The end.

7. LITERALLY

Many people say things like “I literally just died laughing,” which is a misuse of the word. I admit I’m guilty of misusing this word. For something to be literal, it has to be real or accurate. You can’t literally die laughing unless you actually die and never wake up to say that you “just died.”
I hope you found this article helpful! Irregardless of whether you did or didn’t enjoy the article, the next time you ironically see a random guy using a plethora of these misused words and expressions, don’t be be anti-social! Show him that you can literally blow his mind with your knowledge of how to use these words…What?! I misused the words? Psh! I could care less!  What are some commonly misused words and expressions that weren’t on the list?

I came  across this article Here. Are you guilty of any of these blunders? I think I might be guilty of #1.