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Angel Foster
Angel Foster

Right Word Wrong Word

Thanks to the internet, the English language is changing even faster than ever. People use words incorrectly all the time, but now they often see others online using the same word in the same (incorrect) way.

Right Word Wrong Word


Some common synonyms of wrong are grievance, injury, and injustice. While all these words mean "an act that inflicts undeserved hurt," wrong applies also in law to any act punishable according to the criminal code; it may apply more generally to any flagrant injustice.

The words grievance and wrong are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, grievance applies to a circumstance or condition that constitutes an injustice to the sufferer and gives just ground for complaint.

Stephen's mum, Sheila, had a loving connection with her family that went beyond words. Even in the later stages of her dementia, Stephen continued to experience special moments with his mum when words were missing. This 'magical bond' was the foundation for his song, Still Just You.

A malapropism (also called a malaprop, acyrologia, or Dogberryism) is the mistaken use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, sometimes humorous utterance. An example is the statement attributed to baseball player Yogi Berra, regarding switchhitters, "He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious."[1] Malapropisms often occur as errors in natural speech and are sometimes the subject of media attention, especially when made by politicians or other prominent individuals. Philosopher Donald Davidson has said that malapropisms show the complex process through which the brain translates thoughts into language.

The word "malapropism" (and its earlier form, "malaprop") comes from a character named "Mrs. Malaprop" in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 play The Rivals.[2] Mrs. Malaprop frequently misspeaks (to comic effect) by using words which do not have the meaning that she intends but which sound similar to words that do. Sheridan chose her name in humorous reference to the word malapropos, an adjective or adverb meaning "inappropriate" or "inappropriately", derived from the French phrase mal à propos (literally "poorly placed"). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of "malapropos" in English is from 1630,[3] and the first person known to have used the word "malaprop" specifically in the sense of "a speech error" is Lord Byron in 1814.[4]

Archie Bunker, a character in the American TV sitcom All in the Family, used malapropisms frequently: he refers, for example, to "off-the-docks Jews" (Orthodox Jews) and the "Women's Lubrication Movement" (rather than Liberation).[22] Intending to refer to the medical specialized field of gynecology and to specialist in that field as a gynecologist, he would mispronounce the words as "groinecology" and "groinecologist."[23]

Similarly, as reported in New Scientist, an office worker had described a colleague as "a vast suppository of information". The worker then apologised for his "Miss-Marple-ism" (i.e., malapropism).[27] New Scientist noted this as possibly the first time anyone had uttered a malapropism for the word malapropism itself.

Hall of Fame baseball player Yogi Berra was well known for corrupting speech, such as "Texas has a lot of electrical votes", rather than "electoral votes".[31] Berra was so adept at twisting both words and logic the term "Yogism" was coined to describe his quirky utterances and observations, first recorded on his being honored in his hometown of St. Louis during his rookie season with, "I want to thank everybody for making this day necessary."[1]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a common meme format was introduced where Internet users feigned malapropism by substituting the word "pandemic" with similar sounding words (such as "panorama", "pandemonium", or "panini"), a practice often attributed to Black Twitter.[36]

In his essay "A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs", philosopher Donald Davidson suggests that malapropisms reveal something about how people process the meanings of words. He argues that language competence must not simply involve learning a set meaning for each word, and then rigidly applying those semantic rules to decode other people's utterances. Rather, he says, people must also be continually making use of other contextual information to interpret the meaning of utterances, and then modifying their understanding of each word's meaning based on those interpretations.[41]

To most people, that "ar" as an ending looks weird, so they naturally want to write it as "er." The reason for the "ar"? Calendar comes from the Latin word kalendarium, and we English speakers chopped off the "ium."

This one has a "t" and not a "c" near the end, even though it comes from the word conscience. One mnemonic: If you're conscientious, you don't only dot your "i's," you also cross your "t's" (so put a "t" in this word)!

It's tempting to spell this with a "c" because we know the word "census." But census has nothing to do with consensus. In fact, it actually comes straight from the Latin word consensus (meaning agreement or common feeling).

Entrepreneur consistently appears on lists of the most commonly misspelled business words. The problem? It's a French word, so its spelling doesn't fit standard English rules. Most people drop the "r" in the "pre" or transpose it, so it's "perneur." Your best bet is just to memorize the spelling.

The problem here is that the "ance" and "ence" endings both usually mean the same thing, and can sound similar. The differences in spelling usually depend on the original Latin root word and how it came into English. We say skip the rules and just memorize the difference (or seek assistance).

This consistently ranks at the top for most misspelled words on resumes. So let's get it straight: the past tense of "to lead" is written and pronounced "led." But a lot of people instead write "lead," probably because they're thinking of the mineral lead.

Let's take this occasion to say that there's only one "s" in this word. The reason is that the "sion" is actually a form of a "tion" ending, as in action. There's no double "t" there, no double "s" here.

Remember this general rule: When adding an "ed" at the end, if you stress the last syllable of a word with a vowel and a consonant (in this case, an "e" and an "r"), the consonant should be doubled. If not, then don't (e.g., offer and offered).

Even spelling nerds sometimes have to stop for a second with this one. In fact, a study done in Great Britain found it was the number one most commonly misspelled word (it also ranks as the top misspelled word in Google searches). But you'll always get it right if you remember that the "r" separates two "a's."

Yet another compound word in which you should double the consonants that end the first word and start the second. If you spell it with only one "r," you've come up with a neologism (a new word) that could mean having eaten less than expected.

Kathy and Ross Petras are the brother-and-sister co-authors of "Awkword Moments," "You're Saying It Wrong" and "That Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means." Their work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Harvard Business Review. Follow them on Twitter @kandrpetras.

It doesn't take long to learn the right church answers, does it? Man, we know what to say. A four-year-old boy can do it! And many of us have been around a lot longer than that and we know the words to say. The danger is you can really fool yourself spiritually, just because you know all the right words, you go to all the right meetings, and you do all the right things. Tragically, a full Christian vocabulary can mask a dangerously empty heart.

Jesus actually talked about that in our word for today from the Word of God in Mark 7:6. He said of some deeply religious people, "These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me." And you can be sure that getting into heaven will be based on what's in your heart, not on your lips. Your eternal rewards from Jesus will also be based on what's in your heart, not your lips. Remember, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at," the Bible says. "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

We called some Native American Christian friends of ours a while back whose daughter has been struggling with some serious moral issues and life issues. The daughter was willing to talk with my wife, but only in her mother's words, "after she puts her coat on." Now that expression was new to us. Our friend explained that sometimes Native Americans use that expression to describe saying what you think the other person wants to hear.

It's wise to stand back every once in a while and ask, "How much of my Christianity is really about Christ and how much is a mask, a role I'm playing, human expectations I'm trying to fulfill? How much of it is just my church?" If there's been more than one you, the Christian and then the other guys, maybe you're tired of playing charades spiritually, you're tired of the performance, you're tired of the mask. It's time to say, "Jesus, I've been saying all the right words, but You know how hollow it all really is and now so do I. I just want to have You. I want to know You for real. I want this to be all about a Christ-relationship, not the Christian religion."

You want to be sure you belong to Him? Listen, our website could really help you right now. Go to The words that really matter aren't the ones you say to men about Jesus, they're the ones you say to Jesus about being really His. 041b061a72


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