Got this from a forwarded mail and thought it’s very useful to share with readers of my blog. Haha.  I’m a TESL graduate and I do think these errors are somewhat uniquely Malaysian’s. Enjoy while reading this.

ALPHABET

A, B and C are called letters of the alphabet, NOT alphabets! And There is no plural for alphabet.

Bring and Take

The choice of word depends on the location of the speaker. Use “bring” when something moves from there to here. Use “take” when something moves from here to there.

WRONG:I’m bringing Joelynn to the clinic.
CORRECT: I’m taking Joelynn to the clinic.

Irregardless

There is no such word as "irregardless". Regardless is enough!

Awhile versus A While

A while: a short time (noun) Our meeting lasted only a while.

Awhile: for a time (adverb) We should stay awhile longer.

 

 aren’t I Versus am I not

The expression aren’t I is often used in place of am I not.

WRONG: I’m going with you on vacation, aren’t I?
CORRECT: I’m going with you on vacation, am I not?

 

Advertising’s biggest culprit No. 1: FREE GIFT

What is a gift if not free?! Darn!

 

Advertising’s biggest culprit No. 2: BUY 1 FREE 1

Haha…you buy 1 and free something out….a bird? Free here is a verb, the action of letting something go.

It should be Buy 1 Get 1 FREE instead.

 

If I was or If I were

If I was you, I would run OR If I were you, I would run.
The verb follows “if” and expresses a non-factual condition. So:  If I were you, I would run. I wish he were able to type faster. However, if something was a possibility, then it would be different. If I was rude to you, I’m sorry.

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Let’s face it: English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple.  English muffins were not invented in England; neither were French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.
 
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxingrings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose? (Spice the plural of spouse, like mice and mouse or lice and louse?)
 
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?  In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?  When a house burns up, it burns down.

You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on. When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it?

Now I know why I flunked my English. It’s not my fault; the silly language doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going.

 

Happy Learning English! :p

4 Comments

  • marie, December 19, 2008 @ 8:40 am Reply

    keeman, this is a good one. hehehehe.
    really enjoyed reading this.

  • Erlinda, December 21, 2008 @ 12:58 pm Reply

    hahaha… let me add some. why is the singular for mice is mouse , and not hice for house? tehee… 😛

  • jarek, January 25, 2009 @ 5:52 am Reply

    > ALPHABET

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabet
    In the above one, there are many occurences of alphabet in plural form.
    Though not common, exists.

    @keeman: Yes, I do realize it exists but it is referring to “sets of letters” and not “letters” which most people tend to do. Strictly, “alphabets” could be used when you’re talking about different sets of letters e.g. Asian Alphabets (which may consist of Arabic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet, Syriac alphabet).

    > Irregardless

    Discussion on it:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregardless

    @keeman: The discussion says it all, it’s non-standard. Some dictionaries don’t even list it as a word because it’s simply illogical.

    > A while: a short time (noun) Our
    > meeting lasted only a while.
    > Awhile: for a time (adverb)
    > We should stay awhile longer.

    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/awhile.html

    @keeman: Noted, especially the use of a while without the presence of “for”.

    > aren’t I Versus am I not

    Aren’t I is absolutely correct.
    In fact it is more formal then
    ‘am I not’, however both are met in wild.

    @keeman: It’s the other way round. Aren’t I is colloquial and informal and am I not is the standard formal form.

    > Free here is a verb, the action
    > of letting something go.

    Free is not only verb:
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=31024&dict=CALD

    @keeman: Yup, exactly what I’m talking about. The FREE in Buy 1 Free 1 is a VERB while the correct one “Buy 1 Get 1 FREE” is an adjective. And yes, i know FREE is not only a verb. :p

    > If I was or If I were

    ‘if I were’ likewise ‘aren’t I’ is correct
    and actually more formal:
    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/were.html

    @keeman: Did i mention If i were is wrong?? Both can be used in different context of your sentence.

    regards,

    jarek

    @keeman: Anyway, thanks for visiting. English is a controversial language and it can be interpreted from different perspectives. British English has its own rules, same with American English. Both may sometimes contradict each other but it makes the learning even more interesting! :p

  • Yaraan, May 13, 2010 @ 6:10 pm Reply


    Let’s face it: English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England; neither were French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

    good quote man;

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