Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Trying To Be Smart? Don't Use These Words

I am certainly not a grammarian, my vocabulary leaves something to be desired, and spell-check saves my butt far more often than I’d like to admit. This, however, does not stop me from judging others for their inadequacies when it comes to the use of the English language.

As a sequel to "Trying To Be Funny? Don't Use These Expressions?", I now present you with “Trying To Be Smart? Don’t Use These Words”.

Unkept- You could maybe have an “unkept” promise, but please promise to say “unkempt” when you are referring to a person’s disheveled appearance.

A “mute” point- The point is not mute. It, in fact, does make a sound. The sound it makes, however, is irrelevant, because the point is “moot”.

Shmozzle- Simply put, this is not a word. However, I often hear people use it to describe a situation that is messed up. Eg. “It was just a big shmozzle”. First of all, the word is “Shlemazel” not “Shmozzle”. It is a Yiddish word used to describe a person who is down on their luck, a failure, and kind of generally pathetic. Thus, a situation cannot be a shlemazel. A person is a shlemazel. George on Seinfeld, for example, was kind of a shlemazel.

Orientate- This is used so much that I think it’s actually become a word (my spell-check thinks it’s a word, so it must be a word, right?) But if you’re a traditionalist like me, you know that you are not getting “orientated”, you are getting “oriented”.  In the same vein, you are not conversating, you are conversing. By the way, “conversate” really isn’t a word. Even spell-check agrees with me.

What are your favourite misused words? (No, I did not just misspell "favourite". I'm Canadian, and that's how we spell it here.)


  1. Irregardless and unthaw are two that come to mind....

    1. Hahaha. Unthaw- I've never heard that one! Love it!

  2. Funny stuff! It drives me nuts when people spell "definitely" as "defiantly". Two different words, people. Two different words.

  3. Conversate is one my biggest pet peeves! Along with the whole your/you're there/their/they're thing.
    New follower from blog hop. (:

  4. Will you be my BFF??? lol. I'm so glad you pointed these out. They drive me nuts too!


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