We continue our look at the correct use of words and woe-betide anyone who I see getting any of these wrong from now on.
The one that annoys me most from this collection is “literally” which people tend to use a lot when they really mean “figuratively.” For example people might say: “I was so frightened that I literally jumped out of my skin.” No, you really did not do that. It is impossible and even if it were possible, you really would not want to do it.
OK, lets get going.
Something that is fortuitous happens by accident or chance, and is not ‘fortunate’ or ‘lucky’.
Fulsome means ‘sickeningly obsequious’ but is now used to mean ‘lavish or
abundant’, without any negative sense.
A haven is a place of retreat, protection, peace or asylum, so it is unnecessary to describe it as ‘safe’.
Some would argue that hopefully can only mean ‘in a hopeful manner’, and should
not be used to mean ‘it is to be hoped that’ (something is the case).
Join means ‘to bring together’, so it is unnecessary to say ‘join together’.
If you say something literally happened, you mean that it actually happened as the words denote. If ‘literally’ is used in connection with an unlikely or impossible
occurrence, it sounds incongruous.
A methodology is a system of methods and rules used in research or work in a given science or art, and is not just a synonym for ‘method’.
There is no need to say something is oversimplistic, as simplistic will do. The
definition of simplistic is ‘tending to oversimplify’.
To peruse is to read attentively or critically, not just ‘read’.
A plethora is an over-fullness or excess of something, not just a large amount of it.
The definition of preferable is ‘more desirable’. Therefore, there is no need to say
something is ‘more preferable’.
Next week we will take a look at some word trivia.
* All words in this blog post have been supplied by The 12th edition of The Chambers Dictionary. ISBN 97805501002379