Saturday, March 8, 2008

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (part 19)

Here are a few more commonly misused words and phrases:

No problemo vs. no problema

Wrong: Hey, no problemo. It’s cool.
Right: Hey, no problema. It’s cool.

The movie The Terminator popularized the phrase no problemo, (pronounced prah-BLEM-oh) presumably meaning “no problem” in Spanish. The problem is, the phrase is incorrect. You might as well say “no big-o deal-o” for all the meaning it has in Spanish. The correct phrase is no problema (pronounced proh-BLAY-mah). If you’re going to use Spanish phrases in your writing, you might as well use them correctly—unless, of course, your character is supposed to sound like an ignorant gringo. (Also, typically, foreign words and phrases are italicized, as shown, to set them off from the English prose surrounding them.)

Everyday vs. every day

Wrong: Take two pills everyday.
Right: Take two pills every day.

Everyday is an adjective that means common or ordinary, as in “an everyday occurrence.” Every day is an adverbial phrase that refers to a time interval.

More next time.


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