Saturday, August 30, 2008

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 54)

Here are some more words and phrases that I see misused from time to time:

Very unique

Wrong: This is a very unique example of Etruscan pottery.

Right: This is a unique example of Etruscan pottery.

Unique means one-of-a-kind. Something either is or isn’t unique. It can’t be slightly or moderately or very unique. “Very,” in this case—as in most—is redundant. It’s akin to “gilding the golden lily.”

Anyways vs. anyway

Wrong: Anyways, that’s what we’re doing.

Right: Anyway, that’s what we’re doing.

Anyways is simply improper English, along with “youse guys” and “alls I know.” Always use anyway (unless, of course, you’re writing dialog for a character who’s supposed to speak incorrectly).

More next time.


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