Thursday, November 13, 2008

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 70)

Here we go again. More works to keep straight:

Sherbert vs. Sherbet vs. Sorbet

Wrong: Would you like some sherbert for dessert?

Right: Would you like some sherbet for dessert?

Sherbet is a frozen concoction made of fruit and/or fruit juice, with gelatin, egg white, or milk added. Sherbert is simply a misspelling and mispronunciation of sherbet. (Note: In Europe, sherbet can also refer to a type of fruity drink.) A sorbet is similar to a sherbet in that both are frozen fruity desserts. However a sorbet is usually softer/mushier (less frozen), and lacks the milk/gelatin/egg white additive, as well as fruit solids. As a result, the texture is often finer. Sorbets are frequently served between meal courses as a palate cleanser.

Criterias vs. Criteria

Wrong: We use different criterias to help us decide.

Right: We use different criteria to help us decide.

Criterias is essentially a double plural, given that criteria (standards, rules or tests by which a decision can be made) is the plural of criterion. (“We have only one criterion: quality.”)

I have more, so come back soon.


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