Word play

23 Apr

Well, the kids are back at it…  Here is a collection of (mis)usages and oddities that have crept into students’ papers.  Again, I’ve stayed away from general misspellings and punctuation problems and have tried to highlight some of the more interesting and entertaining cases that I’ve come across (while being near enough to my computer to record!)…

“They say that the will of athletic departments to conquer compensation, time and respect…”  I’m just not sure if we are really trying to conquer compensation, time, and respect…

“…a psychological thriller in which the main character Nina undergoes insane as she attempts…”  I’ve not seen one “undergo insane”

“In the episode, Kyle feels pressured by his conscious to help the crack babies…”  A common mistake, but let’s all take a moment to remember that conscience ≠ conscious.

“…Nina’s mother is trying to live her dream variously through Nina.”  Maybe there are various dreams that Nina’s mother is trying to live vicariously through Nina…?

“These kids are involved in less activities, but therefore have stronger bonds…”  The old less vs. fewer mix-up.

“…makes sense especially when I remember back on the kid’s that attended my high school…”  Remembering back on those kids…

“Any person has the opportunity to make it in life however they seem fit.”  Maybe if they seem fit, they’ll be more likely to make it in life?

“Although this is not an NCAA sanctified event, this relates to some of the concepts discussed in class.”  Do not question the sanctity of an NCAA event!

“Monica and her mother pumped heads throughout the movie because Monica was not lady-like.”  Hmmm, bumped or butted, I believe.

“The main theory that everyone in both belief areas should look at is supply in demand.”  Then goes into a very *interesting* account of supply and demand…

“I think Kobe got fouled four times in just that one position…”  While this could potentially make sense, the person clearly meant “possession” and misused position/possession two other times. *Disclaimer: A facebook status. However, consistent misuse = a spot on the old blog.

“The NCAA is under persecution right now because a lot of people believe that the players… should be compensated for their work.”  I’m not sure who is persecuting the NCAA, but I do believe they are currently being prosecuted.

“My interest was peaked…”  A common mistake to use “peaked” instead of the correct word: “piqued.”  It’s so commonplace (and kind of makes sense if you think about it) that I’ve almost gotten beyond worrying about it…

Once again, an interesting illustration that shared language may not be quite as “shared” as we might like to think.  In several cases, individuals are saying things that if you were to say aloud, might sound like the phrase they are trying to say, but the individual words being used are incorrect (and in some cases make no sense).  However, it’s often not until you are forced to put these things in writing that some of these slip-ups really start to appear.  It’s kind of like those fun reading tests where the individual letters and spelling may be wrong, but when you examine the word or the sentence as a whole, you are able to make sense of the overall meaning and move forward.  Interesting stuff to think about…


Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “Word play

  1. Writers Wanted

    April 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Excellent post today. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed it very much.

    Love writing? We would love for you to join us!

    Writers Wanted


  2. ericharvidson

    April 24, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    It’s good to see that I’m not the only one combating illiteracy. Keep up the good work.


  3. trokspot

    April 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Yeah, it often seems like an uphill battle! What makes it more frustrating (and what I didn’t focus on in this post) are the repeat errors… i.e. Out of the 6 movie reviews you did throughout the semester, you didn’t underline/italicize the movie a single time even though I corrected that on every single paper!
    So it goes…


  4. hammy

    May 5, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    eye wishe eye new howe 2 spell guder



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: