Following up on the popular 9 Gnomes About Travel Writing, I present another elfin nonet of malapropisms that leave me grouchy.
1. The Bordeaux does not compliment the filet mignon, unless it is able to magically speak. Wine complements an entree by supplementing it or making it whole. It does not tell the steak what a fine piece of meat it is (unless it is rude wine).
2. If you want to insure a good trip, buy TravelGuard. However, if you want to ensure a good trip, do your research in advance and stay at nice hotels. Cozying up in a comfy bed can assure most people that a good night of sleep is in store..
3. Despite what Lady Gaga and many other song lyricists write, nothing is between you and I. It’s between you and me. Me is an object pronoun; I is a subject pronoun. Between is a preposition. Prepositions take the object pronoun. Please don’t keep this between you and me.
4. Did I illicit a response from you on the last item? I should hope not. Perhaps I elicited a reaction, though. Illicit means outside the law. Elicit is to draw forth.or to evoke.
|State images courtesy|
5. Texas is not larger then Delaware. It is, however, larger than Delaware. Then is an adverb signifying time (First, I'll visit Texas. Then, I'll go to Delaware). Than is a comparative word.
6. The phrase “with all due respect” is usually spoken, not written. But whenever it is used, there’s most likely a heavy undertone of sarcasm. If you have to lead off a sentence with the phrase, it likely signifies an absolute lack of respect for the principle under discussion.
7. Or perhaps you have no due respect for the principal under discussion, if you are talking about the dude who has establishing the principles for your high school’s code of conduct.
8. Do your eyes literally pop out of your head when you hear this term misused? I should hope not. I am not blind to the fact that people at times employ literally in place of figuratively for emphasis or comic effect (as opposed to comic affect, which is incorrect and the starting point for our next 9 Gnomes discussion). This article in the Washington Post figuratively hits the nail on the head. It might literally hit the nail on the head if you pasted it on a hammer before hitting the head of a nail.
9. A unicorn is not kind of unique or rather unique or even uniquely unique. If something is unique, it is one-of-a-kind. No qualifier is necessary.
Please tell me about your most irksome gnomes in the comments section.