- Misplaced apostrophes: Adding”apostrophe ‘s'” to a noun indicates possession. A familiar area where people misuse apostrophes is with last names. If your surname is Jeremy and you want to invite people to a party, the invitation should read: “The Jeremy invite you to summer camp,” not “The Jeremiah’s invite you to a summer camp.”
- i.e. and e.g.
These two abbreviations are frequently used interchangeably, but their connotations are different. I.e. is Latin for id est, which translates to “that is.” Thus, i.e. should be used to clarify something.
It can informally be displaced with “in other words.” “He is tutoring for the competition before chore, i.e., he puts in over a dozen leagues each morning.”
E.g. is short for the Latin “exemplī grātiā,” which means “for example.”
“I’ve previously started cooking with local ingredients, e.g., tomatoes and corn.”
- Whet your appetite
This familiar phrase is often incorrectly jotted down as “wet your appetite.” “Whet” means to sharpen. Thus, “whet your appetite” is correct, as it indicates that you’re whetting, or prepping, your appetite to enjoy a meal.
Formally, “invite” is a verb, an “invitation” is a noun.
Still, the English language is constantly advancing, and Merriam-Webster now allows for “invite” to be used as a noun as well.
Thus, both “I haven’t conceded to her invite yet” and “I haven’t conceded to her invitation yet” are correct, but the former may disturb some of your more grammar purist friends.
- Pique your interest
People can often differentiate between the homophones “peek,” which implies “to look,” and “peak,” which refers to the top of a mountain or a similar shape.
However, “pique” is used in the phrase “pique your attention,” because “pique” means to fascinate or inspire. Thus, if something “piques your attention,” that means that it fascinates you.
- Brands and ‘they’
A brand is a singular thing, thus it takes the pronoun “it.” “BMW is my favorite brand because they have the fastest car” is incorrect, since BMW is a singular noun.
The sentence should read, “BMW is my favorite brand because it has the fastest car.”
- First come, first served: The reasonable way to write this expression is “first come, first served,” because the people in the scenario will be served in a particular order. The idiom is frequently mistakenly jotted down as “first come, first serve.”
- Piece or peace of mind?
As “peace” and “piece” are homophones or words with diverse spellings and meanings that sound similar, be sure to use the accurate spelling to be clear on your meaning. “Peace of mind” refers to stillness. To give someone a “piece of your mind” is to severely express a concern.
- Then/than Another classic case of word misusage is between “then” and “than.” “Than” demonstrates a comparison. “I have more time than you do.” “Then” is an adverb used to demonstrate time. “I had a discussion, and then I went to lunch.”
- Due diligence
To do your due diligence on something is to do a very extensive job. However, “due diligence” is often mistakenly written as “due diligence.”
“He exercised due diligence in the trial for the case” is the correct, as it means that the subject went to great extents to get prepared.
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