Featured post

A new lease of life for my books

As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

About Me

My photo
I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as e-books from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

Follow me on Twitter

Share a link on Twitter

Follow by Email

My Blog List

Blog Archive

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

Search This Blog

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Common misuses: common expressions

When editing or critiquing, and even in everyday conversation, I am often jolted by the misuse of common expressions, so I thought I might don my pedant’s hat today and talk about some of them in this post.

As Such
One of these misused expressions is “as such”. This phrase is seldom used correctly these days, and its incorrect use often renders the sentence laughable. Some people misuse the phrase completely because they have mistaken its meaning, thinking it means “therefore”, which is just plain silly.

In order to make sense, “as such”, a pronominal phrase, must refer back to a noun in the previous sentence or clause. It cannot be used to refer to a verb.

Consider this: “I’ve worked in the hospitality industry for some years now. As such, I’ve learnt a lot about cleaning equipment.” The speaker obviously intends “as such” to refer to “worked” which is the verb in the previous sentence, but grammatically, “as such” can only refer to a noun. You could say, however, “I’ve been a hotel room attendant for some years now. As such...etc”.

Partake of/partake in/take part
Another word whose misuse is becoming widespread is “partake”. It really means “to take a share” and has traditionally been used to refer to the sharing of food, as in “We partook of a delicious seafood banquet last night”. However, it has long been used in a figurative sense, as in “partaking in each other’s joys”, which carries the implication of sharing. The difference between the two usages lies in the accompanying pronoun, in or of. If we partake of, we each take a share of something – I eat my share of the food, you eat yours. If we partake in, we share mutually – your joys are also mine, my joys are also yours. Can you see the subtle difference between the two?

But the main problem is that some people are now using “partake” where they should use “take part”, as in “We partook in a football match yesterday”, which to my mind ruins a nice, rather subtle little expression. However, language is constantly changing and I don’t think I can do anything to stop this particular change!

Two more misuses can only be seen in writing, as both ways of using them sound the same in speech. I’m talking about “all together” vs “altogether” and “on to” vs “onto”. Let’s look at the second phrase first.

Onto/on to
The word “onto” is quite new. It used to be considered altogether incorrect when I was a child. However, it is now considered quite OK to say “I put the plate onto the shelf”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Where the word gets misused is in sentences such as “He went onto say how pleased he was with the new house” or even “The plane flew onto London”! In cases such as these, where something is definitely not being superimposed on something else, we should leave the two words separate.

Altogether/all together
I hope I haven’t got you altogether confused because I’ll now go on to “all together”. When we do something as a group we do it all together, as in “We left the party all together”.

The word “altogether” is another matter altogether.

If you were to write the sample sentence as “We left the party altogether” it would mean that you left the party absolutely, utterly and completely, never to return. You might apply that to a political party, but not the social gathering sort of party, which you might have left early because you were tired, not because you were in high dudgeon over something, although I suppose that’s also possible!

I plan to do a few more of these posts, so if you have any words or phrases that you're not sure how to use, let me know and I'll try to incorporate them.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...