Maybe you all have, and I'm just slow, but it really annoys me to read an article, or hear a newscast, or read a story where ordinary words are misused. My three most annoying examples are - flaunt for flout, as in "He flaunts the law," when what is meant is "He flouts the law."

Then there's "diffuse" for "defuse" ("He diffused the bomb;" interesting way to get one through a wall, I guess).

And, finally, on a story about a revolutionary war hero, the, ahem!, reporter had the man's family standing around the grave, and referred to them as his "ancestors."

Perhaps I am just too curmudgeonly, but it seems to me that if one's words are going into a public venue, one might take a bit of care to ascertain the proper word.

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Oldie but a Goodie, apparently with legs: infer/imply
These, along with the misuse of object pronouns and mispronunciation of "nuclear," are some of my pet peeves. I don't know if these errors are getting more common, or if I'm getting crabbier about them. But I agree that people should take more care with language, whether it's in the public eye or not. It's a matter of self-respect.
A thing is not necessarily true because badly uttered, nor false because spoken magnificently. --Saint Augustine
I thought I was done here until I just read, on another thread, "relatively unique." Ouch.
"Nothing is unique," my first newspaper editor used to say. "Don't ever put that word in your copy again."


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