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How to avoid these mistakes in English
COMPREHENSIVE FLUENT-ENGLISH USAGE™
By Prof. Kev Nair
When you speak or write English, do you make many mistakes? Do you often fail to use words and word-groups in the way in which they’re currently used in English?
In fact, almost everyone makes some mistake or other -- at some time or other. This is a fact. Most advanced learners do. Even expert-level users of English sometimes do. Yes, almost everyone tends to make mistakes. This happens especially when they use words and word groups in particular contexts. Only, some people make fewer mistakes, and others, more.
These mistakes take several forms: Many people tend to use words and phrases in ways that modern English usage does not accept as correct or proper. Many give words and phrases meanings that are different from their meanings in current usage. Many go against the currently accepted grammar of those words and phrases. Many use two or more words together in ways that are considered unacceptable in current usage. Many use word combinations that the current usage considers unacceptable. Many confuse one word with another.
Why you should avoid these mistakes
1). These mistakes prevent the English you speak or write from being accepted as good English.
2). And worse, these mistakes prevent you from being clear to your listeners or readers -- because the listeners and readers expect words and phrases to carry only those meanings that the current usage has assigned to them. And they expect only those words to be used together that sound right (according to the current usage) when used together.
3). And there’s yet another problem. If you’re not sure of the principles of current usage, you’ll run into a serious difficulty: Suppose you’re in the middle of saying something or writing something. And suppose a doubt comes up in your mind whether it’s acceptable to put words together in a particular way. Then this is what happens: Your attention gets diverted from what you’re saying or writing -- to the language you’re using to compose it. That is, you’re now concerned not about the content, but about the form. And you lose the thread of what you’re saying or writing. And the result? The flow of your speech or writing gets cut off -- slowed down. And you falter. And all this makes it difficult for you to remain fluent.
How correct usage helps you communicate effectively
The tips on usage I’ll be posting here have two related aims:
(i) To make you become aware of the common usage-related mistakes -- mistakes that even highly educated people tend to make in English; and
(ii) To tell you how to avoid those mistakes.
Study these notes carefully. And don’t let the lack of awareness of current English usage prevent you from speaking and writing English fluently. And accurately, clearly and effectively. That is, as accurately, as clearly and as effectively as the situation needs -- and permits.
Usage Tip for the week
Posted on November 29, 2012
Copyright © Kev Nair 2012. All rights reserved.
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Great Books on Fluent-English
"For free flow of English... These books are for people who want to join in a conversation in English but are inhibited for lack of the right words, for those who have the essential education to converse in English, but just cannot decide on the words or rather word combos." - THE HINDU.
The Bhagavad Gita
"This is one of the rare publications on the Bhagavad Gita, wherein the stamp of assiduous research is evident." - THE HINDU.