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Common English goof-ups!
Saif R Naik, Radhika Augustus, Megha Malviya, Sivashankar, Mike
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April 30, 2007

If your English is a little faulty and you're looking to polish your language skills, we have just the solution for you. Our readers have sent in all sorts of grammatical grievances they come across regularly, and you can avoid them simply by reading those presented below.

Let's start off with a common mistake that drives Get Ahead reader Saif R Naik up the wall:

~ "I'm going to give an examination."

You don't give an examination, you take one! So what you really should be saying, is:

~ "I'm going to take an examination."

Radhika Augustus wrote in that one of her girlfriends made a big-time booboo while in conversation with her recently. Here's what she said:

~ "The city bus service is highly erotic!"

Well, the word she was looking for was 'erratic', which means lacking in consistency and regularity, and not 'erotic' -- which we all know means sexually arousing! So what she should have said was:

~ "The city bus service is highly erratic!"

Megha Malviya brought a common blooper many folks make to our notice:

~ "I will revert back to you shortly."

The word 'revert' itself means to return to a previous subject or condition, so the insertion of the word 'back' in the sentence is incorrect. The correct thing to say is:

~ "I will revert to you shortly."

Get Ahead reader Sivashankar says, "A common error I hear people making is when they say the word 'anyways' instead of 'anyway'. There is no such word as 'anyways', and the additional 's' is not at all required." He further adds that many folk also tend to pluralise words that are already in plural, such as: 'datas' instead of data, and 'criterias' instead of criteria.

And to wrap things up, here's a hilarious promotional email reader Mike received and forwarded to us:

"Dear Sir,

We are glad to tell you that we are manufacture of disappearing ink pen ttached please check our disappearing ink pen catalogue with pricepictures and other details. Any interested itmes please kindly inform us."

A grammatically correct copy of that mail is presented below:

"Dear Sir,

We are glad to inform you that we are now manufacturing disappearing ink pens. Attached please find our catalogue with prices, pictures, and other details furnished. If you are interested in any of the items, kindly inform us."

Mistakes we make while speaking English

We thank our readers for the witty emails detailing common English bloopers they've come across! Keep them coming in, and we'll keep publishing. This is the second in a series of articles featuring your response.

If you'd like to share common bloopers you come across when people speak/ write in English, do mail your list of common bloopers, along with their correct alternative to -- we'll highlight them right here as a helpful guide to those trying to improve their English. Also make sure you include your FULL NAME, AGE, OCCUPATION and the CITY you are based in.

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