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English bloopers: 'I come to office by walk'
Vincent Naveen Morris, Raghunathan N
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June 18, 2007

Communication skills play an important role in determining your career path. While speaking English fluently and confidently can help you make a good impression on the people that matter, speaking or writing incorrect English, can make it difficult for superiors or even colleagues to take you seriously no matter how well-informed you may be.

If your English-speaking skills are letting you down, don't lose hope just yet. Remember, practice is key to perfecting your command over the language.

In this edition of our bloopers series, we look at some commonly misspelt words and some easily avoidable errors.

Director of a London-based software firm, Vincent Naveen Morris (30) sends in a few English bloopers he's noticed at work and on television.

~ WRONG: The council library was quiet noisy.
RIGHT: The council library was quite noisy.

The term 'quiet' is the opposite of noisy. The correct word for emphasising a point is 'quite'.

~ WRONG: A friendly remainder: Please do not forget to remain in your seats after the speech.
RIGHT: A friendly reminder: Please do not forget to remain in your seats after the speech.

'Remainder' is something that is left behind. The correct word to use when asking someone not to forget something is 'reminder'.

~ WRONG: I want to learn piano.
RIGHT: I want to learn to play the piano.

~ WRONG: I like listening music.
RIGHT: I like listening to music.

~ WRONG: He comes to office by bus, but I come to office by walk.
RIGHT: I walk to the office.

'By' is a used only if you use a vehicle for transport.

Raghunathan N, an engineer from Ernakulam, Kerala [Images] shares some oft-misused words he's come across.

1. A word that is often used incorrectly is 'advance'. My daughter received a birthday card, much ahead of the actual date, with the message, "Advanced birthday wishes from...". The sender intended to state that the card arrived a bit early, and in no way has any advanced features, right? The correct way to state that then would be: "Birthday wishes, in advance".

In another case, a number of websites carry an 'Advance search' option. The purpose is to offer users a more specialised search option. In this context, the correct term would be 'Advanced', which means superior in some way.

2. Using the word 'entitled' in the context of 'having a title of' is wrong. Many articles misuse the word, saying " his book entitled...". Simply replacing 'entitled' with a comma will correct the sentence.


MORE English bloopers

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 them. Three times a week, we'll provide articles featuring your responses.

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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