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English bloopers: 'I haven't found it nowhere'
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May 22, 2007

We asked for your help, and the result has been overwhelming! The mail from readers continues to pour in, containing some of the funniest gut-busters and gaffes we've ever heard.

It's not all about the laughs, though. Teens and young adults must have a firm grasp of English as they enter college and the work force. Today, we focus on some of the more mundane rules of grammar, and other oddities of the English language.

First, let's highlight the bloopers sent by Sri Madhuri Vardhinedi, a 29-year-old technical recruiter in
Hyderabad. He sent these gems:

1. The concerned person is not there

Read literally, this means the worried person is not present. What the speaker actually meant to say is that the person who is involved is not present. The correct way to say this would be:

~ The person concerned is not there.


2. We discussed about the project.

This is a blunder. Discussed is an action verb; therefore, it must be followed by the object. Adding 'about' is unnecessary and improper. So it would be:

~ We discussed the project.


3. Anyways, afterwards we went to the party.

Here, the word anyway has an 's' attached improperly. In US English, afterward is acceptable, but 'anyways' is NEVER acceptable. The correct way to say this would be:

~ Anyway, afterwards we went to the party. 

Not to be outdone, Ashok Seshadri, a 26 year old software engineer from Chicago, USA, sent us some common errors he's encountered in both America and India.


1. I practice cricket every morning.

2. Practise makes perfect.

Practice is a noun and practise is a verb. This also happens with advise/ advice. Here's the correct version.

~ I practise cricket every morning.

~ Practice makes perfect.


Here's another one:


3. There was a tough contest among Australia and South Africa.


4. The prize will be divided between the three groups.

'Between' is used when there are two objects. 'Among' is used when there are more than two objects. Therefore, it should be:


~ There was a tough contest between Australia and South Africa.


~ The prize will be divided among the three groups.

5. I haven't found it nowhere.

6. He didn't do nothing at office!

In both cases, the speaker uses the dreaded 'double-negative'. The second negative in English, unlike most languages, cancels the effect of the first negative. The result is that the speaker is saying the exact opposite of what her or she intends! It should be:

~ I haven't found it anywhere.

~ He didn't do anything at office.


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 seventh 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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