You are here: Rediff Home » India » Get Ahead » Careers » Education
Search: The Web
  Discuss this Article   |      Email this Article   |      Print this Article

English bloopers: The girls are lying with me!
Clement Fernando, Satyajit KC
Get news updates:What's this?
May 28, 2007

English is a language that has a lot of eccentric qualities. You have to be careful; one word can change the whole meaning of the sentence.

In our ninth installment of English Bloopers, we highlight how many of our readers have noticed this phenomenon. If you move a word or change a single letter, you can end up looking like a dunce!

Satyajit KC sent us the following:

1. I commonly notice pronunciation and pronounce misspelled and spoken incorrectly. The verb is 'pronounce' and the noun is 'pronunciation'.

Wrong: His pronounciation is wrong.

Correct: His pronunciation is wrong.

Wrong: How to pronunce this correctly?

Correct: How to pronounce this correctly?

This is just another example of how strange the English language is!

2. Wrong: I kindly request you to approve the leave

One does not need to be kind enough to request his or her boss for leave approval. It is his or her boss who needs to be kind to approve the request (Though it's kind of old fashioned to make a request using this kind of language, it still works in official lingo).

Correct: I request you to kindly approve the leave

Clement Fernando of Mumbai, sent these bloopers that he's encountered through the years:

1. One of the professors in a college left the classroom angrily. He stormed into the principal's office. Principal asked, 'Professor! What is the problem?'

The professor replied, 'The girls are lying with me and with you'. The principal could figure out what the professor tried to convey but couldn't control his laughter.

Here, 'lying with' has an unwanted connotation. The professor meant to use the preposition 'to', which makes sense in this situation.

~ The girls are lying to me

2. Today's date is on 28 May 2007. 

A date is a date -- there is no need to indicate where or when. 

~Today's date is 28 May, 2007.

3. ~ He gave the candy to you and I.

In this case, the subject is 'he' and the direct objects are 'you and I'. I, however, can only be used as a subject. Therefore, it should be 'you and me'.

~ He gave the candy to you and me.


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 ninth in a series of 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.

 Email this Article      Print this Article
© 2007 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback