The most commonly misused word in English language is….
In this post, I am not lamenting the plummeting standards of written and spoken English in India, but only compiling the tortures that even the most educated among us regularly inflict upon the most illogical but still a FUNNY language.
- ANYWAYS: There were many contenders for the top honour on this list. However, my vote went to this typical Indian innovation: Indian because there is simply no such word in Standard English. The correct word is ANYWAY. By the way, according to numerous surveys, this is also the most commonly misused word, not just in India but in the entire English speaking world.
- SINCE and FOR: In our school days, our knuckles were rapped if we confused SINCE with FOR. Gradually, it was etched in our brains that SINCE refers to a precise moment in time, such as: Sachin Tendulkar has been playing for India SINCE November 15, 1989. FOR refers to a TIME PERIOD. Therefore, Sachin Tendulkar has been playing for India FOR the last 24 years.
- ALTERNATE and ALTERNATIVE: Alternative means OPTIONS; Alternate means something which happens by turn. So if you go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, you are doing it on ALTERNATE days. But, the ALTERNATIVE to going to gym to shed those extra kilos around your waist is Liposuction.
- A recent slide towards linguistic barbarianism, which is finding many takers, concerns mentioning location of one’s office, home, factory or any other installation. Recently, I got a mail from a Delhi-based news portal. It said: We are based OUT OF Delhi. Yet, the contact address said the office was located at the heart of Delhi. When I called up the concerned person to clarify the confusion, the lady at the other end enlightened me with priceless piece of knowledge that BASED OUT OF DELHI indeed means that the company IS located IN DELHI.