Feeble excuses

It’s a living language. Don’t be so stuffy.

Of course it is. New words, and even new usages, are fine. This site flays only egregious errors that demonstrate the writer’s feeble command and understanding of the language.

Hey, what’s the big deal? My readers know what I mean.

If you’re right, then you have to live with the risk that they’ll stop reading when their lips get tired. If you write “complimentary” when you should have written “complementary,” your reader will not only be confused about which word you meant, but also concerned that you might not know the difference between the words — and if you don’t know that, how reliable is the rest of your alleged knowledge?

This is the kind of reasoning that says typographical errors aren’t important either. It leads to writing “your job is now in danger” when you meant to write “your job is not in danger” — or to quoting $6,000 on a job for which you meant to quote $8,000.

Last Reviewed: 13 years