Common English Language Mistakes You Are Probably Making
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For all intensive purposes
Bare with me
I could care less
We’ve spoken about this before, and we’ll speak about it again: English is a tricky language. Even if English is your first language there is still a chance you are using the language incorrectly. Embarrassing, but true! When it comes to English, there’s nothing like being a teacher of English as a Foreign Language to help you realise that you don’t know everything! And considering there are approximately 200,000 words in the English language, we can be forgiven for not knowing every single one of them.
Read more: Mistakes Even English Teachers Make
But there are certain words or phrases which are very common in natural English. We say them, read them, hear them or write them regularly. Yet still – still! – they are not being used correctly. The thing is, all it takes is for one person to change a word in an idiom or mispronounce a sound in a word, and then soon everyone is doing it!
So we’re going to do us all a favour and highlight a few of the most common atrocities our ears and eyes have been subjected to, just to clear up any confusion once and for all.
case and point –> case in point
Case in point means that you are about to relate something which perfectly describes the point you are trying to make. Case and point imply that the case and the point are two separate things entirely.
nip it in the butt –> nip it in the bud
To nip something in the bud means to stop something before it gets out of hand. While to nip something (or someone!) in the butt is just outrageously inappropriate.
wreck havoc –> wreak havoc
To wreak havoc means to cause chaos. If you use the word wreck, you mean that the chaos is destroyed. This would presumably result in a state of calm, which is the actual opposite of what is meant by the phrase.
one in the same –> one and the same
Seriously though, one in the same what?
slight of hand –> sleight of hand
Magicians use sleight of hand to make those pesky coins appear out of our ears. Slight means a small amount which could possibly refer to someone with small hands but it wouldn’t really make any sense.
irregardless –> regardless
The clue is in the affixes, people! Ir is a prefix of negation, as is the suffix –less. There is no need for both of them.
baited breath –> bated breath
To bait someone means to taunt them, which is not exactly possible when it comes to breathing. In this case, your breath is bated, coming from the word abated, which means to lessen in severity. In other words, you have less breath because you are holding it.
beckon call –> beck and call
To beckon means to call someone, so we can see why this one can cause confusion. However, the true idiom is to be at someone’s beck and call, meaning that you are there to wait on them hand and foot.
scotch free –> scot free
Presumably, scotch free means free of scotch, while to get off scot-free means to commit a crime and not be punished for it. While we’re not sure of the exact origins of the phrase, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with someone called Scott.
mute point –> moot point
If something or someone is mute, it means it cannot speak or it has no volume, which is clearly not applicable to a point. Interestingly, a moot point refers to both a point that needs to be discussed (in legal situations) and a point that is not worthy of discussion.
peaked my interest –> piqued my interest
A peak is the highest point of something, while pique means to arouse or provoke. While this mistake is a bit more understandable than the others, the true meaning of the phrase is that your interest was aroused rather than reaching its peak.
piece of mind –> peace of mind
Pizzas and cakes have pieces. Hopefully, wherever you live there is peace. While it’s certainly possible to give someone a piece of your mind if you do something for peace of mind, you are doing it to alleviate any related worry – not because your brain is breaking into tiny, little pieces.
do diligence –> due diligence
While diligence is something you do, you also need to make sure you do your due diligence, especially when you are considering which TEFL course you should take.
Read more: How Do I Choose the Right TEFL Course?
wet your appetite –> whet your appetite
Yes, yes, yes, appetite refers to food and drink, but that’s not to say that it’s something that we can actually wet. To whet your appetite means to increase your desire for something, usually by exposing you to a small amount of it. For example, doing a TEFL course will whet your appetite for teaching English abroad. #truestory
and our pet peeve:
supposably –> supposedly
It’s. Not. A. Word.
Okay, rant over. We feel better now. It’s a pleasure!
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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- This website is owned and operated by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD , (we) a limited company registered in the United Kingdom.
Registered company number 13725845, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL.
- This Policy sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us.
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Information Governance & Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
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In some cases, such as during an investigation or appeal, we may use public data such as social media accounts or review sites in order to ensure accuracy and fairness.
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We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.
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We’ll use your personal information to send you direct marketing and to better identify products and services that interest you. We do that if you’re one of our customers or if you’ve been in touch with us another way (such as registering to attend an ELEARNING FUTURES LTD event).
This means we’ll:
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We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
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- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.