Tuesday, March 27, 2018

This Week: Paul Brians Goes On Record about "Tape" + tape, record

tape, record
As time goes on, we are less and less likely to record sound or video onto a physical electromagnetic tape. More and more often, such recordings are made onto computer hard drives or solid-state devices. Yet the word “tape” lives on to label the activity involved. We say we are going to tape an interview, tape a dance recital, or tape a new greeting for our voice mail, even when no tape is involved. The problem is that the word “record” is a little too unspecific to be substituted in all contexts for “tape,” so we fall back on this obsolete but handy word instead.

I’m not sure what can be done about this, but it bothers me. Now it can bother you too.
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A recent Paul Brians’ blog post discusses tape in the news.

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

Plans to continue the podcast as a monthly show have been scrapped, but we invite you to peruse the archives covering all the interesting topics we discussed over our two-year run.

 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

This Week: Paul Brians' Latest Blog Post + A Word about the Podcast + fulsome

fulsome
In modern usage, “fulsome” has two inconsistent meanings. To some people it means “offensive, overdone,” so “fulsome praise” to them would be disgustingly exaggerated praise.

To other people it means “abundant,” and for them “fulsome praise” is glowingly warm praise.

The first group tends to look down on the second group, and the second group tends to be baffled by the first. Best to just avoid the word altogether.



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Does Paul Brians’ latest blog post deserve praise, fulsome or otherwise? Read it and decide for yourself.

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

Plans to continue the podcast as a monthly show have been scrapped, but we invite you to peruse the archives covering all the interesting topics we discussed over our two-year run.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

This Week: Paul Brians' Latest Blog Post is The Bomb + defuse/diffuse

defuse/diffuse
You defuse a dangerous situation by treating it like a bomb and removing its fuse; to diffuse, in contrast, is to spread something out: “Bob’s cheap cologne diffused throughout the room, wrecking the wine-tasting.”




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Paul Brians' latest blog post goes over bombs, real and metaphorical.

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

We’re switching the podcast to a monthly show. We’ll return with episodes that feature guests and special segments, but in the meantime we invite you to peruse the archives.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

This Week: A Break in the Podcast & an Announcement + brake/break

brake/break
You brake to slow down; if your brakes fail and you drive through a plate-glass window, you will break it.


 
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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

We’re switching the podcast to a monthly show. We’ll return in about a month with episodes that feature guests and special segments, but in the meantime we invite you to peruse the archives.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

This Week: A Gluten-Free Podcast + feint/faint

feint/faint
A feint, whether in chess or on the battlefield, is a maneuver designed to divert the opponent’s attention from the real center of attack. A feint is a daring move. Do not use this very specialized word in the expression “faint of heart” (or “faint at heart”), which implies timidity.


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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

On the podcast this week, we discuss medical terms, including EKGs, MRIs, CAT scans, and more.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

This Week: Refills, Emergencies & More on the Podcast + Paul Brians' latest blog post + taunt/taut/tout

taunt/taut/tout
I am told that medical personnel often mistakenly refer to a patient’s abdomen as “taunt” rather than the correct “taut.” “Taunt” (“tease” or “mock”) can be a verb or noun, but never an adjective. “Taut” means “tight, distended,” and is always an adjective. “Taut” is also occasionally misspelled “taught.”

Don’t confuse “taunt” with “tout,” which means “promote,” as in “Senator Bilgewater has been touted as a Presidential candidate.” You tout somebody you admire and taunt someone that you don’t.


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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

On the podcast this week, we pick up on our discussion of terms related to politics and government

Paul Brians talks about Donald Duck and translating interjections in his latest blog post.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

This Week: Crusades, Demagogues, Stump Speeches & More on the Podcast + vapid/vacuous

vapid/vacuous
“Vapid” is used to describe something flavorless, weak, flat. Many people confuse this word with “vacuous,” which describes things which are unintelligent, lacking serious content. A boring speech may be vapid even though it’s learned, and a lively speech may be vacuous even though it’s exciting. A dull person may be vapid, but it is not standard usage to refer to a person as vacuous—only their speech, thoughts, etc., can be so described. To avoid the most common error involving these words, just remember that something vapid isn’t stupid, it’s bland.



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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

On the podcast this week, we pick up on our discussion of terms related to politics and government.

Buy the book!