Gripe #1: “Flout” vs. “Flaunt”
To flout means to treat with contemptuous disregard or scorn. To flaunt means to display or claim an undue amount of public notice.
Sample correct sentence: “Though he liked to flaunt his badge to show that he was a cop, he still flouted traffic laws by crossing the street outside the crosswalk.”
Gripe #2: “At”
One Huffington reader points out that “That's where he's AT” is incorrect. “That's where he is” is fine.
Gripe #3: “I could care less”
People should say, “I couldn't care less,” not “I could care less.”
Gripe #4: “Fewer” vs. “Less”
Fewer should be used when referring to people or things in the plural – stuff that can be counted. Correct example: “People today are buying fewer newspapers.” Incorrect example: “People today are buying less newspapers.”
Less is used when referring to something that can't be counted or doesn't have a plural. Correct example: “There is less than a quart of milk left.” Incorrect example: “There is fewer than a quart of milk left.”
To lay means to place something down. It’s a transitive verb, meaning it has to have a direct object.
Correct example: “Lay the book on the table.”
To lie means to recline, or to be placed. Correct example: “Lie down on the couch.”
Incorrect examples of both: “Lay down on the couch,” and “Lie the book on the table.”
Gripe #6: “A Lot” vs. “A Lot”
It’s correct to say, “I ate a lot of apples,” but incorrect to say, “I ate alot of apples.”
Also, correct to say, “My stomach hurt a lot after I ate a lot of apples.” It all kinds of fits together, right?
Picky, Picky . . .
Yes, the readers of Huffington Post are picky. But they have a point – the ability to write well is an important skill in life. If you need to become a better writer, why not enroll in a good writing course now?