These mistakes occur all the time! Our education system in South Africa should have corrected these mistakes in primary school and yet they occur all the way up to tertiary level and thence find their way up into the corporate business world. They occur so often that people accept them as the norm.

Lets fix them once and for all!

Using ‘what or that’ instead of ‘who’ or ‘whom or he or she

Example 1: The person that is in charge of catering is a marvellous chef. WRONG! the person referred to is a human being!

Therefore the sentence should read:

The person who is in charge of catering is a marvellous chef.

If the person being referred to is human; then you must use a personal pronoun such as he, she, who, whom etc, all of whom always stand in place of a noun such as George or Peter or the chef, as in the example above.

any more or anymore

Any more – expressed as two words refers to quantity, not time.

Example 1: No thanks. I don’t want any more cake.

anymore expressed as one word refers to time.

Example 2: No! I don’t love you anymore. (it refers to time. – meaning the time when I loved you is over.

Easy, not so?

At this point in time

This is totally wrong because adding the words ‘in time’ is totally unnecessary because clearly the speaker is talking about time, not space or underwater, or in a certain location.

Example 1: So, at this point in time, I wish to announce the winners!

Totally incorrect! The sentence should simply read:

So, now, I wish to announce the winners!

or; so, right now, I wish to announce the winners!

or, I will announce the winners in the next few minutes.

Comprises, instead of comprises of

You should always simply use comprises, never comprises of …

Example 1: The livestock on the farm comprises of cows, sheep and ducks.

Wrong! you must never use ‘comprises of’

Example 2: The livestock on the farm comprises cows, sheep and ducks. This is correct!

Qualifying Superlatives

Superlatives are words like exceptional, unique, outstanding, horrific, disgusting. they are adjectives that show that something stands alone as the best of its kind; something that is as good as it can be. It cannot be bettered. It is the ultimate!

You should never put an adverb such as very, extremely, perfectly, amazingly before a superlative.

Example 1: This picture is very unique – WRONG! – there is only other picture like that. It is the only one in existence.

Example 2: It should simply read – This picture is unique. – meaning there is only one picture like this. You won’t find another one!

Example 3: That was a very horrific movie. – No! – Wrong! meaning there is no other movie that’s more horrific than this one.

Example 4: It should read; That was a horrific movie.

There are more examples of such incorrect usage, but that will have to wait till next time. Bye for now!

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