Even the educated make mistakes/errors

I’ve been trying to illicit story ideas from students

do not spend hardly any time

have to reign in

These are just a few mistakes or errors (former are correctable by speaker, latter reflect unknown grammar to the speaker) I’ve found recently. The writer is well-educated and a speaker of standard English but the first may be an error in that the person has never paid attention to the spelling of elicit and the two words, elicit and illicit sound alike though their meanings occupy disparate realms. The second is a violation of the “double negative” rule that has become pretty much standard in standard English although still extremely common in a lot of colloquial speech. A mistake would be “I didn’t see none” b/c the speaker could no doubt readily correct that to “I didn’t see any.” But the ‘hardly’ negative is not perceived, perhaps, as a negative and so the speaker feels free to use it with ‘not’. That would be an error. And the last one is just a spelling error in the case of someone who thinks ‘rein’ and ‘reign’ can be spelled the same way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *