An entertaining and informative guide to the most common 150 words even smart people use incorrectly, along with pithy forays into their fascinating etymologies and tangled histories of use and misuse.
With the rise of grammar police and usage snobs, this book saves you from sticky linguistic situations--and provides fascinating cocktail-party anecdotes. As evinced by grammar-shaming examples from real offenders who should know better (New York Times, we're looking at you), even educated people can sometimes be befuddled by usage questions. Each entry also includes short histories of how and why these mistake have happened, some of the (often surprisingly nasty) debates about which uses are (and are not) mistakes, and finally, how to use these words correctly. By the end of this book, every literati will be able to confidently use a priori, facetious, factoid, meteorite, unique, and the other top words that are used incorrectly every day.
“Praise for You're Saying It Wrong: "[Contains] instructions ostensibly designed to make pronunciation a forte. (It's pronounced "fort," by the way.) And designed, too, to spare you the particular strain of embarrassment that results when you learn that you have been pretentiously mispronouncing the name of your already-pretentious sparkling water. You're Saying It Wrong acknowledges that most modern of problems: the fact that so many of us learn words not by hearing them, but by reading them." --the Atlantic "The best way to consume this book is in a room full of people who are from different parts of the country and have good senses of humor. Ask them how they pronounce each word that doesn't seem obvious. Let the frustration and laughter and discussion ensue."--The Awl”