10 Misused English Terms -Example Of 10 Misused English Terms And Their Correct Use


10 Misused English Terms -Example Of 10 Misused English Terms And Their Correct Use

English was never originated from African. So many capitalize on that fact and play the card of ignorance spewing words that when aligned in a sentence give no meaning to the incident addressed.

They seek sympathy in the idea that English is not their mother’s tongue so they are not bounded by tradition or any given law to speak it fluently and correctly. But the disturbing need to join the fast pace moving reality has made speaking English a necessity as it is one of the foremost criteria for judging literacy level in a community.

You might not know this, but, while taking a job interview, a grammatical blunder in a spoken sentence can very much hurt your chances of bagging a new job.

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While delivering a public speech or an argument your choice of words very much determines the kind of impact it would have on a congregation if your sentence harbours a lot of English blunders you’ll just give everyone the idea that you slept through your educational phase in life, and whatever point you might want to relay is still hovering in uncertainty.

So after making some researches on the daily lives of most Nigerians and how they communicate using an adopted language it’s been discovered that most terms have been applied inappropriately. Let us have a look at 10 of these words.

-Borrow: to receive with the implied or expressed intentions of returning the same or an equivalent.

When the word “borrow” is applied in a third-person narrative a lot of individuals put it as

“Obi borrowed Ada his mathematics textbook”

The sentence gives an expression to the idea that Obi gave his book to Ada intending to get it back, If the case is like that, Lend should be used in place of borrow, because the idea being created is that obi gives Ada his textbook so instead of saying that. it’s more convenient to say

“Obi lends his mathematics textbook to Ada. Or “Ada borrows obi’s mathematics textbook”. The owner lends, while the receiver borrows.

-Stature: natural height (as a person) in an upright position.

The dictionary definition clearly makes reference to everything related to growth in an upright position, but for some unknown reason people still use the term while addressing shape, e.g “she has a curvy stature” which is very wrong, the bible says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom, in stature and in favor with God and man” the word stature as used in the sentence indicates that Jesus progressively increased in height. Not in shape so instead of saying

“She has a curvy stature” it’s rather you say, “she has a curvy shape”.

-Fatal: causing death.

The term has also been a subject to abuse and many individuals do this with a deceived notion that they are making sense. When the word fatal is used, the mind is drawn to ghastly, e.g ” on my way back I witnessed a fatal accident in which two truck collided to my utmost surprise no one died”. If the incident deliberated upon didn’t lead to death or Isn’t leading to death the term has been applied inappropriately. So the best form to use this adjective is when giving a narrative of an incident resulting in death.

See AlsoGrammarly; Registration, download, log in and uses of the Grammarly application on mobile and PC

troubleshooting and trouble-making:

Although they are two different words people still have the habit of misplacing troubleshooting for troublemaking. “John is a troubleshooter, he is always causing problem everywhere he goes” You might not be a victim of such mistakes but a lot of people still feel that a troubleshooter is a nuisance, but funny enough a troubleshooter is an individual that pinpoints errors in a given institute, machine or situation and corrects them. So a troubleshooter is more of a problem solver than a maker. So next time you want to use this word you say

“With the amount of crisis john has been able to curb in our society, it is safe to say he is a troubleshooter”.


Before going deeper I’ll like to make a correction, there is no such thing as choosed in the dictionary but you’ll still hear an individual using such word while addressing a past event e.g

“I was told to choose between my dad or mom, I choosed my mom”.

It is very wrong for you to recognize choosed as an English word, it’s rather better you substitute that grammatical error for ‘chose’ or ‘chosen’

“I was told to choose between my dad or mom, I chose my mom”.

Invaluable: valuable beyond estimation.

Just to sound smart, the typical English noob would say, “I threw away the card, it was invaluable to me”

Just to make things clear invaluable, is synonymous with priceless, it seemingly means that the object in question is so great to the point a value can’t be placed on it. To prevent people’s opinions about you from deteriorating you should say valueless when connoting something of zero worth.

Likeness: the quality of being alike, in image form of size.

We hear some lecturers say “I have developed a particular likeness for Ijeoma, I see her like a daughter”. That is just equivalent to saying “I have developed a particular form/image/shape for Ijeoma, I see her like a daughter”.

The only difference between this and a proper sentence is the absence of meaning. The proper implication of likeness should be ” Then God said, ‘let us make man in our likeness so they can rule over the earth. So God created man in his own image”.


The moment you hear this word it’s most likely you will think of a depressed individual on the edge of committing suicide, which is like the peak of sadness and despair.

But that is wrong. The idea of a sadist is a person with a sexual perversion in which he obtains a gratification by inflicting pain on others. a sadist is a person who sees delight in cruelty, he is not a depressed individual.

Vice: moral depravity or corruption.

The short form of a deputy has always been called vice. Of course, if you use this on an English thesis you’ll attract a lot of red ink. Vice is the opposite of virtue, sometimes it is best to leave things as they are rather than shorten them.

Wrong: The chairman left the meeting with his vice sooner than expected

Right: the chairman left the meeting with the vice-chairman sooner than expected.

Are there words you’d like to include? Please use the comment section to add them.

IGBAJI U.C.https://igbajiugabi.com
Igbaji Ugabi Chinwendu, from Cross River State, Nigeria. As a Business Educator, he is profoundly interested in teaching and managing business. Started blogging 2010 and officially 2013. He holds the esteemed positions of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director at Freemanbiz Communication and Writers King LTD, demonstrating his leadership and expertise in the field.


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