5 Words You’ve Been Using Incorrectly This Whole Time

It's literally ironic when you use "literally" to mean "figuratively."

1. Unique

Unique defintion common words used incorrectly
2. Ironic

Ironic defintion common words used incorrectly
3. Enormity

Enormity defintion common words used incorrectly
4. Plethora

Plethora defintion common words used incorrectly
5. Literally

Literally defintion common words used incorrectly


Which misused words do you correct most often?

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15 thoughts on “5 Words You’ve Been Using Incorrectly This Whole Time

  1. Actually myriad in Greek means a UNIT of 10,000 – it’s a noun, not a numeral, and it’s used with the article. So you can say in English “a myriad of X” meaning a ten-thousand-strong unit of X. Just like we say a trio of X (a unit of three). According to Merriam-Webster the noun usage (as borrowed from Greek) is older in English, but at some point it started being used as a numeral adjective as well (myriad misuses), but today both uses are good English.

  2. In the Philippines, the word “traffic” is synonymous to mean heavy traffic or unmoving traffic, when it actually means the opposite – which is movement.

  3. Tell me why it’s become so “o.k.” to mix plural subjects with singular predicates….

  4. The title of this article is literally incorrect. *I* don’t misuse any of these words.

  5. My pet peeve is “anyways”…“anyway” is an adverb, and adverbs can’t be plural.

  6. The one that cracks me up is “intensive purposes”…. saw this on a SGM brief once, and lol’d. INTENTS AND PURPOSES.

    1. One reason for the ‘fumble’ is because some people don’t enunciate — they have a preponderance toward using a ‘lazy tongue’. Seems easier for some to slur rather than to speak clearly and with conviction.

  7. By far, the most misused word in the English language today is – only.

    1. I think the most misused work is “actually”…or, “honestly”. Honestly, I actually believe that!!

  8. I wince when I read a misused “myriad,” usually preceded by “a” and followed by “of.” It SHOULD stand alone, as in “myriad misuses of the word,” NOT “a myriad of misuses” (I even wince when I write it). The literal translation (from Greek) is “10,000.” I think if you can’t use “10,000” instead, then you’re using it wrong.

  9. What about penultimate? People most often think that it means “most ultimate” (which itself is redundant) when it actually means “next to last.”

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