Grammar Guru Part 2: Your Guide to Commonly Misused Words & Phrases

Tongue and cheek.

For all intensive purposes.

We’re all guilty of using the wrong word or phrase now and then.  But as a content writer, your words have to be accurate, or the point you’re trying to make won’t come across.

Have a look at some of the most common word mix-ups so you can steer clear of them when you write!

Piece of Mind or Peace of Mind

Which one is correct?  It depends on the situation!

If you’re telling someone off, you’re giving them a piece of your mind.  After you’ve finished delivering a speech, you feel peace of mind.

For All Intents and Purposes

Want to make a grammar guru wince?  Use “for all intensive purposes” in a sentence.

The correct wording is for all intents and purposes, meaning ‘for all practical purposes’ or ‘virtually.’

Ironic

Ironically, incorrect usage of this word increases every year.

Most people think it means an amusing or funny coincidence, but it’s meant to be used with regard to getting results that you didn’t expect.

Literally

Do you literally see this word used incorrectly 10,000 times in a week?

No, no you don’t.

Literally refers to actual facts. Figuratively is the exaggerated version. (You didn’t literally die of embarrassment when you burped during a team meeting, but you virtually did.)

Towards, Afterwards, & Anyways

This habit of adding an extra “s” at the end of words sounds just as weird as making a plural out of business names (KMarts, Meijers, Krogers, etc.).

Don’t try to be all fancy and formal; none of these words needs an extra letter at the end.

Next time you’re writing, try to catch yourself before incorrectly using a word or phrase.  It’ll save readers a whole lotta head-scratching.

About the author 

Victoria B has been a full time freelance writer since early in 2009.  She can write how-to guides, straight informative articles, restaurant and travel reviews, and keyword-guided SEO content.


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