Correct usage of English Language, in our society, cannot be underemphasized. Most people will argue that grammar does not matter and that what matters is communication. I therefore begin to wonder how we can communicate effectively without speaking correctly. While old people, who are mostly basilectal and mesolectal speakers respectively, can be pardoned, students of today- higher institution students, especially-, who are expected to be acrolectal speakers, are expected to speak the standard variant of English Language, at least, to an extent.
Today, you will be in the know regarding words that do not exist but you have been using consciously and unconsciously, words that are wrongly used and other expressions that are used erroneously.
1. Instalmentally: numbers of time, many people had had a reason to say a sentence such as 'I bought a new car and I would have to pay instalmentally'. May I put it to you today that instalmentally is word that does not exist in any standard English Dictionary. Instead, you should say 'I bought a new car and I would have to pay in instalments'.
2. Portable water: while a sachet water is portable, that is, it is very handy and can be transported easily, the right word that collocates perfectly with water in the sense that Nigerians had erroneously been using 'portable' is potable. Potable means good for drinking without fear of poison(ing) or disease.
3. Ablution: ablution, I must say, is a word that is not complete because a mandatory (s) has been unconsciously removed. Ablutions is a plural noun and should be regarded as such in its usage. Therefore Muslims do not perform ablution, but they do perform ablutions
4. Let bygone be bygone: this is another expression that people do erroneously used. Because Idioms are fixed collocations that could not be altered, expressions such as let bygones be bygones should not be tampered with. Thus, it is let bygones be bygones and not let bygone be bygone.
5. Nook and corner: numbers of time, people had said something like 'I searched all the nooks and corners of my room looking for my pen'. Meanwhile, they ought to say 'I searched every nook and cranny of my room looking for my pen'.
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