More often than seems appropriate, I see writing from those who are attempting to be scholarly or knowledgeable and wind up looking foolish. To these folks, I implore – keep it simple.
Here are a few examples. If you are referring to the aspect of medicine dedicated to keep illness or injury from happening, this is referred to as preventive. Too often I see the word “preventative” which is correct, I suppose, but adds a syllable that is not necessary. The same concept is true of the words among and amongst. I’ve noticed that amongst is more commonly used in the UK, but among is preferred and to me, sounds much better.
In this case, I’m not referring to incorrect usage such as irregardless or supposably, both of which are often used. I’m talking about trying to be right while failing at it. Supposably is in fact a word that means imagined or supposed but most of the time that it is used, the word supposedly is intended. Irregardless is a non-word.
Ultimately, it comes down to how important it is for you to be right. As a writer, it is crucial that I am correct in my spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Not only am I evaluated for future work according to these standards, but also it is a matter of professional integrity.
It always baffles me when I see major errors on television banners. It’s hard to list all of them but I’m worried because when we see “sight” that is intended to be “site” and other words that are blatantly wrong, I remember that children are seeing these and believing that if it’s on television, it must be correct.
So if you are using scholarly words or those with frequent misspellings, do yourself a favor and double check them. If you want to tell me that it’s unimportant or to mind my own business, I understand that too. Just don’t expect anyone to rely on you for accurate language. Shalom.