in·cor·rec·tion  / , ɪnkəˈrekʃən/ n 1 something that is mistakenly substituted or proposed for what is already true or accurate; paradiorthosis. 2 a misheld truth or fact; rumour. 3 a fault, default, or impropriety, esp. of language. 4 want or act of correction, restraint, or discipline. – in- not + correction: cf. F. incorrection.

Websters defines the word incorrection as above. This is the case because Websters isn’t actually a dictionary at all, it’s a genericised trademark meaning ‘dictionary’, in the same manner that ‘Escalator’, ‘Aspirin’, ‘Zipper’ and ‘Yo-yo’ have come to mean escalator, aspirin, zipper and yo-yo. Frankly I think that sums up Incorrections quite well really! It’s the blog that warns you to beware the public speaker who quotes from Webster’s Dictionary, to think twice before bigging up Shakespeare, and to seriously question the English teacher who actually believes that Dead Poet’s Society is anything more than a facile and sanctimonious quote-peddling pander piece that is a masterpiece of cinema in the same way that a self help seminar is akin to high theatre*.

Anyway, please have a wander through our anecdotes as we masticate the language facts, and by all means chip in with your own two pence, for when it comes to the English language there really are no wrong answers, only incorrections waiting to happen.

*Also, yes, I spelled it ‘theatre’. There may well be 4 times as many American English users than there are of the alternatives, but I’m yet to see how the resulting word theaterical could possibly be thought to be a good thing in any way shape or form.

Your move America.


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