Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ms. Language Person Lays Down the Law

Allude is to refer to something indirectly. "I allude to Dave Barry's "Mister Language Person" persona with my title."

Elude is to avoid capture. "The damned french fry had eluded me for the last time; I determined to quickly smother it in catsup."

I've been seeing these mixed up for a while, but when I read about a woman eluding to something in a newspaper post, it was the last straw. A hint? Elude should never be paired with to, while allude should almost always be.


l i s a said...

your next helpful tip should be on affect vs. effect. a little trickier to explain, but not making people cringe because of improper use of effect as a verb is so worth it.

Anonymous said...

Also accept vs. except....


Jocelyn said...

Can you do a bunch of these mini-lessons that I can post for my online students? I mean, really. Hell if they understand effect/affect or accept/except, among a trillion others.

Jocelyn said...

Oh, hell. I swear I didn't read the first two comments before I did my own.

Clearly, I then read those comments.

And realized I'm trite.

But how about conscience/conscious?

jess said...

Yes, all more of my pet peeves! More coming.

I would, Jocelyn, but then they might click through to your blog and you know it would all be over then. ;)