Before I became a full time writer I used to be a teacher. I taught English at a number of secondary schools and colleges across the UK, and have always had a love of words and language. I was brought up to respect language and grammar. I can still recall being around 10 years old and being severely reprimanded by my mother for using the noun ‘fun’ as an adjective – no tea until I corrected the grammar of my sentence!
Today I thought I’d don my pedant’s hat for a few moments and share with you a couple of my pet hates. Poor grammar is everywhere, we all know that, but these two grammatical mistakes annoy me because they’re so often used by people who really ought to know better! I am confident that you wouldn’t dream of falling foul of either of these, and so will join me in Ranters’ Corner for a quick moan. All right, here we go…
“I am anxious to see my friends later.”
Really? Well why not cancel the arrangement then? After all, if you don’t want to see them I’m sure they wouldn’t want to put you through something you don’t like, if they really are your friends.
If you are anxious then you are worried and uncomfortable. Anxiety is something which you feel before something happens which is likely to be unpleasant. If you are excited, have a sense of anticipation, and are looking forward to something, then say so. Don’t use a negative to describe a positive.
“That fairground ride left me feeling nauseous.”
If something is nauseous, then it makes other people feel nauseated. If you are nauseous, then you are likely to make everyone around you feel sick. I do happen to know one or two people who could be described as nauseous, but generally, if you feel sick, or unwell, then you are nauseated, not nauseous.
There we are. I feel so much better having got that off my chest.