Issue 205, page 3

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Guestmudgeon John Archdeacon confirms out his pet peeves

I keep finding strange "modified out" verbs, some of which I have previously reported to you. Recently, while reading an article on The Register, I came across another one which was new to me: "This hunch seems to be confirmed out by two pieces of evidence." http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/25/colly_myers_interview/page2.html

Another misuse of the word out often has me baffled: when it's used to mean "in"! For example, I read a job listing for a company in San Francisco which stated that the person would "work out of the office"; a good thing for me, I thought, as I live in San Jose and like working at home. I called them and during the discussion mentioned that I like being able to telecommute. I was informed that the job would require my presence in the office every day. I read the listing to her, emphasizing "out of the office", and she said that was correct, that meant I would need to come to the office to work. I asked her why the listing said "out of" when it meant "in" and she replied, with some exasperation, that it was "the same thing"!!

More malapostrophes (or should I say malapostrophe's) which are now becoming more prevalent in verbs (sorry, verb's): "She say's she want's to go to the movies." "If he let's her get away with it..." The plural "photo's" is everywhere, hardly anyone seems to know how to spell it correctly.

Have you noticed how many people use commute incorrectly? It seems any journey you make can be a commute without having to travel back and forth regularly (as between a suburb and a city).

Have you heard or read similar or equally distressing usages?

Do tell us. 

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