Small Things

Small and incorrect, that is.


This isn’t wrong when used as a noun (She sent a bottle of wine as a thank-you) or as an adjective (That thank-you bottle was much appreciated).

It is wrong when you are using the words to thank someone, as I saw in an e-mail recently: Thank-you for your help.

In that instance, Thank you is just a truncated version of I thank you, and no hyphen is necessary (or correct) in that kind of short sentence.

Fear and loathing?

This was the opening to a recent e-mail bulletin: I was loathed to admit …

OK, if by that the author meant he was detested – but that was clearly not the intention.

Auto-correct could be at work here, since many people say (and write) that they are loathe to do something (pronounced to rhyme with clothe).

That’s wrong too, though; the correct word is loath, sometimes (historically) spelt loth. They rhyme with growth and mean ‘unwilling, reluctant’.

Feedbacks and softwares

Like learning and training, these should never be pluralised.


Neil Guthrie (@guthrieneil)

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