hypercorrection love



from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A construction or pronunciation produced by mistaken analogy with standard usage out of a desire to be correct, as in the substitution of I for me in on behalf of my parents and I.
  • noun The production of such a construction or pronunciation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun linguistics The use of a nonstandard form due to a belief that it is more formal or more correct than the corresponding standard form.
  • noun linguistics A nonstandard form so used.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

hyper- +‎ correction


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  • I just came across an interesting sentence in an article I was reading:

    "The problem with library data are that it is not as robust as other data to which users have become accustomed."

    Would this be an example of hypercorrection?

    A lot of people instinctually write "the data is", rather than "the data are". If you're one of those people, and if you think that "the data is" is incorrect, you have to train yourself to replace every instance of "the data is" with "the data are".

    In this case, though, that automatic replacement rule gets it wrong, because the singular "is" that you're replacing actually refers to the singular noun "problem". If you want to treat "data" as a plural, it'd be better to write "The problem with library data is that they are not as robust..."

    Or, you could just do as I do and treat "data" as a singular mass noun.

    April 19, 2011

  • I find myself imagining Library Data as an android that shooshes people on the starship Enterprise.

    July 17, 2012