07 August 2012

Snuck, Brang, and Other Imaginary Things

It's time to hang my head in shame. I intended to write a post today about tricky words that aren't real, but that are often mistakenly used. I was going to get on my little bloggy soap box about such grammatical sins as "irregardless" or saying "expresso" instead of "espresso" (shudder). But then it happened: I discovered a word that I didn't know wasn't real. It's like that March evening many years ago when I was five years old and went to a local drugstore with my mother. As we walked by the large, colorful display of celophane wrapped Easter baskets, mom proudly announced to the cashier "Jenny prefers the ones that I make for her, right honey?" Her face fell as she realized her mistake, much to the cashier's amusement.

My small voice shook, "There's no Easter Bunny?"

Why didn't all those prepackaged baskets tip me off before? Had I believed that the drugstore chains put together all of the Easter baskets for the Bunny, kind of like the elves make all the toys for Santa? How did I not see the truth? That's how I feel about "preventative". It really seemed like a word, before now. I thought my health insurance didn't charge a copay for preventative visits to the doctor. As it turns out, only preventive work is covered. How did this slip by me? What else do I not know?

I hope it doesn't deliver the same kind of shock for you to learn that "snuck" is also not a word; "sneaked" is the proper term. And don't even think of saying that Santa "brang" you presents last year. He "brought" them. Now that I think of it, that Santa guy is almost as elusive as the Easter Bunny. Hmmm. It may be time for another awkward conversation with mom.

What about you? Have you ever found out that a word you use isn't real? Are there any words people use that drive you crazy? And, most importantly, how did you find out there was no Easter Bunny?


  1. You 'dun' good, Jen. I didn't know preventative was not a word either...I'm starting my day a little smarter now, thanks to you!

  2. Haha thanks Barbara, we're in this together :)

  3. 'Impactful' is a big one in my field (Graphic Design). EVERYONE uses it, so I do too. But it's not a word.

    Although I believe it's at that point where it's coming soon to a dictionary near you. . .

    1. Aha! That's another one I didn't know about. It sounds as real as preventative!

  4. If I didn't have to brang you with me to the drug store we would be staring at a blank page....so....your welcome!!