Interesting observation, but I actually still think I am right. From Oxford dictionary online........"There is a distinction in meaning between infer and imply."
There is a critical distinction, but the other poster is right. While the words can certainly describe the same event, the speaker/writer implies, and the listener/reader infers. Think of it as giving versus receiving. You can't "infer" something by "writing" it.
Affect and effect are often mixed up as well, often by educated people.
I am frequently amused by the thought that someone having an higher education means they have to know every grammar rule. Maybe they can do advanced mathematical equations that others would not even dream existed. Being smart about something does not mean you automatically are smart about everything.
Not saying errors are OK on professional documents, just saying the comments about 'and they have a masters' some how makes it shocking that they do not know the nuances of the language. If their masters was in English then sure, it would just be wrong. Knowing enough to easily communicate does not equal dissecting the oddities of our language.
One that I've not seen mentioned is when someone writes:
"My horse is colicing!!" or "My *pone coliced!!" The verb form of colic is colicking/colicked.
Would you go picnicing? No: "One time my friend and I picniced at that lake." No. You picnicked at that lake. Verb form of picnic is picnicking/picnicked.
*When grown people "baby-talk spell" ~ pone for pony, or worse donk, for donkey. Pone is cornbread. Donk is not a word. Please lose the cutsey; it's gagging me.
Many great points being discussed herein. May I add a random comment or two?
Mr. Frugal uses a line when discussing charitable works with certain boards: "Doing well by doing good". Discuss.
Many years ago, long before the internet took over our world, Yankee magazine had an article about regionalisms. Part of it was a quiz that would list regional names for various things. We've mentioned soda/ tonic/ pop/ coke, but what do you call the thing you carry water in? Is a pail or a bucket? There were perhaps 20 items, as I recall. But the answer key could identify your place of upbringing to within 100 miles. It would be fun to see if that has been updated and if the specificity of regionalisms has changed.
And lest I forget, "piss ant" might also be derived from the Elizabethan English "pismire": aka ants, whose nests were considered to smell like urine back then and later called piss ants. If so, returning G.I.s picked the term up from the British troops rather than the French.
They don't call me frugal for nothing.
Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.
My message to these people, delivered from the lofty heights of my newly acquired mavenhood, is this: stop beating up on yourselves. It's only a grammatical error, not a drive-by shooting. Words are wonderful, but they're not sacred. And between you and I (aha!), nobody's perfect.
I have a confession. I pretty much write for a living. Everything I write - whether legal briefs or articles - is edited. Sometimes heavily. Out of hundreds of things I've written, I can count on one hand the ones that didn't come back with corrections. It's okay. I didn't kill anyone or break any laws or even get myself fired.
Hey. I happen to very much enjoy consuming escargots. And I will add, so does my Jack Russell Terror who wanders the yard searching endlessly under the vinca for crunchy treats (yes he eats the shells too). BTW it is the same snail but I don't harvest my own for cooking!
I see your point, but "well" can also mean "right or proper," and I believe that in this sense "well wishes" is grammatical. We can agree to disagree, however. My copy of Fowler is in my office--will check it tomorrow to see if he weighs in on this.
Of course, then there is that camp that would argue that "well" can also be considered a noun (a state of being, in this case a good one), which would change all the labels again. . . .
"And now . . .off to violin-land, where all is sweetness and delicacy and harmony and there are no red-headed clients to vex us with their conundrums."
I've always loved grammar (French grammar, in my case! Oh so tricky!) and languages, even as a kid, I loved dictations, I loved it when we had to map out / analyze sentences, I loved it all!
From someone who quietly corrects printed signs sporting wayward apostrophes and misspelled words, this thread is like a siren call I cannot resist. While I would agree language is indeed fluid, is the only alternative to allow it to deteriorate into a willy nilly soup of letters, without proper form or function?
This is something up with which we cannot put!
As for those who say they "could care less", perhaps they mean to say they "could NOT care less" about this thread.
Do the people who spell lunge as longe or lounge pronounce it the way they spell it? Never quite understood longe, and lounge is just completely wrong. Never heard of longe before about 5 years ago... just seems pretentious.