A Word I Use a Lot

This is a grammar and writing blog, after all, and I frequently write about mistakes, or at least about how not to make mistakes. I not infrequently use “goof” for mistake, though my serious word for a mistake is “solecism.” Here’s a definition:


1. A grammatical mistake or a nonstandard usage.
2. A breach of etiquette.
3. An error, inconsistency, or impropriety.

From Latin soloecismus, from Greek soloikismos, from soloikos (speaking incorrectly; literally, inhabitant of Soloi) after Soloi, an ancient Athenian colony in Cilicia where a dialect considered as substandard was spoken. Earliest documented use: 1577.

I’m quoting A Word a Day, a daily vocabulary lesson that I’ve plugged several times in the past. Check it out. For the home page, it’s https://wordsmith.org.

This post first appeared on The Writing Rag.