Real World Language Mistakes, Volume 5

How’s your Geography?

Sunday Times, Travel supplement, 24/11/2013:The article featured a holiday to the Amalfi Coast on Italy’s Tyrrhenian Sea. The writer was describing – in the present tense to bring the reader into the moment, so to speak – the villa in which
the family had stayed : ‘… with views across to Positano. Twisting steps lead down to the Adriatic [sic] (Sea).’


The Irish Times, 07/12/2013: Re: Soccer World Cup Draw in Brazil‘Mr Blatter made a none-to-subtle appeal for no repeat of the protests that overshadowed last year’s …’

The words to, too and two are frequently misused.

two: refers to the number 2

too: means

  • also, as in ‘I’m going too.’
  • extremely, as in ‘I’m too tired.’
  • more than is required as in, ‘There are too many children on the bus.’

to: is used practically everywhere else as in… to the shop, …from one to
six, … about to leave, … to be or not to be, …must show my medal to
my cousins, etc.

My two cousins and I were too young to go to school on our own, too.

By the way, Mr Blatter’s appeal was, indeed, none-too-subtle.

Don’t be late!

A sign on the door of a restaurant in University College Cork reads:

Opening Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 18 p.m.

(Write either 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or 08:30 to 18:00.)

Of all the mistakes to make . . .!

An event called Stars, Choirs and Carols was held in Croke Park in Dublin on 19/12/2013. The
concert was an attempt to break the record – for inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records – for the
number of carol singers performing together in one venue. Due to a change in the stage location, the
original tickets were dispensed with and new ones were issued instead. Written on the new ticket was:
‘The organisers of [sic] asked us to seat you in a new position to ensure that you have a full view of events.’

(‘The organisers have asked us …’)

Half and halve!

A large advertising billboard in a field adjacent to the motorway between Cork and Dublin reads:

In this case, the noun half was incorrectly used instead of the verb halve.

You’ll never beat the Irish!

The Irish (language) word for an Irish-language school is gaelscoil.

According to, the damage caused to an Irish-language school in the post-Christmas
(2013) storm resulted from ‘gael-force winds’. This misspelling could easily blow up a gale!