Word Errors #2

Here We Go Again

By Annette Rey

On January 15, this year, I wrote an article on an embarrassing word error I caught on a news-style television show. I’m back again with another one.

I cannot believe this even happens. This error was perpetrated by a celebrity being interviewed on, yet again, another respected, news-style television show. The context (shaded for this article) was about young people who had suffered a misfortune.

The interviewer asked a question of the celebrity who responded, “Yes, and this occurred in their formidable years. It marks them for life.”

If you have been reading this site, you have read I am a stickler for using English correctly. It will come as no surprise to you that I almost fell on the floor when I heard this.

Again, no one in editing caught this? A recording set is populated by a number of people, and the filming went on. No one called for a re-take? Heaven forbid, is it possible they thought this was right word?

And what is the correct word that should have been used?

Formative.

How hard is that?

It’s not supposed to be hard at all. And a person would expect the staff on these programs to be graduates of journalism.

Study the language and learn to use it well so you are not embarrassed, caught in a blatant error like this.

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