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I Don’t “Like” When “Such as” Isn’t Used

The Los Angeles Times is one of the nation’s top newspapers, so imagine my surprise when today I read a brief about three states vowing to ignore parts of the No Child Left Behind Act. Unfortunately, whoever wrote this didn’t name the three states. The writer only said “states like Idaho, Montana and South Dakota…”

In this case, like means “similar to.” So which states are similar to these three? I would guess Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota, but I really don’t know. Like I said, the writer doesn’t tell us.

Oh, but you believe he/she did? It’s a common mistake to use “like” in this way. The correct choice is such as, which refers to something specific. These three states are specific.

You see, even the top professionals get it wrong now and then.

Until next time! Use the right words!


July 23, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

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