I know you've heard of hobgoblins. But have you heard about some of the hobgoblins in English usage? Well, they're out there. And people use them all the time. Some English scholars turn their noses up when they read them, pointing them out as incorrect usage. But what those scholarly folks may not realize is -- English usage has changed.
I'm going to use the book, Style: Ten lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams, as my guide.
Here are a few English usage hobgoblins:
Never use "like" for "as" or "as if."
Like evolved into a subordinating conjunction in the eighteenth century when some writers began to drop as from the phrase "like as," leaving just "like" to serve as the conjunction. This dropping of an element is called "elision" and is a common linguistic change.
Use "hopefully" only when the subject of the sentence in fact feels hopeful.
This rule is so entrenched in the thinking of some that it is impossible to convince them by mere reason and evidence that it has no basis in logic or grammar.
It's wrong to use it in the following case. Hopefully, the matter will be resolved soon.
But when you use it in cases where you mean "I am hopeful" it's perfectly all right such as in this case. Hopefully, it will not rain.
Never use finalize to mean "finish" or "complete."
Here's the deal, to finalize means to clean up every last detail, which is different from finish. You can finish without getting everything done.
These are just a few. Do you have know of some other English usage hobgoblins?