I have a pig on my head! How random!
A long time ago now, I wrote a post called Grammar for Bloggers. It highlighted some of the common mistakes I see in blog posts, including homonyms and homophones (those words that look the same but are pronounced differently/ said the same but are written differently: Your "their, they're, there"s and your "lose, loose"s). However, more and more I've noticed people using words that, while not exactly grammatically incorrect, are just being used in completely the wrong context. I'm pretty sure the problem is that lots of people don't realise they're making a mistake, so I'm taking those words and explaining exactly what they mean. Under each picture, I've included a common incorrect use of the word. Think of this as a dictionary for bloggers.
Randomness (which doesn't sound it should be a word but I checked with the Oxford Dictionary) is a mathematical and scientific concept. It means completely and utterly without order or decision. You can't "randomly decide" anything. In fact, you don't do anything by random. Every single thing you do is a choice. Likewise, you don't "randomly bump into" somebody. You both made a choice to go to the place where you crossed paths, even if it was a coincidence. Oh, and don't get me started on "How random!" when reacting to something unusual.
If you're talking about something happening out of the blue: "Spontaneous" (spontaneously), "unexpected" (unexpectedly), "impromptu" ("We made an impromptu visit to...")
If you're talking about something strange: "Bizarre", "odd", "unusual"... You get the picture.
I love MAC's infamous Candy Yum Yum!
Infamous is not a positive adjective. It means being famous for the wrong reasons. When you describe Snow Fairy as "the infamous Christmas shower gel", you're telling us it's an awful product and everybody knows it which, as all beauty bloggers will know, is completely untrue!
"Cult" pretty much means exactly what you're trying to say ("Benefit's cult mascara They're Real"). However, you could also use "popular", "renowned" or, you know, just "famous".
I'll defiantly return to Edinburgh!
I blame autocorrect for this one so it's not really the blogger's fault. You type in "definatly" and, yeah, it's not spelled correctly but that's ok because your iPhone knows exactly what you're trying to say. Except it doesn't. I know you mean "definitely", everybody else knows you mean "definitely", but iPhone thinks you mean "defiantly", another word for "stubbornly". If you say "I'm defiantly going to come back to this restaurant", you're probably not going to be stomping in there with your nose in the air.
If "definitely" really trips you up, try using words such as "absolutely", "certainly", or "undoubtedly".
I literally cry my eyes out whenever I watch Harry Potter.
If something is literally happening, it means it is actually happening. For real. No exaggerating. It is absolutely, one hundred percent, no-doubts-about-it happening. If you say "I literally live in Topshop", it means Topshop is your home. Which probably isn't true. Unless you're a dress.
Just don't say anything, or maybe try something like "practically" or "might as well be". If you want to be really pedantic, you could say "figuratively" or "metaphorically" but, come on, not even I'm that much of a tool!
Yummy! I love macaroons!
Oh God, the macaroon saga. A macaroon is a coconut-flavoured lumpy biscuit. Since you're a blogger, and all twee and whatnot, you're probably talking about the pastel-coloured French confectionery, macarons. One "o", not two. Trust me, it makes all the difference.
Just use "macaron" because, you know, that's what you're talking about. Unless you're actually talking about macaroons but, in my experience, bloggers very rarely do.
I know I'm a pedant but let's face it, most bloggers want their writing to be the best it can be. Hopefully I've taught at least somebody a thing or two!