In conversation and on the radio, I heard the following words misused: data and nauseous. Both of those are good words, but only when used in the right way. Data is a plural noun. One speaks of “these data” or “the data are.” The singular is datum. Nauseous means a characteristic that makes us sick. If I say, “I feel nauseous,” I mean that I think that I make others ill. The correct word here is nauseated. (I wrote about this on my English quiz many months ago.)
While we’re on the subject of language, what’s going on with all of the conjugating of nouns that I hear lately. I heard an interview with someone who works on producing a play the other day. This slovenly speaker talking about the “maintenancing” of the sets. Those of us who pay attention to our words wonder why he didn’t just say maintaining. But this has been going on for a long time, I suppose. Strunk and White deplored moisturizing, noting that moistening meant the same thing.
There are days that drive an English teacher to drink. Scotch, anyone?