What is an example of hypercorrection in the English language?

1 Answer

See below for examples:


Hypercorrection - what is it? It's what happens when rules of grammar and language are misapplied, over applied, or otherwise used in a way that tries to create correct usage of the English language and thereby gets it wrong.

As an example, I used to listen to talk radio and this one guy, who prided himself on how smart he was and how he was brilliant with the English language, used to start his show by saying "It is I!" - which is absolutely horrible English but he was hypercorrecting what he thought was an undesirable pronoun (the object "me") and exchanging it for what he thought was a more preferable pronoun (the subject "I").

Another example can be found in this exchange:

"How often do you go to the post office?"


The word "seldom" is an adverb - it modifies or tells us more about the verb "go". And adverbs often, but not always, end in "-ly". So sometimes writers think that all adverbs need to end in "-ly" and so stick those letters on the end of words that don't need them.

There are many other types of hypercorrection - the link below will show you the ones I've identified and many more.