Commonly Misused Words: Cobblestones

May 31, 2007: Issue 190

A cobblestone is naturally rounded. It’s smaller than a boulder but larger than a pebble, and it’s often used in paving.

Stones that have been cut or artificially shaped are not cobblestones. Neither are stones with sharp edges. Try these alternatives: natural-stone pavers, flagstones, stone-look pavers.

Redundancies—again: Many of you must get cranky when you do your banking. We asked for common redundancies that irritate you, and the two most often mentioned—by a landslide—were “PIN number” and “ATM machine.” Avert your eyes when you claim baggage at the Des Moines airport, or you’re likely to catch sight of an offending sign above the ATM.

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