random : Common Errors in English

About random

Kyle can choose the shirt he’ll wear for the day at random—they’re all orange. This sort of use of “at random” to mean “by chance,” is perfectly standard. (Kyle should get some new shirts, though.)Less widely accepted are a couple of slangy uses of the word, mostly by young people. In the first, “random” means “unknown,” “unidentified” as in “some random guy told me at the party that I reminded him of his old girlfriend.”The other is to use random to mean “weird,” “strange,” as in “The party at Jessica’s was so random, not what I was expecting at all!” Evidently in this expression randomness is being narrowed down to unlikelihood and that is in turn being connected with strangeness, though randomness in real life is usually quite ordinary and boring.Use of either of these two expressions in formal speech or writing is likely to annoy or confuse your audience.

random Meaning(s)

  • (a) lacking any definite plan or order or purpose; governed by or depending on chance

random in News

  1. Coroner: Derry Township stabbing likely not random

    The fatal stabbing of a Derry Township woman last week does not appear to be random, Dauphin County s coroner reported on Monday.
    on June 18, 2013 Source: Lebanon Daily News

  2. Video: Church shooting in Ogden, Utah not a random act of violence

    A man was shot in Ogden, Utah while attending a church service at St. James Catholic Church. The victim was shot in the back of the head by a suspect police have identified as Charles Richard Jennings Jr. He is the son-in-law of the victim and authorities believe the shooting was not a random act of violence. Amy Nay reports.
    on June 18, 2013 Source: CBS News

  3. Random Lake woman dies following crash near Oostburg (with video, photos)

    An 87-year-old Random Lake woman has died following a two-car crash Thursday at state Highway 32 and County Highway A, west of Oostburg, in the Town of Holland.
    on June 14, 2013 Source: Sheboygan Press

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