mash/press or push

This is an error that may get me some nasty letters from my fellow Southerners. It involves the usage of the word mash. Having grown up in the southern United States, I have become accustomed to hearing the word mash used in sentences such as, “Mash the button on the elevator.” However, the best word to use for this sentence would be press. Mash means “to crush,” but press means “to act on with a steady force,” “to bear heavily down on,” or “to squeeze or compress.” Just remember that you mash potatoes, but you press buttons.

Posted in Word Choice.

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