Being a non native English speaker I regularly make pronunciation or grammar mistakes and I usually don’t mind. There is one thing I learned today though that I found amusing mostly because it is a small mistake that is commonly made by pretty much everybody (English native speakers included). It is the usage of ‘on premise’ in the context of cloud computing, as in for example: does the software run on premise or in the cloud? It should be: does the software run on premises or in the cloud?
When corrected, I initially thought it was a tomäto – tamāto (/təˈmɑːtəʊ/ – /təˈmeɪɾoʊ) thing. But after checking on dictionaries, the correction was justified, premise is not the singular of premises (when used to mean buildings).
Premises are land and buildings together considered as a property. This usage arose from property owners finding the word in their title deeds, where it originally correctly meant "the aforementioned; what this document is about", from Latin prae-missus = "placed before".
Some people suppose that since "premises" looks like a plural, a single house or other piece of property must be a "premise"; but the word "premise" is reserved for use as a term in logic meaning something assumed or taken as given in making an argument.
Of course Wikipedia had that right already: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On-premise_software
On-premise software, is a common, although incorrect name for on-premises software. On-premises software is installed and run on computers on the premises (in the building) of the person or organisation using the software, rather than at a remote facility, such as at a server farm somewhere on the internet.
Who would have thought that one day I would share proper English usage with my fellow nephologists 🙂