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submariner's avatar

What are some examples of common expressions that people tend to get wrong?

Asked by submariner (4160points) December 23rd, 2011

Correct / Incorrect and makes you look ignorant:
“one and the same” / “one in the same”
“for all intents and purposes” / “for all intensive purposes”
“it’s a dog-eat-dog world” / “its a doggy dog world”

I’m seeing things like this too often in jellies’ writing. What are some other examples we should be aware of?

Sorry if this has been done before.

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25 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

I couldn’t care less > I could care less.

mangeons's avatar

More of a word than a saying, but many people say irregardless when it’s really just regardless.

ragingloli's avatar

“raising the question” > “begging the question”

augustlan's avatar

“Could of/should of” for “could have/should have”.
“Loose” when they really mean “lose”.

gailcalled's avatar

This is a true fact.
I could of done…
That’s where it’s at.
OK me and my boyfriend have been together for six days,
Between she and I….

filmfann's avatar

Card shark instead of the correct Card Sharp.
It has been wrongly used so much, it is now considered correct!

filmfann's avatar

Literally is often used when people mean Virtually.

mangeons's avatar

“Suppose to” and “use to” instead of “supposed to” and “used to”.

filmfann's avatar

The expression Fitfully Funny is also misused.
It doesn’t mean you laugh yourself into a fit. It means it is occasionally funny.

ETpro's avatar

Haven’t you already axed this question?

laineybug's avatar

@augustlan “do not loose your ticket voucher”!

Blackberry's avatar

“My heart is literally broken.” Uh, no it’s not.

AshlynM's avatar

I agree with loose when they really mean lose. I see this error way too often and it’s irritating.

wilma's avatar

A tough road to hoe / A tough row to hoe. As in a row of crops in a field, who hoes roads?

Male's avatar

I’ve seen a lot of problems with further and farther usage.

Assuming measurement is a physical distance…
Incorrect: How much further…?
Correct: How much farther…?

rojo's avatar

He stood hands and feet above the rest…....

Bellatrix's avatar

The media coverage of that story was bias… instead of biased.

This is an Australian thing and I haven’t seen it here but the use of the word versus.

“Manchester City VERSED Manchester United”. Or “We are versing the local soccer team this week”.

Wasn’t ‘It’s a doggy dog world’ a joke from Modern Family?

Blondesjon's avatar

You’re wrong @Blondesjon and I don’t think you’ve had near enough to drink.

TypoKnig's avatar

For what it’s worth, “I could care less” is not incorrect. It’s a sarcastic recasting of the original phrase “I couldn’t care less.” Compare “I should be so lucky” or “tell me about it.”

morphail's avatar

Eggcorns are interesting

jca's avatar

I hear people saying “laxadaisical” all the time. The word lax and the word lackidaisical are different.

SmashTheState's avatar

“Tow the line.” Where are you towing it, pray tell?

“Quantum leap.” A quantum is, by definition, the smallest possible division of measurement. Quantum teleportation is instantaneous, with no motion between here and there. When “quantum leap” was originally coined, it clearly therefore meant, “sudden instantaneous movement from here to there, with no intermediary steps.” From context, people assumed it meant “a very large distance.”

“Hopefully” when what one really means is “I hope.” What verb is “hopefully” modifying?

The one which really irritates the living fuck out of me is, ”...big of a deal.” Why do people insist on adding an “of” to this? I see and hear this constantly, and it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.

TypoKnig's avatar

@SmashTheState Using words like “hopefully” as sentence adverbs (aka disjuncts) is entirely standard and have been for hundreds of years, even if a few grammar fascists have decided to dislike it in the last 50. As for “big of a deal,” it’s just an emerging idiom that follows the example of the entirely standard “much of a.”

filmfann's avatar

Head over heels.
I won’t say that this expression has been bastardized over the years. By my quick study online, I cannot find an alternate usage that makes sense.
When isn’t your head over your heels?
If you are truly spun on someone, shouldn’t it be heels over head?

ETpro's avatar

@filmfann I’ve often wondered about that., and the only logical answer I car grasp is that you are absolutely right, heels over head makes sense for being wildly in love. Head over heels makes sense for walking. Maybe the phrase in its current meaning originated with foot fetishists. :-)

@SmashTheState I have to take exception with calling “Toe the line” poor usage, as well. It is a long-standing idiom for conforming to standards. The origin isn’t totally clear, but it goes back at least till times when members of the British Parliament routinely wore swords at their sides in the chamber. Here is more on the meaning and possible derivation.

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