Are you saying these everyday phrases wrong?
Having a grasp on the English language is so important. One comma in the wrong place or slip of the tongue can give something a new meaning. A meaning undesired which could land you in hot water!
But that’s not to say it’s an easy thing to get a grasp on.
The English language can be tricky.
Homophones — words that sound alike but are spelled differently — aren’t the only trap to avoid. People often use a word in place of one that sounds similar.
These malapropisms often have the unfortunate effect of making the speaker seem ignorant.
Read below to see 11 examples of words and phrases that often come out incorrectly.
1. For all ‘intents and purposes’ — not for all ‘intensive purposes’
If you say “for all intensive purposes,” you mean “for all these very thorough purposes,” which doesn’t make any sense.
On the other hand, “for all intents and purposes” means “for all the reasons I did this and all the outcomes.” It’s a much stronger cliche.
2. Nip it in the ‘bud’ — not nip it in the ‘butt’
This phrase should imply you cut a new bud (off a plant), not bit someone in the backside.
3. One ‘and’ the same — not one ‘in’ the same
“One in the same” refers to one thing in a group of other things that look the same — meaningless. “One and the same” means that two things are alike.
4. ‘Deep-seated’ — not ‘deep-seeded’
This phrase means something is firmly fixed in place, not that it is planted deeply, as the latter implies.
5. Case ‘in’ point — not case ‘and’ point
“Case in point” means, “Here’s an example of this point I’m trying to make.” The version with “and” makes them two different things, which isn’t helpful to your argument at all.
For the record, the plural is “cases in point.”
6. Should/could/would ‘have’ — not should/could/would ‘of’
Using “of” here is just wrong. You need to pair a verb with another verb. Otherwise, people will think “of” what?
7. You’ve got another ‘think’ coming — not you’ve got another ‘thing’ coming
The phrase was originally, “If that’s what you think, you’ve got another think coming.” We just dropped the first clause. Still, this may be a case where the misuse of the phrase now seems to be more popular that the original. Even former President Obama has used “thing” instead of “think.”
8. ‘Wreak’ havoc — not ‘wreck’ havoc
To “wreck” havoc means to destroy havoc, which is the exact opposite of this phrase’s meaning. When you “wreak havoc,” you’re spreading chaos, anarchy, and destruction everywhere, which is really fun.
9. I ‘couldn’t’ care less — not I ‘could’ care less
If you “could” care less, you’re admitting there are other, less important things in world, which takes away the sting of your comment. By saying you “couldn’t” care less, that means nothing else exists on the planet that matters less you. Major burn.
10. Please ‘proceed’ — not please ‘precede’
To proceed means to move forward, while to precede means to come before.
11. ‘Supposedly’ — not ‘supposably’
“Supposably” isn’t even a word. It’s a slight but important distinction.
If you would like to learn more about the English courses we have on offer here at The Sheffield College, please click here.