Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hear here

A woman on an Indianapolis nostalgia Facebook group last week opined that patients at a closed mental hospital were probably put out onto the street “to fin for themselves.”

That got me thinking about people using mis-heard words and expressions and cluttering up the spoken language with stupid utterances that could have been avoided if they read more.

Like saying “high tit” when the expression is “hind tit.”

Or saying “would of” instead of “would have.”

A few minutes of Googling turned up this list culled from various sources:

"Different tack," not "different tact"

The tack in this case is the direction in which a ship is travelling. It's not an abbreviation for "tactic."

"Moot point," not "mute point"
"Taking up the reins," not "taking up the reigns"

The expression is about riding a horse, not about forcing your mother to abdicate so you can rule the kingdom.

"Eke out," not "eek out"

"Beyond the pale," not "beyond the pail"

The meaning is clear — something that's generally unacceptable — but the origin isn't. This has nothing to do with the color of your skin or where a bucket might be located on your property. Here's the origin per the Macquarie Dictionary:

In English history, a fence around a territory and by extension the limit to which a jurisdiction extended; hence the Irish Pale, the part of Ireland ruled by the English in the 14th century and in which English law held sway. Anyone living beyond this boundary was thought to be beyond the bounds of civilization.

"Mine of information," not "mind of information"

"Just deserts," not "just desserts"

"Wait with bated breath," not "wait with baited breath"

No, your breath doesn't stink like fish while you're waiting. Bated in this case is the shortened form of abate, meaning to lessen or withdraw.

"Due respect," not "do respect"

"For all intents and purposes," not "for all intensive purposes"

“Toe the line,” not “Tow the line”

“Shoo-in,” not “Shoe-in”

Different kinds of errors:

"To beg the question" means to assume a fact that has not been established. It does not mean "to prompt the question."

"Uninterested" means not interested.

"Disinterested" means impartial.

"Irregardless" does not exist.

"Discreet" means having or showing discernment or prudence.

"Discrete" means separate.

“If I had known,” not “If I would have known.”

"Supposebly" does not exist. The word is "supposedly".

You don't cut off your nose "despite" your face. You do it "to spite" your face.

"Hunger pangs" not "hunger pains"

"Powers that be," not "powers to be"

"Buck naked," not "butt naked"

“Take it for granted,” not “Take if for granite.”

“You've got another think coming,” not “You've got another thing coming.”

“Espresso,” not “Expresso.”

“Losing,” as in, I'm losing. Often written as “loosing.”

“Et cetera,” not "eckcetra/ect."

Ensure/Insure - Ensure: Make certain of something. One must ensure that one has one's wallet before leaving the house.

Insure: Buy insurance coverage for. Insure your car before you drive it.

And the list goes on and on…

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