Thursday, 6 October 2016
I try not to correct people when they say something wrong. We're human and we all get phrases muddled every now and then, especially when we're speed-talking, eager to get to the point or are clouded by emotions. But even though I don't correct them, I do notice. I notice when I say something wrong and wish I could go back and edit, as I would when I'm writing. And there are some mistakes that irk me more than others. For example: each other versus one another. (Each other = two people. One another = more than two people.) So whenever I sit in a wedding ceremony and the priest says "Do you promise to love one another..." I'm muttering "each other" under my breath.
There are also those phrases that are misused so often that people think that their version is correct. When I was a child, I used to think that the phrase was "in the walls" instead of "in the wars". (My logic: I ran into walls a lot.) This is called an eggcorn - who knew? Here's a list of some of the phrases you may have been saying wrong. You're welcome!
"For all intensive purposes"
- Should be: For all intents and purposes
(ie: In every practical sense.)
- Should be: What's plotting
(ie: What's going on.)
"Nip it in the butt"
- Should be: Nip it in the bud
(ie: Putting an end to something before it can grow.)
"First come, first serve"
- Should be: First come, first served
(The incorrect version implies that the first person who arrives will have to serve everyone else)
"The splitting image"
- Should be: The spitting image
(This comes from the Bible, when God used spit and mud to make Adam of his own image.)
"My makeup regime"
- Should be: My makeup regimen
(Regime refers to an authoritarian government.)
"It's a doggy-dog world"
- Should be: It's a dog-eat-dog world
(ie: If you don't look after yourself, you'll get taken out.)