With today’s heavy reliance on text messaging and email for communication, it’s important to have strong writing skills. And it’s also essential to know how to use words and phrases correctly in.
Many misuses have become so common they are now included in some dictionaries, but they once had correct usages. Freelance writer Dominique Jackson offers a list of phrases you might be saying wrong:
- Nip it in the bud. It’s not “nip it in the butt.”
- I couldn’t care less. The commonly used “I could care less” actually means that you do care a little.
- One and the same. “One in the same” doesn’t even make sense.
- You’ve got another think coming. Notice you have a “think” coming, not a “thing.” While “thing” does make sense here, it’s not correct.
- Each one worse than the last. It can’t be worse than the next because the next hasn’t happened yet.
- By accident. “On accident” is incorrect.
- Statute of limitations. There’s no such thing as a “statue” of limitations.
- For all intents and purposes. It’s not “all intensive purposes.”
- He did well. It’s not “he did good.” A person is good, they do well.
- Exact revenge. You don’t “extract revenge.”
- Alzheimer’s disease. It’s neither “old timer’s” nor “Altimer’s” disease.
- I’m giving you leeway. “Leadway” isn’t even a real word.
- What’s your opinion, guys? “What’s your guyses opinion” is just wrong.
- A memento is a keepsake. “Momento” is a Spanish word.
- Regardless. Making it “irregardless” means “without regard,” a double negative.
- Sort of. “Sorta” is lazy and makes you sound like a teenager.
- Conversing. When you’re talking with someone, you’re not “conversating” because that’s not a word.
- Scot free. It’s neither “Scott free” nor “scotch free.”
- Make a 180-degree change. A 360-degree change will take you back where you started.
- Curl up in the fetal position. It’s not curl up in the “feeble position.”
- Faze means to disrupt. A “phase” is a period of time.
- Home in on. It’s not “hone in on.”
- Brothers-in-law. “Brother-in-laws” is incorrect.
— Adapted from “25 Common Phrases That You’re Saying Wrong,” Dominique Jackson, Lifehack.