Even the most grammar conscious people can still make mistakes, writes Sharon Reynolds for Hubspot. Here are the six expressions people still use incorrectly:
1. I couldn’t care less. This phrase is often swapped out for “I could care less,” indicating that it is possible for you to care less about a situation, when you are, in fact, trying to say that you don’t.
2. First-come, first-served. “First-come, first serve,” the phrase said more often, means that those who arrive first will be serving others. “First-come, first-served” means the ones who arrive first are the first to be served.
3. Whet your appetite. This phrase employs the word “whet,” as opposed to “wet” because whet means to stimulate or sharpen.
4. Home in. While the phrase “hone in” is correct in some cases, “home in” means to move toward a goal.
5. Bated breath. The incorrect spelling, “baited breath,” implies taunting or luring. “Bated breath” means to hold your breath in anticipation.
6. Peak/pique/peek. Peek means to take a quick glance at something, such as when you get a “sneak peek.” Mountains have high points, called peaks. The word pique means to upset or excite, such as when something piques your interest.
— Adapted from “Peak, Pique, or Peek? 6 Words and Phrases You Might Be Getting Wrong,” Sharon Reynolds, Hubspot.