Quiz: Do you misuse these phrases? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Quiz: Do you misuse these phrases?

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in Centerpiece,Office Communication,Workplace Communication

businessman with hand covering mouthWith 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 professional communication.

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.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

John Sobieski October 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm

My personal favorite: it’s “those two things don’t jibe,” not “those two things don’t jive.” Jive is a language white people don’t speak.


Rebecca October 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I would also like to express the importance of people enunciating well. Most have become so lazy when speaking, that mumbling has become the norm. TV reporters and anchors are the worst.
Internet becomes ‘innernet’
Want to becomes “wanna” or ‘wannew”
Going to becomes “gonna” or ‘goin to’
Winter becomes ‘winner’
There are too many to list.


Helen October 14, 2013 at 8:15 am

Thank you for these correct phrases! I appreciate you!


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