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Mispronounced and Misspelled Phrases


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Posted on Jul 17, 2014 2:41:59 PM PDT
PM says:
I forgot about this discussion thread, even though I was the one that started it! Life gets busy I guess. Glad to see you all have been keeping it alive and adding some new grammatical pet peeves. I have a couple of annoying mispronunciations to add: "gleam" instead of "glean" as in "What did you gleam (s/b glean) from the discussion?" And "exponentially" pronounced "expidentially". Drives me batty!!

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 2:36:46 PM PDT
~S~ says:
Not phrases, but wrong. Very wrong-
"Hundrit" instead of hundred. (spoken)
"Seckint" instead of second. (spoken)
"Leery" instead of leary. (written)
The endlessly annoying "fab" instead of fabulous. (both spoken & written)

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 2:27:32 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 17, 2014 2:35:37 PM PDT]

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 10:01:26 PM PDT
Go/went missing is grammatically incorrect and I find it irksome. I think it is an earworm.

I wish the cliche "on board" would get cast OVERboard, never to return.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2013 7:05:43 PM PDT
John Bonavia says:
Oh yes indeed! And just to complete the point - the 've stands for HAVE. "I would HAVE done something." It's a case of the sound leading people astray if they don't have a good grasp of the language.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2013 6:30:51 PM PDT
K. Smith says:
Good Catchat! Bugs me too! Oh dear! 'Bugs me' could bug somebody.

Posted on Jul 21, 2013 6:06:59 PM PDT
CatChat says:
haven't read all these pages so if someone has already addressed this one then I'm sorry. for me one of my biggest pet peeves is when people write things like "they should OF done that" or "I would OF done something". people it's not OF... it's should've and would've. I know it's not too common, but it's common enough of the amazon forums.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2013 6:22:58 AM PDT
John Bonavia says:
Oh, thanks for reminding us of the excellent term "earworm!" So descriptive.
One I've seen a few times is a confusion between "exacerbate" and "exaggerate." You can often tell when someone is proudly bringing out a "big word" - especially when they get it wrong.

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 10:21:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 24, 2013 9:51:52 PM PDT
President Harding helped with the "dumbing down" process by mispronouncing normalacy.

Another lost cause is when people say "aggravate" when they mean "agitate." Aggravate means to make worse, as in "ragweed aggravated his allergies" whereas agitate means to rile or stir up, i.e. "she was quite agitated when she got the bad news at work." I find it an earworm to hear people say that they or someone else was "aggravated" or something was "aggravating" when agitate is the word they really mean!

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 2:50:22 PM PDT
K. Smith says:
Oh PM, that is so depressing. I got a Masters in teaching in the 1990's, and everything was 'Whole Language' They said there was no use teaching much spelling, because of "spell check", and phonics in the early years was out the window. I talked to a college professor at the time and she asked me what was going on, because so many kids needed remedial help when they hit the local college. I retired in 2002, so I don't know what is happening lately.

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 10:10:35 AM PDT
PM says:
K. Smith...I went to Catholic schools as well, from kindergarten through 12th grade in the 60's to early 70's, and I feel it provided me with a better foundation of the basics - English, Math, Spelling and Grammar. I owe a lot to the fantastic 4th grade English teacher I had - she was amazing and we learned so much from her. Contrast that to one of my son's elementary (pub school) teachers in the early 90's. On a homework assignment he had to fill in the past-tense of each word on a list. Next to the word "steal" he correctly wrote "stole". When she graded the paper and returned it she had marked out his answer "stole" in red ink and "corrected" it with "STOLD"!! I was astounded and could not believe a teacher could be so illiterate. With teachers like that it's no wonder the "dumbing down of America" has worked so well!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2013 8:53:41 AM PDT
John Bonavia says:
BB1964, I think "lay" and "lie" is pretty much a lost cause - I see and hear "lay" everywhere when it should be "lie." Even a column a while ago in The Boston Globe, of all places, casually disparaged "those who think there is a difference between 'lay' and 'lie'." Like you, I hate those messes that erode the structure of language. It's exactly as if a fine statue is losing its definition as the material crumbles at the edges.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2013 8:47:36 AM PDT
John Bonavia says:
Hi K.S. - I did Latin in the English "public school" ( means "private school") system. Not to any super-advanced level, but enough to be helpful in understanding the derivations of many words. Of course, so many decades later, I've forgotten a lot! but some key words remain.
Thanks to all who liked the "Latin lesson!"

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 8:58:27 PM PDT
Misuse if whom is commonplace. Who is to he as whom is to him.

Who did this? He did.

Return this to whom you borrowed it. I borrowed it from him.

Lay and lie are often used interchangeably. Lay is to place, as in he lay the books on the table. Always think of lay and place and you'll keep these words in place!

Ask and axe are NOT related in correct usage or in meaning. ASK is to question; phrase as a question. Ask anything you want. I asked him when he was coming over.

Ask is a verb. AXE is an implement used to chop. You can have an axe to grind; you can fell trees with an axe. You ASK questions; you don't AXE them!

John, I loved that mini Latin lesson. That was very interesting.

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 4:57:33 PM PDT
K. Smith says:
Oh, I address this to John!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 4:56:35 PM PDT
K. Smith says:
Happy to hear your Latin references! I went to Catholic schools in the '50, '60 and we did those sorts of word hunts for fun and extra points! How did you learn the joy of words?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 3:44:45 PM PDT
PM says:
That's so interesting, John, how all those terms are derived from the latin word for "sit". It really helps with spelling when you know the root word the term is derived from. Also "loquor" - "I speak". Never knew that. Our language makes so much more sense when you know the Latin word it is based on. Thanks for sharing with us.

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 3:35:27 PM PDT
PM says:
We have many government customers who refer to their "fiscal year" as their "physical year". So at our office we have taken to jokingly referring to it as the "physical year" now as well. Maybe that's how these incorrect pronunciations corrupt mainstream language.

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 3:29:47 PM PDT
John Bonavia says:
And if we're into Latin anyway, how about that whole family that derive from "sedere," to sit. Session, sediment, sedentary, sessile, preside, dissident, sedate.... and that's why it's "supersede" not "supercede" - something sits on top of something else.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2013 3:16:08 PM PDT
John Bonavia says:
Yeah - the question whether to correct or not is always tricky!

Your mention of "eloquent" reminds me of an occasion when someone at work said "I learned a new word today - 'colloquial' " and defined it correctly, all the time giving me a sort of look to see if I had any comment, since I was known as being a "words guy." I was so surprised that anyone didn't know "colloquial" - just an everyday word to me - that I didn't say anything.

I thought later, the answer could have been "Yes, it's one of the many words that derive from Latin "loquor", "I speak," like colloquy, eloquent, locution, elocution, loquacious, interlocutor..." (there may be more but I can't think of them now.) Don't know what the reaction would have been....

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 3:11:05 PM PDT
Sportscasters are the worst - the other day I heard one talking about how so many good baseball players come from a certain area of Virginia, and he said "there's quite a dearth of good players from Norfolk" - meaning exactly the opposite. And later another guy was saying that the All Star League matters to any team "that has aspersions of going to the World Series"!
As a friend of mine said, "They misspeak all the time, it's irksome because--what are they getting paid for, except to speak?"

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 7:01:30 AM PDT
PM says:
That's a good one John Bonavia...a mistake I've made myself "hone in". My husband and I were talking about a speech he has to give soon, and he was saying he's not an "elegant speaker". I quickly corrected him saying the term is "eloquent speaker" and of course he didn't appreciate me correcting him, as I always feel compelled to do, but I really hope he doesn't slip and say that again. He's an educated person, but his grammar and vocabulary are not so good...I think he must have been daydreaming looking out the window during grade school when we learn these things!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2013 6:23:39 PM PDT
John Bonavia says:
Strictly(?) speaking, it's knickers "in a twist" rather than "twisted," but nice reply...

Here's another one I've seen too often lately" "hone in" on something. It's HOME in. after all, "hone" is to sharpen, put an edge on, nothing to do with the idea of moving in to a center, coming towards "home."

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2013 11:45:52 AM PDT
OldAmazonian says:
Do you get your knickers twisted when you hear it?

Posted on Jul 14, 2013 4:25:42 PM PDT
I'm English and I just HATE the word "knackered," meaning tired. I just HATE that bloody word SO MUCH!
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Discussion in:  Health forum
Participants:  67
Total posts:  295
Initial post:  Jul 2, 2012
Latest post:  14 days ago

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