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Mispronounced and Misspelled Phrases


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Showing 1-25 of 295 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 2, 2012 3:38:54 PM PDT
PM says:
For many years I have wanted to write a book of misspelled and mispronounced phrases and words that we hear all the time, like for instance, some people say "every nick and cranny" instead of "every nook and cranny". There are literally hundreds of these that I hear and see written all the time - wish I would have been writing them down so I don't have to think of them all over again, but thought I'd start a new thread and let all you fellow Amazon posters come up with them for me! If you are like me, it drives you crazy when someone says or spells something incorrectly, so here's your chance to get it off your chest!!

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 3:45:09 PM PDT
PM says:
"The jest of the story" instead of the "The gist of the story".

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012 4:00:37 PM PDT
Annie M. says:
"Money is the root of all evil" when the full phrase is "Love of money is the root of all evil".

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 5:21:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2012 5:22:55 PM PDT
I hate it when people say or write:
"butt naked" instead of "buck naked"
"for Christ sakes" instead of "for Christ's sake"
"draws" instead of "drawers" (as in shorts)
"irregardless" instead of "regardless"
"I could care less" instead of "I couldn't care less"
"spade" or "spaded" instead of "spayed", (as in my cat is spayed because I don't want kittens)
My all time pet peeve: "your" instead of "you're" (C'mon people, you + are = you're)

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 6:00:01 PM PDT
jpl says:
athlete: two syllables
"spittin' image": spit and image
"there's" used in the plural
"impact" instead of "affect" or "influence"
"was" when the subjunctive "were" is correct

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 7:49:36 PM PDT
PM says:
I have seen a lot of funny ones over the years in want ads in the newspaper...some of them make you wonder how anyone could be that bad off. Here they are:

"Chip and Dale" chair instead of "Chippendale" chair
"Chester Drawers" instead of "Chest of Drawers"
"Henry Don" furniture instead of "Henredon" furniture
"For Sell" instead of "For Sale"
"Must Sale" instead of "Must Sell"

No...I didn't make any of these up. I actually saw them in print, and not just a few times!!

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 8:07:08 PM PDT
PM says:
"for all intensive purposes" s/b "for all intents and purposes" I admit I was guilty of this one until my husband set me straight!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 6:00:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2012 6:02:11 AM PDT
OldAmazonian says:
My two favorites are
1. A local variety store chain years ago marketed a line of vitamins under the brand "Certified." In those days, offers were displayed on an outdoor lighted panel with numbers and letters attached by hand by a store employee. Driving by one afternoon, my passenger and I were astonished to see "Cerifided Vitimans" were on sale.
2. On another drive through a poorer section of town, I noticed a small shop (about as big as a two-car garage) under its bright yellow and red, hand-painted, elevated plywood sign larger than the side of the building itself. It proudly proclaimed "JEWERLY" and remained in place for the better part of a year. No telling how many customers it garnered.

Posted on Jul 3, 2012 7:09:02 PM PDT
Coould of, would of, should of, instead of would've, could've, should've.
Hooked on phonics, anyone?

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 4:14:28 PM PDT
Pampeliska says:
I have seen this one over and over - "it peaked my interest" instead of "piqued"

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 4:36:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 4, 2012 4:39:23 PM PDT
J. Theberge says:
Better 'then' you-Than
A whole 'nother one'-Other one
'A' employee-An
And one of my favorites, 'Alot'-A lot

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 9:41:00 PM PDT
Great topic and some very interesting examples being posted.

But just remember that a a huge amount of what is repeatedly said eventually gets described and defined into the major dictionaries as it either . . .
[1] becomes accepted in common use over time [believe it or not, but some dictionaries now include "nucular" as a variant to "nuclear" - thanks Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Homer Simpson and a swag of people who over time who simply imagined that it was a correct way to say it . . . and so it has become an alternative pronunciation, a crap one, but legitimate nonetheless] or
[2] simply and quickly spreads an agreed meaning for a new word to such a widespread audience that we all start using it [e.g., gigabyte].

I used to loathe the way people called a "book" [noun] a "read" [verb] instead of just calling it a "book". What else do people generally do with books? What was so hard about saying "It was a great book" that made people start saying "It was a great read"? It just sounds so pretentious but it is now commonly used [not by me I hasten to add] and accepted [even if through the gritted teeth of those who still like the word "book"].

It's not quite the same as words that have very specific usages such as "who" and "whom". "Who" [subject of an action/verb] and "whom" [object of an action/verb] are not interchangeable . . . yet most of us will say "Who were you talking to?" rather than "To whom were you talking?" We use the former expression even when we know the latter is the "correct" thing to say, because sometimes saying the right thing sounds odd to the common ear. Same with the use of neither/nor and either/or and a long list of such words.

Some errors though are especially galling no matter who makes them because they make no sense at all, even when they are widely accepted, and can render a phrase virtually meaningless in the context it is being used. As in the example already given in bonniecarrine`s earlier post, of "I could care less" which makes no sense at all when someone means that they don't care at all. How can they care less than not caring at all . . . but still they avoid saying the sensible and correct phrase "I couldn't care less". "I could care less" can really only mean that you still do care but that you actually could care less than you currently do, which could mean that you actually care a great deal, which is a ridiculous way of saying that something is of absolutely no interest or care to you.. Amazing!

A really interesting link to look at is . . .
http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html
. . . where you can download a free text only version of the excellent book "Common Errors in English Usage" or buy the book [which I did for just on ten bucks as a kindle . . . and I recommend it].

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 9:56:38 PM PDT
Pampeliska says:
And let's not forget Jimmie Hendrick's song lyrics:
"Excuse me while I kiss the sky" that got 'somewhere along the way' turned into
"Excuse me while I kiss this guy"
(I guess this one would fall into mispronounced category :)

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 10:02:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 4, 2012 10:03:39 PM PDT
"A moot point." Often "a moot point" is used as something that is not debatable. "A moot point" actually means that an issue is subject to debate. Also, sometimes the phrase is used as "a mute point." I think a book the size of a standard dictionary could be written about the misuse of english phrases. Thank you for opening this discussion.

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 10:17:12 PM PDT
Fortunately, "nucular" has not appeared in my dictionary. Wikipedia does include it, but only as an incorrect form of "nuclear." Personally, I've never understood the difficulty with "nuclear." If one can't remember that the root of the word is "nucleus," then one should be able to think of "nuclear" as a "new clear" form of energy. What can one expect, though, when our current president (a HARVARD graduate) does not know when to use "me" or "I." SIGH....

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 11:10:54 PM PDT
Pampeliska says:
I just remembered - I used to have a roommate, that would often use the phrase "I was flustrated".
My English at that time was not that good (not my native language), so I did not think much of it.
It took me a while to realize she was fusing the descriptions "flustered" and "frustrated".

However, just now, after a brief online search, I found out that even though not ALL dictionaries list the word,
it is being used and acknowledged by others as a legitimate and exactly that - blend of flustered and frustrated.
So this being a 'moot point' :-), it does not really count as a mispronouncing, but I still found it sounding oddly weird
and would not use it in speech.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 7:04:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2012 7:15:05 AM PDT
PM says:
Pampeliska, you just reminded me of one that drives me up the wall...

"mute point" used instead of "moot point" - but after writing this I read back to an earlier post that mentioned the same error. Oops...sorry for the redundancy...guess I should read all the posts before adding one!

And you pointed something out that is relevant here with your comment on "flustrated"...a lot of new "words" have been formed recently by combining two words: like "glamping" (glamourous camping), "manscaping", "shopportunity"...which doesn't really make them incorrect, but they are not your conventional words found in a dictionary - yet. Our language is ever-evolving though. Just think of all the words that didn't even exist back 10 yrs ago like "googling". As technology changes, so goes our language.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 7:35:36 AM PDT
Maylady says:
Statistics, not stastistics. And hundred, not hunnerd. The ones that bother me most are could of, would of, should of, as mentioned above.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 8:20:17 AM PDT
PM says:
This one is rather ethnic in nature, but nonetheless annoying:

"Ask me a question" pronounced as "Axe me a quession"

Also I used to have a math professor that always pronounced "Problem" as "Prolem"...it was so distracting.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 11:15:11 AM PDT
walleye says:
Let's not forget these - it's realtor, NOT realator. Also, it's mastectomy, NOT masectomy. And it's sequin, NOT sequint (but not to be confused with sequent, which is a word). Here's one more for the horticulturists out there - it's an impatiens flower, NOT an impatients flower.

And I must agree with PM regarding the use of "axed," rather than ask. In a literal sense, if you've "axed" somebody, you've committed a rather serious crime.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 12:19:10 PM PDT
Dubba Jaans says:
"You are correct in your own castle."

"You're correct in your own castle."

Are the above phrases mean the same?

Also how is the word 'giclee' pronounced?
I have turned on the computer's speakers.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 12:44:53 PM PDT
K. Smith says:
There was an argument at a school once where I was an aide, that the phrase (said when you think someone is mistaken in their belief) "If you think (x), then you have another THINK coming." Many thought it was 'you have another THING coming. It correctly is THINK, and people have misheard it so long, they just say it wrong. I have looked it up many times, and it is and remains correct to say, 'you have another THINK coming. As in Think again, dude.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 12:52:05 PM PDT
K. Smith says:
I've never heard that used as a phrase. I suppose if you live alone, it would make sense... No one there to tell you that you are nuts. But as far as the proper use of English, they are the same. You are and You're. The second is a contraction of the first.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 12:53:20 PM PDT
K. Smith says:
Oh, and I think it sounds like a soft ...jee clay

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 1:28:34 PM PDT
PM says:
Interesting, K Smith - I had always thought it was "another thing coming". I checked on wordreference.com language forum and the consensus seems to be "another think coming" as you say, but if that is the case, my question would be: Isn't that improper English? Shouldn't it be "another thought coming"??

I still prefer "another thing coming" - it just sounds better.
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Discussion in:  Health forum
Participants:  67
Total posts:  295
Initial post:  Jul 2, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 17, 2014

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