May 17, 2012

Coffee Talk: Misused Idioms

I promise that I won't use all of my Thursday Thoughts as my venting day for language and/or correct grammar. As you recall, last Thursday I had written a post on mispronounced words. As I was writing this post, I was also thinking about misused idioms. I figured that I would save them for this week's post.

In the future I will discuss other issues/thoughts...

But today, here it goes...

Misused idioms are awful. I feel that the reasons reading is so important is that it allows you to see how things should be spelled, and the proper use of homonyms. If you're not sure what a homonym is, please go to this site--it gives great examples. 

Below are some of the most commonly misused idiomatic expressions.

  •  All intents and purposes Should not be stated as All intensive purposes.
  • Waiting with bated breath Should not be spelled as baited. Baited means something that has bait on it.
  • By a hair's breadth is commonly misspelled as hair's breath. Hair doesn't breathe.
  • Dog eat dog world means something competitive, ruthless...this idiom is always mispronounced as dog e dog.
  • Lo and behold Not Low and behold. Yes I know that the word Lo has fallen out of use, however, the correct term is Lo and behold, with Lo meaning look.
  • Wreaking havoc is actually pronounced as reek; meaning cause.
  • Free rein Not Free reign. Reign means to rule. This phrase came from allowing horses to a loose or free rein; which is the opposite of being kept on a short leash.
  • Couldn't care less is correct. I could care less is not; it means you do care because it is possible for you to care less.
Below are not exactly idioms, but I wanted to add them. That way I won't have another post next Thursday around the same language/speaking expressions.

  • Rack your brain Not Wreck your brain or rake your brain.
  • Spitting image Not Splitting image.
  • Whet your appetite Not Wet your appetite. Whet actually means to stimulate. The term means to encourage an appetite.
Annnd now I end this post with my outfit I wore today...well my after work outfit.

Have a great night!


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  1. lol! this post makes me laugh bc i get so irritated when ppl misuse some of those sayings :-/ on another note, LOVE your outfit...lookin' good miss corie ;-)


  2. LOL...

    I love the pink and purple.

  3. Out of everything, I think "spliting image" is the one that bothers me the most. I think that's because it's the one I hear the most because my son is a spitting image of his father. LOL!

    Cute outfit! Love the purple and the pink!

  4. AnonymousJuly 07, 2013

    It's actually "wrack your brain," not "rack your brain."

  5. Writing is an art form that reaches a multitude of people from all walks of life, different cultures, and age group. As a writer, it is not about what you want. slang words in english


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