No one was born perfect when it comes to language. We say one thing when we mean entirely another. We mix up words, add endings, and pretend it’s all fine. Well, not quite.

You see, even though some phrases roll off the tip of the tongue as if they were almost identical, it doesn’t mean they are. From hunger pains to hunger pangs and sleight of hand to slight of hand, there are too many common phrases that are way more confusing than they really should be.

So this time, we’re gonna look at the most common mistakes we make when using these phrases, and hopefully, learn something that would have made our English teachers proud.

#1

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Tabitha L
Community Member
1 month ago

This one makes me nuts. The incorrect version means the opposite of the intent.

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#2

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Daniel Lewis
Community Member
1 month ago

It is obvious htat many people do a 360 degree change in their lives.

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#3

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Martha Meyer
Community Member
1 month ago

I've never seen the incorrect version. That's just dumb!

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We all have that one phrase or two (or too many) that pop into the conversations we have with people. These go-to expressions surely add some style to whatever we’re saying unless they’re used the wrong way.

But the more we use them, the more unaware we become of these repetitive language slip-ups. And honestly, our interlocutors are often unaware of the fact as well. Think of how many times you've heard someone say “I could care less.” In fact, this means the exact opposite as meant by the right usage “I couldn’t care less.”

Other common phrases people confuse very often are “tongue and cheek” (should be tongue in cheek), “for all intensive purposes” (should be “for all intents and purposes”), “another thing coming” (the right way is “another think coming.”)

#4

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H Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

This one annoys me, seems like a typically American issue. I think it probably comes from mishearing 'it was AN accident'

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#5

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Dennis Michael
Community Member
1 month ago

The word "buck" refers to a male native american indian. The phrase "buck naked" comes from the fact that back in the early days (pre 1900) male indians would be seen riding their horses to a river or stream to bathe or do what ever, and would be totally naked on the horse. White people would see them and thus the phrase "Buck naked" was born.

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#6

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Finally. Thank you. AMEN. English isn't my family's first language on one side, and I've spent a lifetime explaining these things. I feel so happy I'm not alone....

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Even though the misused phrases may be annoying to some sharp-eared listeners, they are never harmful or intentional.

But there are some common phrases that can never work in any conversation and they can definitely turn your encounter sour. For example, saying “you look good for your age,” “this might sound stupid, but…” or “you’re so…” this and that, can be interpreted in a bad way.

So in the end, it’s never really about language and grammar, but rather the content and the way you say it that really matters in a fruitful and pleasant conversation.

#7

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Ever see my mom after an espresso? EXpresso ain't a bad description...

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#8

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Jasmine Donald
Community Member
1 month ago

lol nip a butt....how does it taste?

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#9

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Lance d'Boyle
Community Member
1 month ago

The term has nothing to do with the Scotts. It comes from old Scandinavian 'skatt fri', which means 'tax free'.

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#10

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Tabitha L
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't think I've ever heard this incorrect version.

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#11

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Hope Floats
Community Member
1 month ago

I've heard this saying, but I've never seen "sleight" spelt this way.. (And I'm from the UK)... I would always write 'slight'.. (Sleight is too much like sleigh..)

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#12

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onitsuka
Community Member
1 month ago

I've seen people write and assume it was "pick" my interest

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#13

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Tabitha L
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm sure there are some people who feel like "ex-patriots" right now.

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#14

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Katrina B.
Community Member
1 month ago

This one is misleading though because they are pronounced the same way. If you're saying them at least.

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#15

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Luke N
Community Member
1 month ago

I always thought it described an easy penning. Say of sheep. No need to herd them into the pen, just give them a shoo and they go in by themselves.

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#16

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CLG
Community Member
1 month ago

Although you CAN say "give someone a piece of your mind," meaning chew them out.

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#17

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Robert Thornburrow
Community Member
1 month ago

Gets confusing when you get possessive. My brother-in-law's car is the car belonging to my brother-in-law, but what would you say for all the cars belonging to multiple brothers-in-law? My brothers-in-law's cars?

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#18

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H Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

Wait uno momento.....

Red rockin lobster
Community Member
1 month ago

really it's un momento

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Amy Pattie
Community Member
1 month ago

Momento sounds like a Harry Potter spell suffix

Daniela Grünen
Community Member
1 month ago

You mean Arresto Momentum 🤷🏻‍♀️👏🏻

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tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, in English anyway

JessG
Community Member
1 month ago

Okay okay people, this is about the English language! So, no, it ISN’T a word

Azziza
Community Member
1 month ago

This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.

Torchicachu
Community Member
1 month ago

memento mori

Joan Bohlmann
Community Member
1 month ago

momento is a word. it means moment in spanish.....

Noel Benavente
Community Member
1 month ago

Momento is moment in spanish...

Stefania Torres
Community Member
1 month ago

Momento en español ¿Cómo que no es una palabra?

ƒιѕн
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes it is.

Pedro Torres
Community Member
1 month ago

Un Momento Por Favor! It is a word, just not english.

Musokan Bologna
Community Member
1 month ago

In Italian is un momento, not uno momento!

H Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, it was just a joke, I don't speak any Latin languages :)

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Edmund Saldivia
Community Member
1 month ago

It is in Spanish.

giovanna
Community Member
1 month ago

Momento is a word in Italian. Memento is a word in Latin: it's the imperative form of "remember"

Nor
Community Member
1 month ago

Momento is a word... in Portuguese. It means: Moment. :-)

Valentina Lattante
Community Member
1 month ago

Latin, not English

Bee Jairrels
Community Member
1 month ago

Bruh momento

urszulat
Community Member
1 month ago

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Momento has become so common that it's now considered a variant of memento.

Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
1 month ago

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I feel like we should not trust the person who wrote this post.

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#19

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Kristin Ingersoll
Community Member
1 month ago

But what about Free Rain???

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#20

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Martha Meyer
Community Member
1 month ago

A lot of people online seem to be unable to correctly use superlatives.

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#21

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Jasmine Donald
Community Member
1 month ago

never heard the incorrect one

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#22

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Pangs is archaic, but yes, that's the conventional usage. Frankly, I've been hungry enough to hurt. It is not a pang. It was pain.

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#23

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Jasmine Donald
Community Member
1 month ago

I think I've heard both...

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#24

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Jasmine Donald
Community Member
1 month ago

lol, baited breath... that would be very strange...

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#25

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Tabitha L
Community Member
1 month ago

Never heard this incorrect one either.

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#26

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Do due diligence.

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#27

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me
Community Member
1 month ago

Wait, I've never seen the wrong one before, is that just me?

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#28

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Night Owl
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh! I thought it was "change track"

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#29

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troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

In Greece we say "one is worse than the other" when everything is bad and you can't tell which is worse

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#30

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Tabitha L
Community Member
1 month ago

I use unfazed. But I'm not sure I've ever used faze in a sentence.

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