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.
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.”)
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.
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