Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wednesday Whine | Common sayings people get wrong

It's well known that I've got a bit of a short fuse when it comes to the English language. I'm not an expert by any means and I've been known to change words in sentences if I don't know how to spell them, but I like to think that I've got the basics covered. I know the difference between 'you're' and 'your' and I can tell you what an Oxford comma is in a heartbeat.

Like most people I spend a lot of time on the internet and since signing up to Twitter I've noticed a lot of common phrases and words that people misuse, spell incorrectly or simply get completely and utterly WRONG. At first I thought these were isolated incidents; who could actually think 'a blessing in disguise' is 'a blessing in the skies'?! Well, if you put that phrase into the Twitter search bar you'll find the answer is... thousands of people!

Read on for a light hearted look at some of my favourite sayings and words that people get wrong. ALL. THE. TIME. You might just find you're guilty too...


What people write: Here here!
What people should write: Hear, hear!

You know when someone writes something that you really, really agree with and you sum up your agreement with the words 'hear hear'? A lot of people write 'here here' but I'm not sorry to tell you that it's wrong. The phrase originated from "hear him, hear him" or "hear this, hear this" and is used to express approval for what has been said. It's an easy mistake to make due to 'hear' and 'here' being pronounced the same but unless you're trying to tell someone where you are physically located when you respond to their Facebook status bemoaning the start of yet another football season then you're getting it wrong. But now you know...


What people say: I could care less
What people should say: I couldn't care less

This one really gets my goat. Think about it, when people say they could care less it means that they care a little bit. In order to care less than you currently do it means you must care. When people use this phrase incorrectly they're actually saying the exact opposite of what they want to say.



What people say: Take for granite
What people should say: Take for granted

We all know what the phrase means but there are a lot of people who don't actually know what the phrase is! If you take something for granite it actually means you have mistaken something that is made of wood, for example, to be made of granite. Granite is a type of rock. I love Ouzy's tweet below. It's totally the kind of joke I'd make!
 

What people say: For all intensive purposes
What people should say: For all intents and purposes

This phrase means 'effectively' or 'essentially'. For example you could say "for all intents and purposes he is my legal guardian" and you could replace 'all intents and purposes' with 'effectively' or 'essentially' and it makes sense; "essentially he is my legal guardian." Intensive means 'concentrated on a single subject or into a short time; very thorough or vigorous' which makes no sense whatsoever in that sentence. Sorry if that got a bit wordy, it was a harder one to explain. A quick Twitter search reveals this one is starting to fade in terms of usage and it's great to see Leslie (below) has finally seen the error of her ways!


What people say: Extract revenge
What people should say: Exact revenge

Two letters make all the difference here. When you extract something you take it out of something else. If I extract a thorn from my dog's paw I am removing it. Unless your nemesis has some revenge floating around inside them then there's no way you can extract it from them and since revenge isn't a tangible thing (i.e. you can't touch it) then you definitely can't extract it. Whilst 'exact' means 'precise' it also means 'obtain' so to 'exact revenge' is to 'obtain revenge'.

 
As an aside, I would suggest Kitty stop being so passive aggressive and simply ask the 'moron' to move their car, but since we live in a world where people would rather slash someone's tyres than say "hey, can you move your car please" I doubt that happened!
 
What people say: Expresso
What people should say: Espresso
 
I don't even know where to begin with this one. Every time I see this written or hear someone say it I feel a shudder run down my spine and an almost uncontrollable urge to push that person up against a wall and rough them up in the name of good English. That's slightly hyperbolic but I needed to make a point! Espresso is coffee made by pushing near boiling water through ground coffee beans at high pressure. You drink espresso. You order it in Starbucks (although I'd rather you didn't since they aren't fans of paying UK corporation tax...) Expresso... it isn't anything. It doesn't exist. It is the result of stupidity that has filtered through the land. Argh. I can't even keep writing about this so I'm off to grab a coffee.
 
 
 
For all intensive purposes this post has ended. Don't take it for granite, please...

17 comments:

  1. hahah okay, you ended this post PERFECTLY! It was a great read, I've actually always said "I could care less" so thanks to you now I know to say "I couldN'T care less!" Will be correcting everyone who says this around me from now on >:D

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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    1. Thank you Jessica, that's very kind of you! I'm also glad that you've made amends hehe ;-)

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  2. Great post. I can't believe people get these phrases so wrong! I would let somebody whose first language wasn't English off, but otherwise ... !!!

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    1. Whilst researching this post there were about 40 more than I've seen crop up but these were my favourites. You wouldn't believe some of them. There's a lot of people say "I axed him" instead of "I asked him" which is, again, just pure laziness, innit... x

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  3. Gaaaaaaaaah...I got so annoyed reading this post! I have a bad habit of correcting people's English (it REALLY annoys my boyfriend...!) and I can't believe some of the examples above! I've never seen 'taken for granite' before!

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    1. It's not a bad habit, it's a necessity ;-)

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  4. The could care less one irritates the hell out of me but you have taught me something with espresso... I honestly thought it was expresso! Doh!

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    1. I'm glad I could be of service ;-) teehee!

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  5. "Should of" instead "should have" is one of my pet hates. Also I notice people using "defiantly" instead of "definitely" a lot (as in "you defiantly should compain")... argh!

    http://lovesandloathes.wordpress.com

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    1. I've started to notice that most people say 'been' as 'bin'. Now I've noticed, I make a conscious effort to pronounce it properly even if I sound silly!

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  6. Haha love this! I once saw someone write on Facebook that they thought their neighbour was a 'cycle path' instead of a psychopath! I've never laughed so much!
    Reinventing Neesha♥

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    1. Hahahaha, that really made me laugh too! :D

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  7. "Take for granite" ha ha ha ha! That has made my day, I can't believe people actually say that!
    Rach x
    rantingsoflard.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. Hahaha love this post! I've not heard a couple of these, so it made it a little funnier :p You should do another one :p x

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  9. I love these types of posts, always fun and interesting. The espresso one is so funny but so easy to get wrong lol :P

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  10. Replies
    1. YES!! I think it's a very Northern thing and people do it all the time. I've also noticed people from Sunderland can't pronounce the t on the end and say Sunderlant instead!

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