8 Of The Most Commonly Misused Phrases- Do You Say These?


By Raven Fon

You know the grammar police. Heck, you might even be one of them. While yes, they can come off as annoying, most of the time they are just trying to help. Either they are sharing their knowledge with you to make things easier for you, or it really irks them when you keep saying things incorrectly.

One of my favourite comedies references this plight of speech by reminding us all that a “pedal stool” isn’t the same as a “pedestal,” and people may think you’re a bit of a moron if you say the former.

The error-checking website, Correctica recently scanned over hundreds of the most heavily trafficked websites, and found a surprising amount of errors. What are some of the most commonly misused phrases and errors?

1. Prostrate cancer
Instead of “cancer localized in one area of the body,” you now have “cancer that is prone to lying face-down on the ground.” Both Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are guilty of this error.

2. First-come, first-serve
This literally says “the first person who arrives is the one who will be serving.” Correctly said, it is “first-come, first served”. Even Harvard and Yale screwed up on this one.

3. Sneak peak
If you’re taking a quick glance, it’s a “peek”. If you’re on the tip of a mountain it’s the “peak”. The correct phrase is “sneak peek.” Oxford University and the National Parks Service made this mistake.

4. Deep-seeded
If you use this phrase correctly, it’s “deep-seated,” which means “firmly established.” Some might think “deep-seeded” means that something comes from deep within,but that is not the correct use of the phrase.The Washington Post and the White House websites had this one wrong.

5. I could care less
I have a bit of a snarky attitude at times, so when I hear people make this mistake, I become annoyed and correct them. If you say “I could care less”, you’re actually saying that yes, you do care, and there is more care you could give. Please say it correctly, “I couldn’t care less,” so people like me don’t risk our heads exploding.

6. Emigrated to
Proper use of verbs is the trouble with this one. “Emigrate” means coming FROM somewhere. “Immigrate” means going TO somewhere. Want an easy way to remember it? When it comes to emigrating/immigrating, just F it (ef-it). Emigrate-From/Immigrate To.

7. Slight of hand
This might only come up in discussions dealing with magic shows or card-game swindlers, but it’s important nonetheless. If someone “slights” you, they are insulting you. “Sleight” means having dexterity or cunning, and is the right way to use the “sleight of hand” phrase.

8. Piece of mind
“Peace of mind” means you are calm and relaxed- a state of serenity. “Piece of mind” means that you are dishing out parts of your mind. Not the same thing.


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