Top 10 Common Sayings That People Get Wrong All

23-11-2022 10 2 0 0 Báo lỗi

Language is a complex subject. For all intents and purposes, it is always changing, and if you don't want to be treated like an escape goat, you need to keep up with all the updates. Because of this, you must be cautious not to form any friendships that could convert you into a social leopard. After all, it's a doggie-dog world out there. The last sentence may have had a few tongue-in-cheek errors, which you may have noticed if you found it annoying or even mildly enrage-inspiring. In particular, it had a number of proverbs that people frequently misuse. And there are still more... Here are some Common Sayings That People Get Wrong All.

1 Ngọc Ánh

I Could Care Less

Let's start with the most controversial entry on the list, which is also maybe the most common "I Could Care Less", indicating that you are not fond of somebody or someone at all. However, the correct phrase is I couldn't care less. As you have no interest, it is impossible for your care to go any lower. But in case you say you could care less, then it would turn out that you do care to some extent at the moment.


Needless to say, some people get furious over this as the phrase is used incorrectly. Anyway, the words "could" and "couldn't" have the opposite meanings, so it is impossible to use them in the same way. In the past, there are some cases of using "I Could Care Less" as "I Couldn't Care Less".


In a 1840 edition of "London’s Morning Post", it wrote “It is impossible that he could care less.” Moreover, Dundee Courier mentioned “His bearing towards male acquaintances, of whom he knew little or nothing and could care less…”.


Via those examples, the expression is used correctly because the negative is present in another part of the sentence. This not only demonstrates the longevity of the idiom could care less but also suggests the possible antecedents of this alternate spelling. Even though the saying is still illogical without the negation, it has become so widely used in everyday speech and is therefore unlikely to disappear any time soon.

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2 Ngọc Ánh

Damp Squid

First of all, the word "squib," not "squid," is used in the phrase "damp squib." A species of cephalopod is the squid. Squid often live in a moist environment, but that is as close to this statement as they are going to get. Since I've already brought up squid, I should also mention another famous squid play on words: the old saying, "Hey, where's that sick squid you owe me?" We can now move on to "damp squib" after finishing our linguistic duty with squid.


Although many American audiences won't be familiar with this expression, a poll conducted in England revealed that the word "damp squid" is frequently misused in Britain. If you're not familiar with the word, damp squib, not squid, refers to something that is incredibly disappointing and falls short of expectations.


Once more, the issue is caused by the fact that the original saying makes use of a dated term that the majority of people do not use today. A squib is a little firework that makes a hissing sound while it burns before exploding mildly. You can understand why a damp squib would be perceived as unimpressive and unsatisfactory given that fireworks should be maintained dry for maximum effectiveness. Instead of ending with a bang, it would figuratively fizz out.

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3 Ngọc Ánh

Pass Mustard

It's time for you to check something out and make sure it lives up to your standards. I'll assume it does. So, did it pass muster or did it pass mustard in that case? If you were wondering, it's the first one. While passing mustard is customary at the dinner table, it makes little sense in this situation. Assembling the troops for a variety of purposes, such as drills, inspections, or combat, is referred to as mustering in traditional military jargon. As a result, when the soldiers made it through muster, they had also passed inspection.


There are perhaps multiple reasons for the confusion in this case. It stands to reason that some individuals will confuse the words "muster" with "mustard" just based on their similarity. To cut the mustard is another expression, though. In that instance, "mustard" is the appropriate word and the phrase has the same meaning as "passing muster," therefore it is rather simple for people to confuse the two.

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4 Ngọc Ánh

Hunger Pains

If you've ever felt uncomfortable or even in pain in your stomach region after not eating for a time, you might mistakenly refer to such feelings as hunger pains when, in reality, the more accurate phrase is hunger pangs.


This error is logical and somewhat understandable. What exactly is a "pang"? A "short piercing spasm of pain" is what it is described as, and in a medical sense, it explicitly alludes to cramps brought on by hunger.


Once more, we are dealing with a word from the past that most people would never, ever use outside this specific statement. But unlike many other eggcorns, "pang" and "pain" are synonyms, so its replacement word also makes sense in the context of the phrase. Because of this, this saying has not only crept into common speech but also appears in published texts; as a result, occasionally even experts get it wrong.

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5 Ngọc Ánh

Wet Your Appetite

To whet your appetite, with a "h," is the correct spelling of this phrase. It's problematic because the equivalent expression, wet your whistle, which meaning to have a drink, is accurate when written without a "h." It makes sense that people would believe that wet your appetite is also accurate given that you utilize one for food and the other for liquids.


Actually, no, since the two terms do not have the same meaning. Whetting your appetite, on the other hand, indicates virtually the exact opposite of wetting your whistle—to stimulate it or, when used metaphorically, to heighten your excitement.


It makes far more sense in the context of the idiom since to whet something is to sharpen it. This is another word that has been around for centuries but has lost favor in recent years because few people today visit the blacksmith to sharpen their swords. That, together with the widespread use of the comparable idiom wet your whistle, accounts for the shift away from whet to its more popular homophone.

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6 Ngọc Ánh

Bold-Faced Lie

Make sure to refer to someone as a bald-faced liar rather than a bold-faced liar if you ever wish to accuse them of speaking an egregious and shameless untruth. The second choice appears to make some sense at first. You might picture someone deceiving openly and without remorse if they had a brazen or bold expression on their face, hence the term "bold-faced." The right phrase, however, is "bald-faced," which refers to a face that is entirely exposed due to lack of facial hair, a mask, or anything similar.


If you really need a substitute, consider using barefaced falsehood. Actually, it is how the phrase was first used and has been around since the early 1800s. But for whatever reason, American publications began adopting bald-faced lies about the middle of the 20th century. In that instance, the substitution was appropriate since bold-faced has a distinct meaning than the two terms used, whereas the two words still had the same meaning.

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7 Ngọc Ánh

Nip It in the Butt

Nipping something in the bud refers to eliminating it before it has a chance to develop into a much larger issue. You have likely been using this expression correctly if you enjoy gardening or simply know your idioms. However, other people frequently use the synonymous but inaccurate expression "nipping it in the butt."


Actually, the meaning of this statement is quite simple. When caring for your garden, you can easily clip or nip a flower while it is still a bud to prevent it from blooming if you have any reason why you do not want it to. Since it has been in use for so long, it has even supplanted the slang expression "nipping it in the bud." Another eggcorn expression is to "nip it in the butt," but there is no need to injure anyone's posteriors in order to utilize this expression properly.

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8 Ngọc Ánh

On Tender Hooks

Someone who is "waiting nervously for something to happen" is said to be "on tenterhooks." It's still used frequently, albeit a lot of people mistakenly say "on tender hooks," which doesn't really make sense because hooks cannot be soft. "A sharp hooked nail used especially for securing cloth on a tenter" is the definition of a tenterhook.

The Latin tenta, the feminine past tense of the verb tendere, which means "to stretch," is the same root as our word tent. Of course, a tent is made out of a fabric that is stretched across poles and occasionally nailed to the ground.


The issue here is that since most people don't know what a tenter is, they tend to use a different word in its stead. A tenter is a straightforward tool that has been used to make cloth for hundreds of years. The cloth is stretched over a wooden frame that has numerous hooks attached to stop it from shrinking and wrinkling as it dries. As you can see, it does make a little more sense for someone with anxiety to be on edge.

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9 Ngọc Ánh

Tow the Line

Tow the line, which means "to comply to an established norm," is another classic eggcorn. Toeing the line is the proper expression, with a "e" in place of a "w." The phrase's origins are unclear, although one widely accepted myth asserts that it has to do with British politics because there are two lines painted on the floor of the House of Commons that divide the front benches of the two major parties. The Speaker of the House would then remind an MP to toe the line, or go back behind the line on the floor, if they had gotten a bit too close to their adversaries during a contentious argument.


This is a fiction, but in the 19th century, terms like "toe the mark," "toe the trig," and "toe the scratch" were more frequently used. Therefore, the phrase "toe the line" would not have been too confusing back then. However, as the word "tow" is now more frequently used as a verb, those who first heard the expression believed it was written with a "w." They spread this false knowledge, and a new eggcorn was created as a result.

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10 Ngọc Ánh

You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

“Out there is a fortune waitin’ to be had

If you think I’ll let it go, you’re mad

You’ve got another thing comin’”


Who are we to disagree with Judas Priest? Those are the timeless words of Rob Halford. Nevertheless, we shall debate since the correct way to say this is "you've got another thing coming." That is the proverb that is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary and the majority of other dictionaries, yet it is fair to say that the alternate version with the word "thing" has gained more traction, in large part because of Judas Priest's metal hymn from 1982.


The expression is a fantastic illustration of a "eggcorn," a language error in which people substitute a misheard word with one they believe makes sense in the context of the phrase. These inaccurate sayings are among the most common ones you can find, and since there is some rationale behind the changeover, it is probable that both versions will endure for the foreseeable future.

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