Mispronouncing words and phrases in your speech or misspelling them in your writing can be extremely embarrassing. But some mistakes have become so common that you have probably don’t even realize that you are incorrectly phrasing or pronouncing it. Language experts have argued whether you should use the common or proper usage . Advocates for keeping the words and phrases in their incorrect form say that readers will get confused. What do you think?
Take a look at this list of commonly mispronounced and misspelled words and phrases to see what you have been using incorrectly:
1. Incorrect: Chomp at the bit
Correct: Champ at the bit
“Champ at the bit” refers to race horses chewing at their “bit”, a metal mouthpiece used to control them.
2. Incorrect: doggy-dog world
Correct: dog-eat-dog world
This phrase refers to the world in which people will do anything to be successful, hence the “eat” part.
3. Incorrect: hierarchy (prounced hi-archy)
Correct: hierarchy (prounced \ˈhī-(ə-)ˌrär-kē \)
Remember to pronounce all four syllables of the word, and not just skip over the second one.
4. Incorrect: for all intensive purposes
Correct: for all intents and purposes
“For all intents and purposes” means “in every practical sense”.
5. Incorrect: nip it in the butt
Correct: nip it in the bud
“Nip” refers to pinching something to destroy it, while “bud” refers to the bud of a flower. Thus, creating the meaning of the phrase which is to stop something completely.
6. Incorrect: irregardless
“Irregardless” is a made-up word, and a double negative.
7. Incorrect: spitting image
Correct: spit and image
“Spit and image” is a Bible reference, meaning when God used spit and mud to create Adam in His image. The term is commonly used to describe something who looks exactly like another person.
8. Incorrect: try a different tact
Correct: try a different tack
“Try a different tack” refers to trying another approach. A “tack” is a term for an abrupt turn of a boat, while “tact” is a shortened form of the word “tactic”.
9. Incorrect: victual (pronounced vicshual)
Correct: victual (pronounced \ˈvi-təl\)
“Victual” is actually supposed to be pronounced so that it rhymes with “whittle”. It’s a word meaning food that is prepared to eat.