Common mistakes, errors, lapses and typos
Here’s another collection of subtle and not so subtle mistakes, the first lot appeared here.
Sour grapes... not a description of a whinge or a complaint, it’s the pretence that a prize was not worth winning, therefore avoiding an admission of failure and disappointment.
Midas touch... yeah, turning everything touched to gold, but it was a curse not a blessing
Frankenstein... is the scientist not the monster
|Gene Wilder (1933-2016) as Dr Frankenstein, also fondly remembered |
as the best Willy Wonka on film
A light year is a measure of distance not a period of time.
A meteoric rise is too clichéd and tricky. It’s used to suggest the speed of a success, but meteors fall. OK, quickly, but... downwards.
A quantum leap is not a huge leap, it’s an imperceptible one. In quantum mechanics it’s the transition of a system from one of its discrete states to another, for instance an electron changing from one orbit to another. Describes an important change but does not indicate a large size.
And three random mistakes creeping into usage, but wrong so far:
could care less.. it’s couldn’t care less, otherwise it doesn’t make sense
on accident...it’s by accident (though it’s on purpose)
chest of draws ...it’s a chest of drawers (Estuary English is creeping into spelling)
Comments welcome on any other recent usages of English that make you squirm.Don't forget that our wonderful Catriona will be at the SCBWI BI Conference in Winchester November 19th-20th 2016. With a jaw-dropping line up - have you booked your ticket yet? Click here to book now.
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