10 Common Expressions You Might Be Misusing
1. One in the same and one and the same
To say that two entities are the same thing or person, one should refer to them as “one and the same.” If one says that “Ina Garten and the Barefoot Contessa are one and the same,” one is reiterating for emphasis. By incorrectly saying “one in the same,” the preposition ‘in’ confuses the meaning of the statement, as if one is saying that an entity is in another.
2. Fat chance
With the word ‘fat’ at its beginning, many confuse this informal saying to mean that there is a great chance of an event happening, although it actually means the opposite. This is similar to “a slim chance,” which means a small or slight chance of an occurrence.
3. Make do and make due
When referring to a situation where one gets along with the means available, it is to make do. For example: “The printer is running low on black ink so I will have to make do with blue.” To make due might be used in other similar situations but some treat it as a misspelling. For safety, use the accepted make do
Let me give you a piece of my mind, is used when one expresses anger or
5. Sneak peek and sneak
No matter how it is phrased, the saying “sneak peak” will never make any sense. The word ‘peak’ is defined as the highest point, of either a mountain or a projection, while ‘peek’ is to steal a peep or to look at something quickly. When referring to the common saying that means taking part in a special preview, try to think that those two Es represent eyes, and therefore you are taking a peek at something with your eyes.
6. Wreak havoc and wreck havoc
It’s quite an understandable mistake to think that ‘wreck havoc’ would be the right expression, especially since the words ‘wreck’ and ‘havoc’ seem to be related, but putting the verb ‘wreck’ together with ‘havoc’ will not complete the meaning of one having caused the other. On the other hand,
7. Peak/Peek/Pique my interest
It will always be piqued, and never be peeked or peaked. “Pique” means to cause, to make, or to arouse, as
8. Dog-eat-dog world and doggy-dog world
The idiom, when used correctly, is meant to describe an “every man for himself” situation wherein people will do anything to get ahead, even if it might bring harm to others, hence “dog eat dog.” A “doggy-dog world” would simply mean a world of dogs.
9. I could care less vs. I couldn’t care less
These two commonly used phrases have been debated over by various grammar authorities for years. Our consensus is that both are perfectly logical and make sense in their own ways. The first statement implies that one still has room in the spectrum for caring less but the care is there to some degree. This is a relatively new expression widely used in the United States used sometimes as sarcasm or to shrug something off. It’s an idiom and does not need to be logical, a writer at Slate says.
As for “couldn’t care less,” which was the original accepted saying, literally means that the user could care very little, if at all. To illustrate, here is an example: “To be honest, I couldn’t care less what the executive chef served me. Everything that came out of the kitchen tasted magical.”
10. Whet/wet your appetite
In using “wet” instead of “