Manners & Misdemeanors

All The Wrong Phrases You May Have Been Using on Social Media

Sometimes hilarious, most of the time embarrassing.
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SUPPOSE TO BE VS. SUPPOSED TO BE

“I know the movie was suppose to be sad but I found it funny.”

“Supposed to be” means something was planned or intended to happen or is an obligation. It means “expected to.” You don’t say “You are expect to master English in college” in the same way that you shouldn’t say “suppose to be sad.”

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REST ASSURE VS. REST ASSURED

“Sorry for the mess. Rest assure that I won’t get tipsy ever again.”

Never say "be rest assured" (as if "rest assured" is an adjective)  or "rest assure" (as if "assure" is an adverb). Both are grammatically incorrect. "Rest assured," the correct term, means to be certain about something, which you say to make someone feel less worried. "Assured" is an adverb. How should you rest? You rest assured. 

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TAKEN CARED OF VS. TAKEN CARE OF

"Just confirm your attendance and everything will be taken cared of."

The proper participial form of “take care of” is “taken care of.” The verb “taken” causes the “care.” The English language also essentially uses the past tense just once in such phrases, and so here, it is applied in “taken.”

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WHEN IT HAPPEN VS. WHEN IT HAPPENS/ HAPPENED

“I want to know everything about that intimate gathering—from when to where it happen.”

This calls for no explanation, but the good news is that your nice friends will give you the benefit of the doubt and think that that was just a typo.

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CAN'T HARDLY WAIT VS. CAN HARDLY WAIT

“I can’t hardly wait for Christmas! So excited to go to London!”

“Can hardly wait” means that you cannot wait any longer. The double negative use of “can’t” and “hardly” will mean that you can wait. Yes, the movie of that title used the phrase incorrectly.

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ESCAPE GOAT VS. SCAPEGOAT

“I can’t believe they made the little boy their escape goat after getting caught for stealing.”

While it means they somewhat used the little boy to “escape” a crime they committed, the term “escape goat” is just horribly wrong. The proper word for a person getting the blame for someone else’s action is “scapegoat.”

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TONGUE AND CHEEK VS. TONGUE IN CHEEK

“I love C.C. Coo! Her writing is very tongue in cheek.”

Tongue in cheek is the correct idiom for referring to seemingly serious statements intended to be humorous.

FREE REIGN VS. FREE REIN

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“I wish the president would give me free reign over the project soon.”

The correct term is “free rein,” which originates from the habit of riders in the old days when they would loosen the reins to let their horses navigate on their own.

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Georges Victorina
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