Do you make these common grammar mistakes? 647



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I knew it would happen one day; I yell at the television presenter or radio announcer alerting them that their pronunciation is incorrect, they are stressing the wrong syllable in a word and if they would only think they would learn something.

Hello, my name is Karen and I am a grammar nazi.

Today I found a writer who shares my passion for finding phrases we use incorrectly. Granted some of these have a similar sound, but the author found many of these examples on the websites of establishments of higher learning.

What they say What they mean
Prostrate cancer Prostate cancer
First-come, first-serve First-come, First-served
Sneak peak Sneak peek
Deep seeded Deep seated
Extract revenge Exact revenge
I could care less I couldn’t care less
Shoe-in Shoo-in
Emigrated to / Immigrated from Emigrated from / Immigrated to
Slight of hand Sleight of hand
Honed in Homed in
Baited breath Bated breath
Piece of mind Peace of mind
Wet your appetite Whet your appetite
For all intensive purposes For all intents and purposes
One in the same One and the same
Make due Make do
By in large By and large
Do diligence Due diligence
Peaked my interest Piqued my interest
Case and point Case in point


For the full explanations you can read the original article here.

Some of these mistakes are used so frequently we hardly notice them anymore. What’s more galling is realising you use some of them yourself!


Have you any to add to these examples? Do you like me find yourself so familiar with the incorrect phrase you use it? Please share?

Karen OBrien Hall

Karen O'Brien-Hall followed many careers in her life and loved each one! From accountancy to the hospitality industry, from managing an employment agency to Executive Assistant to the Chairman of a multi-national, when she retired Karen was in Public Relations. Whatever her career path at the time, Karen is a lifelong volunteer. Married to "the love of my life", John, her second love is community theatre where she enjoys acting and directing. Karen enjoys time in her garden and can always finds time to read, around 8 – 10 books a month. Her reviews appear on Starts at Sixty, Goodreads,The Reading Room and her own page

  1. As long as you don’t yell at people on FB. When your discussing a topic of interest & someone comments about spelling. Who cares? A few of these are interesting, especially Emigration & Immigration. TY.

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  2. I agree with Karen. I sometimes wonder at our education system when I hear people in the media mis-pronouncing words & names. One of my favourites was during the Iraq war when Colin Powell was, I think, Defence Secretary. The media routinely pronounced his name as COLON Powell. Was that a sly way of calling him an a/hole?

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  3. “For free” should be just ‘free’ as it is an abreviation of “free of charge” and you wouldn’t say “I got it for free of charge”. Also, “a person that is here” should really be “a person who is here”.

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    • YeYes “that” instead of who or which is heard so often that it becomes accepted and considered correct! What a shame, but I don’t think we should worry too much, not everyone was as lucky as some of us were. The teachers at Willoughby Infants, Primary and WGHS in the 50’s and 60’s we realise now, have been amongst the exceptional!

  4. One of my favourites was when they used to refer to Colin Powell as Colon Powell. Nearly all of our newsreaders were guilty of this. Was this a sly way of calling him an a/hole?

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  5. And I am NOT a conshoomer, nor do i ashoome or preshoom things things, nor do i attend a ceremoaney,

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  6. Oh yes, Karen, me too!
    Our lovely local weather man often gets under my skin when he announces ‘swell-wise……..’
    Some one I know says ‘would have went’………..arrrghhh!
    Our local paper obviously no longer employs a proof reader (or uses spell check)……… grates on my nerves.
    It is probably the result of a change in the education system over the years, or am I just becoming a grumpy old woman?

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