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15 Commonly Mangled & Misused Phrases

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15 Commonly Mangled & Misused Phrases

Much to the chagrin of English experts and grammar gurus across the country, there are some common colloquialisms that many people still can’t quite get right, thereby turning our idiomatic expressions into idiotic exclamations. Even though we’re finally homing in on some of our quirkier linguistic misfires, some people literally couldn’t care less about using these axioms properly, regardless of the consequences to our beloved language.

1. Hunger Pangs

Although hunger may indeed cause discomfort, there’s no such thing as a “hunger pain.” Hunger pangs, on the other hand, are the gnawing, severe muscle contractions that signal it’s time for dinner.

2. Whet Your Appetite

While I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of satisfying those hunger pangs with a tasty beverage, “wetting your appetite” is incorrect. To whet one’s appetite means to sharpen it, like one would use a whetstone to sharpen or hone a knife.

3. Supposed To/Used To

You’re not supposed to write “suppose to” or “use to”; it’s nonstandard English. Get used to writing and saying these phrases the correct way, with a “d” on the end of each.

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7:43AM PDT on Mar 14, 2015


1:27AM PST on Dec 31, 2013

Thank you :)

12:27PM PST on Dec 30, 2013


7:48PM PST on Dec 27, 2013

And there I go slipping an extra I've in my post...Sheesh!

7:47PM PST on Dec 27, 2013

Frankly, most of these are a symptom of lazy pronunciation, mostly by teachers and TV/movie characters over the decades. In fact, one I've back slam I've used when people threw "baited breath" at me was "did you just eat a worm?"

2:15PM PST on Dec 3, 2013

Thanks a lot, Sonia! I thought that 'towards' was the one I'd got wrong!

3:54AM PST on Nov 13, 2013

"I do not think that word means what you think it means." - Inigo Montoya

3:46AM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Dis ain't yer gramma's grammer klass.

7:57AM PST on Dec 26, 2012

Agree with Kirsten M - great article, except for the incorrect "toward(s)" comment

5:51AM PST on Dec 14, 2012

Thank you Samantha, for Sharing this!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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