4. A Moot Point
A moot point may halt conversation, but it’s not as if it has nothing to say. Be careful not to confuse “moot,” meaning debatable or doubtful, with “mute,” meaning incapable of speech. A point is moot, a person is mute.
5. Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ve
There are few things as foul to the grammatically correct eye as reading “I should of done that.” The proper usage is “should have” or its contracted form, “should’ve.” “Should’ve” and “should of” may seem like homophones, but they are most definitely not synonyms.
6. Nip It in the Bud
In gardening terms, pruning a plant at the bud keeps it from flowering. It may be more exciting to think about giving something (or someone) a “nip in the butt,” but if you’re trying to say that you’ve taken care of a problem preemptively, leave everyone’s behind behind.
7. Pore Over
If you’re “pouring over” documents in the library, be prepared for a nasty encounter with the librarian, because what you should be doing is “poring over” them, or examining them closely. Incidentally, you can pore over your pores as well, even though these words actually come from two different roots.