12. Toward, Anyway
These words do not have an “s” on the end. “Towards” and “anyways” may have a folksy, rustic quality in spoken English, but they are not used in formal writing.
13. With Bated Breath
Only if my fiancé ate a whole tub of Nutella would he have irresistible “baited breath.” “Bated breath,” as the expression actually goes, contains a shortened form of the word “abated,” meaning held off or postponed. I’ll wait with bated breath for my fiancé to get started on that Nutella.
14. Sleight of Hand
Although magicians might have “slight” hands with nimble and slender fingers, their art is called “sleight of hand,” which means deceit or dexterity. Theoretically, however, an illusionist in need of more practice could have developed only a slight sleight of hand.
15. Beck and Call
Many people conflate idiomatic expressions when they don’t understand where they come from, and the result is many expressions like this one, which ends up being transcribed as “beckon call.” “Beck” is an old form of the word “beckon,” and it simply means that you are accessible to somebody via either gesture or vocalization.
Mangled forms of English idioms may be common, but that doesn’t make them right. And unfortunately, correcting other people’s grammar is not always a surefire method of gaining popularity. If you don’t feel comfortable explaining the difference between “bring,” “brung,” and “brought,” it’s okay to let it go, but if you encounter someone who insists on using the word “supposably,” please … gently remind him that there is no such word. You’ll be doing us all a big favor.
More from DivineCaroline:
- Best Winter Stomping Boots
- Win $15,000 in Our Black Friday Sweeps
- Healthy Substitutions for Fall Comfort Foods
More from Care2: