Apr 15, 2017

Wrong Words, Part Two

Wrong Words, Part Two

     As I mentioned a while ago, I’m taken in  by words, and I especially like offbeat usages. Often I’ll read a word or phrase that’s just plain not correct, but funny. I keep a running list of the best (worst?) ones.

         A letter-writer insisted she had to get in her “two sense worth” on the  subject. I’m not sure which of her senses she meant. The topic was heated; perhaps she meant touch, and taste?

        The same writer said, “farbeit for me to interfere...” I’m not sure what a farbeit is, but she did go on to interfere, with gusto. She concluded with, “if this is not fixed, it will happen moor and moor off in.” Suddenly, we’re into geology.

    Perhaps, as I read in a novel, she just had “a skewered view of things.” I love skewered foods; I wrote a whole book on edibles prepared on a stick. In this case, I don’t think she meant impaled. More likely, off kilter, as in skewed. 

Another novel talked about the crime scene being secured, “for all intensive porpoises.” As opposed to the casual ones? And did you hear about the camping sea mammals? Yup, a call went out to "all in tents and porpoises."
        A character said she was so scared, she “had an outer body experience.”  I’m not sure what that looks like, or, again, what the opposite might be.

        In the same novel, an enraged character “emitted a scream of furry over a problem even she couldn’t phantom.”  A cute little furry scream sounds adorable, but not if a phantom’s on scene. I'd scream, too.

         Later on, I read in a tabloid, “He’s diluted if he thinks that!”  Really, that’s a risk? If we think certain things, we can be watered down?

      A man in a novel I read had a “sorted passed,” but really, what can you expect from a guy who has a Southern brawl and wears denim overhauls.

        A leader was written up as having a “lazy fare” style of leadership, which has more to do with lunch than power.  

       In a court transcript, a young recorder transcribed the lawyer’s description of the plaintiff as being a “pre-Madonna.” Not quite!

       In the same transcript, a professor “got her ten-year at the university.” That’s a very long degree, and I somehow doubt the transcriptionist had the same education.

        I’ve read several times about angry people getting their gander up. I, too, have a flashpoint temper, but I never feel like waking a goose over it.

       Some of the funny things that catch my eye have to do with positioning, such as putting  the cat before the horse, developing a pier-to-pier network, a fog so thick the man can’t see his hand in front of his foot, and rockets that jettison us through time and space. Ouch!

          A man wrote the person he was interviewing “was very nervous and kept covering his hands with his mouth." If nothing else, that’s awkward.

        Foodstuffs find their way into wrong-word lists, such as a team of horses that’s evenly yolked, finding a leek under the sink again, and having a rye sense of humor. Cheese grader is a legitimate job description, but what’s it doing in the utensil drawer?

         Some  are simple misspellings that change the meaning quite completely. A teen who pours over the textbooks has a mess to clean up. An admiring man who puts a woman on a pedal stool had better be prepared to help pedal. Wealthy folk often have access to better medical care, but are they the only ones who are well healed? 

          "Manner" and "manor" seem to cause a problem, every time. I can understand “to the manner born” because I believe in etiquette, but does my necklace have more value because it was “packaged in a manor”?    

      I read an article that referenced a local "flee market". I don't like them, but I'm not that melodramatic. Or fast.

        How did the bad guy get away? “Must have had an accomplish” makes sense; had he failed, there’d have been no getaway at all.

        A colleague, told about a problem, mused, "I'll have to put my thinking tap on," which makes good sense for initiating the flow of solutions, right?

        A man in a book confessed to being a secret "drug attic.” Wow, I’d like that kind of space.

       In this political climate, I’ve read about protestors who insist their freedom includes the right to "impose their fews on others." Sadly, I suspect that’s all they have to offer. On the other hand, they’re entitled; it’s their dew, after all.

      Not all of these will be flagged by a spell-checker, so as you write, ask a friend to look over your work. You have a friend, right?


  1. I have no idea why the font went all wonky!

  2. Laughed harder than I have in a long time!

  3. Oh my goodness. I'm going to have to have my husband give me a list of the ones he finds in the many education publications and legal documents he reads every day. Crazy!

  4. Thank you Deb for a humorous and valuable reminder for our writing. I know everyone makes mistakes, but you found some good ones. Maybe some of these people should have hired a tudor. (JUST KIDDING)

  5. Do you ever wonder if this is all going to change anyway?

  6. LOL! Good job, Deb, telling us about all these oddities.


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