As writers, we generally have a pretty good hold on the English language. We like pointing out other people’s dangling participles (IYKWIM). We enjoy using random words like ennui or susurration in regular conversations. Or, my personal favorite, constantly correcting people when they use double negatives. (It’s probably my biggest pet peeve.) So, as writers, we generally have a pretty good hold on the English language.
Except when we’re wrong.
Have you ever heard a phrase over and over again – even used it yourself – then one day went, “Oh! That’s what that means?” or “That’s how you say that?” I know I have. And, for your viewing pleasure, here are my top five:
I might as well
I always said, “I mind as well,” then one day I realized that made absolutely no sense. Oops.
Or, if you were me, you thought it was “lactose and tolerant.” I never did understand why people said this when they weren’t tolerant of dairy products.
Don’t take things for granted
I suppose always hearing “don’t take things for granite” could be much worse. I mean, even if it doesn’t have the same exact meaning, it still gets the point across.
Amber waves of grain
Imagine always singing “amber waves of gray” and wondering how waves were gray, and why they were gray if they were really amber…
Up and at ‘em
For the longest time I didn’t know who Adam was and why we had to get him up every morning.
Come on, I know I can’t be the only one. Have any of you grown up saying something one way, only to realize you’ve been wrong all of these years? Were you lucky enough to discover it on your own, or did you have someone point it out to you?