Common Mistakes about 10 Common Phrases

It’s easy to have peace of mind (not piece of mind) when you’re relaxing on this gorgeous beach on Maui (Photo by Cindy Fazzi).

It’s easy to have peace of mind (not piece of mind) when you’re relaxing on this gorgeous beach in Maui (Photo by Cindy Fazzi).

Hear, hear—don’t write “here, here” if you’re referring to the phrase expressing approval. Don’t take my word for it, check out the dictionary. The expression, which goes back to the 17th century, is short for “hear this, hear this.”

Many so-called common phrases are also subject to common mistakes. I rounded up 10 of these easily confused phrases. Take note of them, especially if you’re a writer.

#1 Wrong: Another thing coming

Right: Another think coming

#2 Wrong: By in large

Right: By and large

#3 Wrong: Case and point

Right: Case in point

#4 Wrong: Cut and dry

Right: Cut and dried

#5 Wrong: Here, here!

Right: Hear, hear!

#6 Wrong: One in the same

Right: One and the same

#7 Wrong: Piece of mind (This doesn’t refer to serenity.)

Right: Peace of mind

#8 Wrong: Shoe-in

Right: Shoo-in

#9 Wrong: Slight of hand

Right: Sleight of hand

#10 Wrong: Wet your appetite

Right: Whet your appetite

Read these related articles:

Enormity, Enormousness, and 26 Other Commonly Confused Words

MacGyver, Paparazzi, and Other Words Originating from Pop Culture

Affluenza, Hispandering, Swatting, and Other Negative Words from the News

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8 Comments

  1. You should probably avoid most of these anyway because they’re cliches. Unless, of course, you have a character saying it, in which case he/she could be saying it wrong.

    Reply
  2. You’re absolutely right! Like “hear, hear” is so old-fashioned, but if you’re writing historical fiction set in the 18th century, then it’s fine. Just be sure to get it right(: Thanks for visiting, Kelee!

    Reply
  3. Wow. I had a few of those wrong. Another think coming?? I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone say that correctly. Excellent info…fortunately I try to avoid these Earth phrases anyway 🙂

    Reply
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