Words That People Misuse (That Send Me Into A Rage)


This picture has nothing to do with this post.

This picture has nothing to do with this post.

It is still funny to me that I’ve become The-Lady-Who-Knows-How-To-Spell-Things. As a kid I had terrible spelling: half the time I couldn’t remember what order the letters went in and the other half of the time I was too busy being, you know, a teenager to care. I’m not entirely sure what switch clicked over in my brain to finally make rules like “i before e except after c and in the case of words like “weird” which is weird” seem important but it did and now gives me a pleasant frisson of amusement every time I am asked to spell something off the top of my head.

The down side of this newfound lexicographilism- (the love of vocabulary- it isn’t a real word, but it should be) is that I get a small paper cut on my soul when honest hard-working words are press ganged into sentences where they just have no business being. English is a tricky language- I get that- but using a phrase that sounds cool without knowing what it means is like leaving the bathroom without checking your zipper. You might get away with it or you might just end up sounding foolish.

These are common and understandable typos and misuse of words. Really- it’s pretty fair to say that these are honest mistakes, but they still set me quietly fuming.


As in “we are trying to eek out a living.”

NO! You’re trying to eke  out a living. You yell eek at a mouse.


As in “This peaked our interest.”

NO! This piqued your interest. The top of a mountain is a peak.  A quick look is a peek. It is the French word for “pricked” as in: It pricked your interest. If you don’t want to use no Frenchie phrases just use “pricked” instead.


As in “I can’t bare it!”

NO! You bear your burdens like a bear. You bare your teeth.


As in “I got a new tat of my girlfriend’s name on my arm. How could this ever go wrong?”

NO! It’s a tattoo. Seriously are you so pressed for time that you have to snub the -too?


As in Guacamole. See “Tat”.

I’m sure I will come up with more soon; stay tuned.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 13, 2013.

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