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"I could care less" and more goofs

Some grammar rules (and embarrassing mistakes!) transcend the uniqueness of different regions and style guides. This new International Grammar section by OnlineBookClub.org ultimately identifies those rules thus providing a simple, flexible rule-set, respecting the differences between regions and style guides. You can feel free to ask general questions about spelling and grammar. You can also provide example sentences for other members to proofread and inform you of any grammar mistakes.

"I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#1 by moderntimes
» 19 Apr 2016, 17:17

A couple days ago I heard Hillary Clinton talk about Trump: "I could care less" which is of course incorrect, implying that she cares a lot. The proper phrase is "I couldn't care less" but I'm always surprised how many people get it wrong.

Which got me to laughing about things I've seen in print. Not common grammatical errors (or misspellings) such as mistaking "they're" vs "their" vs "there" but some unintentionally funny mistakes. These are some of what I remember:

"He was on tenderhooks." (which should be "tenterhooks") is one I've seen. The author simply didn't know the origin of the word.

I'll add others as I remember them. In the meantime, funny word goofs you've seen?
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#2 by Shelle
» 19 Apr 2016, 17:30

Here are a few I heard recently:
"For all intensive purposes" instead of "for all intents and purposes"
and
"Shuffle pass" instead of "shovel pass" (there are football fans in my house)
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#3 by aparsons
» 19 Apr 2016, 17:32

You know, I always read that as "tetherhooks". My cousins always says "it didn't quite cut the mustard". We ended up looking into the phrase, and it's supposed to say "didn't cut the muster" (I believe) He hasn't really warmed to it, and still says "didn't cut the mustard".

On my end, I was trying to describe something, and I said: "I don't want to half-ass it, I'm going to whole-ass it." It made her laugh, I know I was wrong, forgive me. :D
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#4 by moderntimes
» 19 Apr 2016, 18:17

Ah, yes, cut the mustard. Which correctly is "muster", a Brit army term.

And hearing "intensive purposes" made me smile.
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#5 by LivreAmour217
» 20 Apr 2016, 10:44

My brother used to say "full throtto" instead of "full throttle." He's a smart guy, and it drove me crazy! I would constantly correct him, but he kept ignoring me. One day I snapped and told him he didn't stop saying "throtto," I'd throttle him! Ugh!
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#6 by moderntimes
» 20 Apr 2016, 11:22

Good one!
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#7 by Vermont Reviews
» 20 Apr 2016, 12:18

Excellent thanks
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#8 by LivreAmour217
» 20 Apr 2016, 19:28

moderntimes wrote:Good one!


:lol:
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#9 by Booky_BettyC
» 20 Apr 2016, 22:07

I heard someone while I was standing in line the other day saying, "well that's just a mood point". I was quite overtired and laugh-cried for about 15 minutes.

Not sure if this really fits or not, but when I was younger, a friend of a friend was pretty sexist. We got into an argument where he brought up that when things are referenced it's said that it's "man made". So males were superior to women. SERIOUSLY!! He took it literally and it drove me nuts! Guess he shouldn't have dropped out of school hahaha
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#10 by moderntimes
» 21 Apr 2016, 08:31

I've never heard "mood" point before. Thanks.

Regarding "man made" or things like "mankind" or words like "chairman", I think it's fine to de-sex some terms but some people go out of the way to do this, writing gender-neutral passages which are so convoluted in the effort, that they're clumsy in construction. I think we all know that "mankind" refers to everyone. Now for legal documents, fine, fluff up the language with all the gender-neutral and otherwise legally effective words you wish. But a short story or novel? Let it slide, the readers will understand what you're saying if your content has been non-prejudiced otherwise.
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#11 by LivreAmour217
» 21 Apr 2016, 14:31

I had a high school English teacher make me rewrite a sentence in one of my essays because I used the word "mankind," which she insisted was sexist. I respected her overall, but I thought she was being ridiculous. Being a woman, I am not at all offended by gender-specific words, as most of the time the writer or speaker means no harm.
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#12 by moderntimes
» 21 Apr 2016, 15:45

The issue being exactly as you said, that the writer means no harm.

If some jerk is writing a screed against women or minorities or whomever, then you can easily tell from the context and you don't have to look at specific words. Same for someone who's writing in a very easy going way -- say, fiction, a novel or short story -- and uses "mankind" but the rest of the text is clear that the author has no ill will, criticism is silly and needlessly picky.

Now a legal document, sure, use the generic "persons" and say "he/she must be at least 18 years of age" and so on. But fiction? Gimme a break.

What I HAVE learned, however, is that if a sentence is awkward in its construction and you're caught up in a "politically correct" word trap, it's usually better to rewrite the sentence so as to make it gender neutral but use a different construction which is less clumsy.

In my novels, modern day private eye stories, we learn from the outset that my narrator (I write 1st person) is an affable, intelligent, and totally unbiased person, free from prejudices. And so, as he chats, describing someone, he'll say "Dr. Kent was a tall, athletic black man" and I think that's fine, using the general term "black" instead of the more formal "African-American" simply because it's more easy on the reader's eyes. Were my narrator a jerk and prejudiced, he certainly wouldn't just say "black" anyway, right?

I came across another word in my book, "you piqued my interest" but you can usually make a list of the times the word is wrongly "peaked my interest" -- I've seen that error in some fairly well-written pieces.

Then there's "compliment" vs "complement", sigh.
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#13 by bookowlie
» 22 Apr 2016, 00:27

Good thread!

Here are the ones that annoy me -

Irregardless when it should be Regardless

Statue of limitations when it should be Statute of limitations (this error drives me up a wall)

-- 22 Apr 2016, 01:33 --

One more -

Piece of mind which should be peace of mind
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#14 by DATo
» 22 Apr 2016, 04:34

The husband of a dear friend would constantly refer to the Space Shuttle as the Space Shovel .... and he was serious. In his defense it must be stated that English was not his first language.

Another I've heard is, "The statue of limitations." s/b "statute of limitations".
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Re: "I could care less" and more goofs

Post Number:#15 by Fran
» 22 Apr 2016, 13:32

DATo wrote:The husband of a dear friend would constantly refer to the Space Shuttle as the Space Shovel .... and he was serious. In his defense it must be stated that English was not his first language.

Another I've heard is, "The statue of limitations." s/b "statute of limitations".



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