Save on office supplies at Amazon.

Tuesday

50 Mistreated Words and Desecrated Phrases: Tongue and cheek


Maybe they’re just kidding. That’s what it means to say something with tongue in cheek. Of course, it would be fairly impossible to say much with tongue out of cheek.

But I digress.

No one speaks with tongue and cheek. It’s not correct English. It’s not even biologically feasible. Don’t get cheeky with me. Cheeks have little or nothing to do with speech.

Those who utter the expression, “tongue and cheek” probably deserve a tongue lashing for using incorrect language.

On the other hand, it’s pretty common to talk with tongue in cheek.

The expression points to irony, insincerity, jesting, joking, or sarcasm. When a person doesn’t mean what he or she is saying, perhaps even to the point of having trouble keeping a straight face, one might describe the comment as tongue in cheek. It’s not something to be taken altogether seriously.

Still, good manners may require that one turns the other cheek, so to speak, when someone uses this phrasing incorrectly in conversation. On paper, however, an editor might have trouble holding back.

Image/s:
Created by this user

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. You are also invited to join this writer's fan page, as well as the Chicago Etiquette Examiner, Madison Holidays Examiner, Equestrian Examiner and Madison Equestrian Examiner on Facebook.

Wednesday

50 Mistreated Words and Desecrated Phrases: Statue of limitations


Hey, I’ve heard of the Statue of Liberty, but never of the Statue of Limitations. Pretty sure most tourists wouldn’t find that one worth visiting. It might prove to be a bust.

And still, this misused phrase shows up once in a while.

The correct wording is “statute of limitations,” and it’s actually a legal phrasing. It refers to a specified time period, after which a crime may not be prosecuted.

And we’ve never heard of a statue celebrating such a statute.

Image/s:
Created by this user

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. You are also invited to join this writer's fan page, as well as the Chicago Etiquette Examiner, Madison Holidays Examiner, Equestrian Examiner and Madison Equestrian Examiner on Facebook.

50 Mistreated Words and Desecrated Phrases: Supposeably



Gotta say it. I am opposed to the word “supposeably.” Maybe that’s superfluous. It’s not really a word at all.

One might suppose it could be, based on the usage it receives. But, even if we were able to suppose, it would not be supposeably so.

Supposedly, words join the lexicon of common usage when they are bandied about enough. But that doesn’t reduce the cringe factor of such a term.

Image/s:
Created by this user

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter


You are also invited to join this writer's fan page, as well as the Chicago Etiquette Examiner, Madison Holidays Examiner, Equestrian Examiner and Madison Equestrian Examiner on Facebook.

Tuesday

50 Mistreated Words and Desecrated Phrases: Sorta



“Sorta” makes me a little sore, especially as an editor. It really sort of does. It’s almost sordid.

Let’s sort out the difference between “sorta” and “sort of.” It’s a little like “kinda” and “kind of.”

Is the difference obvious? Does it sort of stare you right in the face?

Pretty much.

Image/s:
Created by this user

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. You are also invited to join this writer's fan page, as well as the Chicago Etiquette Examiner, Madison Holidays Examiner, Equestrian Examiner and Madison Equestrian Examiner on Facebook.

Monday

50 Mistreated Words and Desecrated Phrases: Slight of hand



Don’t take this as a slight, but there’s really no such thing as slight of hand. Sure, someone might have dainty little mitts. Maybe we could say such a person is slight of hand.

But when someone talks about slight of hand as a means of performing a nifty trick, it’s just plain wrong. The actual expression is "sleight of hand."

The word “sleight” refers to a certain adeptness and dexterity, particularly when this is used to fool onlookers. A magician might demonstrate sleight of hand.

Another word for this is “prestidigitation,” a quick-handedness which shares the same Latin root word (praesto, meaning handy or ready) as the word “presto.”

Voila. There you have it, with a little sleight of hand.

Image/s:
Created by this user

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. You are also invited to join this writer's fan page, as well as the Chicago Etiquette Examiner, Madison Holidays Examiner, Equestrian Examiner and Madison Equestrian Examiner on Facebook.