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Bust and Burst - Mixed messages and misused words from A to Z

Bust and Burst - Mixed messages and misused words from A to Z

Blech! Slang usage has broken down correct usage of bundles of English-language words. Bust and burst are bona fide examples of this.

Used as a verb, bust means to go bankrupt, or belly-up. Bust may also pertain to criminal arrest

Bust does not, in proper English, serve as a stand-in for break. Bunches of folks may use the word this way, saying, “Buster busted his butt to finish the project.” 

But this is incorrect or, at best, slang.

Burst carries another meaning altogether. This word expresses falling apart, breaking open, or exploding.

Consider these examples of correct uses of bust and burst.

The big-busted beauty was busted, and everyone learned the secret of her overabundance, once the balloons on her bust burst. Embarrassed, she burst into tears before loading up her truck and calling out, “Hollywood, or bust!”

Circus Dancer
From vintage poster
public domain 
Misused word pair

Created by this user

At CoolText

 Abused and misused word graphics

adapted from public domain artwork

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  1. I absolutely love your posts. I know you've only done two, but you're pointing out common mistakes, and I can't wait to read more :)

  2. With such an illustration in mind, I will never make the mix-up again! But tell me, oh wonderful wordsmith; where does "Blech" fit in?

  3. Don't get me started on the abuses of the English language! I think I'm going to enjoy your posts this month.

  4. Slang creeps its way into English in different countries, and it is interesting to see how meanings of words change. Look forward to the rest of your challenge posts!
    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  5. Thanks for the well-crafted example of the use and abuse of the English language. Unfortunately, languages change all the time, and not always for the best.
    Enjoyed the read and hope to see more throughout the Challenge.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

  6. Love your theme! As a Englih/Writing instructor, I can't count the number of times students incorporate slang into academic papers. Gah. Happy A-Zing!!

  7. Oh, I am so with you! I'm loving this theme. I'll be back every day!

  8. Great post! This is one misuse we don't hear a lot about, but it is so commonly used. Sadly, I'm sure I've done it, especially when chatting with friends.

    (Visiting from the A-Z challenge)

  9. What a great idea for a theme. As a writer and editor by profession and a blogger by hobby, I will be keeping tabs on your blog!

    Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge.


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