Thursday, August 26, 2010

Low and behold

Don’cha just hate it when somebody says or writes would of instead of would have or should of instead of should have?

You do? Good. Me, too.

Spurred by the writing of people who should know better, I am compiling a list of phonetic spellings and related oddities.

Here are some of my favourites, supplemented by suggestions from my colleagues Kenton Larsen and Chris Petty, avid readers and writers both.

Case and point (instead of case in point)

Doggy dog (dog eat dog)

Low and behold (lo and behold)

Run the gambit (run the gamut)

Pour over (pore over)

Two reasons to be aware of such mistakes and to fix them: They jar the reader, and they reveal the writer’s ignorance.

A couple of suggestions to prevent such mistakes: Read more. And when you write something, read it aloud before publishing it.

You could also trying looking up words. That’s why God made

Got other examples? That’s why God made the Comment feature.

Merry malaprop-ing!


  1. How about “I could care less" instead of "I couldn’t care less"?

  2. I've seen "has long as" far too many times for my liking.

  3. My colleague Steve Vogelsang contributes:
    For all intensive purposes (for all intents and purposes)

  4. Ah crap...

    I'm pretty sure I saw one (or more) of my mistakes up there.

    Crap. Crap. Crap.

  5. Just saw another one: "mano a mano" used to mean "man to man" as opposed to "hand to hand"

  6. when people incorrectly contract "it's."

    Example: "It's been a long time coming," McMonagle said.

    A lot of people talk like this, but really we should be correcting it to say "It HAS been a long time coming..."

  7. OK, correction: you can use it's as a contraction for "it has."

    I stand by my belief, however, that it's stupid and must be frowned upon by the grammatical community.

  8. Everyone, for future reference, it's "champing at the bit," okay?

  9. Just saw this one: "tongue and cheek" for "tongue in cheek"

  10. Another favourite: "peak my interest" for "pique my interest"

  11. Love this!! Up until about age 17 I thought the saying was "all intensive purposes." Instead of "all intents and purposes."

  12. Recent entries:
    tow the line for toe the line
    voters heading to the poles instead to the polls (perhaps the voters are dogs)
    shoe-in for shoo-in

  13. Then there is testimate.
    Apparently the writer means testament.
    Unless a testimate is a prosthesis.

  14. Here, here instead of Hear, hear

    per say instead of per se (today's Latin lesson)