Thursday Inspiration Two

I’ve already posted my response today to Jim Adams’ Thursday Inspiration prompt here. I focused on the phrase, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and how that’s not the correct expression.

Anyway, that reminded of a post I wrote back in February 2018 that offers a series of expressions that many people are using incorrectly. So I thought I would share it again for those who may have missed it.

You’re Saying It Wrong

Nobody likes a smart ass, so you’re probably going to hate me after you read this post. That said, here are a bunch of words and phrases that are frequently used incorrectly. How many are you guilty of?

Nip it in the butt.” The expression should be nip it in the bud, which means to put an end to something before it develops into something larger. It alludes to destroying a flower bud before it blooms. But hey, if you’re into nipping butts, well, that sounds kind of kinky to me, but who am I to judge?

I could care less.” Okay so maybe you care more than you think you do, but the expression is I couldn’t care less.

One in the same.” The same person or thing is one and the same. Zorro and Don Diego, Clark Kent and Superman, Bruce Wayne and Batman are all examples of one and the same, not one in the same.

You’ve got another thing coming.” Now this is one even I have been saying wrong. It should be you’ve got another think coming, because its meaning is that you have to rethink your position, as in “If that’s what you think, you’ve got another think coming.”

Each one worse than the next.” Unless you can predict the future, how do you know if the next one is going to worse than the last one? That’s why the correct expression is each one worse than the last.

On accident.” Don’t you mean by accident?

Statue of limitations.” It’s the Statue of Liberty. It’s the statute of limitations.

For all intensive purposes.” Something can be very intensive, which means it requires or has a high concentration of a specified quality or element, as in intensive care. But the phrase is actually for all intents and purposes, which basically means, “amounts to” or “pretty much the same thing.”

He did good.” Good, in this case is an adjective that should describe a noun, so “He did a good job” would be correct. But when describing not how he did something but what he did, he did well is the right way to go.

Extract revenge.” It’s easy to see why this can be confused with the correct phrase, which is exact revenge. Extract means to draw or pull out, often with great force or effort. You extract a wisdom tooth. You use tweezers to extract a splinter. But in this context, to exact revenge is a planned, methodical act that is often severe.

Old timer’s disease.” I got a kick out of this one the first time I saw it because I’d never heard it used as a substitute for Alzheimer’s disease. I suppose one could argue that Alzheimer’s is typically something that happens mostly to old timers.

I’m giving you some leadway.” I’d love to have you give me some leadway. What the fuck is “leadway”? Actually, I’d rather you be giving me some leeway. Leeway is extra time, space, materials, or the like, within which to operate. It’s a degree of freedom of action or thought. So please, by all means, give me some leeway.

A whole nother.” As with “leadway,” “nother” is not a word. Neither is “nuther.” I would thank you for offering me a whole nother if I only knew what a nother is. Why not just give me “another” or “a whole other”?

Irregardless.” Yet another non-word. The word regardless means “without regard.” The prefix “ir” is a negative. By adding “ir” to the front of “regardless,” you’ve essentially created a double negative meaning “without without regard.” The correct word is simply regardless. Part of the not-so-uncommon use of the non-word irregardless may be due to the word “irrespective,” a perfectly good word that means without taking into account, or essentially, regardless of something. It can be confusing, but regardless, “irregardless” is not a word.

Conversating.” Sorry, but that is not a word either. When you’re engaged in a conversation, you’re conversing.

Expresso.” Okay, so you walk into a Starbucks and ask for a double expresso. How dumb do you feel when that pimply-faced barista smiles at you and says, “Oh, you want a double espresso, right?”

Momento.” If you are visiting Mexico and would like a local to please give you a minute while visiting Mexico, you might say, “Un momento, por favor.” But if what you want is something to remind you of your trip to Mexico, what you’re after is a memento.

Scotch free.” Okay, there’s Scotch tape and Scotch plaid, but there’s no ”Scotch free” unless, perhaps, someone gives you a free bottle of Scotch whisky*. The expression is scot-free, which means to go unpunished; to be acquitted of a crime. Scot is an old word meaning “tax” or “tax burden.”

I made a complete 360 degree change I my life.” That means you’re going around in circles and you’re back where you started. What you probably meant to say is that you’ve made a complete 180 degree change, meaning you’re now going in an entirely different direction…the opposite direction. Or maybe you’re going in a whole nother direction.

Curl up in the feeble position.” Sure, sometimes when you’re feeling low or upset, you may also feel pretty feeble. But the position you’re curling up into is the fetal position.

Phase.” This could be the correct word, depending upon context. You may be going through a “phase,” which is a temporary stage in your life that will pass. Most boys go through a masturbation phase in adolescence and early adult hood. For some men, though, that phase never passes. A faze, however, is to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted; daunt: The worst insults cannot faze him.

Hone in.” A hone is a fine-grained whetstone for giving a keen edge to a cutting tool. You usually hone something, as in to sharpen or make more effective. When you home in on something, you are getting within range, zeroing in. It was originally used in early aeronautics when pilots were guided to their destinations and back to their home bases by radio beacons. In the jargon of the time, they were said to “home in on” the beacons. Actually, though, “hone in” has become more commonplace these days than “home in.” Hone in is what linguists call an “eggcorn”: a change in word form due to error or misunderstanding.

I have to follow the tenants of my religion.” What you mean is that you have to follow the tenets (or principles or doctrines) of your religion. If you follow your tenants, or people who rent property, you might be thought of as a stalker.

Put the petal to the medal.” This is a double whammy. Unless you’re handing out medals with flower petals on them, what you’re really wanting to say is “Put the pedal to the metal,” which means to press a car’s accelerator to the floor.

I’m feeling nauseous.” No, you’re not. If you feel like you’re about to throw-up, you’re feeling nauseated. And if you make me feel like puking, then what you are is nauseous.

If you have any other examples of misused words or phrases, please feel free to add them in your comments.


Fellow blogger, Mister Bump, pointed out then when it comes to Scotch, it’s whisky, not whiskey. I stand corrected.

Thursday Inspiration — Another Think Coming

For this week’s Thursday Inspiration, Jim Adams has given us the song “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” from Judas Priest and/or the word “music.” I’ve been inspired in a totally different direction.

In his post, Jim wrote…

The phrase “you have another thing coming” is sometimes said as “you got another think coming,” and because of this Judas Priest song, people actually argue over which phrase is correct.

Jim correctly points out that “to have another think coming” means “to be greatly mistaken.” It comes from the notion that if you think something and you are wrong, or someone believes that you are wrong, they will tell you to think again.

The fact is that “another think coming” is, as Jim noted, the older of the two, dating in use to the mid-19th century. “Another thing coming” appears to have come about in American English several decades later.

The only context I can think of for the use of “thing” in the phrase might be if you were expecting two packages to be delivered to your doorstep from Amazon and you received only one. So you reach out to Amazon and they tell you, “Don’t worry, you have another thing coming.”

According to Merriam-Webster, the use of “thing” rather than “think” suggests that “thing” is an eggcorn of “think.” An eggcorn is term used to describe a word or phrase that sounds like and is mistakenly used in a seemingly logical or plausible way for another word or phrase either on its own or as part of a set expression.

Thus, “another thing coming” probably originated in speech with the mishearing of the “k” in think as being the hard “c” in coming, which leaves something that sounds suspiciously like “thing coming.”

These days, though, “another thing” is the more common turn of phrase, though it is frequently criticized, especially by pedantic purists like me.

Not What She Appeared to Be

When she walked into the room
I could feel my temperature rise.
She was the epitome of stylish
Her shoulder-length hair coiffed in squiggles
A glamorous representative of the halcyon days
Reminiscent of The Great Gatsby

Her visage took my imagination
To a fertile territory
Wherein we danced the night away
Ending in carnal bliss
As the sun breached the dark at dawn

But then a discordant note was played
When I discovered her true nature
She was not who or what she appeared to be


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (temperature), Word of the Day Challenge (stylish), My Vivid Blog (squiggles), The Daily Spur (representative), Your Daily Word Prompt (halcyon), Ragtag Daily Prompt (fertile territory), and E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (discordant).

Photo credit: aura_dragqueen/Instagram, a drag queen who couldn’t just stay home and watch Putin invade her country, so she joined the Ukrainian military.

F is for Forbidden Planet

For this year’s A-To-Z Challenge, my theme is MOVIES. I will be working my way through the alphabet during the month of April with movie titles and short blurbs about each movie. Today’s movie is “Forbidden Planet.”

“Forbidden Planet” was a 1956 American science fiction film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, that starred Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, and Leslie Nielsen. It is considered one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s. The movie was a technological breakthrough for its time and is thought of as a precursor of contemporary science fiction cinema. The characters and isolated setting have been compared to those in William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” and the plot contains certain similarities to the play, leading many to consider it a loose adaptation.

The film is about Astronauts in the 23rd century who are sent to the distant planet, Altair IV, to find out why a previous expedition had vanished. Once there, they find the reclusive professor Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) living with his beautiful daughter, Altaira (Anne Francis), and an amazing robot named Robby, who has a distinct personality and human traits. Morbius tells the astronauts that some unknown force killed the other settlers and shows them the vast underground city of the Krell, the long-dead natives of Altair IV. An invisible monster starts killing the astronauts, who discover that the monster is a projection of Morbius’s subconscious unleashed by his experiments with the mind-expanding machinery of the Krell.

“Forbidden Planet” pioneered several aspects of science fiction cinema. It was the first science fiction film to depict humans traveling in a faster-than-light starship of their own creation. It was also the first to be set entirely on another planet in interstellar space, far away from Earth. The Robby the Robot character is one of the first film robots that was more than just a mechanical “tin can” on legs. Robby displays a distinct personality and is an integral supporting character in the film. The film was groundbreaking as the first of any genre to use an entirely electronic musical score.

There are so many great science fiction movies out there, but “Forbidden Planet” was the first one I ever saw and, while this 66 year old film is dated from the perspective of what Sci-Fi filmmakers can do today with CGI and other special effects, the 1956 classic remains high on my list of favorites.


Previous A2Z 2022 posts: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

FFfPP — Does It Matter Anymore?

I’ve lost track. How long have I been here? Days? Weeks? Months? Could it be years? I don’t know.

But does it matter anymore?

Is this a prison I’m in? An asylum of some sort? Did I commit a crime? Am I insane? I don’t remember why I’m here.

But does it matter anymore?

I don’t even know where I am, as I have no recollection of how I got here. or even where I’m from.

But does it matter anymore?

My name. What is it? I don’t seem to know my name or who I am.

But does it matter anymore?

I see people through the small porthole, beyond the bars. I call out to them, but they don’t hear me. Or choose to ignore me.

But does it matter anymore?

Am I Dead? Am I a ghost? Is this Hell?

It doesn’t matter anymore.


Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Dynamic Wang on Unsplash.