tree covered by ice

How Many Have You Misused?

by Sarah Wilkinson, Class of ’17

I’m curious: how many of these phrases have you misused? I’ll be honest, I’ve made quite a few of these (and for a few, just now realized my mistake!).

  1. First-Come, First-Serve, supposed to be First-Come, First-Served. In the former, it means that the person who shows up to the party first then has to serve everyone else…not quite what you meant.
  2. I Could Care Less, supposed to be I Couldn’t Care Less. This is a big one, and I’ve wondered in the past why nearly everyone says “I could care less,” as that implies you still have some patience left. Now it makes sense; we were all saying it wrong the whole time!
  3. Piece of Mind, supposed to be Peace of Mind. I wonder if this extends to the phrase, “I’ll give you a piece of my mind.” Is it supposed to be, “Peace of my mind?” These are the real questions.
  4. For All Intensive Purposes, supposed to be For All Intents and Purposes. I think this one was a victim of laziness. In our fast-paced world, time is money and we want to get the words out as quickly as possible. As a result, we butcher the language.
  5.  I also say “Mise Well,” rather than “Might as Well.” Anyone else do this? I think this one has something to do with where I grew up (the Midwest, if you were wondering).

So how does this relate back to your career? The biggest example of where saying something other than what you mean biting you in the butt would be in your interview or in a presentation to your superiors. It’s important to speak properly when trying to show your best self; otherwise, people might think you – gasp – unqualified. And that is certainly not the case.

Source: The Muse