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Image / Editorial

These Are The Most Common Words And Phrases We Say Wrong Every Day


By Jennifer McShane
29th Nov 2015
These Are The Most Common Words And Phrases We Say Wrong Every Day

We all remember the moments – which quite possibly occur while drunk – in which one friend hilariously gets a well-known phrase or song lyric mixed up. For the record, that Taylor Swift line is ?Got a long list of ex-lovers? and not ?Gotta lot of Starbucks lovers? .

Well, according to a recent?Stylist Magazine survey, 3 in 4 admit to getting words or phrases completely wrong in everyday conversations?and the results should give you a giggle this weekend.

Some of the most commonly misused phrases include ?out on a whim? it should be ?out on a limb, ‘escape goat? instead of ‘scapegoat?, ?for all intensive purposes? that should, of course, be ‘for all intents and purposes’ and hilariously, ?nip it in the butt? instead of ?nip it in the bud.? Looking at the results in more detail, it is fair to say that even those of us who may happily boast about our apparent top-notch conversational skills might get a shock as to how easy it is to say the wrong thing.

The survey, conducted by Privilege Insurance, found that 66% of the 2,000 respondents also used words and phrases they don’t actually understand the meaning of at all. So, please take comfort in that we’ve all committed, to use an aptly timed expression from Mean Girls, word vomit at one point or another. Though, this writer fails to see how one could mix up ?crotch? with ?crutch.? Ah well, if needs be, blame your hangover.

Have a gander at the full list of common offenders below:? The correct phrase is in brackets:

Most commonly misused phrases:

28% Hunger pains (Hunger pangs)
22% Wreck havoc (Wreak Havoc)
20% Out on a whim (Out on a limb)
20% Mute point (Moot point)
18% Beckon call (Beck and call)
18% Escape Goat (Scapegoat)
18% Nip it in the butt (Nip it in the bud)
16% For all intensive purposes (For all intents and purposes)
12% Extract revenge (Exact revenge)

Most commonly misused words:

31% Affect (Effect)
28% Pacifically (Specifically)
23% Arks (Ask)*
21% Suppose (Supposed to)
19% Yourself / Myself(You / Me)
16% Advise (Advice)
14% Genuinely (Generally)
14% Adverse (Averse)
14% Your (You’ll)
2% Crotch (Crutch)
12% Flaunted (Flouted)
11% Patients (Patience)
10% Banter (Barter)
9% Decimated (Devastated)
9% Photographic (Photogenic)

How many are you guilty of getting wrong?