Anglican Samizdat

February 24, 2009

Mangling the mother tongue

Filed under: Manners — David Jenkins @ 4:27 pm

According to the Telegraph, the top ten misquotes by British people are as follows:

1) A damp squid (a damp squib)

2) On tender hooks (on tenter hooks)

3) Nip it in the butt (nip it in the bud)

4) Champing at the bit (chomping at the bit)

5) A mute point (a moot point)

6) One foul swoop (one fell swoop)

7) All that glitters is not gold (all that glisters is not gold)

8 ) Adverse to (averse to)

9) Batting down the hatches (batten down the hatches)

10) Find a penny pick it up (find a pin pick it up)

Arbitrary North American irritations:

I could care less (I couldn’t care less)

Money is the root of all evil (the love of money is the root of all evil)

I’ve got less faults than you (I’ve got fewer faults than you)

I should have went to my grammar classes (I should have gone to my grammar classes)

There is bats in my belfry (there are bats in my belfry)

I should of attended my grammar lessons (I should have attended my grammar lessons)

I’m doing good (I’m doing well)

On a daily basis (every day)

Every person should check their words (every person should check his words)

Visa-versa (vice versa)

Its got it’s apostrophe in the wrong place (It’s got its apostrophe in the wrong place)

The trajectory of the Anglican Church (the direction of the Anglican Church)

As well, misplacing words in a sentence can be annoying (misplacing words in a sentence can be annoying as well)



  1. Oh yes – it’s all the various apparitions of the verb ‘to go’ that ‘get’ me – –

    Comment by Margo — February 24, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  2. and those ones

    Comment by Share — February 25, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

  3. The misuse of “random” is itself an irritation for my mathematically-minded friends.

    Comment by Geoff — February 27, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

  4. Geoff,
    They are quite right: I’ve changed it to “arbitrary” to avoid disturbing the sensibilities of the mathematically inclined.

    Comment by David — February 27, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

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