Commonly misused phrases, and how to say them correctly

If someone insults you and you respond that you “could care less,” it’s really not the comeback you intended. Saying that it is possible for you to care less about something means you have to care about it at least a little bit. The correct phrase to use when describing someone you truly do not care about is “couldn’t care less.” And when it comes to commonly misused phrases, we really could care less (meaning, we really do care about this stuff).

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One popularly misused phrase is “all intensive purposes,” which should be “all intents and purposes.” You may know the difference between “peek” (to take a look) and “peak” (the pinnacle of something), but you’re still getting it wrong when you say the phrase “peaked my interest.” It should be “piqued my interest,” which means, in this context, to stimulate interest.


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More examples of misused phrases include: “first-come, first-serve,” which should be “first-come, first-served”; “piece of mind,” which should be “peace of mind”; “shoe-in,” which should be “shoo-in”; “baited breath,” which should be “bated breath”; and “wet your appetite,” which should be “whet your appetite.”

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If you realize you’ve been saying a phrase wrong all this time, know that you’re not alone. And hopefully now you’ve got some piece, sorry PEACE, of mind.

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