537 - The Importance Of The Words We Use

2018-08-23 17:43:15

The Importance Of The Words We Use
The Importance of the Words We Use

The words we speak and write are part of how we are evaluated in terms of professionalism. Sometimes it is a simple mispronunciation, sometimes it might be mixing different tenses, or perhaps an incorrect subject-verb agreement (so they disagree). Here are a few phrases you don't want to use as shown, whether online or off:

  1. Expresso
    Want to start off your day with a bang? Get an espresso. The word "expresso" doesn't exist.
    Correct usage: "I'll take a triple espresso. This is going to be the best day ever."
  2. Scotch free/Scott free
    Getting off scot-free means “getting away with something without punishment or consequences”. Many believe it comes from the 16th century, when a tax or fee was known as a "scot." Thus this example from John Wolcot's Odes of Condolence: "Scot-free the Poets drank and ate; they paid no taxes to the State!"
    Correct usage: "Looks like that street artist got away scot-free again."
  3. Statue of limitations
    A statue is a trophy or other physical item used as an award; statute is a legal term. A statute of limitations refers to the time limit on prosecuting a certain crime. For example, the statute of limitations in California for professional malpractice is 1 year from discovery. You can only prosecute if it's within a one-year window from when you found out about the malpractice.
    Correct usage: "There is no statute of limitations for murder."
  4. Nip it in the butt
    The correct phrase here is "nip it in the bud," and it comes from gardening. When you nip something in the bud, it means you stop it before it gets the chance to flower. Nipping something in the butt is meaningless (unless you're a dog, hehehehe).
    Correct usage: "He texted you again? You'd better nip that in the bud."
  5. Flush out
    If you want to say you're expanding on an idea, you're fleshing it out, not flushing it out. It comes from drawing, when you would outline the skeleton of a person first, then add flesh.
    Correct usage: "Let's flesh out this idea at the meeting."
  6. On accident
    Prepositions are the bane of existence for more than just middle schoolers - even adults misuse them. The correct phrase here is always "by accident." You can do something on purpose, but you can't do it on accident.
    Correct usage: "I think Alexa sent us that personal message by accident."
  7. I could care less
    This is a common expression. When you say you could care less, it means you do care - at least a bit, but now, that little bit of caring is even less than it was. If you want to express that you really don't care at all, you must say "I couldn't care less."
    Correct usage: "I couldn't care less whether we paint the conference room pink."