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7 phrases you’re screwing up regularly

By / 09.09.13
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Misspoken Phrases

Pencil and dictionary image by Shutterstock

The English language and American language culture is a beautiful thing and there are loads of phrases, idioms, words and combinations of them to keep us all busy and entertained, indeed. But sometimes, we use words and phrases the wrong way. Like the ROFLMAO while SMH way. Let’s get into some phrases we all screw up from time to time.

Deep seeded

Are you planting your hatred and then watering it and making sure it has plenty of sunlight? No. It’s actually “deep seated.”

Example: Your “deep seated” dumbassery will not be forgotten.

Intensive purposes

What the hell is an intensive purpose? It’s actually “intents and purposes.”

Example: For all “intents and purposes,” this drive-thru order has come to its completion, good sir.


...uh...that’s not a word. Are you mixing the real words, “irrelevant” and “regardless?”

Example: I don’t have an example, cuz it’s not a damn word.

Point blank

This may be said right, but there’s a misconception that it means "so close up that it’s either touching or mere inches away." Point blank actually means that a traveling projectile doesn’t succumb to the pull of gravity before it hits its target. So by extension, this means that when you say you took that beer keg at point blank range to the face…ah, it doesn’t work like that…unless you have a very high tech beer keg.

Peeked peaked curiosity

No one peeks at curiosity and there is certainly no one who climbs to the peak of curiosity. No, your curiosity gets “piqued.”

Example: When Kate Upton is featured in Guyism's GIFterpiece theatre, everyone’s curiosity gets “piqued.”


This literally means in a literal or strict sense; word for word; without embellishment. If you want to be taken seriously and not as if everything you say is an exaggeration, use literally sparingly and appropriately.

Example: I will “literally” end your life in a most literal and first-degree pre-meditated sense if you misuse “literally” again.

I could care less

What? That’s literally (yes, I said literally and yes, it works in that context!) the opposite of what you mean. What you actually mean is, “I couldn’t care less”, which implies that you don’t give a single French crepe about it. Whoops!

Example: “I couldn’t care less” about what you’re saying if I’m going to have to decipher it Rosetta Stone style.

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Jason Epstein
About Jason Epstein... Jason Epstein is a nationally published freelance writer living in the greater NYC area. He's known for his close friends/good conversations/playing bass/wind in the face/rocking out/reading up/holding it down/good times/turning on dimes/and sometimes trying to rhyme(s). He can be reached at his website and you can follow him on Twitter here.
TAGSAmerican languageAmerican phrasesArbitrary Rankingscommon grammar mistakesconfused wordsEnglish languagefeaturedgrammar mistakesListsmisspoken phrasesmisspoken wordswords and phrases

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