Posted by: episystechpubs | August 6, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Only bandages are for intensive purposes…

Hello all!

I received an article from one of our co-workers which contains several phrases that are frequently misspoken or misheard. Here are a few that I’ve been asked about recently.

· For all "intents and purposes" — not for all "intensive purposes"

If you say "for all intensive purposes," you mean "for all these very thorough purposes." That doesn’t make any sense.

On the other hand, "for all intents and purposes" means "for all the reasons I did this and all the outcomes." It’s a much stronger cliché. [KC- Of course a strong cliché is still a cliché, so it is best to avoid it, when possible.]

· "By" accident — not "on" accident

While both terms have become acceptable, "by accident" is technically correct.

So you do something "on purpose" but "by accident." English is crazy.

· "Wreak" havoc — not "wreck" havoc

To "wreck" havoc means to destroy havoc, which is the exact opposite of this phrase’s meaning. When you "wreak havoc," you’re spreading chaos, anarchy, and destruction.

· I "couldn’t" care less — not I "could" care less

If you "could" care less, you’re admitting there are other, less important things in world, which takes away the sting of your comment.

By saying you "couldn’t" care less, you mean nothing else exists on the planet that matters less to you. Major burn.

· Try "to" — not try "and"

Consider this example: I’m going to try and dance. So what are you going to try while you’re dancing? Vietnamese food? A new hat?

Instead, say "I’m going to try to dance," meaning you will attempt to move your body in a rhythmic way.[KC
– I guess she saw my early days of disco—“attempt” is a key word here!]

· "Beck and call" — not "beckon call"

Having someone at your "beck and call" means they cater to your every need. "Beckon call" doesn’t even grammatically make sense. "Beckon" is a verb, which can’t modify an adjective.

For the entire list, see 15 Words and Phrases You’re Probably Saying Incorrectly.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

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