12/13/2007

What They Said -- And What They MEANT To Say



Sometimes using the correct word can make all the difference. You hear a lot of people, including teachers, politicians, and journalists, use the wrong word sometimes, and such faux pas can be cringe-inducing.

Some prime examples:

The statement: That guy looks too effete to have ever played football.
What it actually means: That guy looks too worn out to have ever played football.
What they meant to say: That guy looks too effeminate to have ever played football.

The statement: We know the killer will be back, and that's problematic.
What it actually means: We know the killer will be back, and that's questionable.
What they meant to say: We know the killer will be back, and that's a big problem.

The statement: She writes with self-depreciating humor.
What it actually means: She writes with humor that reduces her net worth.
What they meant to say: She writes with self-deprecating humor.

The statement: Sign here if you are amicable to the terms.
What it actually means: Sign here if you aren't hostile.
What they meant to say: Sign here if you are amenable to the terms.

The statement: She's lost so much weight she looks emancipated.
What it actually means: She's lost so much weight that she left home to be independent.
What they meant to say: She's lost so much weight she looks emaciated.

6 comments:

Hale McKay said...

I have seen in print or heard journalists or teachers make the following faux pas:

1) the Emaciation Proclamation

2) the Magnet Charta

3) Row v. Wade

4) the Warsaw Pack

5) "duck" tape (lots of people)

6) Sermon on the Mound

I'm sure there are others I can't think of at the moment ...

Serena Joy said...

Oh, those are funny. I wish I'd kept a list of all the great examples I've seen over the years.:)

Jack K. said...

I will have to begin making notes of such statements.

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