(Editor’s note: This was one of the top viewed stories of 2014. We’re rerunning it as part of a look back at the articles that captivated our readers the most.)
The English language is old. Like, really old.
It’s old enough that its speakers use a good many idiomatic sayings that were thought up decades or even centuries ago, and that use words people don’t really say much anymore.
That can turn into a problem when those out-of-date words sound like other, much more common words. Especially if the sound-alike word makes a certain sort of sense in the context. Here’s the thing, though: It’s still wrong, even if it seems right.
Take a look at these eight examples of often-misused idioms and be sure to use the right word in your own writing.
Wrong: “She hung in there like a trooper.”
Right: “She hung in there like a trouper.”