7 idioms almost everyone gets wrong

The English language changes constantly, but sometimes it retains sayings that use words and meanings that have fallen out of favor. That leads to inadvertent mistakes.

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(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That can turn into a problem when those out-of-date words sound like other, much more common words.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.”

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