Odds-on favorites in the verbal gaffe derby

More ways that language goes horribly, horribly wrong.

More ways that language goes horribly, horribly wrong

Over the weekend, we saw the running (or slogging) of the Kentucky Derby, so it makes sense to talk about a particular misuse that slips past a lot of people: “If you have an open bar,” one might say, “it’ll increase the odds of a good turnout.”

Ummm, not so much.

It would actually improve the chances for a good turnout, which means lowering or decreasing the odds. The higher the odds, the less the likelihood of something happening. If the odds are 2-to-1, it’s far more likely to happen than something with 10-to-1 or 50-to-1 odds.

Then again, the longer you’ve been at an open bar, the better the chances you’ll bet on a 50-to-1 shot. And that worked out at last year’s Derby. Another mint julep, please!

We’ve all heard (or read) this: “My future plans include …” Yeeesh. Guess those “future plans” would be based on one’s “past experience.” A lot of people who know better still perpetrate these two doozies. That’s why editors have job security.

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