Culture

We're Not Cutting You Some Slacks When it Comes to These Phrases

Guilty if charged.
Comments

When you’re trying to make a point, using a phrase or expression incorrectly doesn’t just look silly—it can distract people from what you wanted to say in the first place. This is exactly what happened to blogger RJ Nieto when he said Rappler CEO Maria Ressa “lies to her teeth.”

A concerned follower gently pointed out that the correct usage would be “lied through her teeth.” After all, one would assume Nieto doesn’t mean that Ressa tells falsehoods to her molars—though many of his other followers hilariously thought the phrase meant that Ressa was literally lying to her teeth, and therefore herself. (What.)

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Here are some phrases people often mix up:

Lying through one’s teeth means you’re saying something completely false without guilt or remorse. The phrase “through one’s teeth” evokes the image of someone smiling or looking at ease while lying. There's no such expression as "lying TO one's teeth." 

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

..



People say “I couldn’t care less” to show a certain situation or person doesn’t matter to them at all. Imagine a scale that runs from zero to ten, ten meaning that situation is of utmost importance to you. If you say "I couldn't care less," you're at zero. If you say "I could care less," you're actually somewhere between one and ten—that situation does matter to you, and it's possible for it to matter less. 

..

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

People often mix this up because "peek" sounds the same as "peak." However, to "peek" means to glimpse, while a "peak" can mean the top of a mountain or to reach the highest point of something. So giving someone a "sneak peak” doesn’t make much sense, unless you mean that a mountain peak is sneaking around somewhere.

..

We’ve seen signs saying “In lieu of Holy Week, we shall be closed during these hours.” A lot of Filipinos seem to think "in lieu of" means "because of," when it really means "instead of." The moral of the story? If you're not sure what an expression means, make sure to find out before you use it. And there's nothing wrong with stating things in the simplest way possible, rather than embarrassing yourself by trying to sound fancy. 

..

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

          

When an object makes a 180-degree turn, that means it’s now facing the opposite direction from when it started. Thus, making a “180-degree change” means you’ve completely changed your ways. If you say you’ve made a 360-degree change, that just means you’ve gone right back to where you started, since turning 360 degrees puts you in the same direction you were facing before.


..

This is another case of people mixing up similar-sounding words. But again, you can avoid confusion if you consider what the words actually mean. To wreak means to cause, so "wreaking havoc" or causing complete and utter chaos makes complete sense. On the other hand, "wrecking" havoc isn't just wrong—it technically means the opposite, since you're saying you're destroying or eliminating havoc. 

..

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Toeing the line means to know your place, or to submit to a certain authority and do what's expected of you. Some etymologists say the expression originates from people staying behind the starting lines at races. Others believe it comes from the lines on the floor at the British House of Commons. Each party was supposed to stay behind their line, and this practice prevented the opposing parties from rushing forward and attacking each other when debates became too heated. If you want to keep things simple, just think of toeing the line as the opposite of crossing the line. 

Comments
View More Articles About:
About The Author
Angelica Gutierrez
Angelica is currently Editorial Assistant for Esquiremag.ph.
View Other Articles From Angelica
Comments
Latest Feed
 
Share
One of the NBA’s best-dressed stars is in a league of his own.
 
Share
 
Share
From home-cooked to high-brow to down-to-earth, we give you the ultimate purveyors of these coveted claws.
 
Share
Jonathan Roxmouth shares insights from taking on the iconic role, and how the 32-year-old musical is still relevant today.
 
Share
 
Share
Collecting user data from a groundbreaking form of interactive entertainment definitely sounds like an episode of Black Mirror.
 
Share
 
Share
Esperienza Ferrari allows participants much sought-after drive time with the newest cars bearing the prancing horse logo
Load More Articles