Be Impeccable: Commonly Misused Phrases That Will Make You Sound Ignorant

A great thread for everybody using, teaching, let alone translating English. :-)

Great list and glad to say I am not guilty of using any of those incorrectly.
Laura, I notice you spell our southern word as "ya'll". I have always spelled it "y'all" as in "you all". I grew up in Alabama and we said y'all a lot, but never to a single person as they do on TV. Is ya'll correct or is that a different contraction than for "you all"?
Heaven knows it took me years to find out what y'all means while trying to figure out Blues and Soul lyrics.
That was decades before the internet and the best even concise dictionaries could come up with were definitions of "yowl" and "yawl"... :lol:

I'm still struggling with the inflationary use of "off of" in American English, though.

But down at the beach I wouldn't hesitate to say things like: "Gotta get da ice-cream offa my pants, y'all!" :cool:


Padawan Learner
I've noticed that use of "defiantly" when I know that the person meant "definitely" and I think it is most often just bad spelling or typo. Surely they are pronouncing "definitely" in their heads? Defiant is pronounced quite differently.
I agree, it's phonetically too different to be mispronounced but is more often a typo or erroneous correction by spell check.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just saw another one that pops up regularly: using the incorrect word verses (sections of a song, poem) instead of the correct word versus (opposed, against; often abbreviated "vs." in ordinary writing, and "v." in the titles of lawsuits, e.g. Joe Jones v. Smith Company)
Top Bottom