“Mangled sayings” edition!
Here are some of the goodies I’ve heard and/or seen lately:
“Might (could/would/should) of”
“that really peaked my interest”
“all for not”
I’ve actually heard discussion in other forums – I think it was NPR, actually – about how the first one, “I would of come, but I missed the bus,” is creeping into the lexicon. I hereby send out a cry for resistance – the construction makes no sense. “Of” is a preposition and the entire phrase “would have come” is the verb for that clause, and the only way to make any sense of it.
The second example is a little less heinous – the verb peaked really does make sense in the construction, but it’s not generally what the speakers (or writers) really intend to say. To say that something peaked my interest is to say that it brought it to a pinnacle. To say that something piqued my interest is to say that something aroused it and caught my attention. To say that something peeked my interest is just dumb.
Finally, the last phrase is just wrong. Really, what one is saying with that construction is that it was all for nothing, and another word for nothing is naught. Kizz mentioned that she’d seen “more often than naught,” I suspect she found it in some of the grammatically and syntactically abmomidable fanfic she reads, and that’s wrong, too; that phrase should read “more often than not” because, if you expand the phrase, what’s being said there is “this thing does happen more often than it does not happen.”
Today, I leave you with my favorite student-generated sentence from last week’s writing assignments. The students were asked to write an opinion paper, and this particular scholar decided to write in support of Planned Parenthood. The need for more Planned Parenthood-type services is great, she said, because (and I’m quoting here):
“pregnant teens are expanding at an alarming rate.”
Having been pregnant myself – though not as a teen – I can attest to the alarming rate at which pregnant women actually DO expand, but that’s not at all what she intended to say.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!