Idioms! (no, not idiots – idioms – though some of these will sound pretty idiotic..)
An idiom, according to my favorite dictionary site, is an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one’s head, or from the general grammatical rules of a language, as the table round for the round table, and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of like characteristics. In simpler terms, it’s a figure of speech.
Yesterday, Kizz emailed me with this:
My favorite quote from a fanfic that’s laced with goodies:
Gorya didn’t strike her as the philanthropic type, so he had to have an ulterior motif.
Of course, it’s highly unlikely that anyone would ever SAY that – motif is pronounced moe-TEEF and motive is pronounced MOE-tiv – but I have to admit that I’ve seen this before in writing.
Things that people DO say, however, are just as funny. I’ve got students who say (and some who write):
for all intensive purposes – those are some pretty serious and concentrated purposes! The saying should read “for all intents and purposes.”
the cost was astrologically high – I don’t think that the zodiac has anything to do with what they’re trying to say. This saying should read “the cost was astronomically high.”
she had a deep-seeded fear of flying – nope. That would be seated, as in the seat of emotions
I took the wrong tact with my boss – I should hope there would be tact with one’s boss, but the word they’re looking for here is tack, as in the course of a sail boat
I’ve also heard “it takes two to tangle“ (oh, at least two!) and “half of one and six dozen of the other” (there’s really no comparison here, is there?).
What are your favorite fractured idioms?
Happy Wednesday, Everyone!