10 Misconceptions About Common Sayings

Submitted by: natakalt 8 years ago in
http://listverse.com/miscellaneous/10-misconceptions-about-common-sayings/

How many times have you repeated an old saying with no idea of what it means (or if you"re even using it correctly)?
There are 72 comments:
Male 213
Grammar Nazi, attack!
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Male 15,832
@Lionhart2

I would contend that "I?" is not a complete sentence since it does not contain a verb, and any implied verb would depend on the antecedent sentence. Depending on context, it could mean "I am?" or "I did?" or "I was?" or "I can?" or any of a number of other possibilities. Conversely, the subject of an imperative is always "you."

I guess we`ll just have to agree to disagree on that one. :->

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Female 110
"The difference between wreak and wreck I think depends on where you`re from. In the USA it can vary from state to state if not from county to county."

I hope you mean the difference in which word is commonly used in the phrase... because the words themselves mean two entirely different things. Either way, "wrecking havoc" is just like saying "I could care less." People who say those two phrases almost always mean the exact opposite of what they`re actually saying. It makes me cringe a little bit. =/

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Male 949
I HATE it when people say `I could care less`.
It`s `couldn`t`.
`I Couldn`t care less`!

COULDN`T! D:

I totally agree.

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Female 254
I have never in my life heard "wreck havoc" it`s always been "wreak havoc" so... I dunno why that one is on the list.
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Female 80
I HATE it when people say `I could care less`.
It`s `couldn`t`.
`I Couldn`t care less`!

COULDN`T! D:

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Male 8,302
Should probably have been titled "10 Blindingly Obvious Sayings Only a Complete Moron Would Ever Get Wrong"
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Male 639
"I have *never* heard "wreck havoc". It must be a recent mistake by stupid people, because I`ve heard "wreak havoc" used often ever since I was little."

Yeah I`m the same. I`ve never even heard someone say wreck havoc before.

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Female 495
"Common Saying: To get off scot free

Many people think that this saying refers to Scottish people being tight with money"

like hell they do!!

A lot were too blindingly obvious to be on there.. but the thing coming one was interesting!

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Male 369
I love split infinitives!

love live language change!!!

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Female 1,963
I`ve always said "You`ve got another think coming". Actually none of those surprised me. Well I do study philosophy, and have always been interested in philology.
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Male 679
I have *never* heard "wreck havoc". It must be a recent mistake by stupid people, because I`ve heard "wreak havoc" used often ever since I was little.
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Male 845
this does not interest me. rewrite it as a cracked article.
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Female 79
Anyone who has taken a philosophy class knows the true meaning of "begs the question."
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Male 8,302
@OldOllie

LOL, and
> Incidentally, the shortest sentence in English is not "I am." It`s "Go."

Incorrect. The shortest sentence is "I?" as in "You made a mistake!" "I?"

:-P :-) :-P

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Male 15,832
@Lionhart2 "Read" is a complete sentence. The imperative form has an implied subject, "you." Hi2pi does get a point off for capitalization, though. (Incidentally, the shortest sentence in English is not "I am." It`s "Go.")

When you end a sentence with a quote, the final punctuation goes inside the closing quotation mark. Also, the comma after "be" is superfluous.

| Thirdly, where else would all the people be except "out there?"

Finally, in the statement as you say it should have read, you split the infinitive: "...to competently use..."

Now, somebody find a typo in this and rip on me! LOL!

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Male 8,302
> hi2pi
> this was a good list because there are too many people out there who are unable to use the English Language with competence. read.

I invite you to add your own name to list of the "too many" to whom you referred. Firstly, it was not these people who made the list good; that was the author who wrote it. Secondly, what is this object "English language with competence" to which you refer? Thirdly, where else would all the people be, except "out there"? Did you think we thought all the people were in your house? Fourthly, "Read." is not a sentence.

Your statement should have read: "I consider this a good list, because it corrects the misconceptions of many people who are unable to competently use the English language. I would suggest they read more often."

There is no misconception about the saying, "People who live in glass houses shouldn`t throw stones."

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Male 914
ahh, i feel more enlightened now...thank you iab.
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Female 298
whoops.
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Male 12,138
[quote]"long-lived" and "short-lived" rhyme with arrived.[/quote]

No. Just no.

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Male 15,832
Just a couple of things that bug me.

First, sidewalks and swimming pools are NOT not made out of cement; they are made out of concrete. Concrete is made with cement, sand, coarse aggregate, and water.

Second, "long-lived" and "short-lived" rhyme with arrived.

Oh, and Bo_SHhaYeB, what`s "miss conception," the winner of a beauty pageant for pregnant girls?

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Male 736
this was a good list because there are too many people out there who are unable to use the English Language with competence. read.
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Male 2,582
Opie, it`s a well known fact that Apple users are wife beaters...and puppy killers.

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Male 2,582
The author of this list comes across as a real prick. Thank you for the useless list void of any information.
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Male 12,365
"interesting.. I always thought the whole "rule of thumb" thing was true. "

The wife-beating thing was made up in the 1970s to promote the idea that men want to brutally oppress women and the only thing stopping them is the Bold Heroic Feminists. Of course, that idea requires lots more brutal oppression in the past, to "prove" that feminism is the answer. So feminists made some up, knowing that hardly anyone would know better or check. Sounds silly, but it worked, didn`t it? Not just for that particular piece of propaganda, either.

In reality, the phrase refers to a reasonably accurate approximation derived from experience in a quite literal way. An experienced artisan can use their thumb as a very convenient and adequately accurate measuring device. They are using their thumb as a rule...a rule of thumb rather than a rule of wood or metal.

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Male 12,365
A list of 10 etymologies on the net...and I`m not sure that any one of them is wrong! That`s a first - such lists are usually full of errors.
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Male 326
On tender hooks? Really? I haven`t ever heard that one used incorrectly. Most of these I have though. The "wreck havoc" one is hilarious. It screams "mock me!"
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Male 12,138
vv Delicious irony in that last comment...
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Male 212
no one says wreck havoc, people would stare like your an idiot
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Male 353
The difference between wreak and wreck I think depends on where you`re from. In the USA it can vary from state to state if not from county to county.
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Male 359
The person who made this list deserves to be killed for assuming that just because they use the wrong versions of common sayings everybody does.
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Male 1,556
opiebreath.
Because it`s politically correct.
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Male 1,220
who says "wreck havoc"?
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Female 15,763
Wait a second...

Why does he have an Apple logo on his shirt? o_O

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Female 4,028
People say "wreck havoc"?

You know what a lot of people get wrong that irks me?
Instead of saying "I couldn`t care less," so many people say "I could care less."
So you do care?

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Male 12,138
vv Standards, I know, that was a wee joke there...
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Female 1,380
Luke...do you not know that "a lot" is 2 words?
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Male 275
The `wreck havoc` one confused me. I`ve never heard someone say it like that, everyone I`ve ever talked to says wreak ><
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Male 564
"My lack of basic language skills in the the only language I know means I quickly loose the respect of people I meet, unless I don`t speak."

Loose = lose?

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Male 928
Same here wreak not wreck but I have heard others use it wrong.

I always laugh when my girl says socker punch because it`s actually sucker punch. I was like socker wtf? lol

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Female 471
I always pronounced it "wreak havoc ". Good to know I was right on at least one of them :)
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Female 2,064
"another thing coming" is actually "another think coming?" weird.
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Female 31
never mind... i spelled shoot as shot

this post is completely relevant

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Female 31
i fail to see why any of this matters.
(Please don`t shot me)
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Female 4,039
Davymid - Diaeresis!?! Awesome!
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Male 149
I never knew people said `wreck havoc`, I`ve only ever heard the correct version
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Male 12,138
"I poured over the book for hours, unfortunately it was a porn mag and not a book on English"
"Despite my parents` warnings, I dropped out of school at 15, irregardless of the consequences"
"So I sound like an illiterate retard when I talk, I could care less" (thanks Baal!)
"I spent my school years in the throws of ecstacy, as I masturbated furiously rather than go to english classes"
"Unfortunately my mother was a raging crack fiend and didn`t teach me the value of education. Now she`s locked up in the asylum in a straight-jacket"
"Why on earth would I want to read a BOOK when I can watch Maury all day? What a hair-brained scheme!"
"My lack of basic language skills in the the only language I know means I quickly loose the respect of people I meet, unless I don`t speak."
"I could of went to school I suppose, but what would of been the point in that?"
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Male 12,138
Yes, yes, a thousand times YES! There are WAY too many retards who lack basic english skills, we need more lists like this. Sorry, but I`m not just a Grammar Nazi, I`m the Grammar f*cking Führer.

Other examples of mass butchery of the language at the hands of the mentally deficient (continued next post):

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Male 901
People who think this list is bad has another thing coming. I`m gonna wreck some serious havoc here.
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Male 1,788
"I think language is what majority people think it means, because that is how people understand it when they say it. Alot of words have changed meaning over time and to get mad over it is being a bit of a stiff."

Absolutely right. A word is just a vocal utterance that takes meaning in culture over time. It`s whatever it means in that culture. So technically, this guy is wrong. Whatever it means to us IS the actual meaning of the common sayings.

"Oh, and "I could care less" is completely meaningless. "I COULDN`T care less" means you care as little as possible. "I could care less" implies you care some arbitrary amount, but not the minimum."

I thought I was the only one that noticed! I hate that so incredibly much.

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Female 340
I`ve always used the terms "to wreak havoc" and "free rein." The "I couldn`t care less" has aggravated me a number of times, not to mention people who claim they`re "having a condition" instead of a conniption. Regardless, I will continue to advocate proper usage of the english language, syntax, spelling and grammar.
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Male 1,788
That was soo stupid.
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Female 531
why did the wife beater have the apple logo on his shirt
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Male 528
Since the author seems to be trying to explain the final entry in the most confusing terms possible, he is describing "circular reasoning"
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Female 1,653
3 + 2 Id never known anyone to misconcept - Id always thought it was free REIN and WREAK havoc.
I bet the people that mangled these are the same that wright "of" when they mean "have"
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Female 9,496
snotty, what does obama have to do with this list.
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Female 195
Baalthazaq - I`ve been wanting to ask Americans why they`ve started saying "I COULD care less" for a while now. Honestly, it`s starting to irritate me...
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Male 292
To make it worse, my English professor says "wreck havoc" and graded me down because he claimed "`wreak` is not a real word."

Oh, and "I could care less" is completely meaningless. "I COULDN`T care less" means you care as little as possible. "I could care less" implies you care some arbitrary amount, but not the minimum.

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Male 61
Bataleon:

gramâ‹…mar
   /ˈgræmər/
–noun
1. the study of the way the sentences of a language are constructed; morphology and syntax.
6. knowledge or usage of the preferred or prescribed forms in speaking or writing: She said his grammar was terrible.

I think this list could be considered to deal with grammar. Seems to fit the definition well enough.

And grammar does not have an "e" in it.

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Male 275
The list doesn`t make sense, I guess that`s another miss conception about making lists. Some people just want lists
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Male 2,528
Whoever wrote this list is a moron. I have never heard anyone use the phrase "wreck havoc", and I do know that the term "rain check" is used for other sports like golf that have been around much longer than baseball. And did anyone ever assume that the phrase "scot free" had anything to do with sottish people being tight with money.

I think this guy was grasping at straws in an attempt to make himself look smarter than others.

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Male 1,178
"It really bothers me that an increasing amount of people don`t care about grammar, so I was quite pleased with this list. It`s very interesting. :)"

You do realise this list has nothing to do with grammer (punctuation), its to do with spelling and misinterpretation

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Male 1,178
i had never heard of most of the misinterpreted sayings. I knew most of the original sayings. I have never heard anyone in my life say "to wreck havoc", it has alwqays been "to Wreak havoc"
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Female 168
It really bothers me that an increasing amount of people don`t care about grammar, so I was quite pleased with this list. It`s very interesting. :)
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Male 2,313
Another thing coming makes considerably more sense than another think coming.
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Male 695
eenie meenie miney moe, catch obama by the toe.
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Male 4,547
I could care less.

(I know, lets see who else does).

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Male 388
boooooriiiiing....
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Male 268
interesting.. I always thought the whole "rule of thumb" thing was true.
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Female 1,269
i agree with luke...
and i didnt really use those sayings so i guess im getting off scot-free!
wait...
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Male 626
I think language is what majority people think it means, because that is how people understand it when they say it. Alot of words have changed meaning over time and to get mad over it is being a bit of a stiff.
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Female 1,697
Link: 10 Misconceptions About Common Sayings [Rate Link] - How many times have you repeated an old saying with no idea of what it means (or if you`re even using it correctly)?
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