So….we’ve all screwed up expressions or words before, yeah? And sometimes they make a HUGE difference in what you’re saying. This example between Blanche and Dorothy comes at a time when they are attempting to protest the widening of Richmond street and ultimately chopping down an old oak tree. When the group of residents are summoned to make their case against the project, Blanche immediately stands up and assumes that she will be the one to speak on behalf of the group. When Dorothy asks why, they following exchange ensues:
This kind of thing happens to everyone (and anyone who doesn’t admit to it and acts like they never get words wrong is an asshole who is too afraid to look silly for a hot f*cking minute.) And sometimes when you have that, “…really?” moment, especially with other people, it’s can be really f*cking funny.
Until a few months ago when I was in my car, passing a potato truck I had no idea that the phrase was “russet potatoes.” NOT A FREAKING CLUE! I’m not huge into cooking and (wait for it!) I don’t like potatoes, so it never dawns on me to buy them, cook them or have come in contact with them enough to know the correct name. Ever. And I clearly never paid attention when my Mom made potatoes as a kid so I didn’t pick it up then. My entire life I’ve always thought it was “rusted potatoes.”
There, I said it.
Seems reasonable, right? The outside of potatoes are kind of ugly, worn and not usually what people are going for when they make potatoes although they certainly could.
Ok, maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better about it. The point is that I feel like I’ve lived a lie my entire life because I didn’t know the word was ‘russet’ and not ‘rusted,’ but when I found out I thought it was absolutely hilarious that I’d been wrong all this time.
I know someone (who shall remain nameless) thought up until a few years that the phrase “For all intents and purposes…” was actually, “For all intensive purposes…” As in, those purposes MEAN BUSINESS so they must be intense.
It’s funny how people hear phrases as they do and then based on how they hear them (even incorrectly), can establish a sometimes reasonable justification for thinking of it the way they did.
A few more
- “I could care less!” vs “I couldn’t care less!” – I once had this conversation with a friend in college; he stopped me, mid-sentence (I don’t remember for the life of me what I was talking about) and he said, “Did you just say that you could care less, or that you couldn’t care less??”
“I said I couldn’t care less…” as my eyes darted from side to side, questioning for a second if I’d used the phrase correctly.
“Ok, because it drives me crazy when people say, ‘I could care less.’ Well, then you obviously do care because there’s less caring that you could be doing!”
- Nip it in the butt (vs bud) – In one scenario you’re biting an actual butt, and in another you’re nipping the start of something before it blossoms. I suggest, if you know someone who uses this phrase incorrectly, next time just stick your butt out and go, “Ok, nip it!”
If you have a funny story about screwing up expressions or phrases please share! I’d love to hear!