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Grammar Tips & Tidbits


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Common Misspellings in Everyday Expressions—Part III

In two previous issues of Grammar Tips  & Tidbits, we discussed a number of everyday expressions that contain common misspellings, such as moot point (not mute) or duct tape (not duck). If you missed these tips, you can read them at the pages listed below:

●  Misspelled Expressions I

Misspelled Expressions II

Many other everyday expressions contain commonly misspelled words. These spelling errors usually occur because two homophonesน (words with the same pronunciation but different spellings and meanings) have been interchanged.

The following expressions contain words that are frequently confused or misspelled. I've also hyperlinked each phrase to a website containing additional information.

He's a shoo-in  (not shoe)

●  Yin and yang (not ying)

●  Throes of passion (not throws)

●  Mother lode (not load)

●  Beyond the pale (not pail)

●  Segue (not segway)

OK, so segue is not technically a phrase, but it's certainly a tricky word to spell, so I decided to include it in this list. Segue (pronounced seg-way) is a homophone of the futuristic two-wheeled electric vehicle known as the Segway, whose logical spelling only serves to worsen the confusion surrounding the word  segue.

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1. Wikipedia contributors. "Homophone." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophone (accessed June 24, 2008).