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Grammar Tips & Tidbits


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Common Misspellings in Everyday Expressions—Part IV

In previous issues of Grammar Tips  & Tidbits, we've discussed a number of everyday expressions that contain common misspellings, such as beyond the pale (not pail) and mother lode (not load). If you missed these tips, you can view them at the pages listed below:

●  Misspelled Expressions I

Misspelled Expressions II

●  Misspelled Expressions III

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:

Rein in costs  (not reign)

●  All for naught (not not)

●  How did you fare? (not fair)

●  Nothing fazes him (not phases)

●  Peace of mind (not piece)

●  On the lam (not lamb)

The origin of the phrase "on the lam" is unknown, but the debate continues. If you're curious, you'll want to check out the following web pages:

●  New York Times

●  Online Etymology Dictionary

●  Word Origins

●  Merriam-Webster

●  The Phrase Finder

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1. Wikipedia contributors. "Homophone." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophone (accessed June 1, 2009).