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Words and phrases you've been getting wrong

Words and phrases you've been getting wrong
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They’re cringe-worthy. They’re hilarious. And they’re going to help you never make the same mistakes again.

For all intensive purposes

For all intensive purposes
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If you’re using this phrase to mean “for all practical purposes,” then for all intents and purposes, you’re doing it wrong (see what we did there?). The phrase, “for all intensive purposes” is a mondegreen, which is defined as a misheard version of a phrase, saying or slogan. The phrase you’re actually looking for (as you’ve probably guessed by now) is “for all intents and purposes.”

Here are 10 common sayings that sound way funnier in other languages.

A doggy dog world

A doggy dog world
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What you meant to say was “dog eat dog world,” right? If so, it’s understandable that you misheard/reshaped it as “doggy dog world.” This type of error is known as an “eggcorn,” which reshapes an established word or phrase phonetically, without changing the actual meaning of the phrase (just as “eggcorn” reshapes the word “acorn” without changing its actual meaning).

Along with “eggcorn”, here are 18 words for things you never knew had names.

 

All and all

All and all
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We hope that what you meant to say was “all in all,” which is an idiom (a word or phrase whose meaning can’t be understood outside its cultural context) meaning “everything being taken into account.” If you actually meant “all and all,” then you’re just being redundant. Please never do this when it comes to acronyms, or grammar snobs will be saying you have RAS (repetitive acronym syndrome. But if you’re looking to be concise, you might want to consider replacing “all in all” with “in sum.”

These are 15 of the hardest words to spell in the English language.

Day in age

Day in age
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In this day and age, you should really know better than to say “day in age.” It’s an eggcorn, which means we know you meant well. But now you know better.

Avoid these 10 words that will immediately make you sound old.

Butt naked

Butt naked
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The thing about being butt naked, is that it’s more than just your butt that’s hanging out there making you look foolish. The actual term is “buck naked,” although truth be told, so many people have misheard it and misstated it as “butt naked” that grammarians actually are beginning to accept “butt naked” as a proper idiom.

Don’t miss these 27 hilarious (but totally real) names for groups of animals. 

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All for not

All for not
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If you think this grammar exercise is all for not, then you might want to reconsider – because nothing is actually “all for not,” whereas something that is pointless may, indeed, be “all for naught.” Yeah, it’s old-timey. But it’s the right way to say it. Sorry, not sorry.

By the way, dictionary editors say this is the most misused word in the English language.

A whole nother

A whole nother
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What’s a “nother“? Exactly. There’s no such thing. “It’s a whole nother story” may sound cute and colloquial, but it certainly isn’t grammatical. What is grammatical is “a whole different story” or “another story” or even “a whole other story.” Choose one, and sound like a boss.

Here are 16 social media slang terms you really should know by now. 

At nauseum

At nauseum
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You know when someone’s droning on and on and on about something to the point where you feel like you’re going to be sick? Well, they’re going on ad nauseam. It’s Latin for “to sickness.” We know the “ad” sounds an awful lot like “at,” but we can assure you it’s not. And if we go on ad infinitum (to infinity) about it, you’ll forgive us, won’t you?

Excetera

Excetera
Tatiana Ayazo/RD.com

This one gets pronounced incorrectly more than it gets spelled incorrectly, simply because in writing, it tends to end up abbreviated as “etc.” But it’s pronounced “Et-CEH-Terrah.” There is no “x” to be found anywhere.

Instead of unintentionally making people chuckle by mispronouncing words, go for legitimate laughs with these 75 short jokes that anyone can remember. 

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Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team