Here are 20 everyday phrases that you’re probably using incorrectly.
We recently conducted a little study where they scanned multiple prominent websites and found a boatload of misused phrases. Some of these phrases are pretty obvious while others are not. How many are you using incorrectly?
1. Prostrate Cancer
It’s an easy misspelling to make—just add an extra r and “prostate cancer” becomes “prostrate cancer,” which suggests “a cancer of lying face-down on the ground.” Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mayo Clinic websites include this misspelling.
2. First-Come, First-Serve
This suggests that the first person to arrive has to serve all who follow. The actual phrase is “first-come, first-served,” to indicate that the participants will be served in the order in which they arrive. Both Harvard and Yale got this one wrong.
3. Sneak Peak
A “peak” is a mountain top. A “peek” is a quick look. The correct expression is “sneak peek,” meaning a secret or early look at something. This error appeared on Oxford University’s site as well as that of the National Park Service.
This should be “deep-seated,” to indicate that something is firmly established. Though “deep-seeded” might seem to make sense, indicating that something is planted deep in the ground, this is not the correct expression. Correctica found this error on the Washington Post and the White House websites.
5. Extract Revenge
To “extract” something is to remove it, like a tooth. The correct expression is “exact revenge,” meaning to achieve revenge. Both The New York Times and the BBC have made this error.