There are common phrases people need to stop using incorrectly, because they make the rest of us shudder. You wouldn't want to make an intelligent point, but be laughed at, because you made a tiny error. Of course, it's easy to correct your mistakes, once you know what you're doing wrong. Here are some phrases people need to stop using incorrectly:
1. Old Timer's Disease
Alzheimer's Disease causes memory loss. Although it's something that tends to occur in older people, the word "old-timer" is just not in the phrase. It might help you remember what the word means, but never say it aloud, or you'll risk sounding silly. This is one of the phrases people need to stop using incorrectly, because the disease is something to be taken seriously.
2. I Could Care Less
If you're a fan of Orange is the New Black, then you already know all about this error. If you say that you "could care less" about your homework, then that means that you actually do care. The phrase you're looking for is, "I couldn't care less," because it means that there's no possible way that you could care less about it.
3. Escape Goat
A scapegoat is someone who is blamed for the wrongdoings of others. If you and your friends all cheat on a test, but only one of your pals is blamed for it, then he is the scapegoat. An escape goat, on the other hand, is just a goat that escaped from a zoo. They're two totally different things. Don't get them confused.
4. Nipped in the Butt
"To nip" means to pinch or bite sharply, so nipping someone in the butt would be quite painful. It's not something that you'd want to experience. The correct phrase is "nipping it in the bud." It means that you're preventing a problem from growing worse, just like nipping a bud would prevent a flower from growing larger.
5. Safe Haven
A haven means a "safe place," so there's no reason to call something a "safe haven," when safety is already implied. Using the same word twice doesn't make much sense, and causes redundancy. If you've made this mistake in the past, don't worry. It isn't the end of the world, because not everyone will notice it. However, it's easily avoidable, so now that you know what you're doing, you shouldn't say it ever again.
6. The Spitting Image
This one only requires a minor change, but it's "spit and image," instead of "spitting image." So the next time you see a sexy guy, say that he's the spit and image of Ryan Gosling. He'll never receive a better compliment, and he'll think you're smart for using the phrase correctly.
People confuse "literally" and "figuratively" all of the time. Literally means that something is actually, physically going to happen. You are not literally going to drop dead if you fail your Spanish test. Your grades will literally drop, but that's about it. Stop using the word "literally" to describe things that are never going to happen to you.
You don't want to sound silly by using common phrases incorrectly. But now you have nothing to worry about, because this list should help you out. What phrases do you hate to hear being used wrong?