Don’t take these phrases for “granite”

In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about some common phrases that a lot of people get wrong.  For fun, here’s a few more:

  • Taking for granite – the “title track” of this blog post if you will.  The phrase of course is “taking for granted”, meaning you assume that something is just given to you and stop appreciating it.  But I have to admit that the “wrong” phrase sort of makes sense to me.  It’s like you assume something is carved in stone and will never change.
  • All the sudden – This one drives me nuts.  But to be fair, everyone seems to have a different take on it, and it’s just an expression — there’s no real reason why one is right or wrong.  But as far as I’m concerned, it’s always been “all of a sudden”.  But when you say “all of a sudden” fast, it sounds kind of like “all the sudden”.  Try it!  So I can see how that happened.
  • Cut off your nose despite your face – The actual phrase is “cut off your nose TO SPITE your face”.  Meaning, let’s say you hurt someone for revenge, but whatever you did hurts you too.  Like you’re mad at your face so to spite it, you cut off your nose, but then you’re screwed.
  • The carrot or the stick – It’s kind of hard to explain this one.  It’s the carrot AND the stick.  But people get the meaning wrong, which is why the phrase is wrong.  The carrot and stick is what you use to make a horse move ahead.  You get a long stick with a carrot tied to the end, so the horse keeps walking toward the carrot, which of course always stays ahead of him.  But a lot of people think it means it’s either the carrot, a reward, or the stick, a punishment, like you’d hit the horse with the stick!  Indeed!

None of these things are anything to stress out about of course.  As long as you get your point across, who cares how!