The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD – Criminitly

I have recently been forced to explain why you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  Multiple times.

Not figuratively.  Literally.

If you have cake it is a tangible thing in your possession.  Once you eat it, it is no longer a tangible object in your possession.  It is past tense.  You had it.  You no longer have it.

I also had a cringe-worthy experience this morning when a co-worker, an educated individual, told me something was “besides the point”.

I’m not trying to split hairs here, I’m not trying to who/whom, than/then, or less/fewer you here, but I am to the point of peeving by misused idioms and everyday expressions.  Think about what you’re saying to ensure you are saying it accurately.

(and if you think I “could of” written this better, you’ve got another think coming)

It would be very unoriginal for me to write a “The X-Number Everyday Expression You Say Incorrectly.”  It’s been done and I could honestly care less to write another complaint article.  I could care less, you see, because I do, in fact, care a decent amount.

Instead, I want to start with a confession.

Growing up, I thought Criminitly was an expression that meant the same as “dagnabbit” or whatever other polite swearing your grandfather came up with when you were around.  My grandpa was Polish with a bit of a touch of an East Coast Accent.  When things would go wrong it was always For Pete’s Sake or For the love of Mike.  It took me quite a while before I realized who Mike and Pete were.  What took even longer, though, was to learn that Criminitly (crymenITlee) was not a word.  I was in college watching an episode of the Sopranos when I had the epiphany he was cursing the mafia.  Crime in Italy – a phrase popularized to mock Italian immigrants in the early 1900’s.  Most people, though, didn’t learn their swearing in the 19teens, and have made the shift to criminy.

I was fifteen when I realized it was “for all intents and purposes” not “intensive”.

To this day I do not understand a sh*t-eating grin.  A grimace maybe.  A face of utter disgust, sure.  A grin?  Of joy?  Nope.

QOTD – What expressions, idioms,  or everyday sayings do you either not understand or say incorrectly?


About Jamaal

Lover of words, liver of life, director of theatre, keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts. Twitter: @JamaalAllan

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