Peace of mind? No, it’s piece of mind, right?

Heather Voll, Editor

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Certain common phrases used in everyday conversations are often misused. When reading through a list of regularly used words and phrases, it is easy to see where things are lost in translation. Some can be either read wrong or misheard, but here is a list of common words and phrases that are used incorrectly.

  1: “I could care less” is really “I couldn’t care less.”

  Saying, “I could care less” implies that the person speaking actually does care about the subject at hand, and there is a way for them to care less than they already do. By saying “I couldn’t care less,” is accurate because then the person speaking is saying they already do not care about the subject, and there is not any way for them to care any less.

  2: “For all intensive purposes” is really “For all intents and purposes.”

  With this phrase, the easiest way to use it incorrectly is by just hearing it wrong. This phrase is just another way to say “in every practical sense” or “virtually.”

  3: “Piece of mind” is really “Peace of mind.”

  This phrase is generally used to signify that a person is at ease with something. It gets mixed up with “A piece of my mind,” which is where the confusion lies, especially in writing.

  4: “Mute point” is really “Moot point.”

  “Moot point” is used to define an issue that is subject to discussion or debate, but no definitive answer is found. The mix-up between the two most likely comes from hearing the word incorrectly in a conversation. The words “moot” and “mute” do sound similar, but a “mute point” doesn’t have the same effect as a “moot point” in a conversation, since it has no actual meaning.

  5: “You can have your cake and eat it too” is really “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”

  This saying is essentially, you can’t enjoy two desirable things at once. Again, the misuse of this phrase is generally due to hearing it wrong.

  6: “You have another thing coming” is really “You have another think coming,” which means “you are gravely mistaken”, at least according the the Oxford English Dictionary. President Barack Obama, considered a skilled rhetorician, is quoted reciting the phrase incorrectly.

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