Eight Phrases You Probably Don’t Know Are Wrong



1. Off Head

I have no idea where this originated. It is used a lot to describe information that one has memorized. The correct term is “by heart”. Off head reminds me a bit medieval times, when a king would yell “Off with his head!” at his guards or soldiers, when a person loses his favor.

So, instead of saying “I know that song off head”, you say “I know the lyrics by heart”.


2. Happy Belated Birthday

This is one that a lot of people think is correct. It is very common especially within social media, to see people wishing a person whose birthday recently passed, “Happy Belated Birthday”. This is incorrect because, it is not the birthday that was late, it was your wishes/comment that was late. The correct thing to say would be “Belated Happy Birthday”. So keep this in mind when next you have to send a late birthday messaage.


3. “I Could Care Less”

When used is mostly used to convey how little one cares. The correct term would be to say “I couldn’t care less”, because what you intend to say is that you care so little that it is impossible for you to care less than you already do.


4. “X and Myself”

Usuall, people when they want to sound smart while referring to themselves and some other person, tend to go for this . The correct thing to say would be either “ Me and X” or “X and I”.


5. Brother-in-laws, Runner-ups:

For these words (and other similar words), the correct term would be “brothers-in-law” and “runners-up”. This is because the plural factor (ie the ‘s’) should be added directly to the head noun.


6. “The Reason Why I ….”

This is wrong because it is tautology. It is either “The reason I….” or “Why I….”. The two mean the same thing, so a combination of the words ends up making the sentence wrong.


7. “You’ve got another thing coming”

Now this is one even I found shocking when I first heard it, but research has shown it to be true. This saying usually follows the phrase “If you think”. Apparently, the correct thing is “You’ve got another thinkcoming”.

This is because, the person being addressed is presumed to already ‘think’ one thing. So in a sentence, it would be “If you think I’m going to fall for that, you’ve got another thinkcoming.”


8. Wreck Havoc

This is actually wrong because, to ‘wreck’ means to destroy. To ‘wreck’ havoc therefore means to destroyhavoc and this defeats the entire purpose of the saying. The correct thing to say is “wreak”, which means to ’cause’ or ‘create’. Therefore, the saying is “wreak havoc” and not “wreck havoc”.

Can you think of more phrases people use commonly that are incorrect? Let us know by adding to this list in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this little post, and most importantly, learned from it. Spread the word by sharing this post, so that more people will come to learn about them too.

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