Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Roundup

So many typos, so little time…

From an online article about a yoga pose:

"Seated Twist will ring out all your tension like twisting a wet towel…"

The correct phrase is “wring out.” To “ring out” refers to the peal of a bell, or a shot in the night. “Wring out” means to squeeze or twist the liquid out of something, like a wet towel. (Alternately, to wring one's hands means to twist the hands together in a gesture of distress.)

Another online article about a historical fire noted:

“…black smoke bellowing from the building…”

“Bellowing” means to shout “with a deep loud roar”, or to make a loud roar like an animal in pain or anger. “Billowing,” on the other hand, means: (verb) “to fill with air and swell outward”; or (noun) “a large undulating mass, typically a cloud, smoke, or steam” (per the handy-dandy dictionary installed on my new computer).

Both of these examples have something in common with other recent entries on this blog: The difference of one letter between the incorrect and correct words. It’s becoming an etymological epidemic.

Finally, here’s one I had to research: Is the correct phrase “to the manner born” or “to the manor born”?

According to a post on The Phrase Finder site, “To the manner born” can be traced to 1600s Shakespearean literature, while “to the manor born” first appears in 1859. The site goes on to say:

“The 'manor' version of the phrase is now far more popular in the language than the earlier one. Examples of its use make it clear that the distinction between 'manner' and 'manor' is now being lost. Given the closeness of the meaning of the two phrases, they have now become virtually interchangeable.”

Go forth and write correctly, my word warriors.

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