Misused English Phrases

English is the universal language across the globe. It’s definitely the most widely used that many countries include English in their school curricular programs for their students to become globally-competitive.

The English language has many idiomatic expressions and phrases that we must learn to use and apply in our conversations. But many of these are truly misused. Here are a few of them:

1. Fall in line

We don’t fall in line, of course. But we STAND in line.

But the phrase is misused only when what really mean is we are in a public transportation terminal and we are standing in line.

The phrase is correct, however, when it pertains to following regulations or rules.

2. Fill up and Fill out

FILL UP and FILL OUT are often used as if they have the same meaning. But they don’t.

FILL UP means putting  full or a certain amount of liquid, such as water, in a glass or container.

On the other hand, FILL OUT is accomplishing different documents or papers before submitting them. See? There really is a big difference between fill up and fill out. We should be careful not to use them interchangeably.

4. C.R.

C.R. is better known as washroom to the many users of the English language. Comfort room or c.r. is often not known by people from other countries. So if foreigners visit your country, and if you want to show them where the c.r. is, better use wash room instead of c.r. or comfort room. Likewise, other countries have other meanings for C.R.

5. Come again

Saying “Come again?” maybe understood by our fellow countrymen, but foreigners talking to you might not understand what you mean. So just say, “Please repeat what you said” if you didn’t understand what a person said to you.

6. Brownout

Brownout must be a word that must have been created by our fellow countrymen to describe the loss of electricity during daytime. Though it’s now gaining recognition, BLACKOUT is still a better term to use in describing the temporary loss of electricity. It’s better understood by people all over the world.

7. First come, first serve

First come, first serve should be corrected as FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. Don’t forget the “d” as the last letter in  “serve.”

8. Anyways

The grammar rule on words with ‘any’ should be singular. It’s still very much applicable as a rule that we should follow to avoid grammatical error. So saying “anyways” or “anyhows” may be commonly used by people now, but it’s still not grammatically correct.

These are just some of the phrases we think we are using correctly. They’re actually easy to remember. For sure, we can now correct ourselves the next time we use these phrases.