Creativity Magazine

Son of the Red Pen

By Vickilane
Son of the Red Pen
But wait! There are more misused words and phrases that have come to my attention since my last post on the subject. Let's begin with this from one of my readers: A new bride wrote of her husband, "I love him with all my heart and sole." Soul is probably what she meant to say. Unless the happy pair are foot fetishists. I know, I shouldn't judge.
Son of the Red Pen
After the Women's March I saw an irate comment on Facebook complaining about the fowl language on some of the signs.  No fair blaming it on the chickens, my dear -- what you mean is foul.
Here's a two-fer: Reek havoc and run amuck. Reek means to give off an offensive odor -- the correct word in this phrase is wreak, meaning to cause.   And running amuck implies that one is bogged down in mud or something worse. Running amok (From the Malay -- evidently something Malays were thought to be prone to) is to rampage uncontrollably.
Son of the Red Pen
Then there's reticent -- which some folks seem to confuse with hesitant and/or reluctant -- as in She was reticent to go along with the plan.  Not quite. Reticent is more akin to shy or reserved -- as in When we asked her opinion of the nominee, her reticent nature meant that we learned nothing.
So, a new month and my little notebook is ready. Feel free to share any  similar missteps!
Son of the Red Pen

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