Category: Confused Expressions

Confused Expressions #15: The Entitled Book

A book may, and usually does have a title, but it should not have an entitlement. What I mean is that my first published novel, for example, is titled “Father John VS the Zombies,” but it is not entitled “Father John VS the

Confused Expressions #14: Knowledge is Power

The expression “knowledge is power” isn’t confused in and of itself; I agree that knowledge can be powerful. The confusion arises because, in most instances, the speaker seems to think that’s the end of the story, as if the single-minded

Confused Expressions #13: Proof Versus Evidence

I’d be hard-pressed to find an expression more commonly misused by otherwise careful writers and speakers than the expressions I’m sometimes faced with when an agnostic or atheist friend discovers that I’m Christian. “But how can you believe in Christianity

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Confused Expressions #12: It’s Natural

Some people seem satisfied to justify any action by the claim that “it’s natural.” Whether it’s giving in to every sexual urge or ingesting various products and plants, somehow the claim that “it’s natural” (which, I guess, means “it occurs

Confused Expressions #11: To Split the Infinitive, Boldly

You’ve likely heard the rule that in English, the infinitive should never be “split”; in this view, the infinitive form of a verb (“to” + verb, such as “to blog”) is a union as sacred as Holy Matrimony and introducing

Confused Expressions #10: Money is the Root of All Evil

There’s nothing inherently confused about the expression “money is the root of all evil.” I don’t happen to agree with it, but that’s a philosophical point that can be debated. The confusion comes in since most people who use the

Confused Expressions #9: My Body is My Temple

When I was younger, a friend said to me—if memory serves, in response to my resolute disinclination to smoke cigarettes with him—”Your body is your temple, isn’t it?” It was the first time I’d heard the expression, and although I’ve

Confused Expressions #8: The Wheel that Squeaks … and Squeaks … and Squeaks

For reasons personal and interesting only to myself, I’ve been thinking about people who complain regularly (often with the preamble that they aren’t the type of person who likes to complain), and the very old expression about which wheel gets

Confused Expressions #7: Begging the Question

Very few things throw me more in a conversation than when someone says, “And of course that begs the question …” In philosophy, “begging the question” is a technical term that means you’ve made the fallacy of assuming the truth

Confused Expressions #6: Could You Care Less?

“I couldn’t care less” makes a lot more sense than “I could care less” when someone wants to indicate that the subject at hand holds zero, zilch, nada interest for them, but it’s the latter expression that seems more popular.